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14 Best Webinar Software for Creators, Coaches and Marketers [2024]

A Beginner‘s Guide to Choosing the Best Webinar Software

Hosting webinars can be a great way for beginners to build an audience, demonstrate expertise, generate leads, and drive growth. However, the process can seem daunting without the right tools. This comprehensive guide will help you understand webinars and choose the best webinar software as a beginner.

What is a Webinar?

A webinar is an online seminar, workshop, or presentation that allows you to interact with a large audience in real-time using video, audio, slide decks, and other collaboration tools.

Webinars help you:

  • Share ideas and educate at scale
  • Generate leads by showcasing your product/service
  • Train employees/students
  • Host online events without geographical barriers

The technology behind webinars uses a combination of web conferencing software, streaming tools, and purpose-built platforms to facilitate two-way communication between the host and attendees.

Key Features to Look for as a Beginner

As a first-time user, focus on software that simplifies the webinar process without compromising quality.

Easy-to-use Interface

Look for an intuitive dashboard to schedule, customize and manage your webinars without a steep learning curve. Prebuilt templates, workflow automation, quality onboarding and robust help docs are a plus.

Integrations

Choose software with deep integrations with marketing, sales and email tools you already use, like MailChimp, HubSpot, Intercom etc. This helps capture lead data and drive follow-ups seamlessly.

Presentation Tools

Software like zoom allow screen sharing to present slides, while dedicated webinar platforms offer built-in presentation capabilities from right inside the browser. Virtual whiteboard, annotation tools are also useful.

Engagement Analytics

Tools to track registrations and attendance, understand audience interest levels via polls and Q&A, follow up surveys help optimize engagement.

Lead Capture and Management

Collect attendee information via customizable registration forms, track questions asked during the webinar, automatically tag and route leads to CRM and email systems for followups.

Free Tier

Many paid software offer free tiers with limited features. Useful to experiment for absolute beginners before upgrading plans. For smaller needs, these may suffice.

Tips for First-Time Webinar Hosts

Follow these tips to successfully host your first webinar:

1. Plan thoroughly – Identify your audience, goals, tech requirements, promotional plan in advance. Outline the topics, flow, transitions required to keep attendees engaged.

2. Keep it short – First webinars should be 45 mins or less. Attention spans are shorter online. Allow time for interactivity.

3. Rehearse and test tech – Do a trial run on the software to avoid last minute glitches. Check internet speeds if live streaming.

4. Promote extensively – Use social media, emailers, retargeting to drive registrations. Send reminder emails to confirm attendance.

5. Engage don’t lecture – Don’t simply present. Make it conversational with Q&As and polls. Audience interaction results in higher satisfaction.

6. Follow up – Send recordings, resources, feedback surveys after. Review analytics to identify areas of improvement.

Choosing the Right Software

Here are the top webinar platforms compared across key parameters to help beginners choose the right solution. The software are grouped based on the primary use case they cater to.

For Marketing Webinars Driving Lead Generation

Software Key Features Pricing Ease of Use
WebinarJam Host up to 5000 attendees, live streaming, lead capture forms $41/month basic plan Simple interface and workflows
EverWebinar Automated, pre-recorded webinars, customize pages $199/month starter Templatized approach, little learning curve
Demio Browser based, lead generation widgets, integrated payment processing $34/month starter Very simple, great for beginners

These tools optimize for marketing objectives allowing extensive customization, lead capture and integration with marketing automation platforms. Most offer free trials.

For Sales & Client Engagement

Software Key Features Pricing Ease of Use
Zoom Meetings HD video, hybrid events, lead tracking Free for 40 min sessions Extremely easy for both hosts and attendees
GoToWebinar Up to 5000 attendees, polling, survey builder $144/year Starter Simple interface, very intuitive
Livestorm Lead capture, strict data privacy, excellent support $20 per host/month Fairly easy onboarding, great templates

These platforms focus on engaging audience in an interactive session, with easy registration, attendance tracking and lead capture features while also scoring high on user experience.

For Conducting Training Programs

Software Key Features Pricing Ease of Use
BigMarker Polls, Q&As, up to 50K viewers, 18 languages Free version available Extremely easy to use even without training
Adobe Connect Course creation tools, virtual classrooms, assessments $50/month standalone pricing Steep learning curve, focused on enterprises
Kajabi Specialized for creators, coaching tools, membership site capabilities $119/month basic plan Very easy drag and drop builder

These platforms have features tailored to hosting interactive training sessions like virtual classrooms, student engagement analytics, assessments and even membership capabilities.

Sample Pricing and Cost Analysis

For marketers on a shoestring budget trying out webinars for lead gen, Demio offers an unbeatable free plan with full features albeit capped at 50 registrants per webinar.

Mid-sized small businesses can opt for WebinarJam $41/month basic plan accommodating 100 attendees.

As needs grow bigger in terms of number of attendees and sessions, pricier tools like Enterprise $380/month plan on WebinarJam or GoToWebinar $144/year pack better value especially with unlimited sessions and deep integration capabilities.

Those conducting training at scale are better off with specialized software like Kajabi despite relatively higher pricing owing to specific strengths around community building, content protection and advanced coaching tools.

For occasional needs with less complex requirements, even free versions of tools like Zoom, Vimeo may suffice.

Key Takeaways and Next Steps

The webinar software landscape offers solutions for varied needs and budgets. Assess your goals, audience size, frequency of sessions and preferred integrations before deciding on the right option. Maximizing built-in capabilities on lead management and engagement analytics should be the priority.

Hopefully this guide gives beginners a solid foundation to understand the webinar landscape and shortcuts the software evaluation process via easy side-by-side comparisons and actionable tips.

While selecting the software is a huge step, planning and promoting your first webinar for maximum impact warrants its own deep dive. Do check out our detailed guide on “Webinar marketing best practices” as the next step on your journey.

Here’s wishing you stellar success with webinars driving your customer and company growth!

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