Back in Episode 6, we went over our solution for conference calls for online meetings.
What do you do, however, when it's time to host a webinar? Most of the solutions utilized for conference calls—used for team and client meetings—are limited on how many attendees they can support at one time. Thus the search begins again for another solution to handle your webinar needs.
At this point, you might be asking yourself, "Self, when will I need to leverage a webinar?" So let's back up a second.
Using Webinars as a Sales Tool
In Season 1 of the Inbound Agency Journey we interviewed Chris Handy from Thinkhandy. Chris uses webinars as a vital part of his sales process.
Every month he hosts Inbound Success Workshops. These are interaction Q&A-style webinars where he answers questions from the audience and shares his insights live on the call. This helps him to make a personal connection, gather content from prospectives, and create content that can be used across platforms.
If you haven't added targeted webinars to your sales process then I definitely recommend it.
What Webinar Solution Should Your Agency Use?
In a world with nearly endless solutions, how do you pick the best webinar platform for your agency?
Some Webinar Solutions We've Tried
We've gone through this process as well. Here a few solutions we've tried over the years and what our top choice is.
Consensus: Don't recommend.
WebinarJam is built on Google Hangouts. We've tried this solution, but didn't have a great experience. If you're someone who's used this and found success, I'd love to hear more about it in the comments below.
Putting together a webinar isn't that complicated, but running a live webinar is a different story. We were looking to run a webinar with a live introduction and some pre-recorded content integrated throughout. WebinarJam has a system for doing this, however, the experience isn't very smooth.
At the end of your played clip, your audience will quickly figure out that you used a pre-recorded video. Stability is also a concern because this is built on Google Hangouts, which tends to be glitchy.
Consensus: Don't recommend.
WebinarIgnition is another platform built on Google Hangouts.
It seems like anytime you use Google Hangouts, you're going to run into lag issues. Often times, the voices and visuals don't match up. The more people you bring into the conversation, the worse that lag effect becomes.
Another big problem for us was the delay between what we were saying and when people were hearing it. On average, there was a 30-45 second delay. One thing we like to do during webinars is unmute people. In this case, by the time we communicated that were going to unmute someone, the lag was great enough to break the flow of the webinar.
Consensus: Need to play around more with it.
I haven't tried this out too much as of yet, but would love to explore it more. If you're on the Zoom train, would love to hear your experience.
Consensus: This is what we use.
We've been using GoToWebinar for quite a while. It's our go-to choice for webinars run both via GuavaBox and DoInbound.
Notably, the live interaction aspect is solid. You can easily unmute people, send out polls, and gather/answer questions. You can also:
- See who is paying attention and who's looking at other screens
- Record the session
- Live chat with attendees
Of the above-mentioned solutions, it has been the most steady and has supported the most attendees with the greatest ease.
This has been a key pillar of success for running our monthly customer-only, inbound agency mastermind group.
Every rose has its thorns though. As much as we've had success with GoToWebinar there have been some kinks that you should be aware of.
- It's somewhat cumbersome at first to get into. The process from sign-up to entering the webinar itself can be cumbersome at times. The current norm is that you sign up and get login credentials. These credentials will prompt the end-user to download the app.
- They're currently beta testing an in-browser version, however, and I'm excited to see where this goes.
- It's not the most bandwidth friendly. To their credit though, they've made some updates that have made it run faster.
- It can be pricey. For some, this might be a bit pricey. For us, this has definitely worth it. For up to 100 attendees perwebinar is $79/month.
- An insider tip: if you jump on the phone with their sales team, you might be able to score a discount.
Tips on How to Run a Successful Webinar
If you have some tips to share on running a successful webinar, I would love to hear your strategies.
If you'd like to hear mine, feel free to reach out. I'd be happy to share some tips.