Webinars are all the rage these days. And, there are various reasons why they are tremendously popular. From being a highly interactive and engaging medium of connecting with the audience to the best technique to win a wider, global audience, webinars are critical to business executives and marketers.
A great marketing tool, webinars, allow you to deliver tremendous value in the form of information about new launches, tutorials on how to use a product, explainers on new features added to your product, one-to-one customer query resolutions etc. You can say, that in a way, webinars are a new face for the old, outdated seminars.
Just like seminars, webinars allow businesses to communicate with their audience, live and in real-time. However, an added advantage is that seminars can’t be ‘replayed as is’. Webinars, on the other hand, can be recorded, replayed, and accessed from anywhere in the world. Huge leap over the old times, right?
Within webinars, cloud-based webinar hosting solutions are all the more popular. Here’s the reason – With cloud-based webinar solutions, you never have to worry about on-demand webinars. Your cloud-based hosting platform stores every webinar that you’ve created in the cloud and allows you to retrieve any webinar, at any time, just in a click. This means you don’t have to upload, download, compose, or compress big files over and over again. The process is extremely easy and quick. Undoubtedly, cloud-based webinar solutions add to the smartness of webinar technology.
Now that we have discussed the importance of both webinars and cloud-based solutions let us move on to detailing on nine of the best webinar hosting platforms available at service for your online team.
Webinar Solution 1: Demio
Demio is a relatively new tool in the market. That said, it is no less popular than options that have been there for long. It is being appreciated and loved so much that many are comparing it with market leaders, such as Go-To-Meetings, Webex, and Jetwebinar. The best feature or the stand-out capability of this tool is that it is straightforward to install as well as integrate. This is why most marketers have this webinar solution on their ‘favorites’ list.
Talking about integrations, take note that Demio has full API with Zapier, which is something that makes it extremely simple to integrate Demio with a wide range of applications. Seamless integration with Infusionsoft, Ontraport, ActiveCampaign, Drip, MailChimp, Aweber, ConvertKit, and MarketHero, earn Demio some more goodie points.
Demio has some very interesting capabilities that can be used to win more audience, and keep them engaged at every stage. Say, for example, the tool allows webinar audience to become presenters as well, as and when a webinar is going on. The host of the webinar can give a particular audience member access to webcam and microphone, and ask him/her to present and speak with other members.
Another interesting feature that makes Demio a star at engagement is called @Mentions and gestures. Using @mentions and gestures, the webinar host can interact in a fun way with all those who are posting comments, questions, and reviews on live chat. For example, you as a presenter could @mention the name of the person in reply to the question that he or she has asked you. You could then like their comment or query, etc. This is a simple, yet amazing way to keep connected.
With interactive polls and stats, you can collect insights on customer satisfaction, webinar effectiveness, and other such metrics. Later, you can use these poll results as social proof of your webinar’s success, to display on your website. When you give your audience the real picture, they trust you more!
A very basic, however, a core advantage that Demio users get is ease of usage. If you are an audience member, who has to attend a Demio webinar, you will not need to download or install any bulky software. You can join the webinar just in a click. All that you have to do is right click in the browser, or on mobile on iOS, and join in.
Apart from the above mentioned, Demio has numerous other features such as live HD streaming, webcam and screen sharing, automatic reminder notifications, private and public chat, etc. To go through the entire range of features that Demio offers, you can read this exclusive review on this webinar hosting solution, here.
No review is complete without talking about the pricing. Demio offers four pricing plans, billable either monthly or annually. They offer a huge discount to their annual subscribers, which is 30% of the annual price for that plan. Also, every plan has a 14-day free trial. So, you can actually try out one or all options before signing up. The ‘Starter’ plan is priced at $34/mo, which sounds like a fair deal for everything that you are getting. For a full review on this product read this post.
