Running Live Webinars: Benefits, Challenges and Opportunities

Emily McLaughlin
Apr 24, 2017 4:40:04 PM

Educating learners with a webinar-only learning is a strategy many businesses currently utilize but if your organization wants to scale online learning initiatives and maximize the benefits, you need to consider expanding your content offerings and formats. Webinars can be a central piece of your overall learning strategy, but there are significant opportunities to expand learning beyond single live events.


To build out this ideal learning strategy, you need a learning technology  that enables you to integrate your system with webinar programs such as Citrix’s GoToWebinar and GoToTraining, ON24, and WebEx, in order to seamlessly manage the live events. 


Once the event has occurred, the right learning technology can enable you to repurpose that content into formats such as  like slideshows, flipcards, podcasts, quizzes and more. Having a commerce integration available with your learning technology would also allow your organization to monetize your webinars, both as a live event or as an on-demand version after it has concluded.


Let’s talk through some benefits of hosting webinars as learning content. First up, here are some webinar benefits:

  • Connect with more learners: Webinars allow your organization to connect with learners across the globe in different time zones and locations.
  • Flexibility: Webinars enable learners to access learning material from anywhere on virtually any device. Even when learners can’t attend a live webinar, they are often able to watch the webinar on-demand on their own time.
  • Boost interaction: In most cases, learners are more comfortable interacting with presenters virtually. During a webinar, learners can submit questions and have them answered live.
  • Engage with customers and prospects: It’s important to educate your customers and prospects throughout the entire customer lifecycle. Webinars are a great way to do this. During the initial acquisition phase, webinars are a great way to connect with prospects and educate them about your products and services in order to accelerate the sales process. And post-sale, webinars are a streamlined way to onboard new customers, maintain engagement, and promote customer loyalty and advocacy.

Webinars are a great tool to reach a wide audience, but there are some downsides if this is your sole approach to engaging with learners. To create the best learning experience for your customers, pair webinars with other forms of online learning in order to diversify your content offerings. Your organization should be able to fill content gaps and maximize user satisfaction across the entire lifecycle of the customer.


Below are some downsides to the single webinar approach, but also some learning content ideas to capitalize on in those shortcomings:

  • Language limitations: When you create a video, it is recorded in one language. If you want to provide learning content to customers who don’t share your native language, you are you’ll need to record more than one webinar. This is where other learning content comes in handy. For example, one of the administrative features in the Thought Industries’ Learning Business Platform™ enables you to customize languages and localization. Hosting live webinars as educational materials limits your ability to transmit in different languages.  
  • Webinars don’t appeal to all learning styles: Webinars are great, but some learners don’t learn best by watching lectures. In this instance, your organization could  create a course that includes a variety of learning modules -- e.g. a webinar, PDF upload, slideshow, quiz, in order to cover a variety of learning styles.
  • Boring topics or uncharismatic presenters: A webinar might not be the best way to present your content and all of your subject matter experts might not be great on audio or video. Improve learner success varying your content types in order to attract a broader audience.

Webinars are a great way to share subject matter expertise and teach your customers and prospects, but don’t limit customer success by restricting yourself to a webinar-only learning strategy. The Thought Industries Learning Business Platform™ allows clients to seamlessly integrate with programs like GoToWebinar, GoToTraining, ON24 and WebEx when they create their learning modules within courses. From there the platform enables commerce and reporting, giving you full visibility into performance, engagement, and improvement opportunities.


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