THE BEST 15 ONLINE WEBINAR SOFTWARE FOR 2024
Find below the best 15 webinar software and online conferencing platforms for 2024. Some are free to use with premium options depending on the number of webinar participants.
Brought to you by Mau, Global Head of Marketing Strategy at eDigital.
WHAT IS A WEBINAR?
A webinar is an online seminar where a presenter or a group of presenters discuss a specific topic. Audiences generally need to register and are able to participate either during the webinar or at the end of the webinar. Webinars are generally used for different objectives including training, promotion of a specific service or general discussion of a specific topic.
Webinars (or webcasts) rank among the most engaging and immersive forms of marketing.
You’ve probably attended a webinar or two (or more), but are you using them effectively as part of your marketing or content plan?
Webinars may cover anything and they may take many different formats, such as one person giving a demo or a panel of experts discussing a topic.
Webinars typically include some sort of “question-and-answer” period that invites attendees’ participation. They are a great way to bring together people from around the world who are interested in a particular topic and give you an evergreen content resource.
THE TOP MARKETING BENEFITS OF USING ONLINE WEBINARS
Webinars not only engage people but also generate high-quality leads from all over the world.
By diving deep into a subject and giving attendees the chance to ask questions, webinars take the prospect and potential customers into the next stage of the buying funnel. In addition, webinars are cost-effective, typically with minimal hosting costs and primarily the cost of your time.
Webinars also build your content library, giving you an extensive amount of pre-recorded content you can continue to leverage long after a webinar is over. By showing your expertise in a topic, webinars help build thought leadership, particularly if you involve outside experts in the content. They can also help build your reputation and partnerships among people in your industry.
Some other benefits include:
- They represent a simple and convenient method for getting quality leads, especially for B2B businesses.
- As webinars are interactive experiences, they are direct communication channels between brands and customers.
- Webinars can also help establish brand trust and authority in your industry or niche.
- According to the B2B Content Marketing 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report, 58 per cent of B2B organizations use webinars, and one out of three respondents named it the most critical tactic for content marketing success.
THE TWO DEPARTMENTS THAT NEED ONLINE WEBINAR PLATFORMS
TYPE 1 – INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS: People might want to use webinars to connect with an existing list of people (whether employees or current clients). You will do best with something like Google Chat, GoToWebinar, Join.me, Meeting Burner, Webex, Zoom, TeamViewer and Skype which do the job.
TYPE 2 – MARKETING: People want to use webinars to market to new contacts. Key features like the below will become important for your business. You will be better served by options like ClickMeeting, Easy Webinar, Webinars on Air, WebinarJam, WebinarIgnite, etc. Some of these use Google Chat technology (which is certainly a vulnerability, given they have no incentive to keep their tech in synch with that of these add-on vendors) but give you the marketing features you need.
- registration page customisation
- thank you page redirect/customisation
- automatic meeting reminders
- automatic meeting recording
- the ability to integrate with autoresponders/mailing lists
- the ability to integrate with sales confirmation pages for sales tracking, etc.
So the main thing, choose your intention, then you can rule out a lot of options and test the final handful.
BEFORE CHOOSING A WEBINAR PLATFORM
Narrow your audience. One could argue that this should take place even before you determine the content of your webinar because the people you’re trying to reach should dictate the way you try to reach them. This is where Linkedin’s tools really start to come in handy, as you can drill down your demographics and create a distinct audience. Learn as much as possible about the company (or companies) you want to target and set up your webinar accordingly. Using Linkedin, you can filter your ideal participants by company size, location, vertical, job function, seniority, and so forth. Professionals are busy and won’t commit time to their schedule unless the value offering truly speaks to them.
