Why do you need a webinar software?
If you have been in the marketing field for a while, you will agree that marketing strategies have changed a lot. Today, marketers want more than just reaching out to their target audience.
If you are an entrepreneur, you want a closer interaction with your audience. You want to know what they think and believe about your product. Ultimately, you want them to become your loyal customers. One can host a webinar to interact with potential prospects.
No other strategy, as far as I know, allows you to interact with your audience to such extent than webinar marketing. That is what this article seeks to address.
What is a Webinar?
You might be wondering what a webinar is. In the simplest terms, a webinar is a seminar conducted over the internet. Webinars can take many different forms. It may be a lecture, a presentation, an event, or a meeting. Whatever form it takes, it is a webinar as long as you deliver it online to an exclusive online audience.
If you like, you can call a webinar as an online video conference meeting. A webinar is, by its nature, interactive, engaging, and offers high flexibility. The most talked-about concept in business that relates to online conferencing is webinar marketing.
Webinar marketing is the use of online conferencing to promote a business enterprise and generate leads. This marketing strategy has great potential to generate leads. It is a way of providing real-time information to your audience and possibly converting them into customers. Webinars often end with an interactive Q & A session.
What is a Webinar Software?
Now that you understand what a webinar is, the next big question is, what do you need to conduct a webinar? Besides video conferencing hardware, you need a webinar software tool to carry on with an online seminar.
Webinar software is a computer program, or application software, via which you can record and share video online in real-time. An ideal webinar tool should enable you to stream high-quality video to your audience. Apart from streaming live, it should enable live-charts and webinars schedule.
Some webinar tools come with built-in tools for polls and surveys. With a good webinar software, you can also maintain a record of your seminar attendees and make a follow-up on them.
The maximum number of people you can engage in a webinar may vary between different tools. Most of the best open source webinar software have attendee limits.
What are the Best Webinar Software Tools?
Finding the best webinar software that meets your audience expectations an essential part of a marketing webinar. To save you the time and effort of looking for an ideal webinar tool, I have compiled a list of the best webinar tools in the market. Here are my top webinar software picks.
This tool is useful for those who want to reach a broad online audience and grow their businesses. GoToWebinar is an excellent tool or quick and easy event management. It is a valuable tool for easy, effective demand generation, making it suitable for webinar marketing.
Key features of GoToWebinar
- Quick and easy event management
- Collect and analyze data on event attendees and performance
- Polls, handouts, and Q&A
- Automatic email invitations
- Follow-up emails
- Accept payments
- VOIP, Phone, and Toll-Free calls
- Five channel pages
- Recorded events
- Video editor
- Video sharing and embedding
- Source tracking
- Custom branding and URL
- Integration with GoToMeeting and other tools
- Online and local HD recording
- Reporting and analytics
- A free 7-day trial that does not require your credit card information or any commitments
- Starter plan @ $89/month for 100 participants, billed annually
- Pro @ $199/month for 500 participants, billed annually
- Plus @ $429/month for 1000 participants billed annually
I think a 7-day free trial for such an incredible tool as this is fair enough. I would not hesitate to go for it. You can start your journey to that mega-conference today.
If you are looking for webinar software for video conferencing, you do not need to look any further. ClickMeeting will give you value for money on that. This tool comes with a range of tools designed for hosting webinars.
Just like a physical conferencing facility, ClickMeeting has a waiting room where attendees can relax before the meeting. Here, you can provide relevant additional information to participants. Participants also get to interact with each other before the presentation.
Its integration with PayPal means you can monetize conference content on ClickMeeting webinar software.
