Video Transcript below.
You know two years back, if you had invited me to a webinar, I would’ve skipped.
Webinar was a thing that sales teams did for onboarding new clients.
I had an aversion for it. It wasn’t good – I thought.
Fast forward to 2020, webinars are everywhere. I have been invited to webinars everyday.
And I’m completely ok with seeing faces boxed out into little videos, and going through those first five minutes of “hey can u hear me, you’re on mute” kind of drama.
Well, one thing is for sure. Webinars are here to stay. At least up until we’re allowed to have events and conferences.
So I’ve been looking for the best webinar software recently, and tested a bunch of different software.
Oh! Man, I didn’t know that there were so many tools and so many features. I tested every webinar platform out there that, now I know which one is which, just by seeing the interface.
So I thought, why not share all my learning into a video, so that you benefit.
So on that note, here’s what I learned trying to find out the best webinar software out there.
Let’s get started.
For those of you who are new here, my name is Mani Karthik and on this channel and my blog, I share whatever I’ve learned. Everything from personal finance to spirituality and everything in between. I hope the content I share is useful to you.
First off I need to clarify how I define and how you should webinars.
Webinars aren’t just random video calls or meetings.
Think of an offline conference. There’s a speaker on stage and there are listeners. There might be co-speakers or panelists. There might be Q&A sessions from the listeners. Pamphlets or take aways given at the end of session.
Not everybody is on video. Just the speaker is. Or the panelists are.
Rest everyone are listeners.
So now, webinars should take this concept online.
One guy is presenting an idea. Everyone else listens or participates if invited through audio or video. At the end of the session, there might be a Question Answer session.
Simple sa concept hai. But people usually misunderstand.
The biggest misconception is that Zoom meetings are webinars. No, they are not.
In Zoom meetings, or Google Meet meetings, everyone’s participating. Everyone’s on video. Everyone’s talking. It’s a group chat kind of an experience.
Of course, you can make a Zoom call into a webinar like experience, if you mute everyone by default. And only one person does the talking.
But, that’s not just it. There are other features too, that makes a webinar a webinar. Let me tell you.
One, I should be able to invite people to the webinar. Not just with a link, but with a registration form if possible.
So that I know who is attending. How many are attending.
With Zoom meetings, you don’t have any visibility into that.
Also, I need to send confirmation and reminder emails to those who have signed up for the webinar.
So that nobody misses out.
If I’m using Zoom meetings, I don’t know how to do it.
Third, I want to be able to sell tickets for the webinar. Let’s say I have an exclusive webinar on a certain topic, then those who wishes to participate should be able to pay for the tickets.
So, some kind of payment gateway integration is required.
With normal video call meetings, I will have to use some kind of third party integrations.
Fourth, I also want to be able to take questions from attendees during the webinar.
And if there’s a question everybody wants to ask, they should be able to upvote on the popular question. I also want to be able to throw polls during the webinar.
Too much to ask huh? Just a few features no?
I know. See, proper webinars should be run this way.
Of course, you can have band-aid solutions with different tools stitched together, but what’s the fun in that right?
So, now that we have defined what a webinar is, let’s look at which are the best ones out there.
Number one on my list is Zoom Webinars!
I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t I tell you that Zoom meetings aren’t webinars? Then why?
Well, of course Zoom meetings aren’t webinars. But Zoom has a webinar addon.
It will cost you Rs.3,500 per month, but it’s worth the price.
Here’s what it will let you do.
One – You can run an actual webinar. Where one person presents and everybody else listens.
Attendees can ask questions during the event, and others can upvote questions.
The host can ask polls during the event and even ask for feedback.
The highlight of Zoom webinar is that the video and audio quality is amazing!
It’s marketing features however are a bit basic though.
You can have a registration form, where interested participants can sign up well ahead of the event.
You can also setup emails to be sent to them at various set intervals. Like emails reminding of the event and after its over.
Compared to some other webinar software, the marketing features on Zoom are pretty basic, but where it really wins is in video and audio quality plus brand value.
Everybody at this point know what Zoom is and what it does. No other software have that kind of familiarity and popularity with the brand.
The real down side of Zoom however is not any of this. It’s that it’s expensive and that it lacks in marketing features.
A webinar addon will cost you 3,500 Rupees per month for a 100 seater webinar. And you have to have the Pro or paid account of Zoom already. So in total, you’d be shelling around $55 or Rupees 4,800 per month.
So, it’s slightly expensive.
On top of that, it lacks in marketing features. Like the only marketing integration they offer natively is with Pardot – which is a high end marketing automation tool. I don’t know of anyone who uses it other than some enterprise companies.
So essentially you cannot send emails or import the webinar attendees email list to any other marketing tool like MailChimp easily.
You can only use it as a webinar solution and that’s it.
I like that they have a paid webinar solution though. You can integrate your PayPal id with Zoom so that you can set an entry fee for your webinars.
So, is it worth the price, I’d say yes.
If you’re looking for a pure webinar solution, with zero marketing and very good high quality audio and video output, then Zoom is for you.
I have some coupon codes available for Zoom, if you’re planning to purchase Zoom, check with me. I may be able to help you get a discount.
Number two on my list is Demio.
Demio is a webinar software for marketers. Which means, it covers up all the marketing feature shortcomings of a tool like Zoom.
They claim that their video and audio quality are better than Zoom – I couldn’t completely agree to it. Yes it is good but, on prolonged use, the stability is an issue.
But where Demio wins is, in it’s marketing features. They have flexible and good looking registration and landing pages. Something that Zoom doesn’t have.
