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A Guide to Various Types of Webinars

"Discover how different types of webinars can help you maintain a thriving sales pipeline. Learn about on-demand, live, automated, and hybrid webinars, along with their benefits for lead generation, brand awareness, and thought leadership.
August 7, 2023

Webinars have firmly entrenched themselves as an indispensable component within today's business landscape. You've been inundated with webinar marketing and communication discussions, and you've likely partaken in several webinar sessions yourself. The thought of conducting your webinar has crossed your mind, albeit with trepidation, fearing the possibility of an unsuccessful event leading to a squandered budget. 

Webinar platforms consistently secure a place among the top 5 technologies harnessed by B2B organizations to orchestrate their content marketing endeavors. Furthermore, webinars and virtual events are among the top 5 channels for disseminating content to a targeted audience. This enduringly effective strategy shows no signs of waning, making it advantageous to familiarize yourself with diverse webinar use cases and harness their potential for your business. Webinars have become a potent avenue for brand promotion and generating leads and conversions. Webinars draw in individuals who hold genuine interest, leading to an engaged and interactive experience. Moreover, webinars excel due to their capacity to incorporate diverse visuals, elevating the presentation of information.

You need to keep your sales pipeline full; your webinar production schedule can be a great way to make that happen. Seventy-two percent of businesses say that the webinars they produce directly influence their overall sales pipeline and the revenue they derive. With well-run webinars, you can nurture your leads throughout the sales pipeline and keep the conversation going with existing customers. Knowing all the different types of webinars you can put on makes it easier for you to select the option that aligns best with your goals for the marketing campaign. It will build alignment between what you want to accomplish, your target audience, and your topic so that you attract the right people and work toward your end goal. Having comprehended the efficacy of webinars, let's explore distinct webinar types suitable for your business. Each variant serves a specific purpose, enabling you to accomplish various objectives.

Why is it important to know the different types of webinars?

Gaining an understanding of the diverse webinar formats is essential, as it empowers you to carefully choose the optimal structure for achieving your marketing objectives. Each variant of webinar serves a distinct purpose and caters to a specific audience. Selecting the appropriate webinar type can elevate your presentation to become more engaging and prosperous. This, in turn, can drive heightened rates of engagement and conversions.

Read and Learn: How to Harness Webinars for a 2X Pipeline Boost

Moreover, selecting a suitable webinar format is a fundamental best practice when orchestrating a webinar. It facilitates the efficient allocation of resources and finances, enabling you to tailor your content and approach to the unique preferences of your audience. Ultimately, the greater your comprehension of the array of webinar types, the more adeptly you can devise and execute a triumphant webinar campaign.

Types of webinars based on the release and availability of content

Webinars are classified into three types based on the release and availability of content. Many people associate webinars with exclusively live content. Here are the main categories of webinars.

On-demand webinars

An on-demand webinar empowers viewers with the flexibility to watch the content at their preferred time. Among its features, viewers can pause and rewind the webinar to suit their convenience. To facilitate tracking, viewers provide their name and email during registration, enabling precise viewing time and audience monitoring. Interactive tools such as chat functions are employed within the on-demand webinar. The chat function triggers immediate email notifications, allowing prompt responses to inquiries.

As many as 84% of webinar registrants still need to attend the webinar live. They instead prefer to wait for opportunities to watch the webinar on their own time. That is why 94% of webinar hosts ensure the content is recorded and available to watch on-demand for people later. An on-demand webinar proves particularly advantageous when the objective involves sustained lead generation post a live webinar. Prospective viewers need to register to access the on-demand content. This approach ensures the continual accumulation of valuable statistics, facilitating the dispatch of highly targeted follow-up emails.

