How Webinars are Helping Agencies Collaborate Both Internally and Externally
Digital marketing has been heating up fast for a decade, but never as much as it did in 2020. Every large and small business that hadn’t gone digital suddenly scrambled to do so, and marketing agencies saw an average 13% growth over the year.
In all that scrambling, the “new normal” of the industry took shape. Marketers began working more with product developers, the customer service department, management and sales.
Collaboration was already the keystone of creative marketing, but new ways to collaborate were needed in 2020 to stay competitive in the pandemic-driven marketing boom. A strategy that works today has to think outside the box, making new collaborations even more pivotal for brands trying to stand out.
Collaboration now comes in many forms. Internal collaborations are one. More brands are rushing to collaborate with marketing agencies and independent contractors instead of hiring from within, as well. A third kind of collaboration in creative marketing comes when companies share their marketing efforts to beef up their offerings through partnerships.
In short, marketing agencies are no stranger to collaboration. At the same time, there’s been a learning curve for everyone as more collaborations happen—and usually from further away.
Two Essential Pieces Of Creative Work In Marketing
The name of the game in business success today, they say, is creative collateral. Marketing agencies are advising companies on whole libraries of downloadables and webinars synced to elaborate funnels with SEO and PPC optimizations, not to mention a ton of social media content.
That’s just half the picture, though.
The two essential parts of successful creative work in marketing today are:
- Creative collateral deliverables: Yes, the creative work that goes into consumable brand collateral is essential. From ebooks to display ads, this content supports brands in the new era where consumers now average half a dozen touchpoints with a brand before buying a product or service.
- Collaboration: Collaboration has gotten bigger as more departments have gotten involved. It’s not just internal stakeholders putting their heads together now. With more companies (of more sizes) turning up the heat on their marketing strategies, external collaborations with independent contractors, agencies and even other companies have become a staple of successful creative marketing work.
While these two standards were part of marketing before the pandemic, the boom in marketing in 2020 accelerated both trends.
The real question now is how your agency can make collaborations more successful—internally and externally—to deliver even better creative work to your clients every time.
What Do Webinars Have To Do With This?
You might be asking, what’s all this have to do with webinars?
When it comes to people coming together for creative work, you need the right channel in place to make sure their collaboration is smooth and effective.
You want to simultaneously remove barriers and stir creative ideas.
Creative marketing benefits from webinars in a big way, as webinars are the prime channel for big brainstorms, training, project updates and more.
Keep reading to learn what collaborative creative work requires today and how webinars are an essential channel of communication to get the work done.
What Collaborations Does Creative Marketing Work Require?
Collaborations offer a strategic approach to develop creative collateral. Collaborations can also facilitate a more regimented set of steps that ensure creative work is the best it can be.
In order to do that, of course, collaborations need to be built out under an outline of what you need to do from messaging to channels and budgets for each creative deliverable. Then, you need to define the responsibilities of each collaborator.
Depending on your organization’s structure, collaborators might include:
The larger a marketing agency becomes, the more internal collaborators it acquires. Internal collaborators are often the highest-performing, but several hires have to be made to build out this kind of internal team.
If full-time hires are within your budget, today’s on-staff creative collaborators often include:
- Brand Specialists
- Marketing Assistants
- Influencer Marketing Assistants
- Creative Directors
- Copy Managers
- Graphics Managers
- Integrated Marketing Managers
- E-Commerce Marketing Specialists
Or Do You Have A Team Already?
If you aren’t hiring because you already have an all-star team put together, that’s a luxury few marketing agencies have. Ensure your team has the tools and systems they need to collaborate wherever they can, because it’s the in-house, cross-departmental collaboration that weaves the best ideas today.
Collaborative marketing usually requires more team members than an agency has full-time.
Once external collaborators come into the picture to bridge that gap, the responsible marketing agency ensures a high level of productive communication so that the creative work can live up to today’s hyper-competitive standards.
