According to a study by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs, B2B marketers employ 8 different marketing tactics for their businesses, out of which 46% were in favour of using webinars. Capitalizing on webinars or web conferencing opportunities give you a chance to talk to existing or potential customers about your business at length, share key insights, and help extend the conversation post-event to generate leads.

While the primary objective of a webinar is to offer high value, timely and relevant content to the audience, they’re an extremely cost-effective way to reach your target demographic without having to book a venue and organize a physical event.

In today’s fast-paced, technologically advancing world, there are a variety of software, platforms and applications that not only allow you to create webinars for attracting and engaging customers, but also work extremely well for internal communication with your team. Let’s go over the best web conferencing tools for 2018 that you can choose from to organize your next webinar:

Livestorm

Perfect for online webinar events like employee onboarding, hiring sessions, customer training, product demos, online courses, podcasts or interviews, Livestorm allows you to create an event within minutes without having to download anything. Apart from marketing automation tools that allow you to easily send invitations, reminders and promotional emails to your attendees, the platform also integrates with Zapier, Hubspot, Salesforce, Pipedrive, MailChimp, SharpSpring, Google Analytics, Drift, Instapage, Typeform, Salesmate and other popular software.

Available in 17 different languages, Livestorm allows you to interact with your audience in real-time using reusable polls and screen-sharing. You can also put your pre-recorded webinars on auto-pilot so they can stream 24/7 or embed your other web conference streams (like YouTube Live) within Livestorm.

Use the powerful analytics tools to get actionable insights, for example, the number of people who attended your webinar, how engaged they were, how many of them stayed for the entire duration, the source of webinar registrations and more detailed information about all your attendees. Livestorm also offers unlimited recording storage, so people who missed the event or would like to watch it again always have easy access.

Pricing: Starting at $99/month for 500 attendees, Livestorm pricing plans are also available in the $209/month and $319/month variations for larger companies and enterprises. You can also host one free webinar for 30 minutes with 10 attendees.

Zoho Showtime

Designed especially for online trainings, the Zoho Showtime helps you actively engage with your audience using screen-share, session recording, content library, Q&As, open mic and polls.

With engagement analytics, you can evaluate the success of every session/webinar by tracking the number of likes and questions, including time spent on each slide (if you’re giving a presentation). You can also collect registration data and get demographic details to learn more about your audience. The ‘engagement meter’ helps you determine the attention level of your audience in real-time, so you can drive your event based on their response.

With ‘content library’, you can create an online knowledge base that your attendees can refer to before, during and after the session. Open mic, on the other hand, converts monologues into dialogues by allowing the attendees to share their opinion, ideas or suggestions with you and the rest of the audience.

Pricing: Zoho Showtime offers a 15-day trial for all their plans. While their basic plan is free, you can also opt for their $20/account/month, $30/account/month or $40/account/month plans, depending on what features appeal to you the most.

GoToWebinar

Host interactive, on-demand webinars that are capable of turning “a presentation into a conversation and a conversation into a sale.” With GoToWebinar, you can choose a compelling topic, sen invitations to guest speakers, introduce polls and surveys during the event for a positively interactive presentation.

GoToWebinar also offers full-service registration, built-in reports and analytics so you can monitor your most-engaged attendees and pursue potentially qualified leads. Use email automation to create custom invites, reminders and RSVPs with your company branding, using pre-defined templates for fast, hassle-free attendee management. ‘Simulated Live’ allows you to create and schedule pre-recorded webinars, so you get the same ROI without having to spend time live-hosting. Keep your audience engaged with polls (up to 20 questions), handouts and surveys, so your webinar stays with them even after your event has ended.

For more impactful webinars, share Youtube clips or upload an MP4 file that could be a promotional video or a pitch-perfect demo. Schedule and edit a new webinar or track the performance of an ongoing one on your mobile (iOS/Android) using the GoToWebinar app. You can integrate your CRM to manage both event creation and lead generation in one place. Apart from recording your webinars for post-event viewing, GoToWebinar lets you practice and rehearse your sessions before you go live.

Pricing: For 100 attendees, you can opt for the ‘starter’ plan for $89/month. They also offer $199/month and $429/month plans that include Simulated Live, video sharing, source tracking and other features that the starter plan doesn’t.

Join.me

Designed to cut through unnecessary protocols, politics and processes, Join.me streamlines video conferencing by sticking to the basic functionalities of text chat, mobile access, screen sharing, scheduling invitations and session recording.

Allowing multiple people to connect from 40+ countries through mobile devices (Android and iOs), desktop and VoIP, the platform offers a straight-forward, user-friendly interface for everyone. Join.me supports a maximum of 250 participants and can be integrated with Chrome, Outlook, Slack, Trello, G-Suite, IFTTT, Zapier Hipchat and Office 365, so you can schedule and keep a track of your upcoming meetings.

