Host Webinars for Your Social CRM

More and more companies are jumping on the webinar bandwagon for Social CRM. The word webinar — a mash-up of the words web and seminar — refers to any online meeting where information is exchanged.

Webinar content can be sent to prospective customers, used in training, and edited further for audio podcasts. Links to the content can be sent through all the major social networks.

Early webinars were clunky, but that’s not the case today. In the formative years of the webinar, the technology would cut you off, fail to record, or incorporate strange noises that rendered it unintelligible. Today, the technology has improved to the point that most webinars are enjoyable to attend.

When you’re choosing a webinar host, consider the following:

  • Support: Does the host offer tech support to help you with any problems you might run into?

  • Toll-free access: Does the host provide a toll-free phone number for access to the webinar, or do participants have to pay local charges for the call?

  • Registration: Does the service provide a registration mechanism for participants, or do you have to arrange for that separately?

  • Number of participants: Can the host handle the number of participants you expect to have on the call?

If you’re selecting a webinar host, consider the following services:

  • GoToWebinar: This service, run by Citrix, has been around a long time with different offerings, including GoToMeeting and GoToTraining. Over the years, GoToWebinar has beefed up its features with tools such as whiteboards and polls.

  • WebEx: This service, now owned by Cisco, has two-way video. The cost can be pricey if you want to have more than 25 attendees. Consider limiting participation unless you have a large budget.

  • Instant Teleseminar: Created by former Microsoft employee Rick Raddatz, this service, focuses on the needs of marketers by providing a one-stop shop to promote, record, and distribute webinars.

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  • Free Conference: This is a free service. One disadvantage of this service is that it doesn’t offer a toll-free number for callers. If you think this will be a big issue for your callers, don’t consider using services without a toll-free access number. For business audiences, this may not be an issue.

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