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The Best 5 Webinar Platforms to Grow Your Business in 2019
Marketing and brand promotion are the crucial concepts of your business development. If you don’t put your ideas in front of target people, you might never get to meet the real shine of success.Luckily, the contemporary era has brought plenty of different ways of enhancing the marketing strategies – from the CRM (Customer Relationship Management), which significantly impacts the interaction with customers, to more sophisticated tools that help you present your brand and give your customers a chance to get to know you better. Speaking of those tools, let us present you the webinar software – the most enhanced way of hosting the seminar, online. That way, you can organize events such as training, online courses, product presentation, or TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) talk. This article will lead you through the best webinar software, as well as the factors you should have in mind when purchasing one.
What are the Features of the Best Webinar Software?
Not all the webinar platforms include the same features, and not all the businesses need the same ones.Still, there are some factors you should consider when it comes to choosing the software for webinar hosting. Let’s see the most critical ones:
- User-friendliness: If you want to manage the software flawlessly, make sure you find one that's easy to use, mainly if you haven't used it before. Once you've learned to manage the simple one, you won't have any problems to use more complex software, with more features.
- The cost: The monthly fee of the webinar software is also something you should have in mind. If you plan on hosting webinars frequently, go for the software with more robust features – that way, you’ll pay more money, but you can be sure that the software won’t become outdated too soon.
- Free trial: Many webinar services offer a free trial so that you can see whether the features they offer meet your needs. If a specific software doesn’t offer a trial, go for one that does – you don’t want to waste your money on something that might not be the right solution.
- On-demand webinar feature: On-demand webinars allow you to schedule a webinar and record it automatically in the cloud. That way, people from all around the world can watch it anytime.
- Editing feature: Not everyone might need this feature, but the possibility to edit your presentation after it’s been recorded may be quite useful. By editing, you can provide an even better experience for your viewers.
- Co-presenting feature: If you plan on presenting with multiple guest hosts from time to time, make sure you find a webinar software that includes this option.
- CRM integration: If you want to track your webinar metrics, go for a platform which will integrate well with other apps, such as CRM. That way, the insights gained from a webinar can easily get incorporated into your reports.
- Hosting webinars on your website: Most webinar platforms will require you to send your registration to their website. That’s logical, but the better solution is the ability to host a webinar on your own site – that said, you can see where the registrations come from, as well as other essential analytics that can help you develop better ideas and strategies.
- The audience size: You never know exactly how many people will attend your webinar, but it’s recommended to choose the software that allows you to modify the number of viewers – for example, choose the highest number you can afford and see how it goes. And if you need more, you can easily add it.
- The level of interaction: If you want people to participate in your webinar (ask questions, share opinions, comment…), go for the platform that will allow you that. Luckily, many of them include such a feature.
- Mobile-friendliness: Since many people use smartphone or tablet rather than a laptop or a computer, make sure you find the mobile-friendly software – also, go for webinar apps that are compatible with both Android and iOS.
- Registration fields: This feature allows you to choose what information your registrants need to enter in order to attend the webinar. Some of you might need the name and e-mail address only, while someone might ask for the company name and the industry as well. Still, select the platform that offers you various types of fields you can choose.
Quick tip – think wisely before you decide to purchase a webinar software – if you go for a wrong one, you might not be able to achieve the effect that you wanted to, and it can have a bad impact to your business. Re-examine your needs, and then start looking for the perfect choice.To help you with that, we've made a list of five best webinar platforms that are popular in 2019 – you'll see their pros and cons, as well as their primary purposes.
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1. EverWebinar ($497/year) – The Best for Adding Automated Webinars
Let’s start with a platform that is convenient for every user – EverWebinar. It offers a wide range of features, including building e-mail marketing lists, scheduling, and automating your webinar footage to play at set intervals, giving the viewers the feeling as if they were watching a live stream.
- Just-in-time feature: EverWebinar allows you to notify the users that the webinar is about to start, which encourages them to sign up instantly. This is quite advantageous since you can let them watch the webinar at a time that suits them best, instead of waiting for it days, weeks, or months.
- Block options: This platform also allows you to set a block night-time viewing and block dates options. The first one stops your webinar from playing during night hours, so that the illusion of live webinar keeps realistic. The second option stops your webinar from playing on specific dates or during holidays.
- Excellent tracking features: With EverWebinar, you can easily see who subscribes, how many people are buying your product, and how much money you have made so far.
- Poor mobile experience: Many users complain about the poor mobile experience, in a way that the video is poor-quality when watched on the phone, and it requires constant tapping of the ‘play' button.
- Not so user-friendly: The users find the platform a bit complicated to get used to, and most of them are facing problems with saving items in it. So, it’s not recommended for those who use webinar software for the first time.
