In this guide, you'll learn what a webinar is, the best webinar platforms, and how to host a webinar to increase brand awareness, build a database, and increase Sales.

The Best Webinar Platforms

There has never been a better time to learn how to host a webinar. In this guide, you'll learn what a webinar is, the best webinar platforms, and how to host a webinar to increase brand awareness, build a database, and increase Sales.

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Lori Ballen is a member of the Amazon Associates Program and earns money from qualifying purchases. Posts contain affiliate links that benefit Lori as well.

No matter what industry you’re in, hosting a webinar is important for building your brand, database, and Sales. But with so many platforms out there, which one do you choose? If you don’t know where to start, this guide will walk you through all of the best webinar platform options.

Features to Look for in a Webinar Platform

There is no one size fits all webinar platform. Once you know the basic features that you need, you can expand your research by looking into the more advanced features.

Reporting and Analytics: Your webinar platform should have some type of reporting and analytics that you can access. You’ll want to see who’s joining your webinar, what browser they’re using, the operating system they’re on, etc.

Integration: For those of you that will be covering different topics in your webinars, it’s helpful if the attendees only need one login for all of the events you host. To get this functionality, look for a webinar platform with integration across all of its features. For example, if someone RSVPs from your email list, they should automatically be registered for each of your future webinars.

Mobile Accessibility: With so many people on their smartphones nowadays, it’s important that your platform is accessible via mobile. This way, your attendees can join your webinars on their phones if they don’t have access to a desktop.

Social Sharing: If you’re hosting industry webinars that other people might find valuable, then it’s important that the webinar platform has social sharing features. You want your audience to be able to easily share information about your events with their network.

Integration with Other Tools: Look for a webinar platform that works well with other tools you use like Salesforce, Marketo, etc. The last thing you want is for someone who joins one of your live webinars or replays to double-register in another system without joining yours first (and vice versa).

Pricing Structure: The last thing you need is for your webinar platform to go out of business. For that reason, look at their pricing structure and make sure that they have a balanced offering between subscription-based payment options and one-time purchases.

Video Quality: This is an obvious one, but you’d be surprised by how many people don’t even consider it when picking a webinar platform. If your video quality isn’t good enough then no one will want to be on your webinars.

Polls: This is a great feature to have because it gives you valuable insight into what your audience thinks and how they’re engaging with the event.

Q & A: For those of you who are hosting webinars to generate Sales leads, make sure that your webinar platform has a feature like Q&A. This way, at the end of each session, you can ask attendees what they’re looking for and even give them an opportunity to ask questions about your products.

Attendee Limits: While starting off with a free or low-cost webinar platform, that has limited attendees is OK, you might be surprised at the costs to upgrade when you grow quickly. Be sure to compare prices for platforms based on webinar attendees.

Seamless Registration: If anyone has ever tried to register for an event and got stuck at some point along the way, you know how frustrating it can be. Make sure that whoever you select doesn’t require too many steps or complicated information from your attendees in order to register them.

Automated Emails: This is a great feature that most people forget about when looking into webinar platforms. Make sure that your platform provides automated emails to attendees the day before, the morning of, and after your event. Your goal should be to make it easy for everyone to attend by providing all necessary details in one place (like RSVP’ing).

Payment Gateways: If you are planning on charging for your webinars, you’ll want to choose a platform that offers that feature. The webinar platform should have a variety of payment gateways that can be used to take advantage of any discounts or promotions offered by different processors. Otherwise, your attendees might not be able to pay the full price if they wanted to attend.

Video Recording Capabilities: Depending on who you are targeting with your webinars, you might want to record them for potential future segments or even repurpose them into other mediums like blog posts or podcasts (beyond just marketing purposes).

Automatic Replay Delivery: If you want to be able to re-share the replay on social media beyond your initial webinar, then this is a critical feature. Make sure that it can automatically go out and allow others to share and distribute it.

