Livestorm is a webinar hosting platform with the ability to host live as well as recorded webinars. The tool is simple to set up and helps with the promotion of the event too. It is integrable with most of the email management and CRM software, thus allowing one to make the most out of their webinar.
- Allows one to stream live as well as recorded content.
- Separate sections for chats and questions.
- Takes care of landing pages and email notifications.
- Plenty of integration options.
- Allows multiple sessions under a webinar.
- It is a tricky business to have slideshows in the webinar using this tool.
Webinars have now become the new way of engaging the audience. It is better than publishing videos because of the interactive nature and tops over physical seminars as there are no logistics to take care of.
One can use a webinar to promote a product or service, to publish a course or tutorial, or just to connect with the audience to improve the reputation. Webinars are a great means to leverage scarcity, and one can gather a substantial number of leads with an appropriate webinar strategy.
There are plenty of benefits of hosting a webinar, and it can be used for a variety of purposes. But when it comes to hosting the webinar, one may end up feeling confused as to what is the right tool for the business.
There is no dearth of webinar hosting services on the internet, especially since almost every business is trying to use webinars to their advantage. Livestorm is one such tool that can help you host your next webinar.
This review is going to be all about going through the features of Livestorm and gauging how they can help one host the perfect webinar. Your expectations from a webinar hosting platform tool may vary depending on why you want to conduct the webinar, and it’s scope, as well.
We will try to figure out the needs that Livestorm is good at taking care of, thus giving you a better idea if it is the right tool for you or not. By the end of this review, you will have a much better idea of the capabilities of Livestorm, and it will help with decision making.
Creating a webinar
Creating a webinar is usually a straightforward process on most webinar hosting platforms. All you need to do is specify the subject, date, and time of the webinar, and you are good to go.
The story remains the same on Livestorm, as well. It takes only a few clicks on the mouse and a few clacks on the keyboard to create a new webinar. They also take care of trivial information such as the time zone, so that you don’t have to worry about any miscommunication.
While some users may applaud the simplicity with which they can get started on the platform, some might feel a lack of options at this stage. Most webinar tools usually come with options for hosting different kinds of webinars, such as the recurring and automated ones.
Even though Livestorm doesn’t give all those options right at the forefront, you can still have all those kinds of webinars with a few modifications in the settings.
Let us first deal with a webinar series. If you want to host a tutorial, course, or anything that needs to be broken down into various parts, then you can make use of the ‘add new session’ feature.
You can create subsequent webinar sessions under the same umbrella, and have a webinar series at your disposal. The only addition we would have loved to see is the ability to share more information about individual sessions. We guess one will have to rely on individual webinars for that kind of functionality on the tool.
Another common option for webinar tools is the automated webinar. In the case of these, one can host a recorded video or even webinar. Livestorm allows users to upload videos for the webinar.
You can use this feature to host automated webinars. There is also the option of switching between live and recorded content to make webinars all the way more interesting. Some webinar builders refer to this capability as hybrid webinar, and Livestorm can do that for you even though they haven’t given a name to it.
Once you have created a webinar, there is a lot that you can do around it. Livestorm would allow you to promote the webinar, integrate other applications with the platform, set up automation, and so much more.
But before we get into all those properties, let us first have a brief look at what the webinar studio will let you do before and during the webinar.
The webinar room
The webinar room is essentially the control station from where you can manage the different elements of the webinar.
It is from where you get to control what’s going live in the webinar, and how the event is supposed to be curated. The room has two panels.
The bigger panel on the left will show you what the viewers are seeing, and the thinner panel on the right will show chat, questions, polls, and people.
The availability of the separate chat and question section allows the host to differentiate between casual and pressing subjects. You can either take care of these sections yourself or have moderators to manage them.
It’s easy enough to work with team members and guest speakers on Livestorm. When you add team members to a webinar, they join in as moderators and can deal with chats, manage polls, and also answer questions.
You can have guest speakers and selected audience members join the webinar with a video feed. The features help improve upon the engagement factor of the webinar.
Speaking of improving the engagement factor, there is also the option to conduct polls. It can be a great tool for you since you can have valuable user opinions, and for viewers, it is one more thing to keep them engaged.
Livestorm doesn’t allow one to place offers or such links in the side panel. Webinars are a great way to have the leads respond positively to a call to action, and we think that Livestorm missed the trick by not providing an appropriate avenue for the call to action.
You can display a call to action button right on top of the webinar, but it isn’t the most effective way to do so. Those who don’t want to leave the webinar will only get annoyed by such a notification, and those who would want to click on it later will have nothing if they skip it once.
We feel that they should’ve provided a dedicated section for CTA, somewhat similar to what the polls have got.