Live webinars

A live webinar is a popular form of webinar. These webinars are held live, with all of your registrants logging in to listen to your presentation while you do it. These webinars allow people to ask their questions directly to the experts. Webinars typically unfold as singular occurrences scheduled for specific dates and times. Unlike webinars, there are no provisions for scrubbing or pausing. Much like an in-person seminar, the webinar proceeds uninterrupted. If one joins late, a segment of the webinar is missed. For example, they want to know how a product will impact something unique to their business during a product demonstration or how a piece of industry news will impact their marketing efforts. In that case, they can ask their questions directly.  

live webinars

Automated webinars

With an automated webinar, you pre-record your presentation, ensuring a seamless and polished delivery. This approach enables you to enhance the visual appeal of the webinar to its fullest potential. Our user-friendly webinar software empowers you to broadcast the pre-recorded content in a manner that replicates a "live" broadcast. Additionally, viewers retain the ability to pose questions during the webinar, facilitating substantial interaction between you and the audience. Automated webinars combine features from live and on-demand webinars. In these types of webinars, the video is prerecorded. However, the host will select a particular time the video will stream. This can encourage conversation, as you might have a business representative on standby to answer questions as they arise for audience members. 

Hybrid webinars

Hybrid webinars integrate in-person and virtual components, combining diverse audiences, including physical attendees and remote participants, utilizing a web-based platform. Typically, a hybrid webinar unfolds within a physical venue before a live audience, with the content concurrently streamed via a web-based platform. This setup enables remote participants to engage with the on-site audience actively. The surge in popularity of this webinar format stems from its capacity to extend a company's reach to a broader audience and facilitate more dynamic interactions with attendees.

This webinar style helps you maximize your audience reach since those who want all the benefits of in-person, such as personal discussion and networking, can seize those opportunities. In contrast, those who want to listen online with minimum disruption to their schedule can also access that benefit. 

These webinars also help you grow your audience while controlling your budget, as you do not have to pay for space and food for all your potential attendees.

hybrid webinars

Different types of webinars you can host

In addition to considering how you produce the content for the webinar, you can also select from various webinar styles, depending upon your overarching goals for your topic. Here are the webinar types we find most popular among our customers.

eLearning webinars

eLearning webinars stand out as one of the most prevalent and favored webinar types, focusing primarily on delivering educational content. The versatility of eLearning webinars shines through as they can be conducted in real-time and made available for on-demand viewing, providing students the flexibility to engage with the material at their convenience. These webinars might offer greater insight into your industry and professional development. The popularity of these webinars can be attributed to the booming eLearning sector, poised to reach a staggering value of $315 billion by 2025. This exponential growth opens up significant opportunities for those considering hosting educational webinars. You might target these webinars internally, offering your staff opportunities to build their credentials and expertise. Elearning webinars are designed to be concise, making integrating skill-building into this limited timeframe feasible. By opting for these webinars, companies can avoid costly events and training sessions, which may also involve travel expenditures. Consequently, eLearning webinars have emerged as a cost-effective alternative for corporations.

Training webinars

Training webinars provide participants with specialized knowledge, skills, and information. These webinars serve as a platform for delivering training across diverse subjects, encompassing technical proficiencies and essential soft skills like communication and leadership. Characterized by interactivity and engagement, training webinars incorporate multimedia elements such as videos, images, and quizzes to reinforce learning. Accessible from any location with an internet connection, these webinars are frequently recorded, enabling participants to revisit the content at their convenience.

Training webinars emerge as an effective avenue for furnishing education and developmental opportunities to employees, teams, or individuals striving to enhance their proficiency in specific domains. Moreover, using breakout rooms facilitates tailoring the training to participants' varying levels of expertise. After leveraging webinars to generate leads for your business, the subsequent imperative involves nurturing these leads to propel them deeper into your webinar sales funnel.

Thought leadership webinars

Webinars offer an excellent avenue for positioning yourself as a thought leader within any industry. This type of webinar serves as a platform to showcase your skills and expertise to your intended audience. 

These webinars have the potential to:

  • Establish your authority as an industry leader.
  • Generate precisely targeted, high-quality leads, expanding your audience.
  • Foster new connections.

Thought leadership webinars typically encompass a comprehensive range of topics within your industry, containing the latest trends and advancements. A significant advantage of these webinars is their versatility: you can tailor them for beginners, intermediates, and advanced participants. Your webinar audience effectively represents potential leads for your business. During the webinar, you can strategically guide them toward purchasing your products or services. Alternatively, you can orchestrate lead-nurturing webinars, strategically driving your leads more profoundly into your sales funnel, ultimately transforming them into loyal customers.

Use a thought leadership webinar to communicate with your audience about this development and how it might impact people personally. Regardless of the scenario when you host these webinars, the goal lies in providing people with new insight and expertise. You want to become their trusted resource as they learn about your industry.

