Live Webinar vs On-Demand Webinar vs Webcast vs Web Conference vs Podcast – How are they different?

Live Webinar vs On-Demand Webinar vs Webcast vs Web Conference vs Podcast
I'm a marketing expert, a chef-in-training and a San Francisco resident. Also, I started this blog, Growth Marketing Pro and built it into a 6-figure passive income business in 18 months.
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There are so many choices for hosting a web event, for example a live webinar vs. an on-demand webinar vs. a webcast vs. a web conference vs. a podcast.

It’s frustrating because it shouldn’t have to be so complicated. So I’m going to simplify it.

But first…

Live Webinar vs On-Demand Webinar vs Webcast vs Web Conference vs Podcast

Content is king.

Since the birth of the internet, we’ve been writing about our businesses, but with modern technology progressing as fast as it is, there are more and more ways to engage with our customers in a more personalized way.

It’s becoming increasingly important to stay on top of the latest digital marketing trends.

Webinars, Webcasts, Web Conferences and Podcasts are all incredible new forms of web content and great ways to get the word out about your business and engage with your customers.

One of the biggest challenges is just getting started. That’s why I created this perfect webinar script template for you to download and use ASAP.

With all these new digital web formats, things can get confusing…

webinar vs webcast vs web conference vs podcast
  • What’s the difference between a webinar and a webcast? Spoiler alert: a webinar and a webcast are the exact same thing. 
  • What’s a podcast and how do I make one?
  • What about web conferences?
  • What is the best webcast software?
  • What is an evergreen webinar?

These are common questions that people are often asking me.

Since I’m pretty passionate about webinars overall (I’ve seen some incredible results ever since I created and recorded my first webinar), I’m going to try and make things a bit clearer for all of us, let me explain…

What is a live webinar?

A live webinar is when you host a digital web event, inviting numerous attendees to join you in a virtual room to watch and listen to your content.

webinarjam webinar software

Use a live webinar if: You’re trying to engage and interact with multiple customers or potential customers at once. It’s also great if you have presenters in multiple remote locations or if you want to incorporate attendees and let them participate as speakers in the live webinar event as well.

A few live webinar ideas:

  • Teach a course
  • Host a product demo
  • Host a Q&A session with customers

Really the use cases are endless.

Does a live webinar have audio? Yes

Does a live webinar have video? Yes, your attendees will be able to see your screen. On your screen you can show a video of your face, a slide presentation, a white screen where you can annotate, or you can share your screen to walk viewers through a product demo.

What is the best live webinar software? WebinarJam. Trust me, I’ve reviewed all the webinar tools out there, and WebinarJam is my favorite by far. It’s the cheapest and easiest to use and always performs flawlessly. It’s easy to prep and you can get a live webinar up and running in less than 10 seconds if you really wanted.

Side note: I’ve had miserable experiences with other tools- you can read more about it on my GoToWebinar review. Literally the other day I was invited to speak for an event that was using GoToWebinar, and the tech failed at the last minute so I saved the day by hosting it on my WebinarJam account. #WebinarJamToTheRescue!

Want to learn more about how to create and record your first live webinar? Well you’re in luck, because I wrote a whole post about it- check it out here.

What is an on-demand webinar?

An on-demand webinar (also known as an evergreen webinar) is when you record a live webinar event, and re-use that content, inviting new viewers to watch a recorded live webinar. Depending on the webinar software you use, an on-demand webinar can still feel like a live webinar experience to viewers.

everwebinar evergreen webinar

Use an on-demand webinar if: You’ve already recorded a live webinar, and you want to use the same content over and over again, with new viewers.

A few on-demand webinar ideas:

  • Use Facebook ads to target your audience and invite them to an on-demand / evergreen webinar. They can sign up to watch the on-demand webinar any day or any time, depending on the schedule you set within the webinar software. The best part? You won’t have to show up to the webinar at all, it will play on repeat whenever the attendee registers to watch it.
  • Since you won’t be able to live chat with on-demand webinar attendees, you can set it up so they can submit a question during the webinar that will get sent straight to your email.
  • Use dynamic attendees. Depending on the on-demand webinar software you choose, you can create an environment for your on-demand webinar attendees that feels live by showing them that there are other attendees in the room, even if there aren’t. You can configure your webinar to display a fixed amount of people through the entire webinar, or you can let the system mimic a typical dynamic attendance curve through the webinar
evergreen webinar software

Does an on-demand webinar have audio? Yes

Does an on-demand webinar have video? Yes, the on-demand webinar screen will show whatever you recorded during your live webinar.

What is the best evergreen webinar software? EverWebinar. Again, I can’t speak highly enough about this on-demand webinar tool. It has all the functionality you could want, and some functionality I couldn’t even imagine existed before I starting using this tool. Since you don’t need to be present for an on-demand webinar, EverWebinar makes it possible for you to make money selling your product to hundreds of people, while you sleep. It’s pretty awesome.

Plus, if you’re already using WebinarJam, it’s easy to import your live webinar and convert it into an on-demand webinar in EverWebinar. Including the ability to import the entire chat from your live webinar.

