A Webinar is one of the most effective marketing and teaching tools available today. To host a Webinar, you can choose from a lot of platforms.
If you are conducting a Webinar for just a few people, you can find solutions that are free and work well. If you run Webinars with more than 100 attendees, you most likely need to pay for a platform. Here’s an overview of free and paid platforms that you can use to host Webinars.
Google Hangouts is a free communication tool developed by Google. The platform includes instant messaging, text messaging, video chat, and voice over IP capabilities.
Using Google Hangouts, you can have group video calls with up to 10 people or conversations with up to 150 people.
One of the disadvantages of the platform is that every person who wants to use it needs a Google account. Also, there is no way to easily track who attends the Webinars. Google Hangouts is not an ideal solution if you are driving paid traffic to your Webinar and want all kinds of statistics about your Webinar attendees.
In March 2017, Google announced that in the future it will split Hangouts into two products: Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat. Hangouts Meet will focus on providing video communication tools, and Hangouts Chat will be used for instant messaging.
Google Hangouts is available as a free version and a part of Google’s business suite of apps for work. For $5 per user per month, you can get business email addresses, 30 GBs of online storage, and security and administrative controls.
Using the controls, you can turn the Hangouts on and off for different users in your organization.
Zoom is a platform that allows you to have training and support meetings, video Webinars, collaboration and conference rooms, and cross-platform file sharing and messaging.
With Zoom, you can have up to 100 attendees at your Webinar for $54.99/month. Zoom has packages that allow you to have up to 10,000 view-only attendees at your Webinars. During a Webinar, you can easily share your screen with just one click, stream your Webinar to Facebook Live and YouTube Live, and incorporate polls and questions.
The Zoom platform also offers registration and post-Webinar reporting and integrates with various CRM and marketing automation systems.
GoToMeeting/GoToWebinar is one of the most popular platforms for hosting Webinars. It is an online meeting, desktop sharing, and video conferencing platform.
It has a free version if you need to collaborate with up to three people anywhere in the world. One of the benefits of GoToWebinar is the opportunity to join a Webinar in Google Chrome with just one click.
If you have more than three users, you can choose between one of the paid versions of the platform. Paid versions come with a 7-day, free trial.
The Starter package costs $109/month and allows you to have up to 100 participants at your Webinars. The Pro package is for up to 500 participants and costs $249/month. The Plus package lets you have up to 2,000 participants at a Webinar and costs $499/month.
All packages include reporting and analytics. You can monitor the attendance of your Webinars, as well as interest and participation. You can also create registration pages with as little or as much information as you want to collect from your attendees. All paid packages also include an opportunity for custom branding and online/offline recording of your Webinars.
WebinarJam is a powerful Webinar solution for marketers. In addition to hosting Webinars, it allows you to stream them to Facebook Live and YouTube Live. With WebinarJam, you can have up to six co-presenters streaming high-definition video.
You can also have live chats, virtual whiteboards, and password-protected Webinar rooms. WebinarJam has tools for moderation and banning users, private messages, and comment highlighting.
The platform also allows you to create and inject pre-recorded segments into your Webinars. The platform automatically records and saves every Webinar. It offers communication tools that you can use to send messages before and after your Webinars. Finally, there is advanced analytics and tracking of attendance, interest, and engagement.
For marketers who sell products and services during Webinars, WebinarJam has an Active Offers feature that lets you create and configure an interactive page that shows on the screens of your attendees, precisely when you want them to take action. For marketers who want to create urgency during their Webinars, there is an urgency display that shows how many units are available.
WebinarJam is universally compatible with Windows and Mac devices. It works with all browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Internet Explorer. The annual package allows you to have up to 500 attendees and costs $479.
All the solutions described allow you to host high-quality Webinars, even if you have zero technical skills. Try different platforms, and choose the one that’s right for you. Which are you going to try first?