Key Features of ClickMeeting
- Paid webinars
- Automated webinars
- Webinar room
- Webinar timeline
- Address book
- Customized invitations
- Registration page
- Profile page
- Waiting room with agenda
- Facebook and YouTube streaming
- Screen sharing
- Simultaneous chat translation
- Moderated (Q&A) and private chats
- Toll-free phone numbers
- ClickMeeting mobile app
- Webinar and attendee statistics
- Webinar recording
- Thank you page
- Social media sharing
- Performance rating
- Free 30-day trial
- Live @ $30 per month
- Automated @ $45 per month
- Enterprise @ custom price
There is a lot about ClickMeeting that you will fall in love with. Visit the ClickMeeting website to learn more about this tool.
Livestorm offers you more than webinars. You can air pre-recorded webinars, live stream your video conferencing event, or present a blend of live and pre-recorded webinars.
This app features a high level of integration. Once you produce your content, you can funnel it into other apps such as Zapier, HubSpot, Salesforce, and Google analytics.
One other thing you will like about Livestorm; is the level of interaction between participants. Attendees can ask and respond to questions. You can record and store interactions between attendees and the presenters.
This product has various plans that fit different financial abilities. The highest tier plan can accommodate up to 1000 participants.
If you are planning for a short webinar with just a couple of participants, then you do not need to worry about the cost. Livestorm offers a free subscription for up to four participants. The webinar is, however, limited to 20 minutes.
Key Features of Livestorm
- Unlimited webinars
- Unlimited moderators
- Meeting scheduling
- Meeting recordings
- Livestorm Add-Ons
- Custom Marketo integration
- In-built analytic tools
- Free Webinar and Meet Basic plan for up to 4 attendees in one meeting room for 20 minutes
- Webinar Premium @ $99/host per month for up to 4-hour sessions
- Meet Premium @ $31/host per month up to 8 participants
- Enterprise @ custom pricing
To start with, you can try out the free Webinar and Meet Basic now. If you find it helpful and you want additional features, you can upgrade to the paid higher tiers with time.
Given its ability to accommodate up to 10.000 attendees in one session, BigMarker is indeed the big brother in the webinar software family. Even more appealing, each of these participants has a chance to participate in discussions. There are no limits to the number of presenters. Ideally, every attendee can be a presenter.
Built-in tools such as polls, handouts, and live Q&A features provide a memorable interactive experience for participants. The host also gets more than enough tools to manage the event. Hosting tools include, but are not limited to, email invitations, registration landing pages, and email and SMS reminders.
If you were looking for a webinar tool that can generate leads, BigMarker does not disappoint.
Key Features of BigMarker
- All browser compatibility
- Chats, polls, Q&A, and handouts
- Screen, file, and video sharing
- Webinar recording
- Popup offers
- VOIP and Dial-in audio
- Robust analytics
- Customer-facing channel
- Full-service registration
- Landing page builder
- Ticket sales
- API access
- Contact and list management
- Enterprise setup and support
- Branded toll-free dial-in
- Domain masking
- Webinar rooms
- Multiple integrations
- Free 7-day trial
- Starter plan @ $99 per month
- Elite plan @ $189 per month
- Premier @ $399 per month
- White Label @ custom pricing
If you are planning for a big webinar, I encourage you to try BigMarker. Check out their website, select a plan, and set up your event.
Demio is one of the webinar software whose powerful tracking tools that has no rival. When using Demio, you can easily categorize your participants in real-time based on their actions. This gives you full automation control. For instance, you may opt to send webinar recordings to participants who joined the webinar only after 45 minutes.
This software’s extensive automation tools make it popular with professional marketers and busy corporate users. It offers limitless webinars and free cloud storage for up to 100 webinars. Among other options, Demio prides in having advanced webinar setup and round-the-clock email and chat support.
Key Features of Demio
- Unlimited sessions
- Unlimited registration
- Unlimited storage
- 24/7 chat and email support
- Advanced event setup
- Room engagement tools
- Detailed insights
- Event localization
- Native integrations and Zapier
- Media sharing
- Dedicated account rep
- Automated events
- Room and email branding
- Live events
- Free 14-day trial
- Starter plan @ $49 per month for 50 attendee room
- Growth plan @ $99 per month for 150 attendee room
- Business plan @ $234 per month for 500 attendee room
If you have not used Demio before, you had better try it today. Start by signing up for the free 14-day trial version, or the Starter plan.
