Winning a loyal webinar audience is a holy grail for anyone out to build a brand. Talk about a captive audience! With webinars, you gain that rare opportunity to have a prospect all to yourself for an extended time.
Use that time well and you’ll have a loyal customer who respects what you have to say and who is ready to get started on their customer journey with you. Squander your opportunity and you’ll probably send your audience scurrying to your competition.
While the quality of your information will always count for a lot, we live in a world where appearances count just as much. Webinars need to be carefully produced. They need to exude quality. And a big part of that boils down to the quality of your software.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to review popular webinar platforms with a critical eye. We have suggestions for a few key principles that will help you choose a platform that isn’t just great on paper, but which is well-positioned to get you where you want to go.
Don’t Rush It
And all this begins with some, admittedly really basic advice. Don’t rush into a decision! We all understand how easy it is to buy on impulse. Heck, much of marketing is geared toward making just that happen. But make an effort to temper your excitement to start producing webinar content and look closely at what each platform has to offer.
The best choice for you may not be the product with the most extensive feature list. A good way to separate genuinely useful features from the “nice to have” category is to write down your webinar goals, and immediately rule out those webinar platforms that aren’t built around those workflows. You’ll also do well to jump on YouTube and watch people demonstrating their creative process with your short-list of options. If the IU just doesn’t make sense to you, keep looking until you find something that feels intuitive. The shallower your learning curve, the easier your job will be down the line.
What You Want To Say Comes First
How do you plan to present? Are you an interactive teacher, always looking for opportunities to directly engage with your audience? Or do you prefer a more static and lecture-based approach, where you get to layout your ideas carefully and methodically.
The key here is not to let your webinar platform call the shots here. Some platforms are geared toward interaction. Others are built more around the idea of a carefully produced studio experience. Aim to find the webinar platform that caters to what you want to say and how you plan to say it. Check out your branding and personalization options as well. If you’ve been producing content for a while, you likely already have a distinctive look. The last thing you want to do is dilute that. Will your platform fit comfortably with your brand aesthetic? Remember, appearances count for a lot, particularly with webinars.
Know Your Audience
You’re part of the equation, but of course, so is your audience. Think carefully about your target demographic and be sure your platform won’t pose an obstacle to reaching them. For example, if you believe your audience isn’t particularly technologically literate, if you ask them to download and install a plugin before you can reach them, your attrition rate won’t be great.
On the other hand, if your target crew has high expectations and is likely to expect complex and nuanced features, then a bare-bones experience may not put your content in the best light. It’s smart to spend some time building a personal profile of your audience and making sure your webinar platform will tick their boxes as well as yours.
Plan It Forward
Another thing you should know and factor in as early as possible is that your requirements today are unlikely to be the same as your requirements six months from now. As you build up your audience and establish a regular production schedule, you’ll benefit from a platform that appropriately scales with your brand.
What subscription offers do you have? Once you double your audience size can you simply lay more money down to shift to a higher tier? Or will your efforts be capped by a platform that no longer caters to your needs?
While you certainly won’t want to over-invest into an unnecessarily sophisticated and scaled up solution on day one, it’s good to know the option is there so that you can pull the trigger on it when needed.
Ultimately, “Best” Is Subjective
At the end of the day, the “best” webinar platform isn’t necessarily the one with more ticks in the feature column. It’s the one that makes intuitive sense to you, that is built in a way that lets you communicate comfortably, and that helps you build an experience your audience will love. Ideally, it’ll also be a solution that can grow alongside you as you win bigger audiences and tackle a more challenging production schedule.
The best webinar platform for you is as much about your style, content, and focus as it is about the development team or the software’s relative maturity. Take your time making a decision, so you can position yourself well for lasting success.