You’re investigating a new webinar product or switching from an old one due to issues. You already know webinars are incredibly beneficial for any company making product, business or general announcement to a wide audience.
While you may know how much you need a webinar service at your organization, how do you select the right provider to partner with? Here are four ideas to get you started in the right direction:
1. Is easy to use
No matter what, you want to choose a provider that offers webinar services that are easy for you and your participants to use. Nothing will lower your webinar attendance rate faster than if the audience has to jump through several technical hoops to even view your presentation.
2. Is reliable and robust
While you might only plan to use a basic webinar tool, you also might consider choosing a provider that offers additional robust features. After all, interactive options such as polls can make even the most standard webinar much more interesting for your audience. Engagement is one of the key reasons why so many marketing departments use webinars.
Customization, add-on features and more can be considered under robust. Are these things important to you? If so, make sure you note that. It’ll help you pick the right tool.
3. Enables integrations
Do you need it to integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) software? How about marketing automation tools like Marketo, Eloqua and HubSpot? Integration extends your existing software and makes your webinar more valuable. It can also reduce errors and double work. For example, you may want to send out recorded webinars to your clients. Without this option, it will be far more difficult to make this happen.
4. Has great customer service
Did you know some companies charge for even the most basic customer service, like answering the phone when you need help? It’s true. Of course some companies embed great customer service into the overall price, like ReadyTalk. Depending on how comfortable your workforce feels with your webinar platform and what’s important to your business, you may need better customer service.
Speaking of customer service, we even send out proactive tips and provide additional concierge services (for a fee). Additional concierge services can be anything from helping with everything to ensure your webinar is flawless to handling the basics of the meeting, like the greeting.
5. Meets your SMART goals and budget
The price varies greatly among products. As above, consider everything in the package. For example, some companies charge for customer service … but it’s not listed on their base price. Webinars can cost anywhere from $10 a month to more than $1,0000.
But more important, is whether the webinar meets the reason you’re buying one. Are you getting the leads and revenue you need? Will you get the attendance you need? Will you be able to train people? Conduct demos? This is critical. SMART means specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely. Ensuring your webinar platform’s success means taking the time to go over why you need one in the first place … and to get specific.
6. Has good reviews
Analysts research software all the time and provide reviews on that software like Aragon Research. Websites also have a number of reviews available, indicating what they like — and don’t like — about products. Don’t just trust testimonials on the company’s website. And if you need to, ask if you can get a reference. Most good companies will provide names to help you select the right software for your needs.
7. Enables you to try or demo
These days if you can’t try or demo a product, it’s probably not worth buying. Many companies, like ReadyTalk, provide free trials. You can decide whether it meets your needs or not. Of course, many companies have a limit to the free trial. And those same companies may extend the free trial if you ask them to.
And while we’re on free trial ….