Exploring Essential Webinar Platform Features for Marketing Success
With a broader audience reach than most other outlets and a highly customizable user experience, it’s no wonder webinars are the preferred choice for driving quality lead generation and promoting businesses around the globe. Their intuitive functionality enables brands to build robust content and launch it to their target demographic to gain conversions. As Rebecca Lieb, a professor of marketing at Northwestern, said, “Content is the atomic particle of all digital marketing.”
More than half (58%) of marketers leverage webinars as a vital promotional tool in their overall marketing strategy, and if you want to do the same, you need a high-quality webinar platform. The question is this: Which one is right for you?
A quick online search will reveal several webinar software platforms that range in pricing, complexity, and breadth of features. Whether your goal is to create product demo webinars to build brand awareness and leads, training webinars to foster a stronger team, or something else, the selection process doesn’t have to be difficult. This guide aims to narrow the field so you can select the best webinar platform for your needs based on essential features that are crucial for a successful event.
Branded Registration Page
A customizable registration page lets you create fun and engaging content. Webinar platform features to look for include the ability to brand pages with logos and other identifiers. This is especially important for the registration page, as it’s the first advertisement potential webinar attendees see when deciding whether to secure their place in line for your virtual events. As such, the page should be clean, informative, and easy to navigate.
Craft a simple, yet appealing registration page that distinctly represents your brand using fonts, color themes, layouts, and more. This will give your brand a solid chance to tempt prospects and secure registrants.
Demio, for example, allows you to customize the tone and theme of your webinar registration page. You can personalize it to match your webinar room for better professional cohesion, as well as cache the information gathered in the registration process for your marketing and demographic needs.
You only have eight seconds (usually less) to impress your prospects, so don’t waste your chance with an inferior registration page. All your webinar registration pages need to be custom, succinct, modern, and eye-catching.
Branded Webinar Room
Our tips for custom registration pages apply to webinar rooms as well. You want to be able to embed your brand’s logo, colors, themes, layouts, fonts, and other elements easily into your webinar’s main room and breakout rooms so your audience learns to identify your brand through uniform representation online. For greater creative freedom, find a webinar platform with templates you can tailor and customizable features.
A subtle but important component of robust webinar customization is having a unique domain with your brand’s name that’s short and sweet. This makes it easier to navigate and quickly shifts your attendees to where you want them to go next. Custom domains prevent audiences from bypassing your brand away due to being too lengthy or generic and also increase your professionalism. Demio takes care of this element for you: Simply highlight your brand on all public pages and redirect audience traffic to the URL you want them to land on.
Many marketers rely on email marketing to promote webinars, so, if you’re not customizing your emails to suit your brand and consumer demographic, your advertising may fall flat. As a result, you won’t receive the click-through rates your event deserves.
Upgrade your email campaigns by choosing a platform with webinar features like:
Branded, automatic, and customizable notifications
On/off abilities for reminders at the click of a button
Editing and highlighting features for quick customization and edits
Your webinar solution should make hosting webinars a breeze. For example, a registrant shouldn’t have to download software to view content, nor should it take several technical experts to launch a live webinar.
An easy setup supports hosting live, automated, or on-demand webinars within minutes. It provides easy access to technical support when you want it, and all the webinar tools for successful event execution are built into the platform. Whether you want to tailor the included templates for your brand awareness webinars or fully capitalize on customization for marketing purposes, look for a user-friendly webinar platform that lets you create quality content quickly.
That encompasses integrations as well: Robust webinar software makes integrating with your favorite social media and communications platforms easy. Demio’s browser-based platform, for instance, allows you to create webinars and go live in just a few minutes, with integrations including Hubspot, Salesforce, Marketo, Drip, and more.
Being able to speak with your audience in real time (even during automated and on-demand webinars) makes your content more relatable and lets your audience feel heard. A webinar platform should thus possess public and private chats and include emoji features. Audience members who know they can reach out throughout a webinar with questions are more likely to stick around longer and, in turn, commit to your brand.
Polls and Surveys
Polls and surveys are great engagement features because they not only keep your audience engrossed in your presentations but are also a fruitful avenue for acquiring vital information from the very demographic you want to convert. You can employ polls and surveys — which are fully customizable with your webinar platform of choice — to gather input from your audience during the registration phase, live webinars, and then again in follow-up email marketing campaigns. Polls as featured actions in a webinar excel at discovering which members are actively paying attention and which aren’t.
You can schedule polls, surveys, handouts, and other interactive features to be dispersed at special times throughout your virtual events, even if they’re not hosted live, which makes it easier for you to reach a wide audience base without always having to be in front of the camera. So, make sure to choose a webinar platform that simplifies much of your scheduling. That way, you can air as many online events as you want, whenever you want, knowing your audience is receiving relevant information when they’re meant to.
Remember that polls and surveys are essential for widespread webinar promotion and event intel, so insert custom ones in every email, especially post-webinar interactions. Take advantage of your webinar platform’s analytics tools (more on that later) to help you determine what questions or information you should include in these audience interaction elements.
Featured actions are important activities you want your audience members to take part in during your webinars (or even as part of your email marketing efforts). A featured action includes a call-to-action to go to a favored website, a downloaded brochure or webinar, signing up for a newsletter or free ebook, rating a webinar, entering a contest, accepting free offers, and more.
Scatter featured actions throughout every webinar and, ideally, in every marketing strategy you launch, such as in your landing page for your webinar, registration page, emails, or even your main website. Invest in a webinar platform that can highlight your event’s featured actions in ways that audiences will see clearly and want to take advantage of. You want to guide your attendees along their purchasing journey, so use featured actions to smooth the path forward for them.
