Find & Compare the Best Webinar Software
Webinars, formed from ‘web’ and ‘seminar’, are a kind of online video conference.
They’re usually used by businesses as a way to present new products, give company updates and lead training sessions online.
Webinar platforms and webinar software are the tools used to facilitate these seminars.
There are many brands of webinar software out there, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, and some are best suited for particular kinds of businesses.
Some examples of popular webinar solutions on the market today that you might have already heard of include Zoom, GoToWebinar and Microsoft Teams.
Let’s be honest – nobody wants to make the trek out to a dedicated seminar hall where they’re stuck sitting next to five-hundred other people who are just as grouchy as they are.
More and more, businesses are embracing the opportunities afforded by remote working.
Letting people work from home often leads to equal or improved efficiency for less costs to the company.
By being inherently online, webinars are perfectly suited for the work-from-home revolution.
It doesn’t matter if your audience is in the same city, country or continent, just so long as they have an internet connection.
A massive benefit to webinars being entirely online is that you can scale them up to as many people as you want.
Rather than needing to worry about booking the right amount of space in advance, you can simply post the link to join the webinar and let in whoever wants to join.
It’s not uncommon for popular webinars to have literally thousands of people watching at once.
One of the benefits of using webinars over other forms of video content is that, being streamed live, you can choose to make it so that people will miss out on them forever if they don’t tune in when you want them to.
This leverages the power of scarcity to incentivise people that would otherwise skip your content to check it out.
When people know that this is their only chance to see something, it makes them sit up and pay attention.
The other side to this, of course, is that since they’re live, you can directly interact with your audience on a webinar, whereas you wouldn’t on pre-recorded video content.
This lets you take feedback or answer questions in real-time, further boosting audience engagement.
We’ve all been in a meeting or seminar where the presenter asked you to raise their hands or talk with the person sitting next to them.
These kinds of tricks keep the audience engaged by letting them actively take part in what’s being presented, rather than just being passive observers.
Webinar software continues in this trend by almost offering numerous opportunities for live audience interaction.
These include live polls, where audience members can vote on one of several options.
These can often even be updated in real-time on the video broadcast for everyone to see.
Tools like this let your presenters get instant feedback, keeping the presentation as high-quality as possible.
Let’s be blunt – getting people to attend your meetings is always an uphill struggle, and it’s even harder when you can’t bribe them with promises of free pizza afterwards.
The best way to overcome that inertia and get people in virtual seats is to make the process of registering for your webinars easy and seamless.
Webinar platforms fulfill this role most commonly by coming with integration for email and social media signups.
They’ll be able to enter the calls just by clicking a personalised link in their inboxes, and you’ll be able to send them reminders, updated or follow-up material directly.
Many webinar software providers offer native integration with common email marketing tools, such as Mailchimp or GetResponse, making this process entirely painless.
Traditionally, webinars are live content – if you don’t catch them while they’re airing, that’s it, you’ve missed your chance.
While this approach has its benefits, such as creating FOMO (fear of missing out) and encouraging people to tune in at a specific time, it’s also unnecessarily cutting out people who want to see your content but are busy at that time.
That’s why most webinar software packages offer some way to record or otherwise archive your presentations for later viewing.
This usually also extends into being able to edit the video after the fact – very useful for cutting out those awkward pauses or flubs in the live broadcast!
There’s a lot of nitty-gritty details that go into setting up a webinar.
You have to set the time it’s starting, the time it’s ending, whether to enable a chatroom for the audience, any predefined FAQs you want them to have easy access to, and so on and so forth.
If you’re hosting webinars regularly, you’ll end up spending a lot of time on what is essentially busywork, rather than focusing on crafting engaging content.
To help fix this, most webinar software lets you create ‘templates’, which essentially save all the settings and configurations of one webinar to use on other ones in the future.
This is particularly good for sets of webinars which all follow a theme: set up the first webinar manually, then create others from its template, only needing to adjust the details that change for each one (such as the starting time or their titles).
This feature saves time, obviously, but also helps ensure consistency between your presentations.
This makes it easier for your audience to know what to expect, increasing viewer retention rates.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a way of transmitting speech from one computer to another using the internet, rather than physical cables and wires.
It’s the primary tool used by most webinar software to deliver their content to the end user.
While many companies can benefit from using webinars to spread messages or deliver training sessions, each business is going to use them in different ways.
This has a direct impact on how much you should be willing to spend on webinar software.
If you know ahead of time that you’re going to be delivering ten webinars a month instead of three, the sensible choice would be to invest in a more robust and fully-featured webinar software, even if it’s more expensive upfront.
Similarly, you should remember that most of these platforms are priced on a monthly payment model.
If your company doesn’t have plans for regular webinars, and only uses them on an ad-hoc basis, you could easily end up paying subscription fees for services that you’re not even using.
In the modern world of web content, you simply can’t assume that all of your viewers, or even a majority of them, will be on the same kind of device.
Many will be watching on tablets or smartphones, as well as traditional personal computers.
You should make sure the webinar software you settle on is built with a mobile-friendly interface in mind from the ground-up.
This will help future-proof your decision, as mobile usage is only increasing as time goes by.
There’s a surprising amount of complexity that can go into hosting a webinar, and different software packages reveal different amounts of this to the end user (i.e., you).
Before picking a package, you should assess how comfortable you are with learning new systems, and whether your needs actually warrant purchasing a piece of software that’s more powerful, but less intuitive.
One of the key advantages of holding webinars online is that you’re no longer limited by the physical space of a meeting hall or office.
Unfortunately, webinar platforms often reinstate limits on how many people you can broadcast to as an incentive to sign up for their more expensive premium plans.
For example, Zoom’s most basic license for webinars only allows audiences of up to one hundred people, with the largest possible size being ten thousand.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to estimate beforehand how large an audience you expect to be pulling in regularly.
There’s little point, after all, in paying for an expensive license if your company isn’t yet big enough to fill all of its virtual seats.
Of course, you could also take this in a different light.
Deliberately keeping your maximum audience size small is sometimes a useful way of nurturing a feeling of exclusivity and prestige around a company – which also, pleasantly enough, happens to save money.
Ultimately, it’s best to weigh up both options before deciding which webinar software to go with. Use our webinar software comparison tool above to find the best deal to suit you.
Did this guide help you? If so, please share it or recommend DigitalSuperMarket to others!