Cloud-hosted: This type of webinar is hosted in the cloud so it doesn’t require any software downloads for attendees or presenters. It’s great for both online marketers who are looking for ways to increase their reach and build their list with webinars, as well as product marketers who are looking to give demos of their products.

Live Event Management: If you’re planning on hosting your own live events (either in-person or virtual), then make sure that your platform offers event management capabilities like session creation, attendee management, etc.

Streaming Platforms Provided: Depending on the type of webinar host you are, this might not matter to you at all. However, if you plan on using a streaming platform for your videos after the fact instead of just uploading them directly through your website, then this can be another deciding factor. Since most people have either YouTube or Vimeo accounts these days, it’s very

Custom Branding: If you’re using your webinar platform for marketing purposes, then you might want to choose one that provides custom branding options. It’s important to let your attendees know who you are and that they can trust the content coming from you.

Transcripts: It might be necessary to provide transcripts for your webinars if the content is super-valuable and your audience wants to take notes with it. Consider including this as part of your marketing plan and what you’ll need from your platform to make that happen.

File-Sharing: If you’re looking to build a list and capture emails for future follow-up, then this can be a great feature. What’s even better is if the files are downloadable for those who have already registered/paid so they don’t have to pay again. This also provides proof of attendance after the event as well as takeaways from it, which will help increase your credibility with potential customers.

Evergreen Features: If you’re planning to host your webinars frequently, then look for a platform that offers features to re-use them. For example, evergreen webinar courses are great to package up and offer as part of another series (on the same topic) to maximize conversions.

Certificates: All webinar platforms should ensure that certificates are easily accessible to attendees who are looking to prove their attendance. If you want to avoid any issues with your customers, make sure this feature is included.

Co-marketing Opportunities: This is another way for marketers and businesses to help each other grow leads by offering incentives or prizes for those reaching certain signup goals. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship and can be a great way to attract new audiences as well as reengage old ones through an additional incentive.

Screen Sharing Abilities: Screen sharing is a must for those who need to walk through presentations, demos, or products. Make sure this feature is available as it’s a key part of webinars and something that many people will look for before they join your session.

Distribution: If you’re hosting a webinar with the intention of getting more traffic to your website or increasing conversions, then make sure that there are distribution options available.

Dial-in number: Many platforms have dial-in numbers that can be automatically displayed on your registration page. If you’re just starting out and want to provide this as an option, then make sure it’s available with your platform.

Powerpoint Presentation Support: If you’re looking to use your webinar as a way of demoing something like a product, then make sure the platform offers PowerPoint support. Alternatively, if you want to deliver some type of content that’s more formal and learning-based, then this is an invaluable tool that can help enhance your webinars and keep more people on track with that information.

Chat Function: This is a great way to get more of an interactive experience with your attendees and can help increase engagement. Also, this not only provides additional value but it’s another way to build relationships and follow up after the webinar.

SSL: If you’re worried about your security, then make sure that SSL is included with your platform. This will provide the highest level of encryption and ensure that you’re protecting yourself as well as your attendees.

Webinar Platforms

GoToWebinar

GoToWebinar is one of the most popular platforms online for hosting live events; it’s used by over 2 million businesses (including Fortune 500 companies) to broadcast presentations day in and day out. It’s easy to use, offers plenty of features like live chat and polls, screen sharing capabilities with recording options, and has flexible pricing packages.

One of the reasons people say they love GoToWebinar is that it’s simple and easy to use. With just a few clicks, you can start a webinar with no hassle.

The interface is incredibly user-friendly and makes designing your presentation quick and painless. It also offers loads of widgets that allow for added interactivity (like live chat).

You can add polls to your webinars in order to get feedback from your audience or clients or add screen sharing capabilities with recording options so people joining the event later see the PowerPoint slides in case they missed them when they appeared on the presenter’s screen.

GoToWebinar is highly customizable and allows event managers to set up multiple attendee lists based on roles (ie: IT department). Plus, custom registration landing pages allow you to drive traffic from your website directly to the sign-up form for a webinar you’re hosting.

