[Updated for 2021] Over the course of the past year, we have seen a number of new webinar software providers pop up - some better than others. Coupled with those already on the market, it can be a bit confusing to decide which one will be best for your own webinar program.
Don't worry, we're here to help with that.
If you're looking for the best webinar platform for an upcoming event, stop typing variations of "best webinar platforms" into Google and follow these four easy steps instead:
Determine the type of webinar platform and software you need
Test the webinar platforms yourself
Following these four steps will help you find a webinar platform that is optimized for exactly what you need, which will save you time, money, and a whole lot of stress when you actually start running webinars.
1. Confirm your webinar goals
The first thing you need to do is to determine what your webinar goals are and prioritize them. Once prioritized, link each goal to webinar platform features that will help (or hinder) your ability to achieve that goal.
For example, if you run webinars for lead generation purposes your goals may look something like this:
Regardless of why you're running your webinar - whether it's for lead generation purposes, to establish thought leadership, or you're offering sales demonstrations via webinars - these four questions will help you eliminate webinar platforms and software packages that are not optimized for your use case:
How many webinars will you run each year?
How many attendees do you expect per webinar?
What is your monthly/annual budget for webinars?
How many user licenses do you need?
Most webinar providers tier their software packages based on these four criteria, so having the answers to these four questions will allow you to quickly scan through options and find the one that's right for you.
Have 15 minutes? Learn everything you need to know about choosing a webinar provider from one of our webinar experts at WorkCast.
3. Determine the type of webinar platform and software package that you need
When searching for a webinar provider, there are three types of platforms you can choose from:
Free webinar platforms - webinar tools that are commonly built on top of a providers' existing video chat or conferencing software. These often have limitations and require downloads or plugins to create your webinar experience...but they're free!
Standard webinar platforms - allow you to create professional quality webinars and provide standard features including basic integrations, event analytics, branding options. The biggest limitation with standard webinar platforms is audience size, so depending on how many attendees you expect per webinar (refer back to step 2) this may or may not impact you.
Martech webinar platforms - built specifically with marketers and event professionals in mind, martech webinar platforms are designed to deliver high-quality, professional webinar experiences that can be scaled. These platforms offer the highest level of data security, video streaming speeds, and an extensive list of features and functionalities your webinars will benefit from.
Simple Webinar Comparison
Webinar Platform Type
Webinar Quality & Reliability
Features & Functionality
Integrations & APIs
Free Webinar Tools
Standard Webinar Platforms
Martech Webinar Platforms
Once you know which type of webinar platform aligns with your webinar goals...and budget, you can start comparing providers and webinar software packages to find one that best suits your needs.
4. Test the platforms yourself
The last step you need to take to find the best webinar platform for you, is to take the platforms for a test drive. Most webinar providers require you to commit to a one-year contract, so its important you understand exactly what you're signing up for.
Once you have narrowed down your options to a few possible webinar packages or providers, request a live product demonstration from their sales team to get a guided tour of how to use their platform.
After your demo, if you're still considering using their webinar software, request a free trial. Free trials are the best way to test out what their customer experience is like using their technology, so don't be afraid to ask for one.
The webinar platform that you choose will impact every single event you run this year, so look for one that has features and functionality that will empower your strategy and help you achieve your webinar goals.