Webcasts: A Hot Marketing Tool
“You traditionally have watched television or listened to the radio or read a newspaper to find out interesting information about an author that you’re a fan of,” she says. “In this case, you’re getting a back story, something that’s a unique personality profile of an author, told by them. We think we’re going to create lots of fans who will just want to get more and more [information] all the time.”
The growth possibilities are staggering, according to Joel Smernoff, president and CEO of Paltalk, a video “socialcasting” site that recently has begun offering live author webcasts as part of its weekly schedule of shows, which accompany a lively and diverse array of video chat sites.
“What our platform allows [users] to do is set up a chat room on a topic that they’re passionate about and invite up to 5,000 of their friends and others into this showroom, clubhouse, chat room, whatever you want to call it,” he says. Paltalk recently hosted author and columnist Arianna Huffington in a live interview from her living room, Smernoff reports, which saw “several thousand people coming through asking her questions in real time.”
“They can see her, she can see them …. It’s really quite a dynamic experience,” he says.
As with radio talk shows, a producer can be standing by to moderate and queue questioners when they raise a virtual “hand” by clicking a button on the Web site.
“The other piece of this is the author can use this platform to help move their wares,” Smernoff adds. The platform allows for putting in text ads and providing a link to Amazon.com, enabling “neat ways to actually wrap e-commerce” into this virtual world, says Smernoff.
For Eric Schaeffer, author of “I Can’t Believe I’m Still Single,” Paltalk offers “the opportunity to come out as the person behind the book.”