Webinar Tool 2: Jetwebinar
JetWebinar is not just a webinar hosting solution. Rather, it is an entire marketing automation suite. This is one reason why if a marketer is looking for a webinar solution, he would instead use Jetwebinar and shift all his marketing automation work on a single platform. Moreover, the kind of ease that Jetwebinar promises is unmatched to other marketing automation and webinar tools in the market. Some of the best capabilities that Jetwebinar offers are discussed as follows:
Using personalized email feature, for example, you as a webinar provider can notify/remind your audience know about an upcoming webinar. You can also use personalized email to follow-up with your audience on the webinar experience, and ask them for their feedback. There is a lot that you can do using this feature if you have the ‘vision’ and ‘goal’ set right. For example, you can send personalized emails to those who dropped out on you or couldn’t attend for some reason, and ask them their reason for missing it out. Another winning capability of Jetwebinar is ‘affiliate marketing’. This feature allows you to get new registrations from affiliates. Use the affiliate dashboard to create individual promoter accounts, and keep track of all registrations from individual promoters. You can also gauge which promoters are successfully creating more audience and value for your webinars. Jetwebinar helps you to track and measure contributions from affiliates by allowing you to add three custom fields to identify affiliate data points and information.
Now, in any webinar solution, video lag time is a crucial factor that decides whether the audience will stay or skip. Jetwebinar promises lag time less than 1 second. And, the kind of quality of webinars that is streamed in that less a time frame, is quite a visual delight.
Other than the above-mentioned features, Jetwebinar offers capabilities such as webinar automation (needless to say), custom templates, and selling tools. With selling tools, you can direct your webinar audience to a ‘downloadable’ asset. For example, you can direct them to pages that offer ebook downloads, or to special sale pages.
Talking about Jetwebinar’s pricing, you have three plans to pick from – Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The Silver Plan is priced $63 per month, Gold Plan is priced $157 per month, and their Platinum plan is priced $379 per month. The pricing varies as the number of invitees increases. Also, there is a free trial on all the plans. If you are willing to read more about Jetwebinar, go through this exclusive review.
Webinar Tool 3: Webinarjam
Webinarjam differentiates itself by saying that it is ‘truly’ collaborative. To explain this in detail, with WebinarJam, you move beyond showing thumbnails of all presenters. Rather, at a time, six presenters can use the same screen to present. Highlighting one presenter at a time is what makes WebinarJam a powerful webinar presentation platform.
Also, their active chat feature makes WebinarJam an extremely interactive platform. With this feature, you can make public announcements related to your business and/or product, get on a one-on-one chat with your audience, and even answer as well as ask questions.
Similarly, with ‘attendee spotlight’ you can make an audience member a part of the presentation in a live webinar. Your invited attendee will be able to speak, share screen, as well as broadcast their webcam. For a while, he gets to feel like the presenter, and win attention as well as audience interest.
One of the most appreciated features in WebinarJam is its JamCast Broadcast engine. With this capability, you can stream your webinar directly to all your attendees, no matter where on social media they are. For example, YouTube Live, or any other popular social media channel. The experience that WebinarJam offers on all virtual platforms is identical. Doesn’t it feel great to be right where your target audience is hanging out?
What’s more? With WebinarJam’s ExpressJam, you get to go live in less in 30 seconds. You get a super fast broadcasting experience, in which you can use customizable Smart Preferences to create/edit content as per your requirement.
I love the fact that WebinarJam has been created to be a universally compatible webinar hosting solution. Be it browsers, OS, and/or devices – WebinarJam works! And, how fun it is to use. While presenting, or giving a demo, you can highlight writing annotations on the shared screen. You could draw fun caricatures as well, to make your ideas and concepts more lively.
Though the product is absolutely great, their website is messy. They could have done a better job at presenting all the really cool content that they’ve put up on their site.
Webinar Tool 4: WebinarNinja
WebinarNinja creates the image of a professional webinar hosting platform that allows you to create beautiful webinars in no time. That is why it is one of the most widely used platforms in the B2B arena. Their preset custom templates can be used to create ‘expert’ looking webinar slides and presentation that make an impact.
With WebinarNinja, you can run any type of webinar that you prefer – Live, automated, series, or hybrid. Select your preference after signing-in, and start creating your webinar. Built-in marketing toolkit that WebinarNinja provides, helps you to search and create an audience for your webinar. Using these marketing tools you can efficiently market, optimize, as well as promote your webinars.
Because WebinarNinja is a cloud-based webinar hosting solution, there is no downloading involved while installing WebinarNinja.
Every webinar that you host on WebinarNinja, gets automatically recorded and saved in your account. You can replay this whenever you want, and everything will play as recorded from the original live webinar. You can save as many webinar recordings as you like.