Pick your topic and presenters. The most important part is selecting the right topic to cover and presenters to invite. To do that, think about your audience and what they want to learn—and what your goal is for the webinar. Do you want to generate leads immediately or create educational content to build awareness? Based on your goals, your buyer persona and what your ideal customer is interested in learning, choose the topic, format (case study, live panel, demo or other) and speakers, potentially inviting industry experts and influencers to expand your reach. You can even do joint webinars with your partners, it will help strengthen your partnership and increase the reach of each of you.
Pick your date and time. Pay attention to the date and time you choose for the event. Select a time frame that will benefit most of your audience. Mornings are a great time to host webinars, or around noon when it’s lunchtime and the best days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Choosing a webinar format. The term “webinar” is quite broad, and can encompass anything from filmed conversations to narrated slideshows to product demos and beyond. Hands-on instructional sessions are often popular when they address a persistent challenge for your audience. Any of these formats can be suitable for the right purpose. Sync the webinar closely with your overall content strategy and editorial calendar, ensuring that it fits contextually and aligns with coinciding activities.
Invite your attendees and create a compelling landing page. Once you have your topic selected and speakers identified, it’s time to get people to attend! First, create a landing page with a registration form. It is important to double-check the webinar is running smoothly, including your registration form, social media sharing buttons, thank you page and so on. Then start spreading the word! Promote it to your email list, social media followers, online groups, and more. Consider paid advertising if you have the budget. Involving co-hosts or partners in the webinar is a great way to extend your reach by having them promote the webinar to their audience as well.
THE BEST 15 ONLINE WEBINAR SOFTWARE AND PLATFORMS FOR 2024 – LIST
15. WEBINAR JAM
With WebinarJam you can reach up to 5000 people in one online presentation without breaking a sweat (or breaking the bank). You can have up to 6 presenters or present alone or host a roundtable of experts to collaborate and share their insights on-screen. With WebinarJam you can schedule a series of reminder notifications, both via email and phone text, so your registrants never miss your online events. And post-
14. ADOBE CONNECT WEBINARS
Some of its top features include:
- Dynamic multimedia and video
- Add interactivity with smart Q&A, multiple poll types, quick status options, and more
- Add ice breakers, timers, word clouds, and more with custom apps
- Persistent rooms mean you can set up days or weeks ahead of time and re-use content from previous sessions
- An engagement dashboard provides insight into participation and level of interest
- Webinar power tools such as the ‘Presenter Only Area’ and ‘Prepare Mode’ enable you to work behind the scenes with other presenters to produce great results
- Don’t worry about participants closing panels – the host controls all aspects of the experience
- Templates for web pages and emails make it easy to set up and create consistent events
- Customize your registration form to capture information to qualify leads
- Quickly add email options such as invitations, reminders, and follow-ups
- Gain insight into your events with robust analytics and campaign reporting
- Measure engagement and activities to continuously improve delivery
- Qualify leads and download customisable reports
- Customise your room with a background image and content
- Completely control what participants see at all times
- Design your own web and email templates to ensure consistency
Webinar tool for school teachers. Are you looking for a professional solution for teaching remote students online? BigBlueButton provides real-time sharing of audio, video, slides, chat, and screen. Students are engaged through the sharing of emoji icons, polling, and breakout rooms. Some key features:
- Live whiteboard for presenters and groups. When using the whiteboard tool in BigBlueButton, annotations are automatically displayed back to the students in real-time. You can zoom, highlight, draw and write in presentations making your points clearer to remote students.
- Unlimited webcam sharing. There is no limit on the number of webcams you can share in a session (only limited by bandwidth). Here’s an example of a session with 15 shared webcams
Blackboard Collaborate is for schools, private colleges and universities. It is a virtual classroom solution to power your online teaching and web conferencing needs. Give your students more options to stay engaged—with collaborative learning tools for their mobile phones. Key features:
- On-demand learning. Pause, rewind or fast-forward lessons. You’re in charge of your learning experience.
- HD audio and video enable a more engaging learning experience. Display up to five HD videos per conference.
- Browser-based web conferencing means there’s nothing to install offering easy access.
