Webinars are an effective and important part of any B2B business’ marketing strategy: Approximately 20-40% of attendees are qualified leads and 2-5% will likely convert. But effective webinars can take weeks of planning and coordination and can be overwhelming to execute. Webinar hosting platforms can assist in the production of these effective online events, but there are so many competing webinar software products to choose from. Navigating through all of them individually can be a dizzying experience for marketers who already have enough to do.
That’s why we’ve assembled a comprehensive list of the best webinar platforms available to marketers in 2020. In this article, we’ll examine the pros and cons of top webinar software marketers use to host high-quality, engaging online experiences, including:
Before we begin, lets go over some of the core features to look for in a webinar platform
In order for businesses use webinars as a marketing tool to engage and convert prospects, they’ll use a webinar software platform for promotion, hosting, and production support. It’s important to consider what additional features are essential to make your content a success. By understanding what specifically you’re seeking, you can see which functions are offered by all providers and which webinar features stand out on various platforms. This will help you narrow down the list and select the best webinar platform for your business.
Most webinar service platforms offer these features:
In addition to these features, most platforms have unique functions that are core differentiators. Consider the essential webinar features your business needs to make your webinar marketing successful and look out for it in the list below.
Whether you’re a webinar ninja or a novice, it’s important you elevate your production and produce the best webinar presentation for your audience. Let’s take a look at some of the best webinar platforms to find the one that’s right for your audience and marketing objectives.
GoToWebinar hosts over 2.7 million webinar series for 50,000 clients each year.
Pros: The platform makes it easy to produce a large number of webinars with replicable templates and their Simulated Live functionality. This enables marketers to schedule a webinar recording to appear across time zones. They also offer marketing support with GoToStage, a place that can act as a marketing channel to promote your online event for lead generation.
Cons: There are some drawbacks to this webinar solution, such as the requirement of installing the GoToWebinar software in order to view the content. In addition, there are no unique attendee engagement opportunities offered beyond polls and surveys.
Pricing: A GoToWebinar subscription will cost in between $59-499/month depending on the number of participants and channel pages. Their best value is the Pro subscription for $249/month, allowing up to 500 participants and unlocking the pre-recorded webinar function.
BlueJeans enables companies to produce webinars with BlueJeans Events, a webinar tool focused on interactive events and webcasts for your customers and prospects.
Pros: BlueJeans Events enables companies to produce large-scale free webinar events with up to 150 presenters on different cameras. Plus, it integrates with a handful of software including Marketo, Facebook Live, Salesforce and lets users embed HTML code to host webinars on their website.
Cons: BlueJeans originally started as an online meeting software, so it lacks some of the unique functionalities that webinar-specific platforms are built upon. These include landing page personalization, enhanced analytics and unique ways to drive attendee engagement.
Pricing: The platform has a pay-per-webinar payment structure. It’s $499 per online event with up to 500 attendees. Enterprise plan pricing is available.
On24 is a platform that delivers “engaging, data-rich and interactive experiences” in the form of a live, recorded or hybrid webinar. Personalization is key when it comes to this webinar tool.
Pros: The magic of On24 is in your ability to create engaging webinar interfaces with quizzes, polls, surveys, group chats, embedded Twitter feeds, and more.
Cons: The only negative is that it seems to lack built-in promotional marketing tools that teams can use to drive registrations. In addition, personalizing your webinar will take time. If you’re looking for a simple platform that sets up a webinar in a few seconds, this might not be it.
Pricing: On24 offers custom pricing provided from a sales representative based on your needs.
Demio is a low-cost webinar platform designed to remove friction for attendees.
Pros: Demio is accessible for attendees as it doesn’t force them to download software to enter the webinar room. In addition, it has a simple, intuitive interface that supports all event types including live events, event series, hybrid events, automated events, and recorded webinars.
Cons: Demio’s major flaw is its limited integration offering. While it does have a Zapier integration that customers can use, it only offers a handful of formal integrations for popular software platforms.
Pricing: The service ranges between $49-239/month based on the size of the webinar. The $239/month plan allows 500 attendees per webinar.
WebinarNinja positions itself as the “easy to use webinar solution” their customers have been seeking. Notable B2B companies like AppSumo, Baremetrics, Podia and more use this marketing tool.
Pros: WebinarNinja’s core competency is its simplicity. It’s an all-in-one webinar system that generates custom landing pages, attendee messaging, and a webinar template in less than ten seconds. You can also upload presentations directly into the software and embed YouTube videos to make the webinar more engaging.
Cons: WebinarNinja only offers forms for live webinars as opposed to recurring events. Within those forms, only minimal customizations are allowed. Customers have struggled to add extra fields for attendees to fill when they are registering.
Pricing: A subscription for WebinarNinja will run you in between $49-249/month for up to 1,000 attendees. Their Pro plan is the most popular, costing $95/month and allowing up to 300 attendees per webinar.
EasyWebinar promises a mix of full-suite marketing capabilities paired with unique interactions to ensure your company is generating the leads you need.
Pros: The platform boasts engagement tracking tools to see how much your audience watched on the screen. Plus, it has EasyCast capability, enabling an automatic connection to YouTube and Facebook Live.
Cons: EasyWebinar offers a wide variety of functions and features, but this can make the platform confusing to learn right away. Another negative about the platform is the inability to edit your webinar after recording it directly in the platform.