Another possible area of improvement on the platform is the slide sharing feature. Under current arrangements, you will have to share a slide under the screen sharing settings. Not all users are going to put up with such loopholes for long, and Livestorm should introduce a feature so that hosts can easily share slides during the webinar.
Having said that, you should not come across many roadblocks while hosting a webinar on this platform, especially if it’s a simple one.
Registration, landing pages, and email notifications
Once you create a webinar, the next step in your plan of action should be to get the audience for the webinar.
There are various channels that you can use to promote the webinar. It can be through your social media account, using the company website, and or maybe by advertising about it on a popular avenue.
In any case, you will want people to register for the webinar. Livestorm allows users to create landing pages for the webinars, and you also get all the control over the details that one needs to provide during the registration process.
Some of the usual fields for the registration process are name and email address. You can create more on top of these if you want. There is also the consent section to make sure that you are collecting the email with the prospect’s approval. You can also insert more consensual fields depending on the nature of the webinar.
Livestorm will provide you with a landing page for the webinar, but there won’t be a lot of opportunities to modify the page. The page would always follow a set layout, and you can change the color to implement your brand image.
They also allow the user to insert the logo, and change the background image. If we talk about the functionality of the page, then we don’t have much to complain about.
The landing page has the countdown timer for the webinar, which would help induce a sense of urgency, and since there aren’t a lot of distractions on the page, you will find it easier to guide the viewer to the intended call to action.
The only feature we felt missing in all this process is a payment button. A lot of people publish paid courses and tutorials in the form of webinars, and the availability of a payment button on the page would’ve made things a great deal easier.
The job is usually not done even after the prospect has registered for the webinar. You still need to make sure that people attend the webinar. It is now that email notifications come into the picture.
You can set up all kinds of email notifications for the registrants right from the registration confirmation to the time after the end of the webinar.
Timely reminders about the webinar will help you ensure that the audience doesn’t forget about the webinar, and your webinar becomes as big a success as it can be.
Livestorm would provide you with a few email templates that you can easily modify as per your requirements. The email section on the platform is a great addition for all the hosts, and you should not miss out on using it to the fullest of its capabilities.
Automation and integrations
All of us love automation. The ability to make things happen automatically precisely when they are supposed to happen is amazing. You can leave a task up to the software and focus on other key aspects of the job.
Livestorm allows the host to set up some basic automation for the webinar. For instance, you can have the webinar start automatically at a specific time and do the same for ending the webinar.
You can also have a video start playing automatically within the webinar at a stipulated time, and there is also the option to automatically redirect the audience to another page at a set time.
Even though these automation may not sound like much, you can still accomplish a lot using them. The punctuality alone can help you establish a great brand reputation, and all of us know that perception matters a lot these days.
The automation will also help if you don’t have the support of moderators. You will end up with fewer things to manage with the right automation in place for the webinar.
Another way of having fewer things to manage is to let third-party applications help you. Livestorm comes with many integration options that will help you take care of tasks based around the webinar hosting process.
For instance, let us suppose your motive behind hosting the webinar was lead generation. You can integrate your CRM software with Livestorm to make sure there is a smooth transition of lead information from this platform to your CRM tool.
Similarly, you can integrate your landing page tool with Livestorm to import better quality landing pages for the campaign.
You can have plenty of direct as well as indirect integrations with Livestorm. It provides direct integration options for various popular tools such as HubSpot and Google Ads.
For other apps, you can use Zapier. The combination won’t make you miss the apps that you generally use.
Livestorm comes with all the bells and whistles of a Webinar hosting tool. They might not have done a great job of highlighting those bells and whistles, but one can’t deny their presence.
It is a cakewalk to create a webinar on the platform, and you can create a lot of them in no time. You can easily create webinars for courses and session-based events. They also entertain uploading videos, so you can also have an automated webinar in the general sense.
There aren’t supposed to be a lot of roadblocks during the webinar, as well. The webinar room provides a clear interface to manage the stream and all the elements associated with it. You can have moderators, guest speakers, and even invite audience members to share the stream.
The sections for polls, chats, and questions are also very well managed. The only thing we didn’t like much in this section was the provision for CTA. Apart from that, you can easily manage the webinar from the window.
Livestorm would also take care of landing pages and email reminders for you, which is a great feature from a marketing point of view. There won’t be many choices when it comes to the design of the landing page, but it would still be good enough to get the job done.
You will also be able to have some automation and integration options to make the job easier. There will be a few basic automation to start and end the webinar, and also to insert a CTA button during the seminar.
They did a great job of taking care of the integration side of things, as well. You will be able to find plenty of direct integrations for CRM and email automation tools, and the Zapier integration adds thousands more to the mix.
We found Livestorm to be a great tool for hosting simple webinars. If you don’t see yourself doing anything fancy with the webinar, then this can be the tool you are looking for.