Product demonstration webinars

When launching a new product or service, generating excitement around it through effective promotion becomes vital. One of the most effective methods is utilizing a product demo webinar. Product demonstration webinars give existing and potential customers a first-hand look at your product. Webinars, characterized by their extended duration and captivating nature, offer ample time to introduce your product and intricately detail all its features. Product demonstrations allow your company to showcase how your offerings address the pain points of potential buyers and establish a favorable impression, set your product apart from competitors, and address any critical questions that might be causing hesitation in prospects.

These webinars allow you to demonstrate to your audience how your product or service is the ultimate solution to their challenges. Moreover, they enable you to create a favorable initial impression and distinguish your offering from competitors. Live webinars, with their interactive dynamics, surpass product demo videos. This is due to the audience's ability to pose questions about your products or services. Through product demonstration webinars, you can illustrate how your product's design revolves around your audience, ensuring a seamless and gratifying experience. With existing customers, product demonstration webinars can help you with upsells. You can highlight unique features that customers can access when they register for the next type of plan within your pricing structure so that they can see the potential benefits of such an investment.

Product demonstration webinars

Lead generation and nurturing webinars

With lead generation and nurturing webinars, you want to fill your sales funnel.  Lead generation webinars strive to gather contact information from potential customers or leads. These webinars usually furnish valuable content, such as industry insights or educational materials, in return for attendees' contact details. Lead generation webinars aim to entice prospective consumers and encourage their interaction with a business or product. By delivering informative and engaging content, businesses can establish themselves as industry experts to their audience. These webinars will often target topics of interest to your different audience segments, helping people investigating their pain points see your product as a potential solution. 

Webinars can also prove instrumental in facilitating the lead nurturing process. These webinars are meticulously tailored to engage your leads actively. Consequently, it becomes pertinent to deliver comprehensive information, given that your leads are already familiar with your brand. Educational content about your product or service should take center stage, effectively showcasing your company's expertise. The ultimate objective of these webinar formats resides in cultivating brand trust among your leads, ultimately persuading them to purchase.

lead generation webinars

Customer onboarding webinars

The customer onboarding process stands as a pivotal phase within the brand-customer relationship.

This marks the customer's inaugural interaction with your brand post-product or service acquisition. Consequently, this initial encounter sets the tone for the ensuing relationship, underscoring the imperative of a well-executed customer onboarding process.

Webinars furnish an unparalleled opportunity to delve into comprehensive product or service explanations, leveraging the combined power of audio and video. This facilitates a thorough walk-through of seamless product or service utilization. Simultaneously, patrons can actively pose inquiries during the webinar, enabling real-time clarifications. Embracing such webinar formats stands poised to significantly enhance the overall customer experience, emerging as an indispensable component of triumphant marketing strategies.

Producing this type of webinar can help you demonstrate use cases, walk people through different steps with the product, and make sure they see how to use your product. If they have further questions, you can also make sure they have a specific representative they can speak with to get answers quickly and efficiently.

New feature webinars

Periodically, you might introduce fresh features for your product or service. While crafting a blog post or producing a video offers value, the potential of a webinar is equally noteworthy. Typically, webinars boast extended durations, enabling you to delve into the latest advancements of your product effortlessly. When introducing new features, you want to produce a webinar to get information about the features as quickly as possible. Creating a new feature webinar can help you highlight these additions and how they can be used effectively. Getting the information out to people will integrate your new features into the rest of the product capabilities quickly and easily.

These webinar variations can manifest as either live presentations or on-demand resources. Upon unveiling the new feature, hosting a live session allows guiding customers through its intricacies.

During this interactive webinar, real-time questions from participants find a swift resolution. An on-demand webinar can be fashioned to extend the reach, facilitating comprehension of the new features at the viewer's convenience.

Corporate communication webinars

Amid the rising prevalence of virtual workplaces spanning various industries, companies are embracing hosting virtual town hall meetings to establish communication channels with their entire workforce. This practice gains even greater significance considering the proliferation of organizations with dispersed satellite offices operating globally. Engaging with remote staff members emerges as a vital necessity. Webinars also find practical applications in corporate communications. Rather than serving as a platform for marketing products or services, these webinars are harnessed by businesses to foster internal communication with their workforce.