ClickMeeting offers online business meetings & collaboration. Key features:
- Online team collaboration. Speed up your projects and make them more efficient by taking them online. Meet your team members, business partners, customers, and freelancers scattered all over the globe. Get together and collaborate in one video conferencing room. Discuss, show slides and share your screen with others. Free trial for 30 days.
- Online courses. Reach your students and trainees wherever they are. Share your valuable and insightful knowledge and walk your audience through even the most complex topics. Display your educational materials, sketch on the whiteboard and use polls for tests and exams. Teach and train your audience and monetise your expertise.
- Product demos. Deliver information relevant to your target audience. Explain why your product matches your customers’ needs. Showcase how it works step-by-step. Generate more leads with On-Demand and Automated Webinars and follow them up with more advanced and unique content. Make them click your final Call-To-Action button during a live webinar.
- Run a big online event. Save your time, money, and resources and go entirely online with your huge conference. Forget about renting venues and booking flights. Gather dozens of presenters and hundreds or thousands of attendees in one virtual conference room. Get your message across to your leads, customers, students, or employees located all over the world.
- Co-stream live on Facebook or YouTube.
Crowdcast is a live video platform for creators. Whether you’re a business, maker or coach, Crowdcast is the simplest way to connect live. Key features:
- Get started in seconds. Designed to be as quick and painless as possible with easy setup, a single URL, and no required downloads.
- Increase engagement. Interactive Q&A, chat, and polls create real conversation. Connect through HD streaming with no delay, invite attendees on-screen, and broadcast to platforms like Facebook Live and YouTube Live.
- Performance reports. Track performance with advanced analytics, communicate with in-app emails and connect to over 500 of your favourite tools with Zapier.
Demio is one of my favourite webinar software for marketers. Only Demio provides a simple, no-download webinar experience for your audience, as well as all the marketing tools you need to generate better results.
8. GOOGLE CHAT
Powered by Google WorkSpace, Google Chat is one of the world’s best free webinar and video conferencing options. Up to 150 people can participate in a Google Chat, though a video call is limited to 25 participants. The 10 participants who are currently most active in a group will be displayed at the bottom of the screen.
Note: Google put an end to the Google Hangouts Android and iOS apps in July 2022 and the Google Hangouts web app was shut (gone!) on 1st Nov 2022.
GoToMeeting is a click-to-join online meeting software with enterprise-grade security – perfect for “work-wherever” organisations. No downloads are necessary to join in. The GoToMeeting platform is available on iOS and Android. 80+ million annual online meetings. Supposedly, they offer enterprise-grade security. Standard features like password protection and meeting locks ensure meeting hosts can hold secure video conferences. Goto (GoToMeeting’s parent company) bought the former OpenVoice.
Hopin is a London, UK-based virtual experience platform helping marketers create live video experiences for their audiences. Through its platform, attendees can learn, interact, and connect. Features include ticketing, registration, limitless event rooms, an expo hall, chat and networking.
With on24 you can avoid the limitation of single-location in-person events with a virtual conference that scales. Replicate, customise and brand auditoriums, expo halls, networking lounges, product centres, resource libraries and more to reach global audiences.
4. SKYPE FOR BUSINESS
Skype for business is a Microsoft tool to make calls and make conference calls. You can quickly start a group call to work on a subject that requires immediate attention. Add sharing to make it an impromptu meeting that provides all the features of a scheduled meeting, including shared PowerPoint slides, whiteboard collaboration, and desktop sharing.
3. TEAM VIEWER MEETING
TeamViewer Meeting keeps you connected to your contacts and teams through secure videoconferencing and VoIP calls, instant chat, screen sharing, and more across devices and platforms — anywhere you meet.