The distinguishing characteristic of real-time chat is the ability to communicate with your audience as they ask questions and make comments. Not all webinar platforms offer real-time chat for recorded online events like automated or on-demand sessions. That’s why you need to take the time to find a webinar platform that enables real-time chat, even if you aren’t live streaming your event.
Look for options that allow you to schedule your interactions for on-demand webinars. You’ll be notified when an event participant has a question so you can chat with them live for the best user experience. Explore this feature in Demio and learn how you can create content to use over and over without losing out on a deep connection with your audience.
Part of creating a great webinar experience is encouraging audience members to collaborate with you and each other. An often overlooked aspect of that is file sharing, which is important for both hosting live content and running automated webinars. (This differs from screen sharing, where the host's screen appears directly on attendees’ screens.) File sharing opens access to uploads, links, handouts, and more for audience members to enjoy during and after the session.
This enables them to reference the information they learned in your webinar later, be it on their laptop, mobile device, tablet, or other portal. Or, perhaps they want to share aspects of your webinar with their interested peers. Social media, cloud storage, and peer-to-peer file sharing are all types that make it much easier for you to promote your brand and leverage your webinars.
Stretch registration efforts even further by using a webinar platform that has a registration management tool or system. This way, you can keep track of registrations and, if applicable, sync them with other events related to your brand and website. This helps stay organized so you know when to push registration promotion, where your registrants come from, and who your main demographic is (and if it’s the same as your target market or a different segment you need to target as well).
For example, Demio’s Showcase feature lets you sync major events and thus doubles as a marketing tool to help you advertise virtual events and other brand-related happenings. Choose a webinar platform with solutions for marketing teams to promote webinars with greater ease and organization.
If you have a webinar with no registrants or attendees you’re paying for empty seats and zero growth. You need a webinar platform that both understands your social promotional needs and helps you reach those goals. Social promotional tools should be included in your chosen webinar platform so marketing becomes a breeze. This can take the form of email drip campaigns, registration forms, social media links, polls, and other adaptive features.
Demio provides another rich example of this through their add-on product, Boost.
It enables shareability for your content so you can promote your webinars, registrations, freebies, promos, and more with the click of a button through your registrants and committed webinar attendees. Word-of-mouth advertisement via your customers becomes easier with a robust webinar platform.
If you’re not recording your live webinars, you’re doing your brand a disservice. Recorded sessions give audiences something to return to if they missed something during the live presentation or were unable to make it to the original scheduled event. Additionally, recording abilities within your webinar platform will allow you to edit content for promotional use, such as publishing event previews on your social media pages.
If you record your session for evergreen content, you can play it on-demand to extend its lifespan, stretch your reach globally, and consistently attract large audiences without promoting fresh content each time. Since on-demand content has the power to convert at least 40% of your webinar viewers into quality leads thanks to its easy viewing, it’s worth it to invest in a webinar platform that allows you to capture content. You can still host live — just record and edit content for automated and on-demand versions as well. Recording is one of the best webinar practices to build a library of content you can leverage for stronger conversions, higher ROI, and better marketing budgeting.
Webinar Analytics and Engagement Reporting
An important contributor to successful customer relationship management (CRM) is tracking and measuring how successful your webinars are with your audiences. Specifically, that means reviewing how long they stayed in attendance, how often they participated in your interactive elements (like handouts, Q&A sessions, chats, etc.), how many featured actions they utilized, and more. This information supports the creation of content your audience wants and engages with, as well as helps you understand and resolve their pain points more effectively. This knowledge lays the foundation for building a well-honed sales funnel.
This endeavor requires a webinar platform that tracks audience activity from registration (including their click-through rates on emails and landing pages) to post-webinar communication. That, in turn, will help you gain more prospects, convert more audience members, and increase your ROI.
Consider Demio’s user-friendly analytics tools: You can easily track the success of your webinars and compare findings to see how well your events are gaining traction. Monitor audience attendance rates, engagement rates, and more to learn how to improve webinars.
We spoke briefly about webinar software integrations earlier, but they get another mention here because they’re essential to incorporate content seamlessly into your favorite advertising and social media avenues and scatter your content across online channels. Choose a webinar platform that allows you to integrate content with the platforms and formats you use most. The more integrations it supports, the better your webinar creation and advertisement. Every webinar platform offers different software integrations, directly or through Zapier, so make a list of the ones you desire and seek out a solution that best meets these needs.
Privacy and Safety
Encrypted Browser Data
Enabling data encryption in your webinar platform further protects all information displayed on your landing pages and others so it’s only readable on the sites where they’re intended to be accessed. This is an added layer of defense you need to have when searching for a webinar platform.
Private Data Storage
Your content isn’t all you have to worry about; you have your registrants’ information to keep safe as well. Private data storage allows you to store and organize sensitive information gathered from registration forms and landing pages, as well as what’s shared in webinars that you keep.
This is a non-negotiable step for all online event users and registrants who are EU citizens. Choose a webinar platform that abides by the General Data Protection Regulation and will maintain your privacy and safety. The right webinar platform will also make it difficult to infiltrate your account due to modern security measures.
If you have access to constant customer support, your live webinars run more smoothly, and you have the confidence of knowing you have someone to walk you through hiccups and other tech issues that arise even with the best webinar software. Constant support lets you focus on your brand and spend less time figuring out webinars.
To run successful webinars like a pro, you need platform features that best meet your needs. Being picky about your software will pay off in the long run, as you’ll be able to produce more enticing content and stronger webinars that convert a higher number of attendees.
As such, how successful your virtual events are depends greatly on the webinar platform you use. Demio aims to take the difficulty out of creating quality, custom content and make it easy to go live. You can even have your first webinar up and running in mere minutes. There’s nothing for your audience to download, and support is available whenever you need it. Book a demo to give Demio a try andsee what’s in store for you. Or, jump in and get started for free to start creating your next webinar smash today!