Webinar Software: The Green Flags of the Best Ones
Webinars are becoming the darling of marketing channels — 99% of marketers consider them a critical element of marketing plans. And for a good reason. Several, actually.
- According to the On24 Digital Engagement Benchmark 2023 report, webinars increased the conversion rate for demo requests by 77%.
- Switching from live events to webinars resulted in a 10x increase of the relevant audience the respondent couldn’t reach otherwise.
- 51% of the 12th Annual Content Marketing Report respondents said that webinars, webcasts, and web series were the most effective video formats in the past 12 months.
That’s a lot of marketing benefits for video streaming. It explains why so many marketers, including 58% of B2B marketers surveyed, consider webinars, together with other virtual events and online courses, the most successful channel in their toolkit.
Sounds too good to pass it by. In this article, we cover how to spot the best webinar platforms for marketers and recommend a few industry-approved tools. But first, we want to clarify something.
Not all video streams are webinars
Yup. That boring video call you so desperately wished was an email wasn’t a webinar. Nor was the brainstorming session with your department. And certainly not that YouTube video explaining how to create a personalized email template.
Webinars are live, prerecorded, or on-demand online broadcasts companies use to interact with customers, employees, or partners. By the way, webinars are often confused with video conferences, but they aren’t the same. Here, have a look at how they differ.
Marketers use webinars to interact with their audience, generate quality leads, and establish a positive brand image. But it’s impossible to achieve these outcomes without quality digital solutions to reach their target audiences (TAs). So, what should online webinar software offer to be considered exceptional?
How to spot great webinar software
Whether you use paid or free webinar tools, you should define your marketing goals and webinar objectives. Although they’ll vary from business to business, some webinar software features will advance any goal. Here are a few features to keep in mind.
It offers a free trial
“Test before you invest,” they say — and that’s true for webinar tools, too. Because the last thing you want to do is to create a killer marketing strategy that will never see the light of day because your software has technical limitations. If webinar software offers a free trial — use it. You can check out its features, its streaming quality, and how you’d use it to build your webinar marketing strategy.
It’s adaptable for different audiences
From five attendees to five thousand, your audience will vary in number depending on what you aim to achieve. But it’s good to know that your software can handle whatever volume of viewers you need it to. Choose online webinar software that offers various attendee-based tiers, along with upgrade and downgrade options you can select as needed.
According to Statista, around 7.3 billion people globally will use at least one mobile device in 2023 — and the number is expected to grow in the future. If you use mobile-friendly webinar streaming and recording software, you will make it convenient for your viewers to watch your webinars on the go and, consequently, reach a wider audience.
It streams real-time and prerecorded events worldwide on your schedule
Broadcasting live events to global audiences in real time may be challenging — you have to manage time zone differences for each region where people will view your webinar. Some webinar solutions have scheduling tools that help stream the same webinar automatically at a particular time.
Its provider has other marketing tools you already use
If you use some tools that are part of a complex marketing ecosystem, check if they have webinar software available. For example, if you use some Zoho products, why not try Zoho Meeting? Trust us, it’ll be easier to integrate and manage within one ecosystem than to mix different ones.
It can be used by people with vision/hearing impairment
Inclusivity isn’t a modern fashion trend coming from a British Vogue cover — it’s a necessity if you really want to cater to all your audience members.
Autogenerated captioning, a screen for sign language interpreters (who can slay like Justina Miles did during this year’s Super Bowl), text-to-speech or text-to-Braille conversion, image descriptions, compatibility with assistive devices, and so on. All these options let you present to a larger segment of your target audience regardless of the presenter’s and attendees’ abilities.
Now that we’ve covered what features to look for in webinar software, let’s see which programs meet the mark.
Top webinar software platforms for 2023
Choosing the right webinar platform may be overwhelming because of the growing number of options. But don’t worry — we’ve already picked the ones that may be the best solution for your marketing tasks, budget, and audience.
There’s a high chance you’ve used Zoom products before (like Zoom Meetings), but you may not know they have a special webinar tool called Zoom Webinars. With a well-designed, intuitive interface that appeals to webinar pros and newbies, this software is a top pick for many businesses. Plus, you can jump between its flexible pricing plans depending on the size of your audience.