2. WEBEX by Cisco
1. ZOOM ⭐️ FREE ⭐️
Zoom is one of the World’s most popular online webinar and online conference software. You can start for free up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes each session. Key features:
- Meetings and chat. Online meetings, training & technical support. Join anywhere, on any device. Zoom Meetings syncs with your calendar system and delivers streamlined enterprise-grade video conferencing from desktop and mobile. Robust security settings ensure disruption-free meetings. Encryption, role-based security, passcode protection and waiting rooms.
- Video webinar. Run online events or large meetings. Host online events with up to 100 interactive video participants. Plans range from 100 to 50,000 view-only attendees. Customise and brand your emails and registration forms. Flexible registration management and multiple integration options for your CRM systems.
- Conference rooms. Build collaboration-enabled conference rooms. Up to 100 live video panellists can interact with the audience and use virtual backgrounds. Engage up to 50,000 attendees. Zoom Conference Room Connector lets you join Zoom Meetings directly from existing (SIP or H.323) conference room systems, such as Polycom, Cisco, or Lifesize equipment. Zoom Rooms allows you to easily share multiple desktops simultaneously in the room and provides a variety of simple, wireless sharing options for guests and people on your network. You can also bring interactive whiteboarding into your Zoom Meetings so participants can view and co-annotate on a blank whiteboard or over shared content.
- Quality video and audio. Bring HD video and audio to your meetings with support for up to 1000 video participants and 49 videos on screen.
- Recording and transcripts. Record your meetings locally or to the cloud, with searchable transcripts.
- Built-in collaboration tools. Multiple participants can share their screens simultaneously and co-annotate for a more interactive meeting.
- Streamlined calendaring. Support scheduling or starting meetings from Outlook, Gmail, or iCal.
- Increase engagement. Zoom offers filters, reactions, polls and hand raising.
- Team chat. Chat with groups, searchable history, integrated file sharing, and a 10-year archive. Easily escalate into 1:1 or group calls.
- Full-featured host controls. Mute/unmute panellists and promote an attendee to become a panellist, giving them audio and video capabilities for enhanced engagement.
- On-demand viewing. Expand your impact with on-demand or recurring webinars with recording and auto-generated transcripts
- Social media streaming. Stream your events across social channels with our Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and custom service integrations
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR WEBINAR VENDOR
- Software installation. Do you have to install software or does it live in the cloud? If you have to install it in your web server you gotta make sure you have the server memory to handle it.
- Easy payments. Does the webinar platform allow attendees to easily pay for your webinar via Paypal, Braintree or others?
- Ease of use. Is it easy to use? Can you have a free trial period to check that out?
- Customer support. Do they provide 24/7 customer support?
- Auto-pilot. Does if offer Auto-Pilot capability for a pre-recorded webinar? Replay in a fully interactive mode?
- Auto start. Can you run automated webinars? Can you schedule a webinar to autostart?
- Auto email reminders. Does the webinar platform send automated email reminders at custom dates and hours? so your attendees do not forget to log in?
- Branded skin. Can you add your brand or website look and feel to the webinar front end?
- Custom slides. Can you have thumbnails, annotations, notes, etc., when presenting your webinar?
- Whiteboard facility. Do you have access to a whiteboard when running your webinar?
- Shared web browsing. Can the webinar software allow you to share a live web page with your webinar attendees?
- Online survey. Can you ask multiple questions at once to all your webinar attendees?
- Exit landing page. Can you take users to a specific landing page at the end of your webinar?
- Desktop and video switching. Does the webinar platform allow you to switch between your desktop screen and a playing video or do you need a Switch encoder? A good switch encoder in case you need is Xsplit Broadcaster.
- Online Q&A (Questions and Answers): Does the webinar software allow for easy Q&A at the end of your webinar?
SCHEDULING YOUR WEBINAR
Scheduling is vital.
Although these presentations can often be viewed later, drawing an audience to the live session is far more engaging, and crucial if there will be interactive elements (Q&A, poll questions, etc.).
You’ll want to pick a day and time more likely to be available on the calendar of possible participants. The optimal timeslot for a webinar can vary depending on the audience, we find that Tuesdays to Fridays around midday when people have some free time is a great time.
