10 Best Webinar Software Platforms of 2018

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Webinar marketing is a vital strategy for B2B businesses and a lot of consumer brands are also turning to it for their own B2C marketing efforts. Webinars give you the chance to build a more personal relationship with your audience, delve deeper into the topics that concern them and build your brand as a place people can come to for important info.

We’re not here to talk about what makes a great webinar here today, though. Instead, we’re going to run through some of the best webinar marketing platforms available right now to get your own webinar strategy up and running.

We’ll be running through the features, pros and cons of each platform, plus a brief explanation on what purpose each platform is best suited to – everything you need to choose the best webinar platform for your needs.

#1: EverWebinar

The first platform we’re looking at is EverWebinar, a powerful webinar automation tool that aims to help you build email marketing lists with a purpose. With EverWebinar, you can schedule and automate your webinar footage to play at set intervals and the software aims to recreate the live experience for users.

The goal is to increase engagement and attendance by telling users the next webinar is about to begin, even if you choose to replay it a dozen times per day.

We use EverWebinar to automate our webinars for Leadformly and we’ve seen great results so far. As you can see below, when we started using webinars (using Everwebinar’s sister company WebinarJam) our attendee show up rate was around 39%. Since moving to EverWebinar and testing the scheduling of our webinars we’ve increased this to 75-80%.

EverWebinar features:

  • Automate webinars: Schedule webinar to replay at set times throughout the day – eg: every hour.
  • Just-In-Time Webinars: Tells users there’s a webinar just about to start, encouraging them to sign up on the spot.
  • Block night-time viewing: Stops playing your webinar through the night to keep the illusion of live webinars realistic.
  • Block dates: Stop your webinar from playing on any desired date or holiday.
  • Time zone auto-detection: Automatically sets your webinar plays to different time zones so you only have to schedule things once.
  • Free training: In-depth resources on creating webinars and using EverWebinar.
  • Integration: EverWebinar is designed to build email leads and integrates with email ActiveCampaign, GetResponse, MailChimp and other email marketing platforms.
  • Analytics: Insights on the performance of your webinar strategy.

Just-In-Time Webinars is a great feature that really gives people the nudge to sign up and attend your next screening.

Who is EverWebinar for?

EverWebinar is the platform for you if you want to automate screenings of your prerecorded webinars and turn them into a highly effective lead generation strategy. This is a truly unique platform.

#2: WebinarJam

WebinarJam is developed by the same team as EverWebinar but the focus is on screening live webinars this time. WebinarJam is more like a traditional webinar platform designed for live events so there’s no automation or scheduling with this tool. However, it syncs perfectly with EverWebinar to provide a platform combination that caters to all of your webinar needs – more capable and cheaper than most of the competition.

WebinarJam features:

  • Streaming: Stream to Facebook Live, YouTube Live or WebinarJam’s private JamCast broadcaster.
  • Recording: Automatically record every webinar for use with EverWebinar.
  • Branded pages: Customise your pages for brand consistency.
  • Interaction: Engage viewers with live chat, polls and a virtual whiteboard.
  • Presentations: Insert pre-recorded video into your webinars for presentation purposes.
  • Security: Webinar rooms protected by password.
  • Analytics: Reporting on your live webinar performance.

Aside from the live streaming itself, the auto-record feature is an absolute winner with WebinarJam. This means every webinar you hold provides evergreen material for your webinar strategy that you can replay with EverWebinar.

Who is WebinarJam for?

Marketers who want to stream webinars live and record them for use with EverWebinar.

#3: GoToWebinar

GoToWebinar is a popular alternative to WebinarJam that allows you to stream live webinars and send recordings to attendees once it’s finished. It’s a solid platform but it comes with fewer features than WebinarJam and you don’t get any of the automation or scheduling features of EverWebinar. The main frustration with GoToWebinar is the restrictions you get on its packages. For example, on the Starter plan, you’re limited to 100 participants per webinar and prices drastically increase if you want to increase your limits.