They have a healthy integration ecosystem going on with many apps that marketers commonly use. When Zoom allows integration with only Pardot, Demio integrates seamlessly with marketing apps.
The result is that you can export all the webinar attendee emails from Zoom to your marketing platform like MailChimp and use it from there.
If you use webinars as a marketing tool, then Demio is an excellent choice.
It’s not as stable as Zoom for video and video, especially when there are too many people attending the webinar, but great for everything else.
Third on my list is Webinar Jam.
The first thing you’ll notice about Webinar Jam is that it looks like a sales tool.
Too many features that are meant to be for sales. But under all that, WebinarJam is a great tool that has evolved over the years.
You’ll see that it is a webinar software that has stood the test of time. It’s got all the features that every other tool boasts of. Q&A, polls, meeting rooms, live chat etc.
It may not have the aesthetics of a modern minimal webinar tool, but it does the job really well.
My personal opinion is that WebinarJam is great for sales nurturing and less marketing.
Like if you have a SaaS product to sell and you want to get those people who are interested to buy your product on a webinar, and sell them the product as fast as you can – webinarjam is perfect in such scenarios.
It has a great waiting room experience, good interactive tools like handouts, polls, QandAs – everything that you need to run a good sales oriented webinar.
What I wish was better on WebinarJam is their price. You have to buy WebinarJam for a full year if you need to try it. Of course, you can refund if you don’t like it but it sounds like a pushy way to sell. I stay away from such tactics.
4. Zoho Meetings
Fourth on my list is Zoho Meeting.
Zoho is a whole suite of tools for businesses. They’ve got everything from emails to video conferencing and what not. Webinars is just one part of the mix.
First things first. What really attracted me to Zoho was the pricing. At some Rs.300 Rupees per month, Zoho sounded like a great option. It was so much cheaper than all other platforms out there.
And so I tried it. It had everything I wanted in a webinar.
Scheduling, email alerts, polls, q and as and all that. I was so excited to try the product but then, when I finally tried it, it was a huge let down.
The video and audio quality on Zoho sucked like anything. I’m not sure if it was my settings but the quality was below average.
I thought I found a great product finally, but on testing, everything just poof! Disappeared.
If you’re looking for a super cheap option, then yes nothing else beats Zoho Meetings, but in terms of quality, it won’t make you happy.
I guess Zoho is not really focusing much on this piece of software as they have this whole suite of different tools. It has everything that leading webinar tools must have, but are they the best? Probably not.
Let’s move on to the next one.
Fifth best webinar app on my list is LiveStorm.
Livestorm is a great piece of software. You’ll notice their attention to detail and quality right from the website.
Just like Zoho, they have two offerings. Meetings and Webinars. We’ll focus on webinars.
So, here’s what happens with a Livestrom webinar. First and foremost, there’s no download required for Livestorm. Everything happens and stays on the web.
You can run three types of webinars with Livestorm. Live webinars, automated and on-demand webinars. Automated and on-demand webinars are nothing but pre-recorded webinars that can be played either on-demand or on auto play.
Like for example, if you have a sales presentation that has the same content to be run with prospects, you can run pre-recorded content through on-demand or automated webinars. But we’re more interested in live webinars.
Livestorm is a liteweight online webinar tool, that lets you do run multi participant webinars with all the bells and whistles you need.
Like live chat, screen sharing, full HD videos, polls and such.
What you’ll love with Livestorm is that their video and audio quality is pretty much exceptional. Of course, you have to use a modern browser like Google Chrome and have a good quality internet connection.
Livestorm has beautiful registration pages that you can customize to your liking. You can send beautiful emails as well. Their whole UI and UX is great – you can easily navigate between things and get to do everything easily.
The only problem with Livestorm is that it is expensive and comes with crazy limits on each plan. For example, they have a free webinar option where there is a 20 minute limit per session and a maximum of ten attendee limit.
Which is understandable – it is a free plan. Zoom doesn’t even offer the free plan for it’s webinar.
But even on the paid plans there are limits. Like their premium plan comes at 89 euros or around 100 dollars.
On this plan, you can have a maximum of four hours per webinar and 100 attendees!
I feel that’s pretty tight considering the price point.
But as a fair argument, livestorm has a bunch of features that makes it a unique offering.
Like customizable and brandable webinar rooms, clickable CTAs, Q and As, Chats, HD video and a host of marketing features.
Also, livestorm has a bunch of integrations right out of the box, with data insights and analytics. Pretty handy if you wanna go all in.
But still, it feels a bit overpriced to me. Just my personal opinion.
So, which is the best webinar out there?
Well, it’s difficult to say. I don’t think there’s one webinar software that is far better than everyone else.
There are ones that are slightly better than the other and that’s that.
But if I were to choose one from everything that’s available out there, that would be Zoom. It’s solid, offers great audio video quality and the standard features that you’d expect from a webinar software.
Of course, if you are looking to host webinars for marketing purposes, Zoom may not be the best option. For those who are looking at webinars as a lead generation and a marketing tool, Demio or Livestorm may be a better option.
If you want a super economic option, then nothing like Zoho.
And if you don’t care about the price, then livestorm is your best choice. It’s got everything from a basic webinar setup to advanced marketing features.
So, I’d recommend you choose a webinar tool based on what you really need and what your objectives are.
Going by what is really popular out there, may not be a wise decision. Find something that works for you and your needs.
Well, that’s about it. The five best webinar software out there. I hope you found this video useful. If yes, hit that like button. If not hit that dislike button so I know. It would motivate me to make better content for you.
If you disagree with anything I mentioned in this video, or have any questions, let me know in the comments below. I’d appreciate it.
This is Mani Karthik signing off. Ciao!