How to Find the Best Webinar Platform for You

Melissa Hugel
07-Jun-2021 10:00:00

[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: 

  1. Confirm your webinar goals 
  2. Understand how you'll use webinars as part of your online events and marketing strategy
  3. Determine the type of webinar platform and software you need
  4. 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: 

Goal Priority  Platform Features Needed
Lead generation High
  • No downloads or plugins required
  • Test their mobile experience
  • Ability to host the webinar on your website
Lead scoring  High
  • Webinar platform integrations and APIs
  • Fully customizable reporting dashboards 
Increase engagement Medium
  • Live and simulive webinar options
  • Q&A, polling, chat, and engagement features
  • Third-party event app integrations (i.e. Sli.do)
Branded experience Medium
  • Fully customizable branded experience
  • No watermarks or provider branding
Easy to use  Low 
  • Training and on-boarding program
  • 24/7 support 
  • User-friendly platform
  • Intuitive audience experience (main priority)
  • 10+ user licenses and unlimited presenters 

 

→ Learn more about setting webinar goals. Watch our free webinar now.

 

2. How will you use your webinar platform? 

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:

  1. How many webinars will you run each year? 
  2. How many attendees do you expect per webinar? 
  3. What is your monthly/annual budget for webinars? 
  4. 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. 

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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: 

  1. 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!  
  2. 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.     
  3. 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 Attendee Experience Webinar Quality & Reliability Features & Functionality Integrations & APIs Platform Costs
Free Webinar Tools Okay Poor Limited Limited Free
Standard Webinar Platforms Good Okay Basic  Basic Low-Medium
Martech Webinar Platforms Excellent Excellent Advanced  Advanced High-Medium

 

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. 

See if WorkCast is right for you with our 14-day free trial.

No credit cards required. Start your trial today and see first-hand how WorkCast can take your webinars to the next level. 

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