Making Webcasting Compelling, on Schedule and Under Budget
Nine percent of U.S. businesses use streaming media on their Web sites or across their intranets. That figure is expected to increase to nearly 30 percent within a year. The projected growth is understandable since Aberdeen Consulting, Boston, estimates that the cost saving in a Webcast product announcement can produce a return on investment that exceeds 1,000 percent.
Unfortunately, with the constant struggle to meet deadlines and increasing demands for traditional business tools, the idea of adding Webcasting into an already tight schedule and budget seems impossible.
Suppose that today's technologies are capable of incorporating Webcasting into your offerings cost effectively, on schedule and with more compelling results.
What techniques and tools can you deploy to effectively unlock the door to streaming media?
Many companies simply encode stamp-size, repurposed collateral, but it is not enough. You must create an interesting experience that leverages the Web's capabilities.
Audio, video, graphics, interactivity, testing, viewer tracking and supporting materials all work together to effectively convey your message. To meet demanding schedules and cost considerations, you must find a production technique that allows for cost-effective and rapid content development.
Some hardware and software vendors offer product rentals and staff services, allowing potential customers to evaluate the results of a product or configuration without the risk of ending up with unwanted equipment. Also, an expert team can train your staff on a product and help to establish an effective process to write, produce, edit and deliver your Webcasts.
Consider several factors when selecting a Webcasting product, including: usability, project efficiency from content inception to delivery, corporate branding, multimedia features, user tracking and interactive tools. It is also important to consider the target viewer and its network environment.
Some tools that work well for broadband viewers may not function for your 56k modem clients. Some products can be deployed for small numbers of simultaneous viewers, but are ineffective for enterprise deployment due to network load or scalability constraints.
Different products are developed with specific workflow and content creation speed in mind, though the quickest of these techniques is real time or live production.
Assuming you deploy a real-time solution, follow these steps to create an effective Webcast: script, prepare, produce and deliver.
Create an effective script by writing the dialogue and supporting it with materials and visual setting or cues. During the preparation phase you must collect elements for the show. These may include graphics, video clips, PowerPoint slides, surveys and tests. You assemble these elements into a playlist or storyboard for quick recall during production.
When the elements for the show are assembled, it is time to produce the show. Simply think of this as giving a presentation to a potential customer. Follow the script and use the supporting elements as though you were talking to someone who is in the room with you.
With hands-on control interfaces, the presenter or system operator has complete flexibility regarding when and what elements are shown. Since real-time systems capture all show timing, they can eliminate the need for virtually all post-production, saving you valuable time.
With real-time products, viewer delivery can happen live or on-demand. Individuals who were unable to watch the original live presentation still receive the same information when their schedule permits.