Webinars are by far among the most effective tools to promote a business, its products, or services. They are effective in educating prospects about a brand and its products while giving them a chance to express their interests or concerns. Entrepreneurs also use them when pitching business ideas and models to investors and prospective partners. They are great in seeking leads, converting them into sales, and eventually turning them into loyal return customers. From whatever angle you may look at them, webinars are essential tools for growing and established businesses to incorporate into their marketing strategies.
Needless to mention, webinars have become quite popular these days. Especially in the age of the 2019/20 Covid-19 pandemic where physical meetings are discouraged and most people are spending more time indoors, they are among the best ways to reach a target audience. However, success is not always guaranteed when using webinars as part of your marketing strategy. To get the most out of web seminars, you have to be keen on various things. Among other things, for instance, you would need video shooting/recording equipment, a reliable internet connection, and a computer or internet access device. Most importantly, you will also need a reliable online platform to broadcast your webinar sessions to your target audience.
Well, there are various webinar platforms out there, and the options can be a bit confusing if you don’t know what to look for. Remember, you want to be sure that your sessions will reach as many people as possible in your target audience. You also want something that won’t dent your wallet much or cause inconveniences to you and your audience. For these and many more reasons, choosing a webinar platform is a big decision, one that doesn’t have to be so difficult.
In this piece, we will delve into a few tips you will find helpful when choosing a webinar platform.
1. Use Familiar Software
Before choosing your webinar platform, it’s always wise to choose something familiar with your audience. You don’t want to fail in delivering your ideas just because you chose software that was a hard nut to crack for your audience. Ensure your software is not complex. Your participants should be able to use and understand it easily. Use a friendly application that provides the capability for everyone to chip in.
2. Have a Budget
To spend wisely, you must always be guided by a budget. While sourcing a webinar platform, having a budget beforehand is essential. It ensures you get the kind of software that is suited to your pocket. Without a budget, you can easily be carried away to purchase software with features that you might not even use at the end of the day.
On this note, ensure that your budget goes together with the webinar pricing. Remember, the packages are available at different prices depending on the usability and features offered. In a recent review of webinarJam software, you can clearly see the basic, professional, and enterprise plans differ slightly in price. The differences in features are also indicated, which may include the maximum attendees, maximum webinar duration, the number of presenters, and so forth. Nonetheless, you can always start small, and then improve to advanced packages in the future depending on your usage. Having a budget will help you to narrow it down accordingly while making the choice. You can also opt for a free plan, but most of these are trial versions limited to just a few days.
3. Your Platform Should Accommodate All Participants
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Ensure your choice of webinar platform can accommodate all your attendees or target audience. You don’t want to choose the wrong package that will leave some of your participants hanging on a window. While focusing on your needs and goals, you should have your audience in mind when choosing the platform.
This means choosing a platform that allows the maximum number of attendees to join the webinar without experiencing connectivity issues. Nonetheless, it’s always beneficial to have some empty room so that in case the numbers shoot upwards, you can always accommodate the extra participants. To add to this, it is crucial to study the demographics of your target market carefully before picking a platform. While older individuals will prefer a simple, easy-to-use interface, for instance, the younger generation will be more into a fancy platform that can be accessed easily from mobile devices. Some of the best platforms even allow the user to select the interface that they are most comfortable with.
4. It Should Be Interactive
A meeting without interaction bears little or no fruit. An audience without interaction creates monotony and boredom. Don’t allow your audience to just sit and listen. Your choice of webinar platform should allow you to interact with your audience. Ensure your sessions are interactive, engaging, and creative until the webinar is ended.
Your audience should be able to communicate with you easily using whiteboards or live chats and other means. You should be able to pose questions to your audience, host a poll, or ask them to take short surveys. For you to achieve this, however, you need to choose software that includes the necessary features. You should be able to share your screen with those in attendance. Using an interactive webinar platform will bring life to your sessions, making them more interesting and fun.
5. Accessibility Matters
Are you still dilly-dallying on whether to use a webinar platform? Well, using this software comes with tremendous benefits that can help your business expand its tentacles wide and far. The current advancement in technology has enabled us to access the internet from anywhere. While choosing a webinar platform, you need to ensure you give your projected clients the freedom to attend or watch the sessions from anywhere.
If your webinar is for selling products or services, you need to make sure that accessibility is taken care of and that location is not a barrier for your audience to sign in. If you are featuring a trade show, ensure your participants are not limited by geographical barriers. Everyone with access to the internet should be able to attend a session from around the globe.
Also, it pays to utilize platforms that allow the audience to access the meeting through handheld devices such as smartphones or tablets. This adds convenience and anyone interested can watch your events even while on the go. By prioritizing accessibility, you can grow your audience over time, which will eventually translate into more leads, higher sales, and more return customers. Your brand reputation also significantly depends on it.
6. Consider Quality of Video and Audio
Webinars rely heavily on audiovisuals to deliver content or presentations to an audience via the internet. However, the last thing anyone will want to deal with is poor quality video or audio where they struggle to see or hear. It is downright frustrating and irritating.
When choosing a platform, remember to pick one that ensures high definition video and audio streaming with minimal lag or latency period. This is especially if you will be offering live sessions as opposed to pre-recorded webinars. Nonetheless, the webinar recording feature will come in handy because folks who might miss the live webinar might view the recorded version at their own time and convenience. You want to ensure a great viewing experience for your audience.
7. The Platform Should Be Secure
Security is not something you want to gamble with while operating on a webinar platform. There are so many negative dark forces operating in the net today. Therefore, security should be a priority before picking a platform for your webinar sessions.
If for instance, you are hosting a business meeting, ensure the webinars you have invited are safe and secure from any intrusion. You don’t want to expose your attendee’s personal data to anyone out of the circle. Check the security of any platform with the help of a professional before use. If possible, source your webinar from reputable sources which provide high-end encryption for high-security standards.
8. Customer Support
As an entrepreneur, you definitely know the importance of customer service and support. Good customer care is what converts one-time buyers to long-term, loyal, return customers. When picking a webinar platform, therefore, it is best to ensure they have reliable customer support. Whenever you experience an issue, you can access support agents that respond to your queries or get you sorted as soon as possible. The last thing you would want is to keep hundreds of people waiting on their screens for your webinar, just because a minor mishap occurred.
Today, many big and small organizations are on their heels to exploit the goodies that come with the latest technology advancements. With the ravaging virus still causing chaos around the globe, social distancing has become the new norm. Webinars are one of the best tools to connect with the masses today while still maintaining social distancing in social or business meetings. It eases how you reach your audiences digitally, especially if you pick the right platform to host your webinars. Luckily, the above piece should get you started when choosing the right webinar host for your needs.