This easy-to-use webinar software does not require any prior experience. It is suitable for you if your goal is to broadcast an automated webinar with a vast audience.
WebinarJam is compatible with nearly all internet browsers and devices. This is because it uses the latest state-of-the-art technology. If you are not familiar with the tools, you do not need to worry about it. WebinarJam provides free training videos to guide you through the process.
With this webinar software, you can stream your seminar with an online audience directly to YouTube.
Key Features of WebinarJam
- Unlimited webinars
- Always-On live room
- Panic Button
- Control center
- Automated recording
- Drawing board
- Built-in polls and surveys
- Video injection
- Flexible scheduling
- Paid webinars
- Scheduled email and SMS notifications
- Live chat
- Attendee spotlight
- 14-day trial @ $1
- Basic @ $499 per annum
- Professional @ $699 per annum
- Enterprise @ $999 per annum
Although WebinarJam does not have a free version, its 14-day trial version is highly subsidized. You can download and try it out. After the trial period, you can opt-out or upgrade to a plan of your choice. However, the pricing is on the higher side. Unless you’re on a higher budget, WebinarJam is not recommended.
What are the benefits of using Online Webinar Platforms?
Why do you need a webinar software? Well, here are some benefits of a webinar platform that you need to know about.
1. Create events from ideas
You might have a good marketing idea that you know not how to actualize. A webinar transforms that idea into formidable marketing and leads-generating events.
A webinar gives you the chance to add value to your business ideas by building events around those ideas.
2. Builds relationships
Meeting your audience in a live video conference is just as good as a face-to-face meeting. Your target audience gets to see you, feel you, and interact with you. You can read each other’s emotions and non-verbal expressions. The experiences and memories a webinar creates help develop a strong bond with your audience.
3. Builds authority
They say knowledge is power. When you stand before your audience and make an informative presentation, you draw a lot of respect from them. You become an authority to whom they can refer. If you, for instance, recommend a product, they will most likely accept your check it out.
4. Generates traffic
Webinars are effective traffic generating tools. A large proportion of people who attend your webinar will visit your website. Many of them will visit just to comment on the meeting. Some will visit to learn more about your company. Yet others will come specifically to review your products.
5. Make sales
As your traffic increases, you become more influential in marketing. You can use your site to promote business products. With sufficient traffic, you may never find an alternative strategy that generates more sales than webinars.
You may never have thought of webinars as such powerful marketing tools. Now you know they are. Nevertheless, how do you know which webinar tool is the most appropriate for your business? Let us explore this further.
How to choose the Best Webinar Software for your Business?
Each webinar tool has its merits and demerits. I do not think there is a single fit-all webinar software that you can use in every situation. For this reason, I earlier listed my top pick and the unique features for each.
The best practice is to consider the features and pricing for each tool and try tailoring it to your expectations. For example, you may want to conduct polls at the end. You may want each of your audiences to be present. Maybe you want a meeting for just a few people.
To cut it short, let me list the three primary factors that you need to consider in selecting a webinar software for your business.
1. Your event objectives
The first thing you should think about is the goals of the webinar. Do you want to launch a new product? Then get a tool that allows a broad audience. Do you want to generate leads? I will propose a tool that helps you record participant details and send automatic emails and SMS. Your objective relates closely to your choice of webinar software.
Once you schedule a webinar, the clock starts ticking. You do not want a tool that will take you too long to set up the webinar. An ideal software should make it easier for you to set up all the necessary tools and test them well before the webinar date.
If your webinar has only one speaker, you should go for the simplest webinar software that can meet your objective.
In most cases, the price of webinar software plans depends on audience size, length of session, and cloud storage capacity. So, consider the number of people you are targeting for your webinar. The more the participants, the higher the cost.