GoToWebinar features:

  • Live webinars: Host live webinars and share recordings with participants later on.
  • Custom landing page forms: To encourage people to sign up for your webinars.
  • Email notifications: To remind people about your webinar event.
  • Engage: You can use live chat, polls and send files to audience members during your webinar.
  • Analytics: Reporting and analytics on our webinar performance.

As a platform, GoToWebinar is easy to use and a solid all-round tool for webinar marketing. It was a genuine contender for us until we discovered the WebinarJam/EverWebinar combination.

Who is GoToWebinar for?

Marketers with smaller audiences who only need live webinar hosting.

#4: WebEx

WebEx is more than a webinar platform, combing a wider range of features for holding online meetings, events, training sessions, interactive presentations and team collaboration. This sets it apart from the tools we’ve looked at so far, although the pricing is very similar. So you get a lot of features for your money compared to GoToWebinar and a completely different set of features to EverWebinar.

WebEx features:

  • Webinars and video conferencing: So you can host a wide range of live events, meetings and training sessions.
  • Chat and brainstorming tools: Interactive whiteboard and other tools for collaboration.
  •  File sharing: The ability to share files and apps for a better workflow.
  • Call back: Automated calls inviting people to attend your webinar.

What you don’t get with WebEx is a dedicated webinar marketing tool. This is primarily a video conferencing suite that also caters for webinars and other live events. It’s far more than a webinar tool but perhaps not the best webinar marketing tool.

Who is WebEx for?

Businesses that want a single, powerful video communication system without the marketing features.

#5: GetResponse

GetResponse is an email marketing platform by trade but it also comes with decent webinar features on most of its plans. So if you’re after a single platform that provides email marketing, webinar marketing and basic automation, this could be a good choice for you.

Get Response webinar features:

  • Quick scheduling: Select your dates, times and create custom URLs for your webinars in moments.
  • YouTube integration: Boost your audience with YouTube integration.
  • Recordings: Record your webinars, download and share with whoever you want.
  • Engagement: Engage viewers with dynamic presentations, interactive whiteboard, videos and live chat.
  • Security: SSL-encrypted URLs and you can choose whether your webinar is open to everyone or password-protected.
  • Analytics: Reports and analytics on your webinar attendance rates and other metrics.

GetResponse offers up some impressive webinar features – particularly for a platform that’s primarily an email and marketing automation tool. It’s not up there with some of the specialist webinar marketing tools but it was never designed to. Either way, it’s a good option if you’re after a general purpose marketing automation tools with some decent webinar features.

Who GetResponse for?

Marketers who want email, marketing automation and webinar features from a single platform, but don’t demand industry-leading tools.

#6: Demio

Demio brings us back to the serious webinar platforms and this is the first real contender that competes with WebinarJam and EverWebinar. First of all, you can automate webinar replays with Demio, which the platform calls “Like Live Replays”. You also get the multimedia and interactive features, plus a range of customisation options for your registration page and thank you messages.

It’s a really slick platform, too. In fact, I would say it’s the most pleasing tool on this list. it’s just a shame it lacks that crucial Just-In-Time webinar feature that sets EverWebinar apart.

Demio features:

  • “Stay registered” series: Allow people to signup once for an ongoing series of webinars.
  • Private chat: Users have the option to send private messages to event coordinators or public messaging visible to everyone.
  • Branded registration page: To keep things consistent with your brand.
  • Like Live Replays: Automate replays of your webinars to build email lists.
  • Analytics: Insights into your webinar performance.

I’m a big fan of Demio and any marketer who takes webinars seriously will be too. It does some things better than EverWebinar, other things not so much. It also offers some features you won’t find elsewhere but falls short on some of the webinar automation features that make EverWebinar so appealing.

Who is Demio for?

Marketers who want a dedicated webinar tool with automated replays but put more emphasis on the live events.

#7: ClickMeeting

ClickMeeting is another dedicated webinar tool and it pretty much offers all the features you would expect at this stage. The only major thing lacking is the automated relay feature, once again – but you can record webinars and download them for sharing.