With one-click screen-sharing, you can make sure that everyone in the conference is on the same page. Additionally, your entire team can annotate, mark, and highlight the key focus areas to keep the session more engaging and interactive. You also get a customized URL and background, apart from a toll-free, high-quality audio.

Pricing: Join.me does offer a free plan for ‘webinars’ that supports screen-sharing for up to three people. For easy, no-fuss online meetings, their pricing plans start from $10. Depending on your requirements, for example, the number of participants and video feeds, you can upgrade to a $20 or a $30 plan.

RingCentral

Perfect for small businesses and enterprises, RingCentral offers an all-in-one phone, video conferencing and team messaging software, that allows you to communicate with larger audiences during live events, trainings, executive briefings, product introductions, or routine team meetings. You can host up to 100 participants and provide them with an exceptional voice and video quality, regardless of whether they are using a desktop, laptop or Android/iOS smart devices. For webinars, RingCentral supports 10,000 attendees along with 500 presenters, where you can conduct polls and interactive Q&A sessions.

Equipped with screen-sharing features, the platform lets you share not only your ‘screen’ but also documents and presentations stored in your Dropbox and Google Drive. You can also create up to 50 ‘breakout sessions’ where you divide the participants into smaller groups for a more focused brainstorming and training activities. With one-click scheduling, you can sync your meetings with Outlook, Google Calendar and iCal® to instantly send invites from whatever device you’re on.

Similar to Join.me, your team can share anything and make the necessary annotations during the meeting. Attendees can also grant control of their devices – desktops or laptops – to each other for better presentation, enhanced productivity and a better conferencing experience.

Pricing: RingCentral offers a free ‘meeting’ plan that includes unlimited 1:1 meetings, 40-minute group meetings, 100 participants and desktop sharing. Alternatively, you can opt for $14.99/user/month and $19.99/user/month plans as well. For webinars, the pricing plans start at $40/month/ host license.

WebEx

Created by the multinational technology conglomerate, Cisco, WebEx allows you to deliver polished, interactive presentations for branding events, product launches or holding an all-hands meeting. Designed for mobility and real-time web communication, WebEx offers screen-sharing, polling, Q&A, chat and video functionalities that integrate seamlessly with your other IT investments.

With nifty whiteboarding, annotation and note-taking tools, the platform doesn’t require participants to signup for an account in order to join a conference. You get a simple web address that you can include in the invite while scheduling the event. Regardless of what equipment or audio/video service your participants are using, WebEx conference calls support up to 100 participants, where you can enable facial recognition to maintain privacy. For online events like webinars, you can host from anywhere between 3,000 to 40,000 attendees around the world, record the whole thing, customize your enrollment process, use attention monitoring tools and benefit from real-time technical support.

Pricing: The Cisco WebEx for meetings costs $24/month, $49/month or $89/month, depending on the number of participants you’re looking at and the add-ons you’d like to have. For webinars, you have to request pricing based on your requirements.

Eyeson

With its patented Single Stream Technology, Eyeson offers an innovative, real-time video meeting and webinar experience for enterprise teams. Whether you’re organizing your daily scrum meeting, generating leads with Salesforce, utilizing learning rooms for collaboration or integrating video in your support tickets, Eyeson remains unaffected by the number of your participants/attendees and uses less bandwidth to provide high-quality HD video streaming.

With adjustable multi-speaker layout, screen-sharing and team-sized licenses, Eyeson can be easily integrated with your preferred tools like Slack, Freshdesk, Jira, Zendesk, Trello, TalkDesk, Zapier, Youtube, Salesforce and Facebook. The customizable ‘rooms’ allows you to segregate your audience and have separate, yet, simultaneous events with everyone. You can refer to ‘room history’ to track all your past recordings, meetings, and live streams. The Eyeson Cloud MCU service allows you to merge different source into a single video-audio stream that can be used to display your operational data in real time.

Pricing: The free plan includes 1 host and limited features of Eyeson. You can upgrade to $ 20 /month,  $ 50 /month or $ 400 /month for more hosts and unlimited-on-everything features.

Angelica Gaskins
Angelica Gaskins is the Editor of SocialMedia.biz. She’s an award-winning blogger and author, a social media marketing analyst and an occasional consultant on social business strategy. She focuses on social media news coverage, other editorial content, and working with the growing community of correspondents and contributors.
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Angelica Gaskins
Angelica Gaskins is the Editor of SocialMedia.biz. She’s an award-winning blogger and author, a social media marketing analyst and an occasional consultant on social business strategy. She focuses on social media news coverage, other editorial content, and working with the growing community of correspondents and contributors.
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