Pricing: Plans for EasyWebinar range from $78-499/month for up to 2,000 live attendees. Their Pro plan at $129/month is the most popular, allowing unlimited webinars with up to 500 attendees.
WebinarJam is a cloud-based webinar marketing software that’s used by companies anticipating a larger number of attendees.
Pros: The platform offers a high-definition stream that’s compatible with nearly all devices, promotional SMS reminders, and a Replica Replay function. This feature replicates all the conversations that happened live and shows them in the recorded version as they happened.
Cons: Only six presenters are allowed at one time and the setup process is a little bit more cumbersome than some of its competitors.
Pricing: WebinarJam is an investment for businesses seeking larger registration numbers. Plans range from $499-999/month for up to 5,000 live attendees.
ClickMeeting is webinar software focusing on product demos, marketing, courses, meetings and large-scale online events.
Pros: The software enables moderators to easily control the conversation with its listen-only or discussion modes as well as the whiteboard functionality. ClickMeeting also has a webinar app, making it easy for attendees to enter the webinar room on any device.
Cons: Some customers have sounded off on various persistent technical issues with the platform. Others have complained about the low quality of the exported product from the platform. These are two issues that can be tested and explored by signing up for a free trial on their site.
Pricing: ClickMeeting is extremely cost-efficient for even the most cash-strapped marketing teams. It costs $25-45/month for live and automated webinars. Custom quotes are available for larger packages and bigger online events.
Zoom is a video conferencing tool that expanded into a live and on-demand virtual events offering.
Pros: A major draw of using this platform is that it is so familiar and ubiquitous for many people. Zoom had over 200 million daily meeting participants reported in 2020. The platform is great for large events with 100-10,000 view-only attendees and offers a unique virtual hand-raising feature for increased, controlled engagement.
Cons: Zoom is most well-known as a video conferencing tool used primarily for meetings. It offers limited customizable features that some other webinar-specific platforms offer such as whiteboards, embedded videos, polls and more.
Pricing: Zoom ranges from $50–90/month for up to 1,000 meeting participants and one host. Enterprise pricing is available for companies looking to scale their webinars this year.
Zoho Meeting is a webinar software that’s an extension of the popular CRM. It provides companies with the ability to connect employees through classes, meetings and onboarding as well as engage customers and prospects with webinars.
Pros: Zoho Meeting offers some unique functions like custom embedded registration links and the ability to watch and share recordings without registering. However, the main draw to the platform is its compatibility with the Zoho CRM.
Cons: There are a few negatives for using Zoho Meeting as your webinar platform. Their features and reporting on the starter plans are very basic; you’ll have to pay more to unlock more functionality. There’s also no desktop app for those that prefer to have a software that they can download and use to enter a meeting.
Pricing: Zoho Meeting offers plans ranging from $19-79/month for up to 250 attendees.
BigMarker is a browser-based software for webinars, videos and online summits. The software is used by major corporations like Google, Nielsen, McDonalds, and Panasonic.
Pros: BigMarker offers customizable, branded video forms with interactive elements like polls, surveys and offers that appear right next to the presentation. You can also connect streams with multiple cameras seamlessly to Facebook and YouTube Live.
Cons: BigMarker can be expensive to scale. It’s also a little less intuitive for attendees to navigate depending on how your webinar is set up. Marketers should strike a balance between a simple webinar and one with flashy interactive elements. You don’t want to overwhelm your attendees.
Pricing: Plans range from $79-299/mo for up to 1,000 attendees. Enterprise plans are available.
Livestorm positions itself as a “video communication tool” that can be used to produce high-quality webinars to engage prospects. If you’re in a hurry, Livestorm is for you.
Pros: The platform automates the building of registration pages, reminders and basic webinar infrastructure, making it easy for you to go from idea to reality. It has nearly 30 integrations and also offers trigger automations that you can set to play videos or go to a new slide after a predetermined amount of time.
Cons: Livestorm’s main negative is the amount of participants it allows in the webinar at one time for some of their smaller plans.
Pricing: Prospects can try out Livestorm’s free plan to test the product. Their $99/month plan allows up to 100 participants in a webinar at once.
As with any type of software, the best webinar platform for your company depends on your objectives, budget, and strategy.
If you’re just looking to try out a webinar or two, consider the low-cost options of Livestorm, BigMarker or ClickMeeting.
For those looking to produce webinars regularly, consider Demio, WebinarNinja, or EasyWebinar. These are platforms designed specifically for scaling webinar production. If you’re already using a CRM like Zoho, consider exploring their Zoho Meeting software to keep everything under the same roof.
If customization and personalization are essential for your webinar marketing strategy, try out On24.
For larger webinars, try WebinarJam, GoToWebinar or a video conferencing software like Zoom or BlueJeans Events.
If executed properly and with the right software, webinar marketing can become a lucrative channel for demonstrating your industry expertise, building your audience, and attracting more customers. By evaluating the pros, cons, and pricing of the webinar platforms above, you can find the best option for your company and be on your way to delighting prospects with successful, engaging webinars.
Brad Smith is the founder of Codeless, long-form content creators for SaaS companies. Their work has been featured in The New York Times, Business Insider, TheNextWeb, Shopify, Moz, Unbounce, HubSpot, Search Engine Journal, and more.
See other posts by Brad Smith
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