Webinars…so hot right now! Covid has canceled all the conferences, forcing companies to get people’s attention in new ways online. The best webinar platforms out there have been cleaning up in 2020 revenue.
But it turns out, webinars have been around a while. Did you know that webinar-based marketing has been part of the sales funnel for 77% of businesses for the last decade?
Businesses love to incorporate webinars at some point in their marketing process. Webinars help potential customers gain a better understanding of the product and services.
So, what are these webinar hosting platforms and why should you care?
Webinars go beyond your typical video conferencing call and online meetings. Webinar hosting platforms are software solutions that allow hosts to interact with and present before large virtual audiences.
By hosting these interactive webinars, businesses and marketers hope to achieve several things at the same:
- Simplify large-scale event management: workshops, conventions, seminars, and presentations
- As opposed to video conferences, webinars provide a more interactive experience; virtual attendees can follow a more interactive session with question and answers, polling, as well as customer feedback
- Multiple presenters can come together for a seamlessly integrated live session on various social platforms simultaneously
For these reasons, the number of businesses that use webinars, as opposed to typical video-conferencing and onsite seminars, has skyrocketed.
More and more companies are seeking out the best webinar hosting platforms as part of their marketing and business expansion process.
With webinars, the audiences catered to are typically larger and with webinar objectives high-stake, a bad virtual experience can prove equally damaging for your business.
If you find yourself accidentally booted out of the meeting, struggle with clunky registration pages, or begin encountering random glitches with low video quality… Then it’s time to break up that software.
Why? Experts who have been relying on webinars will tell you that a good or bad webinar software could be the number one deciding factor in hosting successful campaigns.
The best webinar hosting platforms will be those that allow you to host a seamless live and interactive session with a large-scale audience. Webinars that fail to achieve that should be immediately struck off your usability list.
Successful marketers and businesses understand this and continuously rely on some of the best hosting platforms to accomplish their marketing goals.
To successfully broach your subject before a virtual audience, you will need to provide the latter with an exquisite experience that supports your brand’s image. You can ensure such an experience through a seamless hosting platform.
Before deciding on one, ask yourselves a set of questions that will help you boil down your choices to a select few:
- Can your audience easily download the webinar plugin to join the meeting?
- What is the waiting room experience like?
- How many presenters and viewers can attend the meeting at the same time? Is the switch between multiple presenters smooth enough?
- Does your software also send out event reminders before the due date?
- What additional support features does the solution offer?
- What ways are there for viewers to interact with the presenters? Are there live chat, polls, pop-up CTAs?
- Are there break-out rooms to segment your audience?
The last couple of years has seen a massive rise in webinar hosting platforms. Understandably, choosing the right platform has become both critical, as well as overwhelming. To help you arrive at a more informed decision, we have prepared a list of the best webinar platforms that you can rely on in 2021.
Demio is known for its modern interface and seamless solution. No clumpy designs here. Its sleek and easy-to-use widgets make hosting and attending live sessions a breeze. Demio does not even require viewers to download additional plug-ins. With one simple click, the audience is transported into the webinars.
One of the greatest assets with Demio is its ability to host both live webinars as well as on-demand automated ones. A live webinar is the one where a host delivers live presentations, interacts with the audience in real-time and possibly answers their questions towards the end.
Automated webinars are recorded webinar sessions that can be played on demand. These are based on topics that stay relevant to newer audiences. For this reason, automated webinars are also known as evergreen webinars.
As a hosting platform, Demio is not only popular for its seamless usability, but also its extensive automation tools. It is a real winner for large enterprises and businesses who love dropping their pop-up CTAs at the end of their brand awareness campaign.
Here are a few more things to know about Demio.
- Easy-to-setup and use
- Brands can add custom logos to create a more personalized feel
- Sends out automated emails as reminders for scheduled webinars
- Registrants receive webinar recordings at the end of the live proceedings; a great feature for those who missed attending the live session
- Demio offers a free 14-day trial, at the end of which users can subscribe to any of the following:
- Starter plan for 50 attendees: $34
- Growth plan for 150 attendees and brand customization: $69
- Business plan catering up to 500 attendees and 4 hosts: $163
GoToWebinar is something of a veteran in the SaaS industry. As a webinar hosting platform, GoToWebinar has earned the respect of large enterprises and savvy businesses. The solution’s great strength lies in the sheer number of audiences it can cater to.
Larger companies can invite up to 5000 attendees but the pricing will escalate likewise. With the basic version, however, you can cater to only 100 attendees at the most.
Another great perk of this veteran webinar platform is the great assortment of automated tools. Account-holders can make use of the software’s cutting-edge report, email marketing and lead management features.
