Want help choosing the best webinar software? This simple guide will help.
So you’ve realised that in order to boost engagement and build your list you need to be offering webinars. That’s not news to you. You’ve probably made this decision because of the string of benefits associated with offering webinars.
According to Wyatt Jozwowski, not only do they position you as an expert in your field and create value for your consumers. But they also help you make sales, generate new leads, boost your credibility and break down communication barriers. What’s not to love?
So you Google ‘webinar platforms’ and you see there’s a couple of hundred thousand hits. Needless to say you’re a little overwhelmed.
Where do you even start?
Well, first, you have to choose between using an automated or a live webinar platform.
First step to running webinars to grow your business: decide on automated or a live webinar platform.
Then once you’ve made that decision you need to work through the service providers to find the best webinar software.
Now that sounds like a whole lot of work, right? So instead of doing all that, why not just carry on reading this blog for some suggestions on the best webinar software to use!
So first let’s take a look at the choice between an automated or a live webinar platform.
Automated Webinar Platforms
We know that webinars are a great way to boost engagement with your target audience and grow your list while creating some additional revenue streams for your business.
But, according to Eric Siu, running a webinar takes time. It takes time to plan, time to execute and could put a strain on both your voice and your energy levels.
If you are using these webinars to increase our revenue, you want to try and keep the costs as low as possible. Unfortunately, you might find that the effort needed to set up the webinar and manage the registration yourself could eat into your profits.
So if you understand the power that webinars have as a tool for business growth, but you’re not a fan of the effort required, then why not try out an automated webinar?
A fully automated webinar means that you record your webinar ahead of time.
As the same suggests, everything is fully automated, which means less admin for you. Your recording could be you making a video of yourself talking, or it could be you talking with a presentation.
So you record the webinar in advance, upload it to your webinar service and that’s it. You can then set your webinar to play at certain times and to manage the registration process.
Other types of automated webinar platforms let you live stream your webinar while automating other functions like the registration, email notifications and sales funnel creation process.
According to Benjiin, there are a number of pros and cons to using automated webinars.
Let’s explore some of those, shall we?
The pros of automated webinars
A time saver
The webinar is recorded, which means you aren’t taking hours out of your day to present it every time. This gives you more time to focus on other aspects of your business.
Practice makes perfect
Some people aren’t born to be public speakers and there’s nothing wrong with that.
If you hate the thought of being put on the spot and you get a nervous shiver just thinking of making a presentation, then automation might be the best route for you.
You can practice the webinar until it’s perfect and make sure you’re including every bit of information you need.
You never stop selling
Your webinars are no longer limited to your schedule. You can set them to run at any time of the day in any timezone around the world. You could even be making sales while you’re sleeping! Pretty nifty, right?
In terms of creating tension, Webinars are perfect. Once a user registers, they cannot escape the fact that this event doesn’t last forever. So in order to cash in on the knowledge, they HAVE to turn up.
Related: Automatic Webinars & Tension
The cons of automated webinars
That sales pitchy feel
Even though webinars can increase your sales, they are still educational. When you lose the live aspect of a webinar, if not done right, it can start to sound a bit more like an advert pushing sales.
No live interaction
When using an automated webinar, you lose the ability to interact with your listeners in live time. You miss out on addressing them by name and making them feel part of the webinar.
Depending on what you’re hoping to achieve with your webinar, you may think automation sounds amazing. But if you think you’d prefer the chance to speak to your listeners in live time, maybe try out a live webinar.
Automated webinar platforms we’ve tested
Here are the popular platforms in the market that we’ve tested.
Everwebinar has been a game changer for running our on demand Webinars. It allows you to deal with registration on your own site & integrate it into Activecampaign a variety of other tools. The best part about it is that emails can be sent based on actions taking or not taken in the webinar. At any time we’re running at least 10 automated webinars around a variety of topics, which have been responsible for capturing thousands of targeted leads.
A relative newcomer to the game is Webinar Ninja, which I picked up on the appsumo deal. We’ve used it to setup an automatic webinar as part of another business venture. A great solution for those getting started with automatic webinars with only limited follow up automation possible.
Demio is a new addition & recently I ran our first webinar in it earlier for my private community. It’s got massive potential but still does not support anything other than chrome on desktop & android. Out of all of the webinar platforms I’m using this has the capacity to be revolutionary.
Live Webinar Platforms
During a live webinar, you and all of your listeners are present at the same time in the same virtual meeting room and you give your presentation in real-time.
You’re able to give, receive and discuss information with your listeners as if you were all in the same room.
Again, you’ll be faced with hundreds of different platforms to use for your live webinar and your decision will ultimately be based on the functionality you need and the budget you have.
As with automated webinars, live webinars also have some pros and cons.
The pros of live webinars
This is the most important pro to using live webinars. They allow you to interact with your listeners in live time. Get their feedback, hear their concerns and maybe even ask them some questions.
When you interact in live time with your listeners you make them feel included. They’re more likely to listen and absorb more of what you’re saying.
The more interactive, the more satisfied your listeners will be. When you’re able to address their concerns in real-time, you may make them even more willing to test out your product or service.
The cons of live webinars
It takes time
If you want to use live webinars, you have to be available to physically present the webinars. This quite obviously would take some chunks out of your schedule.
Then you need to add to that the time spent preparing yourself for each webinar, registering listeners and setting up the webinar itself. When you add all that up, you could be losing hours to doing some pretty mundane admin work.
More than just the time that it takes to make your webinar up to scratch, you need to be prepared. Prepared to answer questions, prepared to deal with the complexities of live engagement and be prepared to maybe be caught off guard.
If you want to be credible and be seen as an expert in your field, you’re going to need to be able to shield questions coming from your listeners. By that we mean give them real answers.
You need to know how to deal with being caught off guard and have the means to be able to answer those questions. Expecting the unexpected is often a big part in the preparation of live webinars.
Live webinar platforms we’ve tested
Everwebinar, Webinar Ninja and Demio (mentioned above in the automated webinar platforms section) all do live webinars.
There are a few other platforms that do live webinars that are worth a look:
Zoom is amazing as a platform but it only has two integration options for Activecampaign (our mailing list software of choice) – new attendee/new meeting which are hopeless for marketing. We still use this for our online summit and members calls but leverage their webinar addon, rather than the default meetings.
If you want to test it out you can sign up for a free account, which gives you:
- Unlimited 1 to 1 meetings
- 40 mins limit on group meetings
- Host up to 50 participants
- Unlimited number of meetings
No webinar roundup would be complete without mentioning the longest, and possibly best known, solution in the market – GoToWebinar.
Whilst the platform is reliable and it can certainly get the job done for a live webinar, the main issue (and a big negative in our books), is the pricing of this platform. GTW are positioned in the higher end of the market, and much more suited for large businesses/corporations in our opinion.
You can sign up for a free 7 day trial with GTW but if you’re just starting out or want to keep your expenses down, we would recommend you try one of the other platforms we’ve mentioned on this page.
Other Live Webinar Platforms
Having said that we suggest you try Zoom, Demio, Everwebinar or Webinar Ninja as they will give you the best bang for your buck.
So where to from here?
Well your first step is to decide between using live or automated webinars. Then, have a look at the platforms that we’ve suggested and make your own decision based on the features you need and the budget you have.
If you want to learn more about how to automate, delegate, be more productive and enjoy life all while boosting your profit – we recommend you check out our high level mastermind for educators.