Such webinar formats benefit enterprises with a geographically dispersed employee base, facilitating seamless engagement with remote staff. The option to broadcast live to global employees exists for significant events, encouraging their active participation. Moreover, these webinars serve to gather employee feedback and address their inquiries. You can use this type of webinar to remain in contact with the members of your organization, particularly those that work remotely or in other branches of your business. You can use corporate webinars to host gatherings for people to learn and discuss issues related to the company. Important company events can also be broadcast internally as webinars. 

Customer retention and nurturing webinars

Converting qualified leads into paying customers presents its own set of challenges. However, your responsibilities extend beyond the sale closure. In today's competitive business sphere, retaining customers assumes paramount importance. Cultivating brand loyalty and encouraging long-term commitment from your buyers necessitates an ongoing effort.

Fortunately, webinars have emerged as a potent tool for nurturing customer relationships. Extending an invitation to a webinar equips your clients with the means to remain updated on crucial company or product developments and provides an additional avenue to address their queries. While you may disseminate the same announcements and engage in similar conversations through other channels, webinars signify your genuine commitment to being an accessible business partner in the most convenient manner for them. As a part of your customer retention strategy, you can also produce webinars that target your existing customers and help them remember what your product has done for them over the subscription period to encourage them to remain customers moving forward. 

Panelist discussion webinars

Another type of webinar to consider hosting is the panelist discussion. As the name implies, these webinars involve assembling a panel of industry experts to discuss a specific topic relevant to your field. Typically, a moderator guides these discussions. The primary objective is to demonstrate your business as a regular host of enlightening events.

You could also incorporate a brief Q&A session following the panel discussion, enabling your audience to interact with the panelists in real-time directly. Webinars that orchestrate a panel discussion among a few subject matter experts can also create exciting webinars. With a panelist discussion, you can bring in a few people with expertise and compelling insights regarding a popular or even controversial topic in your industry. By bringing in a small panel, you can invite your audience members to listen to the experts discuss the issue at hand and even ask a few questions of their own. This helps to build associations between your business and expertise in the topic.

Panelist discussion webinars

Branding and reputation webinars

Webinars also prove highly effective for cultivating brand awareness, mainly through branding webinars.

Webinars can be pivotal in cultivating brand awareness and solidifying your stature as an industry frontrunner. This connection between your valuable content and your customers contributes significantly to this endeavor. These specialized webinars are orchestrated to position your brand as a dominant force within the industry. 

But what sets them apart from other webinar variants? The defining feature lies in the integration of branded elements throughout these webinars. Your brand's logo finds strategic placement within the webinar materials and the virtual room. This concerted branding effort serves to enhance brand awareness and recognition. One potent method involves seamlessly integrating your company's logo within the webinar's virtual space and the corresponding branding of all associated materials. Establishing trust in your brand emerges as a crucial focal point, and initiating thought leadership webinars proves highly advantageous. Businesses often build marketing campaigns to improve their overall reputation and strengthen their brand. Building webinars to help with this goal can be essential to the overall strategy. 

Download Forrester Consulting and Hubilo's research about Using Engaging Webinars to Elevate the Sales Pipeline

Association membership content webinars

Suppose your organization's customers are active members who subscribe to your services and benefits through monthly or annual fees. In that case, webinars present an ideal means to augment the value of their package. Many associations extend webinars to their members without additional charges while imposing fees on non-members. This enhances the program's perks and imparts an air of exclusivity to these events. By furnishing educational webinars centered on timely industry subjects, you showcase your organization's expertise to existing and potential members and cater to those seeking specialized insights.

With an association membership webinar, you produce content exclusively for members of your association. Consider the opportunities and type of content people join your association to access. How members interact with other types of content you produce can help you better understand what interests them the most. You can create membership benefits by making special content marketed towards your members. Providing unique insight and benefits can be a great way to encourage people to remain members of your association. 

Interview webinars 

Interview webinars involve an interviewer inviting guests to discuss a specific topic or subject matter in online events. These webinars aim to impart insights, experiences, and viewpoints to the audience, with the interviewer posing questions to the guest. Various formats exist for interview webinars, ranging from one-on-one conversations to group interviews featuring multiple participants. These webinars find extensive application in professional development, marketing, and branding, serving as a platform to spotlight industry leaders, experts, or notable figures.