There are, unfortunately, some obvious downsides to the platform. Pricing is perhaps the first one. With even the most basic plan costing up to $900/year, small businesses might vary about the ROIs. Then there’s the somewhat challenging interface. But for businesses that can afford the solution, its host of features can more than compensate for its cons.
- Robust video and audio quality
- Ability to cater to large audiences
- Automated features, such as email invitations, webinar stats monitoring, reminders, follow-ups, etc.
- Ability to segment audiences with their ‘breakout room” feature
- Users can subscribe to its free 7-day trial before upgrading to any one of the following:
- A basic plan for up to 100 participants: $89/month
- Pro plan: $199/month
- Plus plan: $429/month
- Enterprise plan: quote-based, up to 5000 attendees
ClickMeeting prides itself on its modern interface and pricing feasibility for small businesses and enterprises. However, the hosting platform is duly popular among medium enterprises to boot. It is also a viable tool for in-company local and international conferences, training, sales marketing, etc.
This intuitive webinar platform makes it super convenient to host live and automated sessions without having to go into technicalities. You can simply duplicate a meeting with pre-checked fields instead of setting up the criteria from scratch.
ClickMeeting also offers some incisive help with its valuable analytic reports regarding past webinars and the number of registered participants for upcoming sessions.
- Audiences can engage via polls and surveys and other interactive sessions
- Chat messaging comes with a translation option
- The software can be integrated with Facebook and Youtube to launch sessions on multiple platforms at once
- Sessions can be recorded and stored on clouds for downloading and automated rescheduling
- Customizable branding for waiting room, presenter’s room, and other aspects
- Browser-based; no plugins involved
You can make use of their 30-day free trial before switching to their basic plan starting at $25/month. Their plan including the automated feature costs $40/month while the Enterprise plan is quote-based.
WeninarJam is another great software solution for those of us who dislike nothing more than to get stuck in a “jam”. Its simplified interface makes it extremely user-friendly for those of us who are not quite tech-savvy.
Webinar offers several handsome features supporting lead generation that small and large businesses just can’t look past. For example, you can integrate the hosting platform with Youtube for simultaneous, password-protected live sessions.
Not just that, but businesses can also introduce live pop-up CTAs during the session itself for audiences to buy products or services directly from the webinar.
With an HD video quality, easy-to-navigate dashboard, and other user-friendly features, WebinarJam remains at the top of businesses’ priority list when it comes to hosting live seminars online.
- Equipped with the latest technology tools such as RTM, WebRTC, and Flash
- Creates a universal signal with its rare Broadcast Distribution Technology
- Training videos to help presenters host seamless sessions
- Easily caters to multiple attendants
- In-built autoresponder; you can embed it into your social media for live streaming
- Marketing automation and multi-browser compatibility
- 14 Day free trial for $1
- Basic Plan for 500 participants and 3 presenters: $499/year or $41.58/month.
- Professional Plan for up to 1000 participants with four speakers: $699/year or $ 58.25/month.
- Premium Plan to host up to 5000 attendees with 6 speakers: $999/year or $83.25/month.
EverWebinar offers some unbeatable features to automate sessions in the industry. A hosting solution offered by WebinarJam, the platform can be integrated into its parent company although it is sold and marketed separately.
Some of the most popular features from its wide assortment of tech-based tools include completely automated email connections based on customer activity, the ability to maintain a well-rounded lead-consumer-business loop and on-the-go management.
EverWebinar is mostly used by businesses looking to create evergreen, on-demand webinars for potential leads. Users can record a session on WebinarJam, send it over to EverWebinar that transforms it into an automated webinar, and replay it as long as they have leads.
These on-demand automated sessions are more than your typical boring pre-recordings. When turned into an evergreen webinar, these retain the original feel of the webcast that keeps the audiences intact even when live interaction is not completely available.
- Presenters can customize the number of attendees (although we would advise you to steer clear of faking attendees)
- You can receive audience questions directly in your email
- Offers live streams, hybrid webinars, and fully automated webinars (hybrid webinars are automated with the live chat option running functional)
- Customer support and in-detail guides on how to arrange the best-automated webinars
You can start with a 14-day trial for $1 before switching to the Installment or Biennial Plan. With the former, you will pay up to $199/year in three rounds. The Biennial plan will cost you $799/2years.
Zoom has recently emerged as an online tycoon in the webinar hosting industry. One reason for its immediate success could be the range of basic features that it offers participants free of cost.
Often compared with Livestorm, businesses find that Zoom meets its needs better in various ways. Unlike Livestorm, however, the platform is not completely browser-based and will require some plug-ins but compensates in a host of other ways.
