For all of the international campaigns we develop, we are continuously looking for ways to increase involvement and to support the participating markets. In this process, we always work together with many different countries and people, and a webinar has proven to be an extremely useful tool to connect everything together. We have found that it gives everybody involved the opportunity to be heard, and it’s the perfect way to address people personally through a cost-efficient medium – and it’s easy to set up the timing to everyone’s advantage.
Together with our clients Frank Suntinger and Cristina Andriescu from Philips Lighting, we recently organized webinars to present our concepts and campaigns to the marketing communication contacts in the local markets and their contacts. And at the same receive their direct feedback and discuss it – a new approach that was met with great enthusiasm by all participants.
In a webinar, the focus is 100% on the online audience, the participants. The ‘venue’ is strictly online, with no one in the audience being physically present at any shared meeting place. In our experience, the key word in setting up a successful webinar is interactivity. This is the essential ingredient if you want to drive engagement from the audience, especially online.
As an ancient Chinese proverb attributed to Confucius says: ‘Tell me, and I will forget; show me, and I may remember; involve me and I will understand.’
We love to make our work processes as efficient and effective as possible, and there are many benefits to using a webinar when we want to connect to our partners in a international campaign:
- Giving the individual countries a voice in the early development stages of a campaign increases their involvement and commitment, and their input is essential to us.
- This lets us create a support base that will help to activate the campaign on a local level, which is where we really want the campaign to come alive.
- Webinars are a great way to save time and costs, and they are a highly motivating experience, as all participants get to see the materials presented right away, hear the questions asked, opinions shared and present their own ideas to the group – we call this ‘learning by sharing’.
- To us, a successful campaign is a streamlined campaign, and webinars are a good way to optimise the collaboration between a brand’s HQ and the individual country teams (by getting face-to-face feedback and sharing insights immediately and proactively).
- We get valuable insights about the local markets and their individual needs, so that we can fine-tune our concepts and designs right from the start.
For presenters, the good thing is that webinars are easy to organise and set up. For participants, they don’t need to download any special software, as everything is handled through your standard browser. A regular broadband Internet connection is usually enough to be able to enjoy all the webinar features in real time.
Setting things up / Getting the details right
As great as webinars are, you do need to check that you’ve covered the basics for everything to work smoothly. Our advice is to always keep in mind the following:
- Presenters and participants need to have a good webcam and microphone to be seen and heard; technical hiccups will make the webinar less effective.
- A wired Internet connection (Ethernet) is best. If you access the webinar over Wi-Fi, you have to make sure that you have a fast connection.
- You don’t want to have a presenter miss a participant’s question or feedback, or have several people responding and talking at the same time – so the host has to be on top of things and moderate the webinar well for example by using chat box or the Q&A box.
- PowerPoint presentations can be incorporated into the webinar experience, but at the moment this cannot be done with Keynote presentations.
Our experiences have shown that using webinars to help plan and implement our international campaigns is not only extremely useful – the participants (at KING as well as our clients) are very happy to have this new kind of interaction. Quite simply, it helps us all to get the job done even better.
If you want to know more about how webinars can enrich your campaign, be sure to ask us all about it. We are always looking into new ways in which we can incorporate digital tools like these into our workflow, to lift your campaigns to an even higher level.