GoToWebinar is best for businesses that want to host a webinar on a regular basis, have an audience with job titles like “IT Department,” and need to host multiple events at the same time.

Pricing: GoToWebinar has four plans ranging from around $50 per month to $500 per month.

WebEx

Cisco WebEx is primarily used by B2B marketers because it helps them conduct online meetings that are reliable, high-definition, and secure.

With live HD video conferencing tools like screen sharing, presentations, and file support, people attending the webinar can listen in on the conversation or watch what’s happening on the presenter’s computer.

The service also offers in-meeting chat functionality which allows for collaboration within each meeting group. Plus, there is always a toll-free number across all of its events in case an attendee doesn’t have access to a computer.

WebEx has tons of features that help event managers get more leads from webinars they host. They can send email invites with custom registration landing pages, share a calendar with customers to sync future events, and they can even host their webinars on a variety of devices.

They also offer a robust platform for hosting the event (including time zone options), reporting tools (ie: certificates of attendance, analytics reports), collaboration features like chat rooms during the webinar to build rapport, live polls, and surveys.

WebEx is popular for its HD quality video conferencing, email marketing campaigns, and reports.

WebEx has 5 plans ranging from a free plan to a customized plan without a specific price (because it’s custom).

Zoom

Zoom is a video and audio conferencing platform that’s easy to use, scalable and flexible. It offers high-definition audio and video web conferencing tools.

With Zoom, you can host live events with screen sharing capabilities, presentations, files shared during the meeting, customizable dial-in phone numbers globally, conference calls via PSTN phone lines in over 40 + countries, or virtual numbers located in 19 different countries. Plus it has an awesome interface so event managers can get more leads from webinars they host.

Zoom is popular among webinar hosts for its reliability, ease of use, and seamless conference calls. You can connect with attendees before or during an event directly via email or phone. Zoom has great features for reporting to see engagement metrics like who’s attending the webinar during which time period (and if their video quality was high enough).

Zoom is best for businesses that want to host multiple events per week on a regular basis, people who need their webinars in HD audio and video quality, and companies that care about the level of connection they have with each attendee.

Pricing: Zoom Pricing is not as straightforward. You can expect to pay between $79 and $99 per month, but there are many add-ons and plan varieties.

Adobe Connect Webinars

Adobe Connect is meant for businesses that are looking to host events regularly. It offers advanced analytics, conferencing tools like high-definition audio and video quality, screen sharing capability, PowerPoint presentations support, files shared during the meeting feature, customizable dial-in phone numbers globally, or virtual numbers located in 20 + different countries.

Plus Adobe Connect has an attractive interface so event managers can get more leads from their webinars.

Adobe Connect is popular among marketers who want a reliable platform that allows them to conduct multiple events simultaneously plus offers great features for reporting to see engagement metrics like who’s attending the webinar during which time period (and if their video quality was high enough).

Adobe Connect Webinars are best for businesses that want to host multiple events per week on a regular basis, people who need their webinars in HD audio and video quality, and companies that care about the level of connection they have with each attendee.

Pricing: Adobe Connect Webinars start at $130 per month.

Webinar Jam Studio

Webinar Jam Studio is a webinar platform that’s easy to use and has powerful features like screen sharing, customizable audio options, file sharing (integrates with G Suite), and it offers high-definition audio and video quality.

The platform has an attractive interface so event managers can get more leads from their webinars. Plus there are multiple ways to promote events including with the built-in social media integrations, create customized invoices for your registrants, and offer coupons to incentivize registrants.

Webinar Jam Studio is popular among webinar hosts because it’s easy to use, has powerful features, doesn’t require dial-in numbers or passcodes for attendees, can host multiple events simultaneously for different brands/businesses, and offers great reporting so event managers can see engagement metrics like who’s attending the webinar during which time period (and if their video quality was high enough).

