Webinars are a great way to introduce valuable content to customers or potential customers, but the costs of producing professional-looking webinars may be prohibitive for some small business owners. Fortunately, there are some excellent online software options available that are easy to use and relatively high quality. Here is a breakdown of popular free online webinar tools and how to access them, and a short description of their strengths and any notable weaknesses.
Google+ Hangouts on Air
Google+ Hangouts can be really useful for a lot of tasks, including making strong webinar presentations. You need to download Google+ and have a Google account. Do this and you can access the Hangout creation tool.
Hangouts is the same tool through which you can make phone calls, send chat messages, or hold video conferences. The webinar creation process is executed through the Video Hangouts tab.
Conveniently, you can choose to air the webinar live or schedule a later date. You can also open each webinar to the public or limit it to a specific audience. You can link to a YouTube account so your webinar will automatically publish on your channel.
Other great features through Google+ Hangouts webinars include:
- Customization with trailers and apps
- Lots of easy templates with professional looks
- Simple editing
As one of the most prominent names in online video conferencing, AnyMeeting offers a free version of its webinar software. If you have ever used its video services before, you’ll recognize the clean interface and smooth looks on the webinar side.
AnyMeeting webinars conveniently link with certain payment processors, which you can use to charge for your webinars without a complicated second or third procedure. Though AnyMeeting needs a download to view, you and your audience have the option of joining from computer, smartphone, or tablet.
You won’t find as much customization or presenter tools as with other webinar providers. This is probably the biggest downside with AnyMeeting, but it can still function well enough if you don’t need to edit or highlight a bunch of material.
Until 2016, Yondo was probably the best large-scale and free online webinar tool. Then Yondo partnered with Weebly and limited its free webinars to a 14-day trial.
MeetingBurner, a lesser-known entity, now carries the mantle for free, big webinar audiences. Like Yondo, MeetingBurner allows up to 1,000 attendees to view any given webinar. If you need to target even more folks, you can record each webinar, save it, and broadcast it on-demand to a wider audience.
There are enough customization tools to suffice for most webinar needs, and the slides appear professional without requiring a lot of effort on the back end. More features can be added at the premier and pro levels. MeetingBurner is not optimal for high-tech, specialized webinars, but it is simple enough for the layman to get messages out to big groups.