How to Choose The Right Webinar Platform
Webinars make it easy to create and interactive learning environment for your prospects and customers. You can use them to create courses, use them as a selling platform or run online summits and more.
A webinar is simply a live meeting that takes place online. The meetings can be anything from a board meeting or a training session to a presentation or demonstration. Participants can view documents, videos, and other materials on their computer or smart phone, (from the comfort of their couch). You can share audio with them and if you choose, it can be interactive. You can allow questions and comments during the presentation.
Let’s compare some of the most popular webinar platforms out there.
Built by digital marketers for digital marketer, Webinar Jam is an ideal platform for businesses and entrepreneurs who are in need of integrating webinars into their automated sales process. At a few hundred dollars a year, depending on the features you need, It’s also among the top values for what it delivers.
Entrepreneurs who are looking for the latest technology to build a business and make sales using webinars will want to consider this platform.
Since its debut, WebinarJam has continued to innovate and create new tools to make their sales and marketing focused webinar software at the top of its class. Originally built to wrap around YouTube live streams (then called Google Hangouts-On-Air), it was a solution for collecting email addresses from viewers, and integrating follow-up systems.
Further developments now include options for building custom marketing pages around your webinars, autoresponder integrations as well as internal email follow-ups, SMS pre- and post- webinar reminders, and a host of other tools to help you get people to show up and buy.
In addition, WebinarJam is a cloud-based tool, with nothing to download. So it can be used on any device. And, given the third-party video sources like YouTube (and soon Amazon hosted streaming), the attendee count is not limited like it is on many other platforms. But marketing and sales is really where this one shines.
EasyWebinar is a cloud-based solution that offers both live event as well as automated webinar options. This allows you to create a webinar which can be set to run on a recurring schedule without you needing to be there.
The real benefit to this system is that its name accurately describes what you’ll find inside. While other platforms come with more bells and whistles, EasyWebinar does what it does very well and without too many distractions or complications.
EasyWebinar is built on top of YouTube Live, so you are not limited by the number of attendees to your events. In addition, playback or automated webinars can have the videos hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, or elsewhere, like Amazon S3.
You can also embed all of your webinars created with this platform on your own WordPress site, so you can maintain branding under your business’ domain. Plus, there are a range of easy-to-use marketing tools and integrations with other marketing software included as well.
For those looking for simplicity with some power behind it for marketing purposes, this is a platform to consider.
The biggest selling point behind Demio is that it’s clean and simple to use. And the focus is clearly on the viewer/audience experience.
This is a platform built for those who need to communicate with an audience (or a client) visually, but may not have the comfort level for dealing with confusing technical interfaces.
While the options on this platform are more limited than others, that’s part of the point. Demio delivers the essentials really well, focusing on ease-of-use, ease-of-access (nothing to download), and a high level of real-time interaction with viewers.
Offering a full 30-day free trial and with a relatively reasonable monthly cost, this cloud-based webinar software is very user-friendly and intuitive. Your guests don’t have to download anything to watch and can sign in with or without a password depending on how you set it up.
The Adobe Connect platform is mobile friendly, offers multiple room types, breakout rooms, easy editing, and screen sharing.
It saves recordings indefinitely so you don’t have to worry about losing them if you can’t get to them right away to download. The moderation features, chat, and question & answer features are intuitive for guests so participation will be higher. Recording is easy to do and intuitive.
Depending upon the plan you choose, there are many lead generation tools and customer-relationship management tools that are noteworthy. Your participants are treated to HD Video (assuming you have an HD camera), interactive polls, chat and more. You can also upload and share content with your viewers as well as allow them to pick up the mic and talk too.
This is a great option if you need a full featured environment. It is recommended that you are connected directly to your internet to get the best experience. However, this software has been used successfully with Wi-Fi.
This professional option has a lot of bells and whistles, if you’re willing to pay for them. Starting with a limited free trial you can get plans as low as $89 a month. However, if you want some of the better features, such as monetization, you’ll need to upgrade the plan.
Business owners who are serious about doing regular webinars, hosting meetings and offering training through webinars will want to consider this software.
Planning, promoting and practicing webinars is easy with this platform. They have set it up to be as simple as possible. You can (with the right plan) record webinars, let people call from a phone, give guests the mic, show presentations, send polls, email automation, customized branding options and more.
The thing most people like about GoToMeeting/webinar is that it’s not hard to set up and figure out how to use. They lead you through setup step-by-step and their customer care is useful. The ability to set up practice webinars in advance of your live event is excellent.
With unparalleled audience participation options, viewers like using this platform. They do have to download something. Depending on how tech savvy your audience is, you may need to provide step-by-step instructions, in addition to the instructions GoToMeeting offers.
Cisco’s WebEx is a professional, cloud-based, video conferencing solution that will work for you if you plan to have smaller conferences or meetings of up to 100 people. Each price point includes split screens for up to 7 participants, ability to share screen and applications, call-in, markup tools, free mobile apps, co-presenter, and the ability to record meetings — all the features you’d expect.
WebEx has dedicated servers all over the world. Therefore, they have high-quality meeting options that are used by top companies around the world. They also have monetization features for some accounts and the ability to have a professional operator help you with your meetings.
You can have meeting centers, training centers, event centers, and a support center along with your WebEx account, depending on the level you purchase and the additional features you pay for. You can chat with participants, record meetings, share apps, docs, video and more. There are annotation tools too.
High Definition video, polling, the ability to attend and host from a mobile device, threaded questions and answers, breakout sessions, and even registration and fee collection are all possible with WebEx. With the right account, you can even integrate an LMS.
They have an awesome training center and FAQ. With WebEx, you can do a lot more than just webinars and conferencing. You can also implement advanced training and more.
This online meeting service is less expensive than some of the others. They also have extra paid features you can add-on to your service. The difference with this one is you just buy what you need. It’s completely cloud-based and your viewers don’t have to download anything to participate.
It’s reliable and easy to use. Whether you’re a large or small business, you’ll great options to fit your business. They’ve been around since 2003 so the longevity of the business means that they’re successful at what they do.
Share screens, VoIP conferencing, browser-based and brandable. It also offers most of the bells and whistles you’re used to having apart from recording capabilities on the lesser plans.
The truly browser-based system makes it easier for non-techy guests to watch your webinar because they won’t need to download anything to participate. There is a range of plans you’ll find out about during your demo and by talking to a sales person.
You can even get a private branded plan that enables you to earn money from people attending your events by making it easy for you to charge them for entry.
Try this one with a 30-day review period and then between $19 and $49 a month. You can host up to 25 to 300 people depending upon the plan you choose. They offer 90-day archives and are mobile friendly. You can use multiple rooms, record your events, edit recordings, and more. You can also share screens and it has a good moderation feature too. The lead generation and social integration are great too.
Their lead generation tools should be looked at closely by any company serious about doing webinars to get more customers.
Truly, browser-based so there is no download for attendees to participate. Share your camera, your desktop, or other applications. You can also use mobile effectively to host an event or attend an event. Costs are based on use so there can be, depending upon the choice you make, no monthly costs and only per-use costs.
They have a cool feature that you’ll love, if you do presentations using PowerPoint or other presentation software. It is the ability to put tabs in the presentation window so that you can easily go back and forth to different documents and media during your presentation seamlessly.
Using a service to help you produce effective webinars, online meetings and training are essential. Many of these services help you cross market your webinars on other services. That’s helpful because the more people who see your webinars the bigger impact you can make.
This post was originally published at baeronmarketing.com
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