Webinar Jam Studio is best for marketers who want an easy-to-use platform that allows them to conduct multiple events per week on a regular basis plus offers great features for reporting so they can track engagement metrics like who’s attending the webinar during which time period (and if their video quality was high enough).

Pricing: The general pricing structure is annual from about $499 per year (average of nearly $42 per month) to $999 per year.

BlueJeans

BlueJeans is a webinar platform that’s compatible with Zoom, Adobe Connect Pro, and WebEx because it has video conferencing tools for events like high-definition audio and video quality.

You can host up to 500 attendees per event depending on your plan, customize the dial-in phone numbers globally or virtual numbers located in 20 + different countries, screen share during presentations so your audience can see what you’re doing on your computer, record the webinar so lesson plans are available after the meeting ends (if needed), share PowerPoint slides with features for annotations for more interactive sessions, customizable branding options are available including free customized URLs, have multiple scheduling availability calendars to avoid conflicts when scheduling events, and offer coupons/discounts if leveraging paid promotion.

BlueJeans is popular among marketers who want compatibility with the best webinar platforms, don’t need to host multiple events simultaneously, can conduct multiple events per week on a regular basis, and want their webinars to be recorded.

BlueJeans is best for marketers who want an easy-to-use platform that’s compatible with other great tools like Adobe Connect Pro and Zoom.

Pricing: Around $89 to $499 depending on attendees seats.

BigMarker

BigMarker is a webinar platform that’s easy to use and has an intuitive interface. You can host up to 1000 attendees depending on your plan.

BigMarker is popular among marketers who want customization for their brand (the company logo can be embedded on the screen during the webinar), don’t need to host multiple events simultaneously, want their webinars to be recorded, and want features like live playback or video recording.

Big Marker is best for marketers who want customization for their brand (the company logo can be embedded on the screen during the webinar), don’t need to host multiple events simultaneously, want their webinars to be recorded, and want features like live playback or video recording.

Pricing: You can expect to pay between $99 and $399 per month with discounts for annual plans.

ClickMeeting

ClickMeeting is a webinar platform that’s compatible with all leading conferencing tools, offers high-quality audio/video, provides automatic recording that can be embedded on your company website or used for promotional purposes.

You can host up to 10,000 attendees per event (at the enterprise level), customize the dial-in phone numbers globally or virtual numbers located in 20 different countries, screen share during presentations so your audience can see what you’re doing on your computer (features like annotations and pointers are available), record the webinar so lesson plans are available after the meeting ends (if needed), share PowerPoint slides with features for annotations for more interactive sessions, customizable branding options are available including free customized URLs, have multiple scheduling availability calendars to avoid conflicts when scheduling events, and offer coupons/discounts if leveraging paid promotion.

ClickMeeting is popular among marketers who want compatibility with the best webinar platforms, don’t need to host multiple events simultaneously, can conduct multiple events per week on a regular basis, want their webinars to be recorded, and have high-quality audio/video capabilities.

ClickMeeting is best for marketers who want compatibility with the best webinar platforms, don’t need to host multiple events simultaneously, can conduct multiple events per week on a regular basis, want their webinars to be recorded (offers automatic recording), and have high-quality audio/video capabilities.

Pricing: There are multiple plans ranging from free to custom pricing (not displayed).

GetResponse Live

GetResponse Live is a webinar platform that’s compatible with GetResponse, Bisk Education, Eventbrite, and more.

You can host up to 1000 attendees per event depending on your plan, customize the dial-in phone numbers globally or virtual numbers located in 20 different countries, share presentations during the webinar (features like annotations and pointers are available), record the webinar so lesson plans are available after the meeting ends (if needed), schedule meetings from within your email campaigns from GetResponse so it’s easier for you to schedule them without having to juggle multiple tools to manage your events.

Get Response Live is popular among marketers who want compatibility with an existing email marketing tool they’re already using, don’t need to host multiple events simultaneously, can schedule events via email campaign want, their webinars to be recorded (offers automatic recording), and want features like live playback or video recording.

