Q&A: Insights & Tips on Running Effective Global Webinar Programs
In the 2016 Webinar Benchmarks Report, we highlighted some of the companies running highly successful webinar programs on our platform. One of those organizations is EXFO, whose global marketing initiatives are led by Louis Adam, Director of Marketing.
In this Q&A, Louis explains why webinars have been so effective for his global team and shares his tips and best practices for launching effective webinar programs.
About Louis: Heading a multidisciplinary team comprised of 40 professionals, Louis is in charge of EXFO’s global marketing activities. His team includes campaign managers, event coordinators, designers, copywriters and translators, as well as digital marketing, media placement, public relations, marketing analytic and online education specialists.
Q: What is the most effective way to promote your webinar? How many weeks do you prefer for promotions?
A: In our global programs we see that the adoption of webinars is very different from region to region. There’s not just one way to do things. This really is impacted by the maturity of the market that you’re targeting. We select the mix of media outlets based on the target audience and then build a promotion plan around each event. Every event is treated as a critical part of our program. We invest significantly in promoting our events across social media, sales, distributors and partners.
Our planning process is about 8-12 weeks from inception to the live event. As soon as we have the high-level view of the agenda we launch our promotion machine. If you’re running global programs, understand your audience. We’ve seen in other parts of the world, like Latin America, there’s more influence from word-of-mouth and evangelists to promote our events. It’s critical to understand the buyers in your area and how they prefer to be targeted.
Q: What is one thing you can do to take your webinar program to the next level?
A: Revisit your content strategy. Quality should always be first. Manufacturing content is one thing but adding a strategy that will influence quality aligned with your marketing strategy cascaded from the business objectives is a completely different game. So much content ends up unused. Make sure to document your strategy and evaluate the effectiveness.
It boils down to: Content strategy. Measure impact. Obsession for performance.
Q: What’s the value of webinar engagement?
A: Before the event we focus on registration conversions. We’re always analyzing our pre-reg to live conversion rates to understand what tactics drive people to engage with us. We appreciate the value of the BrightTALK registration system which works to nurture registrants with reminders and follow-ups. After the webinar we look at the post webinar survey responses to understand what’s resonating with our audience. It’s always about the quality of the interaction. All of these detailed metrics signal which prospects we should prioritize and how we can better refine our webinars.
Q: What makes a compelling presentation? What differentiates mediocre webinars from those that convert attendees to advocates?
A: Synergy between the audience and speakers. When speakers don’t prepare and they just plug-in their PowerPoint and run through it – that’s mediocre. Compelling presentations start with those who really build the full storyboard to take their audience from point A to point B. It takes preparation to carefully craft that scenario to really focus on what’s important to the people on the line. That’s what distinguishes extraordinary webinars from the others.
Q: Why are webinars part of your marketing mix?
A: Initially we did an assessment of our channel performance to see what was driving pipeline and revenue. We found that webinars were at the top. Now today we have more objectives (visibility, credibility or product demonstrations) but are still seeing webinars as one of our top performers. Our webinar programs thrive off the mix of webinars to capture buyers at all stages. Partner webinars really help out. We leverage external speakers to drive deeper engagements – analysts, journalists, and customers all bring a unique story to share with our audience. They all successfully align with our specific objectives for key campaigns.
Looking for more insights and analysis on how to run a top webinar program? Download the 2016 Webinar Benchmarks Report to learn how you can take your presentations to the next level.
EXFO provides communications service providers (CSPs) with test orchestration and performance intelligence solutions to ensure the smooth deployment, maintenance and management of next-generation, physical, virtual, fixed and mobile networks. The company has also forged strong relationships with network solution vendors (NSVs) to develop deep expertise that migrates from the lab to the field and beyond.
EXFO’s key differentiation comes from combining intelligent, automated and cloud-based test and monitoring solutions with real-time analytics to deliver unmatched end-to-end visibility and assurance—from a network, services and end-user level. EXFO is no. 1 in portable optical testing and boasts the largest active service assurance deployment worldwide. Watch EXFO’s webinars on BrightTALK.