For meetings with less than 40 minutes and 100 attendees, the platform does not charge anything. Its major revenue hub consists of large-scale companies and enterprises that need Zoom’s cutting-edge video conferencing tools to make some big bucks.
As part of its exquisite suite of high-end video-conferencing features, you have advanced screen sharing, annotations, group chats, and video recordings.
Zoom has relaxed its 40-minute time limit on free video conferences in the wake of the Pandemic but has been doing the same since before for special occasions, for example, Christmas and New Year.
- The screen can be shared for multiple attendees at the same time
- Hosts can also schedule recurring meetings with the same link making it a convenient tool for event management and attendees
- Compatible with multiple browsers and devices
- Video recording is inclusive of interactions via chat and videos from attendees
- Free plan: meetings for up to 40 minutes with participants less than 100
- Paid subscription starts from $ 14.99/month for 100 attendees.
EasyWebinar is a one-stop platform for both medium and large-scale companies that have webinar marketing at their core. Its wide collection of automated features makes integrated digital marketing a breeze.
EasyWebinar can be used for scheduling both live and automated webinars. You can make your sessions look more robust with their HD video quality, sales funnel, multiple presenters, chat messaging, advanced analytics, and other features.
Although it’s pricier than some of the other webinar platforms, its excellent suite of advanced analytics and marketing-oriented tools more than compensates for these costs.
- Integrations with several sales, finance, and marketing software such as Mailchimp, Stripe, and others
- Live and automated webinars compatible with mobile devices, and quipped with in-built sales funnel and analytics
- Live chat, question and answer sessions, polling, multiple presenters, and other integral features
Basic plan for up to 100 participants starts at $59/month.
WebinarNinja is another teach-based platform for online events offering a viable solution to both high-end companies as well as novice hosts.
Its great feature is its ability to host both live videos as well as automated cloud-based webinars. WebinarNinja’s automated suite of multiple features makes it easy to hold interactive, audience-oriented sessions.
The platform is especially viable for coaching programs. This is because, with WebinarNinja, you can host multiple sessions despite making your attendees register only once, throwing the hassle of recurring registration forms out of the loop.
Another robust feature of this webinar platform is its ability to keep prospective attendees in the loop. This is achieved through email connections, notifications, registration confirmations, and session reminders.
All in all, WebinarNinja is definitely the hosting venue that acts more like a solid marketing funnel than anything else.
- Boasts a flexible suite of key marketing tools including track conversions; email lists and participation rates
- Does not require plugins to join meetings
- Rebranding of the webinar desk with pre-designed professional templates
- Its search and social feature allows for greater marketing and audience engagement
- Pro plan for up to 300 attendees: $ 79/month
- Plus plan for up to 500 attendees: $129/month
- Power plan for up to 1000 attendees: $199
- WebinarNinja’s automated sessions can cater to an unlimited number of attendees
9. Zoho Meeting
Zoho meeting is your two-in-one webinar hosting platform and video conferencing solution. With its free versions that offer some limited features and reasonable pricing plans, Zoho Meeting has emerged as a favorite among startups and small businesses looking for a reliable web hosting solution.
Zoho meeting also boasts some robust basic functions for in-company meetings, team collaboration, and product demonstrations. Although most of its functions and analytics are quite foundational and simplistic, they get the job done.
Businesses can integrate the solution with their website. Visitors on the website would then be able to transport into the webinar with just a click. But there is still more that the software can offer.
- Retains a handsome suite of basic video-conferencing options including screen sharing, live chat, presenter controls, etc
- Completely browser-based; attendees can join the meeting without having to install any plug-ins
- Attendees can become presenters with the permission of the moderator, raise the hand icon to interact, secure chat messaging and participate in polls
- Link-based shareable online recordings for attendees living in other time-zones
- Free meetings allow unlimited features for two participants.
- Free webinars can cater up to 10 attendees.
- Paid meetings begin at $10/month for up to 100 attendees; paid webinars that host up to 25 attendees start from $19. Presenters can host up to 50, 100, and 250 attendees for $29, $39, and $79 respectively.
GetResponse is one of my marketing solution for businesses of all scales and sizes. I was surprised to learn that it had a webinar feature since I have been focused on it's email campaigns feature. GetResponse prides itself on being one of the first webinar platforms that provides a complete marketing suite to businesses.
Its line segmentation feature, auto-responses, and customized emails are only some of the tools that allow businesses to link their webinar analytics into their marketing process.
Companies can also employ its registration feature to collect email addresses, create a whole new database of email-based leads, connect with them and send reminders. At the same time, the tool allows businesses to share their webinar campaigns on social media.