Best for: Enterprises with large audiences
Features: Event analytics and reporting available in all plans, interactive in-session features (polls, Q&A, quizzes), event and session branding tools (background, email formatting, etc.), attendee networking options (in-webinar, in-session, attendee profile creation), PayPal billing.
Price: Monthly or annual billing options (27% discount if billed annually); price varies based on the number of attendees; from $79/month or $690/year for 500-999 attendees, plus $149.90 for Zoom One Pro.
See Zoom’s pricing page for more information and compare Zoom Webinar prices and available plans.
Zoho Meeting is part of the Zoho marketing ecosystem that helps marketers provide their target audience with a holistic experience. It’s one of few tools that offer a free plan with basic webinar features, which will come in handy for startups and emerging solo entrepreneurs.
Best for: Companies already using Zoho products
Features: Webinar recording, user management, source tracking, registration moderation, custom email and domain, API access, anonymous question option, live streaming, and the ability to share handouts.
Price: Annual or monthly billing options (15% discount if billed annually); price varies based on the number of attendees, from $8/month for the Standard plan and $16/month for the Professional plan for up to 25 attendees.
You can find more information about features and prices on the Zoho Meeting website.
The Demio webinar platform helps marketing teams unlock the power of webinars for sales and education. Starter, Growth, and Premium plans cover the needs of various-sized businesses and give them tools to manage webinar activities efficiently. The best part? At the beginning of any billing period, you can upgrade to a more feature-packed version or downgrade your plan if you need fewer features at no extra charge.
Best for: Single-host events
Features: Unlimited sessions, registrations, and storage; unlimited hosts with Premium plan; 24/7 chat and email support, engagement tools for webinar room attendees, engagement insights and analytics, integration with other marketing tools.
Price: Annual or monthly billing options (30% off if billed annually); price varies based on the number of attendees, from $59/month or $499/year for Starter plan (up to 25 attendees), $109/month or $899/year for Growth plan (up to 150 attendees), and $3,300/year for Premium plan (up to 500 attendees).
Check the Demio pricing page for more information on their plans, features, and a demo.
What if you already have videos you want to use for webinars? Then check out eWebinar, an automated webinar software platform that allows real-life interaction with prerecorded videos. With this tool, you can start webinar sessions on a budget, understand your audience better, and provide more value to your clients without breaking the bank.
Best for: Small businesses that already have webinar materials
Features: Integration with other video and marketing platforms (e.g., Zoom, HubSpot, Thinkific, Mailer, Keap); custom domain add-on; webinar pages available in 20 languages to engage various audiences; no registration replays; recurring streaming schedules; and shareable dashboards.
Price: $99 for Level 1 (one active webinar per month), $199 for Level 2 (2–5 active webinars per month), $299 for Level 3 (6–15 active webinars per month).
More information about the features and plans, as well as how-tos, are available on the eWebinar website.
GoTo Webinar is an option for users with experience in webinar production and marketing but who need a strong tech base to drive views and create a better experience. This platform particularly stands out for its analytic features, making it a perfect match for marketers retargeting their ad campaigns, resegmenting their audiences, and expanding to other markets.
Best for: Attendee source tracking, integration with other marketing tools
Features: Online and local saving of the webinars, video editor, no-resharing and no-download option, up to 30 channel pages for your online hub, attendance certificate drafting option, automatic transcripts for recorded webinars, virtual events (multi-day training or conferences), Webinar Now (“on the fly” launch of webinars), dashboard with information about attendee engagement, integration with other tools (e.g., Slack, Microsoft, Marketo, Zendesk, Gmail, HubSpot, Miro, Salesforce, and Docebo).
Price: $49/month for Lite, $99/month for Standard, $199/month for Pro, $399/month for Enterprise.
Learn more about GoTo Webinar software, features, and plans on their pricing page.
These are just a handful of the webinar tools you can find online. So the main question remains…
Which webinar software is best for you?
The best software to power your webinar strategy is the one that:
We recommend you take advantage of free trials to test different tools so you can see which software best matches your marketing goals and compare the experience different tools provide for your audience. This way, you’ll invest in a solution that helps you drive more views, provides more value for your attendees, and creates a positive, long-lasting impression of your brand.