2. Zoho Meeting ($10-$79/month/host) – The Best Webinar Conferencing Software
Zoho Meeting is the all-in-one platform that provides a variety of robust features for a video conferencing. It includes screen-sharing, private chat, video playback, and much more sophisticated features such as hand raising. It’s also got a webinar software that lets you gather information about sales leads.
- Browser-based: Apart from being extremely handy and intuitive, it’s even better the fact that participants don’t need to download the software in order to attend or host a webinar or meeting.
- Screen sharing: You can share your screen with other people who’re watching your webinar – this is quite useful if you’re hosting a training or some kind of online course, because that way, people can see your PowerPoint presentations, or have a look at your spreadsheets.
- Schedule a meeting: Since this is an advanced webinar platform, it allows you to schedule a meeting as well – you can set the meeting date, assign a topic and a short description, and you can send the invitation to the people who will attend the meeting. The platform also lets you choose the time zone in case those people are from different continents or countries.
- Attendee limit: Zoho Meeting supports 250 people in the webinar, and 100 in the meeting, which might not be enough for some users.
- Poor customization options: You can’t customize the data gathered from your invitees, as well as the tiny video box which appears on the screen when the meeting starts – you can’t resize it or enlarge it, and all you can do is move it around until it’s located where it suits you best.
3. Zoom Video Webinar – The Best Free Webinar Recording Software
If you still aren’t ready to spend money on webinar platforms, here comes the free solution – Zoom Video Webinar. This webinar recording software offers both free and paid versions ($12.49/user/month), and all of them come with quite useful options, such as screen sharing, customizable branding, multi hosts and a lot more.
- Affordable: Apart from being a free webinar service, it’s also quite affordable if you opt for paid versions. In the free version, you can host up to 100 participants, which is a decent offer for a free plan.
- Suitable for quick meetings: In the free plan, you’re limited to 40 minutes on group meetings, which is not that bad if you tend to host short appointments. Also, you'll have an unlimited number of sessions.
- Intuitive mobile app: Zoom Cloud Meetings is the official mobile app of Zoom, and, based on users' comments, it's quite intuitive and responsive. That way, you can attend the meeting or respond to the calls on the go.
- Poll questions and results fail to show: Some users claim that the problem is that poll questions and results don’t show up in the webinar recordings –you’ll need to do some editing or take screenshots and add them to your recordings.
- The lack of high-quality calls: You can make calls via Zoom, but most users complain that their screen sometimes freezes when trying to make an audio or video call. Most of them recommend using VoIP phones instead.
4. GoToWebinar ($89-$429/month) – The Best Software for Large Online Events
GoToWebinar is considered the best choice when you need to present in front of a larger group of people – during the webinar, it’s possible to manage multiple speakers and presentations, conduct Q&A sessions, include a survey, and record everything.
- Flawless integrations: GoToWebinar integrates with most marketing platforms, CRMs, and e-mail automation tools, which brings enhanced user experience and facilitates the work significantly.
- Excellent video and sound quality: The users are mostly satisfied with the quality of sound and video, which is quite essential when it comes to webinars.
- Quick contents saving: Once the recording’s finished and saved, you’ll be immediately provided with a link of the recorded webinar, and you can easily share it with the rest of your company or clients.
- Impossible to increase the limit of participants immediately: Each of the plans offered by GoToWebinar has the limited number of participants (100 in the Starter plan, 500 in the Pro plan, and 1000 in the Plus plan) – if suddenly appears more people who want to join your webinar, you won’t be able to add them instantly.
- The Chat feature lacks some options: If there is a sudden influx of messages, It’s impossible to prioritize or sort them. Also, it would be better if there was a flowing chat box, instead of having to scroll down to see comments.
5. WebinarJam ($39.99/month) – The Best Online Webinar Software
WebinarJam is the platform that has a lot of features to offer – streaming to YouTube, pages customization, virtual whiteboard, highlight o relevant comments, and a lot more. You can stream directly from your browser or mobile phone.
- Registration embed: WebinarJam allows you to embed the registration HTML code to your website so that you can create more conversions. Besides, it offers the registration of people from all around the world by setting the time zone.
- Excellent uploading features: You can upload PowerPoint slides, Keynotes, or any other documents you find essential for your online presentation. Also, screen sharing is top-notch.
- Whiteboard effect: You can highlight and underline essential stuff when running presentations, software demos, training, or lectures, which makes it easier for your participants to follow you when you speak.
- Poor audio and video quality: The users are dissatisfied with audio and video quality – the image is blurry, and it's not matching with the audio. It's a huge drawback since these two concepts are critical for the successful webinar.
- Unresponsive customer support: WebinarJam offers e-mail support only – however, it takes them a couple of hours to answer, which is not suitable if you're hosting a webinar now, and you have serious problems with the software.