Mondays tend to be a busy day at most offices.
Normally, people might forget about your webinar. Therefore, you should include “Add to Calendar” links in webinar invites and set up automated email reminders for people who have signed up. A reminder sent 30 minutes ahead of a live webinar will increase participation.
PROMOTING YOUR WEBINAR
Now your focus should be driving attendance. Linkedin can be one of your greatest assets here, especially with B2B webinars tailored to specific professional segments. Below are some key tips when promoting your webinar:
- Plan out some paid LinkedIn posts to ensure the right people are aware of your webinar. Share a post from your company blog that ties to the topic and teases the information you’ll be covering.
- Spread the word in relevant LinkedIn groups (preferably ones where you’re already an active participant).
- Publish a few sponsored company updates in the weeks and days leading up to the webinar to build awareness among your followers. If there’s a featured speaker or presenter, encourage them to post about the event to leverage their network.
- Sponsored InMail is an invaluable tool for sending highly personalised invitations to prioritised attendees.
- With both sponsored content and InMail, you can add lead gen forms – which populate automatically based on a user’s LinkedIn data – to collect information and feed your sales pipeline.
- It’s a good idea to use unique tracking parameters for each disparate webinar promotion tactic, on Linkedin and elsewhere, so you can monitor and see which ones are performing best.
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KEEPING YOUR ATTENDEES ENGAGED
First of all, you need to be aware of the fact that only 1/3 of those who sign up will attend your webinar.
Secondly, it’s not worth hosting a boring webinar that attendees will leave within the first five minutes. Keep your customers and prospects engaged throughout by creatively addressing the topic at hand, delivering new information and strategies and inviting insightful questions from the audience.
You can even insert polls during your presentation, it will make the attendees feel involved, and it will make them relate more to the topic.
Always host a Q&A at the end. Studies have shown that 92% of webinar attendees want a live Q&A session at the end of a webinar. In case your audience is shy, you should prepare a few seed questions before, just to help break the ice.
FOLLOWING UP AFTER THE WEBINAR
Below are some key activities to action and complete once your webinar has ended:
- Ensure that a day or two after the event, we like to send “Thank You” notes to those who attended or “Sorry We Missed You” to those who couldn’t.
- You are also encouraged to ask for feedback.
- Share any supplementary materials or related content. This is a good opportunity to drive next-step action with a direct CTA; recipients will be more receptive if the webinar effectively moves them forward in the funnel.
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TEST AND MEASURE YOUR WEBINAR RESULTS
Test and measure your webinar: from content, targeting, logistics and ad copy/visuals to follow-ups and analyse areas for improvement or optimisation. You will find insights that will help you polish your webinar strategy in the future.
Other top webinar software providers:
- Be server memory ready! Stay away from self-hosted solutions: they will crash your server when you start inviting more than 3-50 attendees. All those free, cheap, one-time payment providers that you install on your server are fine if you invite only a handful of attendees to your webinar sessions, but there’s no way you can truly grow big with them.
- It is not the only way of teaching. Most online webinars or pre-recorded video options are passive, one-way communication that might not be particularly interesting for some of your webinar attendees. This form of teaching (online webinars) requires the least amount of brain stimulation – your participants might fall asleep on you – and relies heavily on graphs, images and auditory learning. Anyone who learns spatially, empathetically, etc., loses out.
A webinar is an effective lead-generation tool for marketers and sales teams.
Marketers can use webinars to attract potential customers by offering valuable content, insights, and expertise.
Attendees typically provide their contact information to register, allowing marketers to follow up and nurture leads.
Some of the best webinar software provides valuable data and analytics, such as registration rates, attendance rates, engagement metrics, and audience feedback. This data can inform future marketing strategies and help you improve your webinar content.
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THE BEST WEBINAR SOFTWARE AND PLATFORMS IN 2024
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