Content is one of the key ingredients of successful inbound marketing. Inbound marketing content can take on many forms, and one that is critical for lead and prospect generation is webinars. Webinars are live presentations given by a thought-leader and viewed by an audience virtually, through their computers. Traditionally, a presenter will display slides and take questions on a computer and attendees can use either the computer or a phone to listen to the audio portion of the presentation.

SlideShare , the YouTube for presentations, recently announced that it was entering the webinar platform space. Webinar platforms are the software that allows a business to actually host the webinar. SlideShare's new webinar platform is called Zipcast and it seeks to shake up an already crowded market.

Zipcast resized 600

Why Zipcast?

With the launch of Zipcast, Slideshare made a couple of choices that could shake up the webinar platform industry. First, they are making webinar production software cheaper. Anyone with a free SlideShare account can now host a free public webinar. For those businesses that want to hold private webinars for lead generation, they have to sign up for a SlideShare Pro account.

So at about $19 per month for a SlideShare Pro account, the cost of entry for businesses to host their own webinars has been drastically reduced. It is typical for other webinar platforms to charge $50 and more for their entry level software. The other advantageous aspect of Zipcast over existing webinar providers is that it made hosting a webinar simpler. Now a business can quickly host a webinar by clicking one button on a SlideShare presentation they have uploaded.

What Makes Zipcast Different?

Zipcast is really all about simplicity—it works in a web browser and doesn't require any type of software download. This is a key benefit for attendees who can be challenged by technical difficulties and compatibility issues that often occur with webinar platforms requiring a software download.

The other interesting feature Zipcast brings to the table is that in addition to slides and audio, the audience can now see video of the presenter.  Zipcast has no limit on the number of people that can attend a webinar. You can have a few or a few thousand.

Marketing Takeaway

Webinars are an important part of the inbound lead generation process. Marketers need to find a software provider that best fits the needs of their business. If you are just getting started with webinars for your business, Zipcast provides an affordable option to get started, while suppling some interesting features. Regardless of the tools that you use, focus on improving your presentation quality and marketing efforts to drive webinar attendence.

Originally published Feb 21, 2011 1:04:00 PM, updated July 28 2017