ClickMeeting features:

  • Subaccounts: Assign webinar duties to different individuals in your team.
  • Customisation: Customised invitations, branded webinars and “waiting rooms”.
  • Recordings: Record your webinars, download and share with whoever you want.
  • Engagement: Engage viewers with dynamic presentations, interactive whiteboard, videos and live chat.
  • Analytics: Reports and analytics on your webinar attendance rates and other metrics.

ClickMeeting gives the best webinar tools a run for their money, offering some unique features you won’t get elsewhere. How useful they’ll be to you really depends on what you’re looking for but I wouldn’t say any of these additional features are essential. That’s for you to decide, though.

Who is ClickMeeting for?

Serious webinar marketers should definitely take a look at this one.

#8: Livestream

Livestream is by no means webinar platform but rather a system designed to create studio-like live streaming. The idea is to use multiple cameras, professional audio equipment and lighting for high-end productions, including corporate webinars. So Livestream doesn’t come with any of the webinar marketing features we’ve focused on so far in this article. Instead, it provides a platform for streaming live productions of the highest quality and how you use that is up to you.

Livestream features:

  • High-end production: Livestream a professional production suite for film crews and production exports.
  • Advanced editing: Including autofades, graphics overlays, pictures within pictures and green screen.
  • Social media integration: Reach your audience across Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch and Twitter.
  • Engage audiences: With a moderated chat feed.
  • Analytics: Insights into viewership and other key metrics from your Livestream productions.

Once again, this isn’t a webinar platform and you don’t get any of the marketing features we’ve looked at so far. But you do get a level live event production software that none of the other options in this list come close to.

Who is Livestream for?

Brands that produce professional grade live video content for streaming across online platforms – webinars optionally included.

#9: Webinars OnAir

Webinars OnAir positions itself as a tool that provides “all the webinar features you need” from a platform of this kind. It’s a bold claim for sure, but it’s backed up by a lot of the key features we’ve been looking for in this selection of tools – plus a few unique ones to brag about.

Webinars OnAir features:

  • Tracking pixels: A new feature that sets you up for remarketing via AdWords.
  • Automated webinars: So you can replay your webinar footage as evergreen content.
  • Monetisation options: Prompt viewers to convert with popup-style product offers.
  • Engagement: Polls, surveys and chat functions to engage with your audience.

All in all, Webinars OnAir offers up an impressive list of features against any of the other tools in this list. Yet it still manages to lack a few vital marketing features and never really feels like a professional grade platform.

Who is Webinars OnAir for?

Brands who need to do webinar marketing on a budget.

#10: Zoom

Zoom is a general purpose video conferencing tool that caters for business meetings, collaboration and dedicated webinar solutions. There’s no webinar automation available with Zoom but you get a reliable system for an incredibly modest price tag if all you need is live webinar hosting. Low prices come at a cost, though, and there’s very little in the way of webinar marketing features with Zoom.

Zoom features:

  • Interactive: Up to 100 interactive video participants for webinars with large panels of speakers.
  • Integration: Broadcast your webinars to Facebook Live and YouTube.
  • Controls: Mute/unmute speakers for full control over participants.
  • Interactive: Polls, Q&As and live chat for engaging viewers.
  • Closed captioning: Provide text captions for hard-of-hearing audiences or people using devices on mute.

As a video conferencing platform, Zoom is a feature-rich platform that’ll meet the needs of most corporate businesses. As a webinar tool it caters well to live broadcasts, especially if you have a large panel of speakers waiting for their turn to speak.

Who is Zoom for?

Businesses that need an all-in-one video conferencing tool that includes live webinar broadcasting.

Which is the right webinar tool for you?

There are some great webinar platforms on this list and a few outside bets that cater to more specialist needs. For us, the EverWebinar and WebinarJam combination came out on top as we were looking for a webinar marketing platform specifically. Few platforms can match this combo in terms of marketing features and Just-In-Time Webinars – a feature unique to EverWebinar – sealed the deal for us.

The right webinar platform for you, depends on your specific needs, of course. However, I can fully recommend taking a closer look at the options we’ve covered today by trying out a few free trials.

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