For insurance wholesale brokers, both webinars and white papers (or reports) provide possible methods to educate the insurance agents they work with about the lines of business they specialize in and the market relationships they have, stay top-of-mind, prove their expertise and value, and make important new business contacts. But which one works better in this market? The answer is that both can be highly effective, but each one has its benefits and drawbacks. Here are a few things to consider.
White papers are accessible to everyone. Not everyone has the technical or media savvy to regularly watch webinars. Webinar files and links are a little more difficult to download and forward—the files tend to be considerably larger. Because of this, it’s just easier for readers to download and pass white papers around. They tend to get disseminated more widely.
White papers are easier to scan. It’s not difficult to scan a white paper and get right to the section you have an interest in. That’s less easy to do with webinars. White papers don’t require the audience to sit through an entire presentation to get to the most interesting parts, and many people are busy and don’t have the patience.
Webinars may be better at attracting qualified leads. The point above works both for and against webinars. While it might be easier and quicker to download and scan a white paper than to sit through a whole webinar, you’ll know that those who do take the time to watch a webinar are very interested in your topic—they’re very well qualified leads. Because of the time it takes to watch them, webinars may be better at getting leads to self-qualify.
Webinars are better at engaging an audience. The great thing about webinars is that they allow for immediate feedback and interaction. When you’re giving a webinar, you can incorporate polls, answer questions from your audience, critique audience-submitted documents, and use other techniques to get your viewers to participate. The audience learns more this way, and you get more of a chance to demonstrate your expertise in different ways.
Webinars help you appear accessible. When you give a webinar, your audience sees you—not a PDF file or Word doc. Giving webinars allows your audience to get to know you in a way that white papers don’t—it gives them a face to put to a name, and lets them connect to you more easily than they can with a white paper.
Both webinars and white papers can be highly effective for wholesale insurance brokers—and the great thing is that you don’t have to choose. You can even repurpose a webinar presentation into a document that looks very much like a white paper—so you can take advantage of white papers’ wider potential for circulation while also reaping the benefits of the webinar format. Either way you go, both can be quite successful—with the right content.