Webinar Hosting Reviews: Pros and Cons of GoToWebinar, Livestream, and OnStream Webinars
Creating and marketing a great webinar is tough. Choosing a webinar hosting platform shouldn't be.
That's why we've researched the top-selling webinar hosting platforms on the Internet and compiled this handy list of pros and cons for each.
We reviewed each application and evaluated the following:
Cost and value for the money
Tech support and tutorials
Video streaming options
Integration with social media and other websites
Webinar marketing assistance
While researching the best webinar hosting platforms, we looked at GoToWebinar, Onstream Webinars, Livestream, Google Hangouts + LeadPages, Adobe Connect, ClickWebinar, and MegaMeeting.
And the winners are...Livestream ($49)
Livestream is a platform for broadcasting live events, but that doesn't mean it's only good for rock concerts. Because the application was created to broadcast live streaming video, it's an amazing way to create and host video-based educational webinars.Pros
Embed directly into your website - Livestream allows you to host your webinar from your own website. When attending the webinar directly on your site, attendees are much more likely to engage with your brand by opting into your email list, downloading your lead magnet, etc.
Built in community - Livestream has an active social community that interacts with and 'follows' each other. When you choose Livestream to host your webinar, you're likely to connect with other Livestream members and gain new followers (and new customers).
Mobile broadcasting - Livestream makes it easy for your audience to attend the webinar from their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or TV.
Low-cost option - Livestream offers a freemium version, and its basic membership starts at just $49/month. Cons
No audience engagement features like quizzes or polls
You can't embed video onto your website unless you purchase the premium membership for $399/month.
No ability to connect with YouTube or social networks (except Facebook)
The freemium version limits your webinar to 50 attendeesGoToWebinar ($99)
GoToWebinar is perhaps the most well-known webinar hosting platform out there, and for good reason. It's incredible ease-of-use and stellar customer support makes it the go-to option for first-timers and experienced webinar producers alike.Pros
User-friendly - It's extremely simple to set up GoToWebinar. If you have any questions, their tutorials can walk you through each step of the set-up process.
Email functionality - GoToWebinar can send email invitations to attendees right from the application. Alternatively, you can send GoToWebinar email invites through your regular email program. This flexibility enhances the marketing process and makes it easy to connect with potential guests.
Real time screen sharing - GoToWebinar now lets you share your screen in real time, which makes it simple to present a PowerPoint, screen capture, or live video stream.
Annotation feature - Circle or point out important words, phrases or images within your presentation with GoToWebinar's super-handy annotation tool. Cons
Requires you (and your attendees) to download software before using the program
Requires the use of Java
Does not work with smartphones or tablets
No internal payment option, which makes it difficult to use GoToWebinar for paid or subscription-based presentations
Cannot host the webinar directly from your website Onstream Webinars ($149)
Onstream is the crème de la crème of webinar hosting platforms. Its powerful functionality is only paralleled by its customization features. With Onstream, you really can make the webinar look and feel like "yours."Pros
Presentation choices - Customize each webinar based on the number of attendees and the type of program being presented. Onstream Webinars has a variety of different layouts and dashboards to choose from, which further allows you to change the look and feel of your webinar presentation screen.
Complete customization - Onstream is perhaps the most video-friendly webinar hosting platform. It allows you to adjust the quality of your video, including the frame rate, aspect ratio, and keyframe. You can also choose to share video from a webcam, computer screen, or streaming Internet video.
Tabs feature - When you're hosting a webinar, there's a lot of different presentation aspects that need to be managed simultaneously. Onstream makes it easy to toggle between your slides, video screen, workspace, and documents by clicking on different tabs within the application.
Interactive features - Onstream lets you take audience polls and send quizzes during the webinar to increase engagement and further qualify your leads. Cons
More expensive than GoToWebinar
You cannot host the webinar directly from your website - only video can be embedded into your site, while the rest of the webinar must be viewed from your unique Onstream URL. The Verdict
Livestream, GoToWebinar, and Onstream are all strong choices for your webinar hosting platform.
GoToWebinar gets our vote for first-timers thanks to its user-friendly interface and great customer service.
As you grow, become more experienced, and attract more attendees to your webinars, Onstream is a great choice for next-level webinar marketing.
Known as "The Smart Simple Marketing Coach," the tech-savvy Sydni uses a results-focused, "how to" approach in implementing simple, customized strategies so service professionals create profitable businesses in which they enjoy the lifestyle they choose.
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