Interview webinars offer viewers an excellent opportunity to acquire fresh knowledge, engage with thought leaders, and participate in real-time question-and-answer sessions. With interview webinars, your business will bring in a guest speaker with unique industry knowledge. Audience members want the opportunity to hear from this professional and to personally ask their questions through a host who interviews the guest. You can advertise your relationship with this industry expert through an interview webinar.

Interview webinars 

Q&A webinars

A Question and Answer (Q&A) webinar involves an interactive online session where a presenter or panel responds to inquiries posed by the audience. This type of webinar proves highly advantageous for businesses or organizations seeking to actively involve their audience and allow them to seek clarifications on specific subjects. Q&A webinars serve multiple purposes, including gathering feedback, disseminating information, and addressing any challenges or concerns the audience might have.

The Q&A or Ask Me Anything (AMA) webinar host typically prepares the questions directed toward the guest speaker or panel before the webinar's commencement. Q&A webinars can be conducted live or recorded for later viewing. However, the Q&A setup has a greater emphasis on audience involvement in the conversation. Your audience will submit the questions and actively engage with the chosen guest speaker

Q&A webinars

Case study webinars

Case study webinars specialize in delving into particular cases or scenarios. Typically, these webinars feature guest speakers who share their expertise in addressing a specific topic, issue, or obstacle. The primary purpose of case study webinars is to present tangible, real-world instances where businesses have triumphantly surmounted challenges or attained particular objectives. These webinars provide comprehensive insights into the decision-making and cognitive processes employed to resolve the situation. They serve as a platform for showcasing triumphs, setbacks, best practices, and valuable takeaways from actual experiences.

Case study webinars can serve as invaluable resources for individuals or organizations seeking to learn from others' experiences. These webinars provide an excellent opportunity to connect with leads already in your funnel. Case studies can help you highlight how well different features of your product or service work to solve people's pain points. You can host case study webinars targeted towards particular audience segments as well so that you can highlight how your product addresses the needs of given populations.

Product launch webinars

Businesses utilize product launch webinars as online events to introduce their target audience to new products or services. These webinars come in diverse formats, from live presentations to pre-recorded sessions and interactive showcases. The central objective of a product launch webinar is to generate anticipation and enthusiasm for a fresh product or service, simultaneously offering customers the chance to delve deeper into its details.

Typically, these webinars feature product experts and executives discussing the novel offering's attributes, benefits, and practical applications. Attendees are also encouraged to pose questions during the event, enabling them to glean additional insights and clarity about the product. With a product launch webinar, you can call people's attention to your new product and its capabilities.

Ready to get started with your webinar?

Webinars offer your business tremendous opportunities to connect with your audience for different purposes and to nurture your leads throughout the sales funnel. Knowing the different webinar types and their different purposes can help you create webinars that fit your marketing goals and engage your audience. Webinars stand as an exceptional avenue for fostering brand awareness and lead generation. You can effectively engage your target audience and gather their contact details by harnessing various webinar formats. Utilizing webinars extends to nurturing leads, showcasing products, and establishing thought leadership. You can pinpoint the optimal webinar format for your company by assessing your objectives and aligning them with the audience's needs. Ensure effective promotion of your webinars and deliver value to your audience by disseminating informative and captivating content. Adopting the correct approach renders webinars a potent instrument for expanding your business and forging connections with your audience.

Furthermore, using a robust webinar platform like Hubilo can significantly enhance your webinar hosting experience. Hubilo provides comprehensive tools and features to ensure seamless webinar execution, from registration and promotion to interactive engagement and post-event analytics. With Hubilo, you can effortlessly create, manage, and deliver impactful webinars that leave a lasting impression on your audience. Hubilo can be your partner in hosting webinars effectively, connecting your business with your target audience in a meaningful and impactful way. Request a demo with Hubilo to unlock the full potential of webinars for your business success.

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Hubilo is the webinar platform built for marketers that helps you 2X your pipeline. Founded in 2015, Hubilo's powerful engagement features, dedicated client experience team, and custom branding tools have helped create over 12K virtual events & webinars, creating hundreds of millions of minutes of high-engagement experiences and counting. Headquartered in Bengaluru and San Francisco, Hubilo's 200+ employees are dedicated to enabling webinars & virtual events that convert.

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