External collaborators generally come in the forms of:
- Side-by-side collaborations with other businesses: when creative collaboration comes in the form of two businesses with complementary services (that run in their own lanes without a conflict of interest), this is considered a side-by-side collaboration.
For example, a content marketing agency might partner up with a web design agency to knock out a huge website project for a client.
- A team or agency: if your business does certain parts of creative work well but has no staff for other parts, collaborating with a third-party team or agency is more affordable than suddenly hiring a more people full-time. This kind of collaboration allows you to work with an established team with a specific area of expertise, too, making collaboration much more efficient.
In these cases, your business continues to be the face of the interaction with the client. In the background, you’re just getting the collaborative help you need to develop the finished product.
- Independent contractors: when you hire an independent marketing contractor (or freelancer, as some are called) to knock out a specific collaboration or take care of one line of creative work until you’re ready to hire full-time, that’s another kind of collaboration. This is the lowest-hanging fruit when looking for solid collaborations to knock creative projects out of the park, because independent contractors are easy to find and quick to onboard.
Visual Collaboration For Visual Tasks
Regular project management tools are essential to rally collaborators behind due-dates, but in creative work your collaboration channels need to include a visual space, too.
The key requirement for any creative collaboration today (especially with most creative work now being done remotely) is that it be visual and interactive at the same time.
Knowing that, you’ve just slashed half of the options of communication channels. There are some that will simply never deliver both of those crucial features.
For example: group chats? Not visual enough.
Asynchronous white boards? Not interactive in the right way.
Webinars As The Ultimate Collaboration Channel
As collaboration in creative work grows more indispensable in today’s market, the use of webinars has grown in tandem.
The communication benefits of using webinars for creative work is the result of three key drivers to successful collaboration:
- Time: Not only the time spent but the time zones collaborators work from are “normalized” when webinars are used. The webinar channel allows collaborators to come together in the most convenient way (and in a live or recorded format). Webinars backed by a little preparation and a specific agenda make better use of creative collaboration time, too.
- Efficacy: Webinar technology is ideally suited for larger meetings like presentations, training and workshops. Unlike an “open floor” Zoom meeting, webinars bring structure and presentation together to drive more productive collaborations.
- Tools: Of course, the right webinar platform will also come with the optimal technologies to facilitate better collaboration meetings. Especially with a larger number of attendees, those tools include things like multiple presenters.
Added benefits of using webinar technology for creative collaborations include:
- When you host a webinar, background noise is easily minimized with attendee mute and control functions.
- Polls can be used to ask questions and actively seek each stakeholder’s insight. Closed-ended questions are easily asked with the hand-raising feature, too, providing all attendees with instant feedback.
- Webinars also allow automations throughout the process of inviting and managing attendees. Reminders go out automatically and you get instant feedback on who attended and their participation.
- Webinars are also ideal for recording brainstorm sessions and presentations so you can share them with each of the collaborators (along with anyone who couldn’t attend). That way, each stakeholder has the webinar to refer back to. This gives attendees a takeaway only the best note-takers had before: fidelity to the best ideas voiced.
With today’s fierce competition in marketing, the heat has turned way up on creative work. Businesses of all kinds need better marketing to stand out, and marketing agencies are the ones coming up with the bright new ideas.
Agency clients genuinely need results, and creative marketers are required to collaborate in new ways to get competitive and inventive ideas going.
In both online and offline spaces, collaboration in creative marketing is essential. And in the new global norm, collaborations are happening across time zones and borders, businesses, and agencies.
To stay competitive, making the most of those collaborations is essential.
Creative work collaboration, however, is not as simple as putting people in the same space. Choosing the webinar as your principal channel for brainstorms, meetings and presentations will add superb advantages to your creative quiver.
It’s those advantages that generate more powerful creative deliverables.
As it turns out, it is possible to have seamless collaboration, even with collaborators as spread out as they are today. Leverage webinars as your preferred channel, and you’ll see these benefits and more.
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