Webinars are one of the most widespread marketing tools today used in virtually (no pun intended) every niche. They are an easy way to deliver important lessons to your audience and earn their trust to work with you or buy from you in the future. With the wide array of webinar tools available online, it’s never been easier to set up and promote your own event.
In this article, we’ll introduce some of the best webinar platforms coaches use, why they’re so popular, and how much they cost. We hope that by the end of this guide, you’ll be ready to get started on your next event and send out your first invitations.
What Is a Webinar?
Webinars have practically become their own standalone genre in the online marketing space. Whether you had to adapt to the new normal and transfer your in-person seminars online or you picked up webinars as a new client-acquisition tool, it’s one of the best ways to earn the trust of your audience.
A webinar typically runs for 30-60 minutes and revolves around a key topic related to your field of expertise. For example, if you’re a relationship coach, you can organize a webinar about conflict resolution for couples or an introduction to attachment styles. The more specific your subject is and the closer it is to your profile the more likely your attendees will be interested in working with you.
Some webinars are prerecorded and can be accessed right after registration. Others run live and so they provide an opportunity for attendees to interact with you in the form of submitting comments or asking questions live. You can also combine both approaches and make your live webinar interactive, then later share the recording of it with other registered participants who couldn’t attend.
Webinars are one of the most effective conversion tools coaches can use to give value to their prospects and then introduce their packages. You can give special discounts to your attendees or share a limited-time offer with them via email as a follow-up to your event.
[ Read: Five No-Spend (or Low-Spend) Ways to Get Coaching Clients, Fast ]
How to Choose Webinar Software
There are different types of webinar apps to choose from and each has its own advantages. Some video meeting platforms offer plans with a high number of attendees and great moderation features. There are online event platforms that offer free or very affordable plans for shorter events or fewer participants which can perfectly work for a webinar. Additionally, there are apps dedicated specifically to setting up webinars and they offer monthly or yearly subscription plans.
When you compare payment plans, look out for the features included and think about what you might need long-term, not just for a single webinar. Consider the time limit for your events and plan with buffer time, just in case they run over. Think about how many attendees you want to let in for your event and how you want to interact with them. Most webinar platforms include a chat box but perhaps, you also want to run polls, control who can speak from the audience, record your calls, or use live emojis and other fun engagement tools.
9 of the Best Webinar Platforms
Facebook Live is a free option for streaming webinars live but as with many other tools, choosing the free option comes with a “price.”
You can stream live for up to 8 hours on Facebook with no limit on how many people can watch and comment on your live video. However, since it’s a social media platform, there will be plenty of distraction for your attendees which normally results in less commitment and a shorter attention span.
Since there’s no registration required, you won’t be able to collect the email addresses of your attendees to follow up with them later and unless you run your webinar in a closed group, you might also have to deal with trolling or spam comments.
Similar to Facebook, YouTube allows you to stream your video live for free (once your channel is verified) and later posts the recording of the webinar on your channel. There is no limit to how many people can attend but there is also no way to moderate spam comments or collect contact details from your leads.
YouTube will also feature other videos and ads all over your content which are very distracting for the viewer. Since ads are tailored according to the user’s interests, there’s a great chance they will be about your competitors, which can make you lose your new potential clients to them.
Zoom is more popularly known as a video meeting platform but they offer plenty of options for webinars of all sizes as well. You can use Zoom for free with up to 100 participants on your call if it doesn’t run longer than 40 minutes. This option is ideal for short 30-minute webinars for a limited number of attendees.
[ Read: 6 Virtual Meeting Platforms to Use for Your Coaching Sessions (and Our Top Pick) ]
If you’re aiming for something bigger, you can also consider their paid plan dedicated to webinars. It starts from $642 a year for 500 attendees and includes unlimited webinar sessions for up to 30 hours (which is more than you’ll ever need).
You can add custom branding to your calls and live stream them on third-party platforms such as Facebook or YouTube to reach more people. You can also monetize your webinars with paid registration and export the list of contacts who signed up for your webinar.
Demio is the most recommended webinar platform by marketers. It has an extremely simple interface that’s easy to use both for you as a host and your attendees. You just need to give them a link and they can join with a single click without downloading an app.
You can set up both live webinars and automated, on-demand webinars with Demio for your marketing funnels and campaigns. Even if you’re a total beginner in online marketing, Demio will do most of the work for you by sending out automated email reminders to your registered guests before the event and sharing the webinar recording with them afterward. You can also showcase pop-ups and other call-to-action widgets during your webinar to effortlessly promote your services.
Demio starts at $49 a month with 50 attendees and they offer 30% off on their annual subscription.
GoToWebinar is one of the oldest webinar platforms on the market that has been keeping up with its competitors over the years. Their Lite plan costs $49 a month and lets you organize free webinars with up to 250 attendees. You can run polls and Q&As during your events and send out automated emails to the people who register.
If you want to host more participants, record your webinars, monetize your events, or add your own brand elements to your page, you can opt for one of their premium plans. They also have a 7-day trial so you can test their features first before you decide which subscription works the best for you.
WebinarJam is another easy-to-use webinar hosting platform where you can set up your next event in as little as 60 seconds. Their HD broadcasting works on all devices and you can easily moderate comments or temporarily turn an attendee into a presenter. You can also stream your webinar live on YouTube or Facebook and include pop-up offers during your presentation to increase conversion.
WebinarJam lets you schedule Replay Rooms for your attendees who couldn’t make it. These prerecorded events feel just the same for your second batch of viewers with comments and call-to-actions rolling in at the exact moment as on the original webinar.
Livestorm is an advanced online event hosting platform for people who want to set up webinars regularly and monetize them. You can take it for a test run for free with up to 30 active contacts (i.e. people who attended a live session) and webinars running for up to 20 minutes. Their paid plans start from $99 per month and can be scaled gradually as you grow your attendee count.
Livestorm gives you access to email templates and delivery tracking as well as customizable registration pages. You can share a presentation side by side with your camera, launch polls, answer questions, display emojis, and share files to make your webinars more interactive. Livestorm also comes with an integrated dashboard where you can track registrations, attendance, and participant engagement. Your insights can be integrated with Salesforce and Hubspot CRM among many other marketing tools.
Mighty Networks is an all-in-one community building and membership tool that lets you regularly stream live webinars for your members. It starts from $39 a month which gives you 5 hours of streaming per month with up to 50 viewers, and you can add more hours or attendees as you go.
This platform is ideal for coaches who want to start their own paid membership program and share valuable content with their members regularly. With their business plan ($119 per month) you can even add courses to your membership.
Hopin is actually an online event platform where you can host entire conferences running for several days but they also have a free plan that’s ideal for webinars. With their basic plan, you can host short events that last up to two hours with 100 participants or less. You can make your webinar free or collect ticket fees, in which case Hopin takes 15% of your payments.
Though you can’t record your webinars with a free plan, you’ll have access to a number of advanced features that can’t be found on other webinar platforms such as networking or closed captions. If you want to organize a virtual conference, they have plenty of features to support you with that in their premium plans that we’ve written about in the following guide.
[ Read: How to Choose a Virtual Conference Platform + the 4 Best Options for Coaches ]