If you need a broad audience, you may have to pay more for an enterprise plan. If your target audience is a small group, go for a lower-priced basic plan or free webinar software.
You should not spend too much on software that offers extra features that are not necessary for your webinar. Similarly, do not hold money back and pay for a product whose maximum number of participants is below your target.
What are the Tips for using Webinar Platforms?
When you plan for a webinar, you do it with a specific goal in mind. No matter what your goal is, you need to follow the following tips for an effective webinar.
1. Smart scheduling
The success of a webinar depends on the availability of the audience. Before you set the date and time, find out what day and time will be the most appropriate for the audience. You will need to do a perfect act of balance if you have an audience from different time zones.
Sometimes, it may not be practically possible to schedule a convenient time for everyone. In such a case, invite participants who cannot follow the live event to watch its recording later. Many of the audience will be willing to watch and chat at a convenient time.
2. Adequate preparation
To make your point clear, and present all intended content, prior preparation is important. It is essential to get every word and act rightly to win the respect of your audience. To avoid reading from your script, rehearse, and master your content. Anticipate and prepare to answer questions if the webinar has a Q&A session.
Additionally, familiarize yourself with both the software and hardware. You may need to test the equipment a day or two before the event.
3. Know your objective
The way you organize a webinar depends on the goal for which you plan it. Your objective may be lead generation. It may be to create a mailing list for potential clients. You may want to promote a product or collect revenue from webinar registrations.
The way you organize the sessions, the type of content and mode of delivery, and the selection of software all rely on your objective. Defining your goal at the onset helps you set up an effective webinar.
4. Plan for question time
As you plan for the presentation, plan for time breaks over which the audience can ask questions. This can be at the end of the presentation or within the session. You can additionally plan to have real-time surveys, polls, and chats within the session.
5. Make your intention clear
Your audience should know exactly what is that you want them to do. You can give an outline and objectives of your presentation. You can also prepare and issue handouts and worksheets to the audience. Alternatively, make a specific call to action at the end of the session.
Frequently Asked Questions about Webinars
What is the webinar?
Can participants still access webinar materials after the session is over?
Can I join a webinar on the Phone?
Once the webinar starts, you can open the app on your Phone and join using the webinar ID provided upon registration.
What does one need to join a webinar?
Besides that, you must have a good computer with a reliable and stable internet connection. Both the operating system and browser should be compatible with the webinar software. Additionally, you should have a headset or speaker and microphone.
If you are a group of individuals watching a webinar, you may need a data-show projector for displaying the webinar on a large screen.
Are webinars always live?
How expensive is it to host a webinar?
If you want a large group, you can subscribe to a paid webinar software plan. Whichever the case, hosting a webinar is much cheaper than traveling to a physical conference.
Must I install software to create a webinar?
How many people can attend a webinar?
What are the best free webinar software platforms?
All the same, there are many free webinar software on the internet. Most have limits on the number of participants, meeting duration, and cloud storage. It is not easy to find a free webinar software that is good for webinar marketing.
If you want a free product for business, I recommend using Livestorm’s free edition. As I stated earlier, free webinar software limits your business prospects. You will do better with a low-priced commercial software instead. If you find an excellent free webinar marketing tool, I will check that out and add it to the list above.
Webinar Software Platform – Summary
Webinar marketing is a big concept. In this article, I have only touched on a few issues on this topic. Webinar software range from free editions, to time-limited trial versions, to highly expensive paid editions.
Whether free or paid, the choice of a good webinar software depends on your objectives, budget, and user-friendliness. The tools presented here are not exhaustive. You can search and add to the list.
When using the webinar software platform, you should follow the tips recommended above to make it more effective. If you are a beginner in webinar hosting, always remember that practice makes perfect. Select your preferred tool from the list above, or any other recommended and start your subscription today.
If this article helped you, please leave a comment. If there are issues that I did not adequately address, feel free to leave a comment too. I am committed to delivering quality, informative content. Your views and opinions will help me improve this article.