It may sound a bit crazy, but I kind of miss the “Back to School” excitement from when I was a kid, perhaps because I have a strange fascination with school supplies (to this day, brand new notebooks and bright sticky notes excite me).

Learning new things has always been fun for me, too, unless we’re talking about complex theories in physics and anything beyond second semester calculus. Fortunately for me, there are plenty of ways for me to keep on learning with the help of online resources.

Webinars are a great way to share information, for educators and students alike. A lot of businesses use webinars as a way to educate people about their products or services, and it can serve as a middle section for the sales funnel. For a more in-depth look at how webinars can help with gaining customers, check out this article from Unbounce and check out our other webinar related posts on this blog.



But, where can you create these webinars? The technology part is what stops most people… but not you of course! Here are some ideas of what technology you can use to record your webinar:

Social Media

Many of the video streaming apps we have discussed (Facebook Live, Periscope, even Snapchat) can work as an informal tutorial of sorts. Although these do not count as “webinars” they are still great ways to offer quick tutorials and other informative content. Our goal with our Tech Thursday and now Ask Us Anything Facebook Live is to answer questions our followers/customers might have.

Google

An equally easy but more formal way to host a webinar is a Google Hangout. All you’ll need are a Google+ profile and a computer or mobile device. Not only can people watch and ask questions in real time, the video will be saved on your Google+ profile for future viewers.

The downside of Google Hangouts is that you can’t make this content exclusive. You can invite who you want but anyone with the link or following your page can jump in and watch.

Extra Credit: Link your Google+ Profile and your YouTube Channel (if you have one) and your Hangout will automatically be published there once you are done recording.



Webinar Software

Webinar services (Anymeeting, GoTo Meeting, Abobe Connect, and others) has a few more bells and whistles than your free options including things like private registration and being able to offer the webinar for replay to those who have registered via email. For example AnyMeeting’s cheapest plan is $70/month or $780/year, and allows you to host 100 people per webinar. All the service options include video broadcasting, PowerPoint and PDF sharing, Live Polls, Live Chat, and Recording Hosting. In the case of AnyMeeting (and many other webinar services), a higher subscription rate offers the same services, but with an increasing number of attendees.

webinarpro

There are LOTS of options in this space. What features you want, what integrations you need (ex: for there to be interfacing with Infusionsoft), and how many people you plan to host can help you make the best choice for you.

Your Website

You can also host webinars on your own website. If you already have software built into your site to, say, support a group chat and streaming video, you may be able to do this without using third party software at all. Note: Most websites aren’t built to handle this but there exists learning management software and online course plugins to help your website become a website that can do this.

(If you want a more detailed breakdown of softwares and options, please subscribe to our email newsletter and get it right in your inbox!)

Still feel overwhelmed by buyer paralysis, some questions that will guide your decision:

  • Do you want the webinar to be available to the public or as exclusive content?
  • Do you want people to pay for access?
  • How “polished” do you want it to be? (i.e. livestreamed content that is uploaded “as-is” or something more professional?)
  • How much do you want to pay for a service? (or, how many attendees do you anticipate?)
  • What features do you need versus want?

If you are trying to decide between two pieces of software, check out online demos and attend a few webinars yourself and see what software the presenters use.

Stay tuned for more posts about webinars throughout the month!