It’s a lead generation tool to encourage people to come along. The other option you have with webinars is you can actually use it for in house training, for example. If you have a group of people and they’re interstate or not local, but you still need them on a call, rather than doing a conference call, that’s quite common in business for you to do a video call. That’s what webinars allow you to do. You can have people engaged. You can invite other presenters. If you had 10 colleagues on a call, you can allow them to share the screen, share their cameras, present on screen.
There are a lot of things you can do with a webinar to make it very functional. Again, to keep the viewers and the attendees engaged and like what you’re doing.
CS: You can do that with webinars, not just a Google Hangout or something? I didn’t know you could bring live people visually on webinars.
FG: Absolutely. Google Hangouts is effectively a webinar. It is doing that; it’s sharing your screen and your audio. You can do a lot with Google Hangouts. It has a few restrictions. It’s a good tool possibly for someone to start with, but it’s not a great tool if you want to get professional. One of the big issues for Google Hangouts is that there’s a major delay between what you present and I’m not talking about 10 minutes, but even one or two minutes in a delay, when you present something on a Google Hangouts, it’s a delay between when you present it and when people see it.
You’ve to make sure your timing is spot on so that the viewers don’t actually see that. Google Hangouts is certainly a good tool to get started in the webinar arena. There’s a lot more sophisticated tools out there. Probably the more popular one is GoToWebinars. That’s a paid service. You pay monthly based on the number of visitors that you expect to see on your webinar.
If you want 50, that’s the base level, it’s something like $20 US a month, so it’s not overly expensive. It gives you a lot of features that you can use to get involved with your clients and good place to start.
Also, as a matter of interest, they also offer a 30 day trial. Again, if people want to get started and get into the game of webinars, I’d encourage to set themselves up first for everything, so that they don’t waste their month. As soon as they’re ready to go, they sign up for their month’s webinars and trial. It’s a good option. There are a few more options that we can cover,
probably not today, but later if the opportunity occurs.
CS: I was just reading yesterday that they said that Hangouts was going to be gone in September because Google was going to make us start using YouTube, did you hear that?
FG: I heard a rumor about that. Hangouts is actually associated with YouTube. You’ll notice if you look at a replay for any of the Hangouts, they don’t know whether the listeners will have actually come across that, but you’ll actually notice that it does play within the YouTube platform. They’re probably going up against Facebook at the moment because you’ve got Facebook Live now as well. There’s a lot of action in that space.
I suppose YouTube is really concerned about Facebook taking over the video sector where YouTube had a monopoly, so to speak, in that for many years. They’ll obviously have to do a lot of work on the platform and get more aggressive in that area. It’s a great space to be in.
CS: That’s what I was thinking. While we’re on that line of questioning, are there other tools that somebody would need to run a webinar, besides GoToWebinar?
FG: Not really. The main things you need are a good internet connection, that’s paramount, especially if you’re going to share your videos and your cameras because it takes up a reasonable amount of bandwidth. I’d encourage people to, if they’ve got their router or modem, whatever they want to call it, close by their company, that instead of using WiFi connection, they actually have a hard wired Ethernet connection like the blue cable, straight from the computer into the router. That will cut out any possible negative interference from the WiFi.
The other thing they obviously need is a microphone, so they can speak. You can just put one slide up, so you don’t even need a slideshow. The thing that I do encourage clients to do is to actually get on camera with their audience. A lot of people are scared about that because some of us have a good head for radio. People like to look and see and “touch” people they deal with. The more comfort you can give clients, the better.
There are really just three things. Obviously you need a computer. You need a computer to connect to the internet. You need a microphone to speak with. Possibly a PowerPoint presentation, if you’re going to run a slideshow. Then a camera if you want to go on camera live yourself. The camera’s not an ultimate necessity.You don’t really need a lot to get started with webinars. It’s a nice, easy platform to use.
CS: I guess that the convenience of a webinar versus traveling and other expenses that would be incurred if somebody had to attend an event is probably another very welcome situation for using them.
FG: It works from both levels. Not only as a presenter or as an attendee, you’re not locked into a location. There’s also the cost benefit. If you put on a live seminar in the local hotel or motel, whatever it might be, or conference center, there’s an expense to that. You have to hire the room, you’ve got to hire the audio system, you’ve to hire the projector. There’s
more expense that impacts on your return investment.