Want to learn more about how to create your first on-demand or evergreen webinar? Great, cause I wrote a whole post about it here.

What is a webcast?

A webcast is when you host a digital event, inviting numerous attendees to join you in a virtual room to watch and listen to your content.

You may be saying to yourself, wow, that sounds like the exact same thing as a webinar.

And yes, you would be correct.

webcast vs webinar

A webcast is literally the same thing as a webinar. Webcast and webinar are used interchangeably.

Some say that a webcast is the technology that a webinar uses, but the two words are honestly used interchangeably. So after this post, let’s just agree to retire the word webcast all together and bundle it up with the word webinar, okay?

Use a webcast if: You’re trying to share content with many digital attendees at once.

Does a webcast have audio? Yes

Does a webcast have video? Yes, since a webcast is the same thing as a webinar, your attendees will be able to see your screen and you can decide what to show on that screen. Whether it’s a live video of you or a slide presentation or whatever you choose to share visually.

What is the best webcast software? Well, since webcasts and webinars are the same thing, again I would recommend WebinarJam. It’s the tool that I use for all of my webcasts and I’ve tried a ton of others before landing on this one as my permanent go-to. If you want to explore other webcast software options, you may want to read this post.

What is a web conference?

A web conference is when you host a digital event, inviting numerous attendees to join you in a virtual room to watch and listen to your content.

Oh wait, let me guess what you’re thinking… “So a web conference and a live webinar and a webcast are basically the same thing?”

Yes. You are correct once again.

In my opinion, a web conference or a web video conference is really just another more antiquated term for a live webinar.

However, sometimes people use the term web conferencing to describe what is really just a meeting over the web with another colleague where they use the internet to share their screen. The term that is most often used for one-on-one meetings over the web is “video conferencing”.

Therefore, a webinar or web conference is for inviting large groups of attendees to listen to and view your content, whereas video conferencing is for smaller meetings internally, with external stakeholders or meetings where a smaller group is collaborating and sharing screens.

Use a web conferencing if: You’re inviting large groups of attendees to listen to and view your content

A few web conferencing ideas:

  • Host training sessions for your company and show them how to utilize a new tool
  • Host a Q&A with a large group of new customers
  • Teach a course on a topic and invite potential customers to join

Does a web conference have audio? Yes

Does a web conference have video? Yes it can.

What is the best web conferencing software? If you’re of the camp that a web conference is really just a webinar and you plan to invite people outside your company to view your live web conferencing content, then I still recommend WebinarJam.

What is video conferencing?

Use video conferencing if: You’re hosting smaller meetings internally, with external stakeholders or meetings where a smaller group is collaborating and sharing screens.

video-conferencing

A few video conferencing ideas:

  • Train your remote team by hosting a video conference meeting and sharing your screen
  • Host a product demo with one potential customer
  • Brainstorm with your colleagues and share your screen

Looking for video conferencing software or video meeting software? If you’re of the belief that web conferencing is when you hold one-on-one or smaller meetings with peers over the internet, then you might want to consider video conferencing software or meeting software such as:

What is a podcast?

A podcast is an audio broadcast where listeners can download or stream your content and listen from the comfort of their smart phone, computer or tablet. Listeners can also choose to subscribe to your podcast channel and get access to all the podcast episodes that you publish.

Use a podcast if: You’re trying to build a personal brand, you’re building awareness for your company, you’re trying to drive B2B leads to your business or you just love creating audio content and you want to create a series of episodes for fun.

what is a podcast

This is a photo of me recording a podcast with my friend Ander Frischer at Instapage which, by the way, is the tool I use to build all my drag-and-drop landing pages. It’s pretty awesome.

A few podcast ideas:

  • Pick a topic that’s relevant to your customers and create a podcast with multiple episodes that covers a variety of topics or lessons for your audience. You can use the platform to build credibility for both you and your business as a source of knowledge.
  • Build a loyal following, and consider monetizing your podcast with ads. As a marketer, I’ve had great experiencing purchasing podcast advertisements from podcasts that had a loyal following. It can be very powerful for a brand when they get an endorsement on a podcast.

Does a podcast have audio? Yes

Does a podcast have video? No

What is the best podcasting software? Technically a podcast is just audio. So if you’re bootstrapped, you can record yourself using your smartphone or computer. But if you’re trying to create something of higher quality, you’ll have to invest in both hardware and software.

The best podcast software: You can use free recording and editing software to get started. If you have a Mac, just use GarageBand or you can use Audacity for both a Mac & PC.

The best podcast hardware: If you’re just getting started, all you’ll need is this mic. It’s the same one Tim Ferris uses and you can plug it straight into your computer.

Conclusion

If you’re reading this post, then you’re already miles ahead of your competitors.

Only 44% of marketers have actually hosted or participated in a webinar, but 87% found it to be an effective strategy.

Whether you call it a webinar, a webcast, a web conference. Or you’re learning about on-demand webinars or podcasts, I know you’re on your way to creating some incredibly engaging content.

Go get em!

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