Can Webinars Ever Really Replace Products?

Over the past few days, I've been learning the secret of fast article writing and been ultra-productive with it. I can now turn around a quality article in 12 minutes and submit it to EzineArticles within that time (and don't underestimate the time it takes to fill in all the extra fields and information on EzineArticles).

That, in itself, is going to be an interesting tutorial for another time – but this also formed the basis for a number of email messages I sent out to my list.

At the end of it all, I asked my list how they would rather I presented the tutorial to them, and a number of people graciously responded.

Would they prefer me to record everything in a product?

Or, would they like me to hold a live webinar, show them the results, and take questions?

The results are in, and they might surprise you…

Here are the percentages:

Prefer a Product – 66.7%Video Product
Prefer a Webinar – 33.3%

Now, I should qualify these numbers by saying this is a strictly non-scientific and self selecting survey. So, they might not hold water in every single list and for single niche.

Plus, a few people said they would prefer one over the other, but would be happy with either, or that they would quite like both.

But, the results are 2:1  in favour of a product, and so the 12 Minute Strategy will in the form of a product.

I want to paraphrase some of the comments, I received, to give you an idea of popular thinking about this:

Pros For A Product

  • some people find it hard to clear time in their schedule to attend a webinar, and have less interest in watching a recording.
  • a webinar is not suitable for people who have hearing difficulties.
  • there are also international subscribers (and, I imagine, some people in more rural areas) who just can't follow webinars as the right telephone infrastructure is either not in place, or the bandwidth costs are just too expensive.

Pros For A Webinar

  • people like the live nature and interactivity of a webinar.
  • UK based subscribers (like me) like the idea of attending a webinar at times convenient to them.

One question I didn't directly ask, but which was raised in the comments, was whether the product would be a written or video product. I certainly envisioned this being a video product in either case (whether presented live on a webinar, or as prerecorded videos), mainly because the nature of what I intended to show was visual.

But, many of the issues raised in favour of the product solution rather preclude the idea of a video product.

The Compromise

I'm still planning on a product involving video, as this is the only way I see myself being able to provide the right information.

One, often suggested solution, is to provide transcripts. The sales of my products aren't at a stage where this is something I can deliver, unfortunately, but it's something that I hope to strive towards. This is something for marketers who are more established to seriously consider.

A transcript also provides some value for webinar recordings as well, and hopefully answers some objections.

In this case, I'm planning to include a Quick Start Guide, with the highlights of the videos, but with nowhere near the level of detail. I know that's not a perfect solution, but I hope it's of some use.

So, Are Webinars Dead?

Definitely not.

The fact of the matter is that they do appeal to a sector of the audience. It's generally impossible to meet every possible customer with every product, so a bit of a 'balancing act' is necessary.

I certainly intend to use webinars in the future where they are an appropriate fit.

And, from a personal point of view, the idea of appealing to the UK market appeals to me. The good thing about this is that, a webinar scheduled in the evening (UK time) is the afternoon (North American), so it's possible to time it well for that market too.

Some marketers like to create a product, then offer a webinar as a bonus, and that's another viable solution to consider. You can also play live roulette, one of the most popular games at a live casino and OnlineCasino, thanks to the “Live Roulette” feature.


Your Thoughts

I hope that's accurately summed the main points up, but I would be very interested in reading any thoughts or comments that I've missed recreating.

Just go ahead and post a comment below to let me know any other arguments, or simply to say if you agree.


8 replies on “Can Webinars Ever Really Replace Products?”

I like a combination of both.  I really love receiving a transcript of a teleseminar.  I enjoy listening… but I like a tangible product that I can refer to later.  I'm with your readers. Tangible product first.
There are so many teleseminars and webinars now that they are beginning to over lap.  I appreciate the replays so I can listen at my convenience. 
Thanks for the stats.  I'll keep them in mind for my own customers.

I think the either/or is a false choice.  As someone who has purchased training in both formats, the combination of the Liver or recorded Live Webinar and the Video recording have the most value. 
When you are watching  a video your only have your perspective and will only think of questions based on what you already know. 
Being on a Webinar or watching  recorded Webinar, you have   other people asking questions from different perspectives and experience levels. 
Finally, depending on the numbers in your list, you may find making both is the right solution.  Packaging video recordings with Webinar recordings allows you to meet the desires of both audiences.    And best of all, Webinars don't take anywhere near as long to make as videos.

I agree that it is not "either/or".   For me, video/webinar makes sense when there is something to be demonstrated that is better done live than in text form.
But when it is pure content, an explnation of a technique, or something that needs to be used as a reference, then hard copy wins every time.

I too like the combination of both, however I usually only get to the recorded version of webinars as I am rarely free when they take place.  Videos are my favourite way of learning, and I can save them and go back time and again (and I need to!)
Enjoy the journey.

Thanks for the comments. I must say that I'd never really considered packaging a webinar recording with additional videos, but that is an appealing combination.

I can see a good way of doing this. Set up the webinar as the main component of a single payment membership site. People can ask questions during the webinar itself. Then, they can also ask questions in the members' area. Those questions can be the basis for further videos which are dripped out over time, giving even more long term value to the product.

I've a few ideas based on that, so I'll no doubt try it out over the next few weeks. Any ideas for refinements are welcome.


I like to watch the presentations on my own time so the recordings are great for this. However, nothing beats having an actual product in my hands to try out or the "how to" to read through.

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