WebinarNinja’s pricing is quite tempting for marketers who are looking for affordable options. The webinar hosting solution has four plans to pick from – Starter, Pro, Plus, and Power. The most popular plan is the Pro plan, which is priced at $79/mo. It is a smart option to select if you are a rapidly growing team that heavily relies on webinars for marketing. In this webinar, you get to have 300 Live Webinar Attendees, which is a good number for medium and slightly big businesses.
Webinar Tool 5: Easywebinar
If you are looking for a webinar hosting solution that seamlessly combines with your overall marketing strategy, Easywebinar might be the answer. As a marketing tool, Easywebinar allows you to do a lot more than just hosting webinars.
You can do all important marketing activities using Easywebinar- lead generation to customer acquisition to onboarding clients. That’s so because it easily integrates with whatever tools you are already using for your marketing activities.
Using Easywebinar, you can host both live and automated webinars. You can stream live events, courses, interviews, hold virtual meetings, conduct online summits and conferences, and do so much more online with this tool.
The tool promises capabilities such as no-delay streaming, high-quality pictures and videos, real-time chat, multiple presenters for the webinar, recording ability, making event attendee a presenter, HD screen sharing, and high-quality sound.
Easywebinar has explained its set of features as simply as the tool itself is named. This validates how much they believe in simplicity and ease of things. They have analytics for marketers to check webinar performance and optimize gaps. They also offer a feature that they call ‘Repurpose your webinars’. Using this feature, a webinar presenter can convert any live webinar into an automated one. They can choose from more than nine given scheduling options. And, as soon as your live webinar is complete, it will get converted into a recorded, scheduled, automated webinar.
There are other interesting features in Easywebinar, such as, poll your audience, email notifications and reminders, registration page customization, etc.
You can sign-up for these interesting features and capabilities in EasyWebinar’s three plans. Their Standard Plan costs $59/mo, and gets you 100 live attendees. The Pro plan is priced at $90/mo, and the Enterprise plan is priced at $349/mo. All the plans are also available at annual billing.
Webinar Tool 6: Clickmeeting
Clickmeeting belongs to the likes of Easywebinar, WebinarJam, and WebNinja, all of which promise and deliver the ease of streaming webinars. They price their plans based on the number of attendees, and you have three options available – MyWebinarsTM, MyWebinarTM Pro, and Enterprise.
Minimum Attendees you get in their basic plan is 25 and maximum is 100. At the minimum attendee size, Clickmeeting is available at $25 per month. You can check their pricing in detail here.
Getting to the features, they have a number of superb capabilities that you must try out at least to see how smart the tool is. Sign-up for their trial and check out the webinar timeline, and webinar rebranding. With webinar timeline, Clickmeeting allows the invitees to view past as well as upcoming webinars on a beautiful timeline! With webinar rebranding, you can communicate your brand’s image to your audience, by displaying your logo on all your slides.
Clickmeeting’s ‘registration page’ option also allows you to create beautiful registration pages, which allow you to collect relevant information about people who will be attending your webinar.
Paid-webinar feature in Clickmeeting allows you to sell others the access to your webinar, and monetize! Another smart value-add that you get in Clickmeeting is Facebook and Youtube Live streaming, which allows you to be where your audience is. Then there is ‘Simultaneous Chat Translation’ for audience across the globe. So, language no longer remains a barrier. Screen-sharing, polls, private chat, and audio mode are a few other features that this tool offers.
Adding to the feature list are capabilities such as on-demand webinars, webinar recording and storage, social media sharing, and performance rating. All these features make Clickmeeting the superstar of webinar hosting platforms.
Webinar Tool 7: Everwebinar
EverWebinar is truly a cloud-based webinar hosting solution. It automates your webinar and stores them on the cloud, for you to retrieve and replay them later, in no time. Using EverWebinar, you make your webinars accessible at any time, on-demand.
You do not need any re-installations, downloading, or heavy work. All you need to do is replay the webinar. However, people have to re-register to watch that webinar. So, in a way, it is a live experience for new attendees. Automated webinars are a great option for those who host webinars frequently, or use webinars as a major mode of winning new audience and leads. Bloggers, SaaS companies, eCommerce players, Educators, and B2B businesses, all can make good use of an automated webinar hosting service provider.