- Offers high-end presentation features such as an in-built whiteboard for drawing and note-keeping, YouTube integration for sharing videos, etc
- Contains several advanced marketing analytics such as detailed reports, A/B Testing; Landing page creators, etc.( to access the more advanced features, users must subscribe to the premium plan)
- Customer-relationship management; automated email connections and desktop sharing
- GetResponse offers a free trial period of 30 days.
- Paid subscription begins from $49/month for 100 participants max and $ 165/month catering to up to 500 attendees.
LiveWebinar is a trusted web conferencing tool for companies of all sizes. Its customizable video streaming and social media broadcasting services make it a favorite for businesses looking for greater personalization.
The solution’s seamless advance functionality allows presenters to host an exquisite and glitch-free experience for their audience. Recordings are done in HD that save your automated sessions from looking too blurry and low-quality.
What makes it a great marketing feature is its integration with popular social platforms. By hosting your sessions on YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo, businesses can reach out to a wider and more diverse audience.
Other than the standard interactive set of chat messaging, polls, and Q/A, LiveWebinar offers hosts the opportunity to segment audiences into breakout rooms for various kinds of networking and engagement.
- Pop-up CTAs inviting customers to engage in sales during the session
- Seamless navigation between presenters and attendees
- Whiteboard feature to turn your static slides into a more dynamic deck withdrawing and notes
- HD recording that can be transported to popular social platforms; offers YouTube lives, Facebook lives, etc.
- Fast-responding customer service
- Multiple integrations mean that your contact data across various touchpoints
- The user interface requires a steep learning curve
Webinars that only require up to five attendees are free of cost.
Pro plan for up to 100 attendees: $11.99/month
Business plan for up to 500 attendees: $95.20/month
Most webinar hosting platforms either offer free or $1 trial periods so small and new businesses can secure a feel for what they are getting themselves into.
If you are running an especially tight budget, you may approach a completely free webinar platform but be prepared to be met with a set of feature limitations.
That is why Google Hangouts is the number one trusted free webinar platform for small businesses and individuals.
Individuals who are part of the Google Suite are perhaps familiar with its completely free webinar tool: Google Hangouts. It is a trusted conferencing and webinar solution but comes with a bunch of limitations.
Firstly, the platform is integrated with YouTube and unless you have a channel under your account and a Chrome browser, you cannot host live webinars on Hangouts.
Keep in mind that Google Hangout will not serve as a customer management platform either, since it does not offer automated emails or other related features. It is broadly meant to be a video-conferencing tool so if you see a webinar as a marketing touchpoint in your sales funnel, our advice would be to look for one provided in the list above. Here are some of its key qualifications.
- You can host up to 30 people in the webinar but broadcasting it live will allow you to cater to larger audiences
- Your YouTube broadcasts are the only sessions that can be recorded and are exported as videos on your YouTube channel once the webinar is over
Google Hangouts is a free webinar platform.
The list provided above comprises our favorite and most trusted webinar platforms. In case you are still stuck in a rut, the following is a list of some common webinar-related queries to help you out via the fast lane.
Webinar platforms are software solutions that allow individuals, small and large businesses, and enterprises to host live interactive seminars, workshops, training sessions, and other kinds of video conferences online.
Many of these solutions contain an additional set of automated features and can be integrated into social platforms, such as YouTube and Facebook, for marketing purposes.
Ans. Some important webinar features you should keep an eye on when looking for a reliable webinar include
- Interface simplicity; ease-of-use
- The number of attendees it can easily cater to
- Audience engagement features, such as chat messaging, polls, Q/A, whiteboards, pop-up CTAs
- Marketing features: integrations with popular social platforms, email messaging, auto-responders, CRM, etc.
Scale your choices down to the most important features you need and the hosting platforms that can offer you the perfect mix of value and quality.
Ans. According to my research, the best webinar platforms are
- Zoho Meeting
Best free webinar software: Google Hangouts
Ans. Webinar platforms can cost anywhere between $10/month to $199/month. The price range will vastly vary based on several factors.
Most important of these are the number of attendees and webinar features. For webinars with up to 500 attendees and beyond, typical pricing would range from $80 to $120.
Due to their robust conferencing and interactive features, webinar platforms have emerged as popular tools for consumer engagement in the sales and marketing funnel. The list provided above of the best webinar hosting platform is by no means exhaustive, but it is sufficient enough to give you a head start.
Feel free to click through the most relevant platforms and do a comparative analysis before deciding on one. Fortunately, most webinars will grant you a trial period before you can upgrade to a paid plan.
We hope the article nudged you closer to your favorite pick. So which webinar platform did you like the best? Make sure to drop the name in the comments below. Also, feel free to share any queries or suggestions regarding top webinar hosting platforms in 2021.