Get Response Live is best for marketers who already use GetResponse as their email marketing tool, don’t need to host multiple events simultaneously, can schedule events via email campaigns, want their webinars to be recorded (offers automatic recording), and want features like live playback or video recording.

Pricing: Webinar plans start at $49 and increase from there.

WebinarNinja  

WebinarNinja is a webinar platform that’s compatible with GoToWebinar and allows you to live stream/record your events, create polls during the event for audience participation, record videos of attendees’ screens (useful for presentations) and annotations (you can draw on any screen), allow participants to ask questions anonymously or make comments visible to everyone in real-time, conduct unlimited online meetings per year, offer phone dial-in numbers from over 40 countries to expand your event reach, and integrate with Google Calendar.

You can host an unlimited number of attendees per event; each attendee receives a unique link to join the event that they can share via email or social media; offer free signup forms via email or social media to increase signups; offer coupons/discounts if leveraging paid promotion; have multiple scheduling availability calendars to avoid conflicts when scheduling events.

Webinar Ninja is popular among marketers who want advanced audience engagement tools during presentations, share PowerPoint slides with features for annotations for more interactive sessions, customize branding options are available including free custom URLs and unique dial-in numbers, need great customer service and tech support, and don’t mind the additional cost of this platform.

WebinarNinja is best for marketers who want advanced audience engagement tools during presentations, share PowerPoint slides with features for annotations for more interactive sessions, customize branding options are available including free custom URLs and unique dial-in numbers, need great customer service and tech support, and don’t mind the additional cost of this platform.

Pricing: Multiple Plans ranging from around $39 to $199

Demio

Demio is a webinar platform that’s compatible with WebinarJam and Joomla, features real-time audience polling, integrate with Google Analytics to track where your traffic comes from and identify your top conversion sources, customize the appearance of your countdown timers with 10 different styles to choose from, ask unlimited questions during the event (useful for Q&A sessions), add registration forms via email or social media so you can collect leads throughout the event, host unlimited online events per year, and share presentations during the webinar.

You can manage multiple speakers in one event; receive live attendee chat transcripts after each event for all attendees; provide customized URLs/passwords to avoid password sharing; record of attendees’ screens (with features for annotations); record your presentation or the entire event; schedule events in advance; automatically notify attendees of schedule changes; create custom countdown timers with 10 different styles to choose from.

Demio is popular among marketers who want advanced analytics tracking, real-time audience polling for engagement, customize the appearance of their countdown timers, need more than one speaker during webinars, and aren’t concerned with cost since this webinar platform is free to use.

Demio is perfect for marketers who want advanced analytics tracking, real-time audience polling for engagement, customize the appearance of their countdown timers, need more than one speaker during webinars, and aren’t concerned with cost.

Pricing: Around $34 to “Let’s Talk”.

LiveStorm

LiveStorm is a webinar platform that’s compatible with GoToWebinar and provides unlimited attendee access, customizable URLs to remove the “?webinar” text for more professional branding, track unique sources of traffic from social media referrals, smart reminders will email/SMS attendees days before the event, record your presentation or the entire event, enable true Q&A sessions by allowing attendees to pose questions anonymously or publicly so anyone can chime in during Q&A sessions, offer free signup forms via email or social media to increase registration rates, have multiple scheduling availability calendars to avoid conflicts when scheduling events.

You can share PowerPoint presentations quickly and easily; provide customized URLs/passwords to avoid password sharing; host unlimited online events per year; live attendee chat transcripts are available after each event for all attendees; schedule events in advance so you’ll never forget a date, and remember to set your phone on silent mode.

The webinar platform is popular among marketers who want advanced record-keeping options after the event, need multiple scheduling availability calendars to avoid conflicts when scheduling events, enable true Q&A sessions by allowing attendees to pose questions anonymously or publicly so anyone can chime in during Q&A sessions, don’t mind having any customization options since this webinar platform is free to use, don’t need mobile support that’s only available with the paid plans.

