Recently I wrote a post about the surprisingly large team it takes to pull off a successful webinar program. In today’s post, I will expand on the critical role of the webinar program manager. For any significant webinar program, a dedicated webinar program manager is an absolute must for success because this role requires the wearing of many marketing hats. Not only must this person wear multiple hats, they must be very good at it. Due to this multi-hat wearing requirement, the webinar program should be the sole focus of one individual, rather than an additional responsibility for someone with other areas of focus. This is no small accomplishment – and a very hard role to fill. Here are 7 hats the webinar program manager must wear well:
- Content Marketing: Content is the backbone of any webinar program and the manager needs to have a good sense for which valuable content will draw in a healthy volume of the right audience. This includes searching out and vetting dynamic virtual presenters who have the right content for the target audience and program goals.
- Email Marketing: This is a big area in and of itself that includes knowledge of email content and design along with subject line creation and A/B testing to drive the best results. This can also include email automation know-how and SPAM laws. A solid use and understanding of email analytics will help the program manager improve design and content to drive interest and action.
- Event Marketing: Anyone who has planned an event, physical or virtual, knows what a detail-oriented task it is. Paying attention to the event logistic details are extremely important, along with ensuring that the event is planned in such a way as to engage and enthrall the audience during its live production.
- Demand Generation: Of course without registrations there wouldn’t be much of a webinar program. So the webinar program manager needs to be really good at knowing how to target the right audience and use the right media venues and tactics to drive interest. Using lots of data and analytics are going to make the program manager successful here.
- Nurture: The webinar program itself can actually be a nurture program if it is designed with several levels. Additionally, if a registrant stalls in the buying cycle, the webinar program manager needs to know how best to nurture them back to a sales-ready state. This requires a good understanding the target audience’s buying cycle and their needs at each stage of that cycle.
- Web design: Not only will a webinar program manager want to use the company website to promote webinars, but he or she will be responsible for designing (or influencing) the registration microsite landing pages and registration forms. Grasping web design concepts is essential, along with understanding what design elements and placements drive action and how visitors will interact with and navigate through the event microsite.
- Social Marketing: Most webinar programs include some element(s) of social marketing. This can include promoting webinars via Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter prior to the event, or using Twitter during the event to spark conversation and interaction.
Each of the above marketing ‘hats’ that a webinar program manager must wear can be a job in and of itself. In fact, many enterprises have entire departments within their marketing organizations staffed by specialists dedicated to each of these areas. If you have a webinar program without a dedicated manager, I’d encourage you to consider tapping one person to take on the program as their sole responsibility or hiring a dedicated resource.
If you are a webinar program manager – kudos to you for bearing the weight of multiple hats!