EverWebinar offers a range of features, such as automated live chat, customized scheduling, combined live and automated ( you can join a recorded webinar for a live chat session), email reminders and notifications about upcoming webinars, product offers on redirect to downloadables, etc. To make things simpler, EverWebinar integrates almost every tool that a marketer would be using. A great tool that is simple to use!
Webinar Tool 8: ZoomWebinar
Rather than calling themselves a webinar hosting solution, Zoom cleverly positions itself as a video communications tool. Gartner rates Zoom a 4.69 out of 5 on customer rating. It is then, undoubtedly, the most popular amongst users. What makes it so? Well, it is simple, straightforward, fuss-free, and offers a consistent experience. The point on consistent experience is really, really important.
Using some of the features and capabilities that Zoom offers, you can:
- Click the record button and leave the rest of the work to Zoom’s auto-generated, searchable transcripts
- Play videos without having to upload the content
- Present like a professional, and look like one too, using Touch Up My Appearance!
- Host intelligent mobile webinars, and provide a great experience to the mobile audience. There are features such as ‘Safe Driving Mode or Apple Carplay’ that take the whole experience a notch above the rest.
- Chat with your audience using Zoom Chat. You can create public or private chat groups, share files, as well as plan meetings with these groups.
- Engage in a fun manner with your audience with features like polls, virtual hand-raise for q&a sessions, and attention indicator.
Zoom offers four pricing plans for you to select from – Basic, Pro, Business, and Enterprise. Their Basic plan is Free. Yes, you heard that right. The Pro plan is for small teams and is nominally priced at $14.99/mo/host. This plan gets you, 100 attendees. You get the Business Plan if you require ten hosts using this plan, minimum. It is priced at $19.99 per host/per month. You can check all the details on all of their plans here.
Along with these plans, you can opt for ‘Add-ons’, and/or for ‘Additional Cloud-Recording Storage’. I think it is a great thing that Zoom has done by offering these extras for an affordable price. As a cloud-based webinar hosting solution user, additional storage space is always on my mind. Next time I need to switch my webinar hosting tool, I’ll take this one pretty seriously.
Webinar Tool 9: GotoWebinar
We’ve all heard of this one sometime or the other. Most of us have also used it. Many still use it. GotoWebinar has been around for quite a while now, and has become the ‘Gmail’ of ‘Webinar hosting service solutions’. It is so familiar that it is the go-to solution for almost everyone who wants to host a webinar. Over 2.7 million webinars get hosted on this platform every year!
Standing tall in its periphery, GotoWebinar, also called GotoMeetings, has a wide range of features to plan, create, promote, win conversions from, and analyze webinar campaign performance.
With GotoWebinar, you can sign-in in seconds and create your presentation easily. There is an automatic scheduling option available, which you can select options from to set the time and date of your webinar. It could be a one-time live session, on-demand, or series. You save on all the time while creating your subsequent webinars as you can use webinar templates, which you’ve previously used in some other webinar as well. All you need to do is edit the content or background.
To communicate your brand’s image to your target audience, you can add your brand’s logo, colours, etc. to your webinar material. It is recommended that you use the channel page for on-demand webinars because these channel pages make the whole process a lot easier and quicker.
An engagement dashboard helps the presenter keep a check on audience engagement and interest levels. It shows how many people have raised their hands for questions, and how many are alert during the webinar. Such features really add to the usefulness of the tool.
You can record and replay your webinar in GotoWebinar. The reporting is also on-spot in this webinar automation tool. You have attendee reports, event analytics, and source tracking, to keep a tab on all the information that you need for performance measurement.
GotoWebinar offers three plans – Starter, Pro, and Plus. Their most popular plan is the ‘Pro’ option, which is priced at USD 199/mo. Each plan is available on a monthly and annual basis. They also have an Enterprise plan, the details for which are made available on a one-to-one call with them. This plan is for those who need a webinar audience beyond 1000 attendees. All in all, it is a slightly costly option as compared to a few other tools.
To Wrap Up
A variety of good options are available to every marketer looking forward to adding webinars to his or her marketing strategy. You can pick as per your budget and needs. However, the benefit of opting for cloud-based platforms is clear – you save time, money, and effort. Make your choice and share with us your experience of using a cloud-based webinar hosting tool.