LiveStorm is perfect for marketers who want advanced record-keeping options after the event, need multiple scheduling availability calendars to avoid conflicts when scheduling events, enable true Q&A sessions by allowing attendees to pose questions anonymously or publicly so anyone can chime in during Q&A sessions, don’t mind having any customization options since this webinar platform is free to use, don’t need mobile support that’s only available with the paid plans.

Pricing: 3 Plans: Free, $109, and Enterprise (not displayed)

EverWebinar

EverWebinar‘s responsive design template is compatible with all devices, enable unlimited live chats/webinars concurrently, SMS reminders are sent 6 hours before the start of each event to increase registrations, record your presentation or the entire webinar, easily share PowerPoint presentations quickly and simply by uploading them to EverWebinar’s servers (a link will be automatically created after you upload), customize multiple URLs for different campaigns (with or without an expiry date), send reminder emails to late registrants days before the event begins; set up email digests for attendees if your registration form doesn’t collect their email addresses.

You can filter to show only opt-in forms that you’ve created on EverWebinar to avoid spamming non-subscribers, schedule events in advance to never forget a date, host unlimited email digests for your attendees if your registration form doesn’t collect their email addresses, and easily view analytics reports within EverWebinar.

EverWebinar is perfect for marketers who want the ability to customize multiple URLs with or without an expiry date, need automatic spam filtering of non-subscribers from opt-in forms on the platform itself since this webinar platform is free to use, don’t mind having any customization options since this webinar platform is free to use, and want advanced analytics tracking options.

LiveWebinar

LiveWebinar’s responsive design template is compatible with all devices, enable true Q&A sessions by allowing attendees to pose questions anonymously or publicly so anyone can chime in during Q&A sessions, easily share PowerPoint presentations quickly and simply by uploading them to LiveWebinar’s servers (a link will be automatically created after you upload), don’t need mobile support because this webinar platform isn’t compatible with mobile devices.

Enable unlimited live chats/webinars concurrently; record your presentation or the entire event for later consumption; schedule events in advance to never forget a date; host multiple scheduling availability calendars to avoid conflicts when scheduling events, and view analytics reports within LiveWebinar.

You can filter to show only opt-in forms that you’ve created on EverWebinar to avoid spamming non-subscribers, send email reminders to late registrants days before the event begins; schedule events in advance to never forget a date, and host multiple scheduling availability calendars to avoid conflicts when scheduling events.

LiveWebinar is perfect for marketers who don’t mind having any customization options since this webinar platform isn’t free and doesn’t need mobile support that’s only available with the paid plans.

Easy Webinar

Easy Webinar’s responsive design template is compatible with all devices, enable true Q&A sessions by allowing attendees to pose questions anonymously or publicly so anyone can chime in during Q&A sessions, easily share PowerPoint presentations quickly and simply by uploading them to Easy Webinar’s servers (a link will be automatically created after you upload), filter to show only opt-in forms that you’ve created on EverWebinar to avoid spamming non-subscribers, host multiple scheduling availability calendars to avoid conflicts when scheduling events, send email reminders to late registrants days before the event begins; schedule events in advance to never forget a date, and view analytics reports within Easy Webinar.

Enable SMS reminders are sent 6 hours before the start of each event , don’t need mobile support because this webinar platform isn’t compatible with mobile devices, and easily view analytics reports within Easy Webinar.

Easy Webinar is perfect for marketers who want the ability to customize multiple URLs without expiry dates and want advanced analytics tracking options since this webinar platform is free.

Lori Ballen is an entrepreneur who makes money online through blogging, video, social media, and other content marketing strategies. She's a 6-figure affiliate marketer and coaches others on how to make money online. SEO, Search Engine Optimized Content is her specialty. Lori is the creator of Ballen Academy and owns a real estate business in Las Vegas, NV.

Lori Ballen

I teach bloggers how to grow their blog, and make money through multiple streams of income. From affiliate marketing, to building courses, I share 7 income stream strategies through blogging.

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