Government Communications Service
CNBC Supply Chains webinar campaign
Blog posted by: Naomi Baker and Phoebe Bowell, Department for International Trade International Marketing team, Communications and Marketing, 23 November 2020.
In May 2020, the International Marketing team at the Department for International Trade (DIT) delivered a series of webinars promoting the resilience of the UK’s supply chains during the pandemic. The wider objective of the campaign was to reach and reassure a global audience of Senior Business Decision Makers (SBDM) that the UK remains a great place to invest in and trade with during this time of uncertainty.
Professionals on a video call session.
With a short campaign deadline of 2 weeks, it was quickly decided that it would be necessary to onboard a production partner to deliver the webinars and to provide a host platform for the content.
From the outset, we knew that we needed to reach a large audience of C-suite executives and business decision-makers with our webinars in order to meet our objectives. The campaign team, in consultation with our media agency, decided to onboard a global media publisher to help deliver this activity. One of the principal benefits was that these publishers attract a large, consistent audience of their own – which would allow us to very effectively tap into their audience pool.
CNBC was chosen from a list of GCS-approved production partners on the basis of their strong industry-standard production capabilities, global reach among overseas buyers and investors and track record of high performance over the past 4 years working with DIT. In partnership with them, we produced two 30-40 minute webinars that featured panels comprising 2 ministers and international business specialists, which explored the themes of digital advancements and AI in advanced manufacturing – both hosted on CNBC.com. We also produced a 3-week TV ad campaign, a month-long digital media campaign and had a designated digital hub on CNBC promoting DIT’s hugely successful GREAT Ready to Trade (RTT) campaign. The RTT international marketing campaign, launched 1 Feb 2020, superseded existing international trade and investment campaigns.
The webinar campaign was a great success, outperforming all anticipated benchmarks. The campaign hub attracted 9000+ visitors, with nearly 12000+ page views, and the average time spent on the site of 231 seconds was significantly higher than the CNBC benchmark. The ‘2020: The Supply Chains’ Digital Frontier’ webinar was the most visited webinar, with over 62,000 visits – which aligned with CNBC’s largely tech-orientated audience. This webinar outperformed planned metrics by delivering 3,140 vs 150 video plays. The ‘Reimagining Advanced Manufacturing’ webpage achieved over 17,000 page views, and this webinar also outperformed benchmarked metrics by delivering 1,085 vs 150 video plays.
Producing a successful webinar campaign at such a critical time for government communications was a novel trial for us. It allowed us to explore new ways of reaching our audiences, opening new marketing possibilities in what is an increasingly digital working world. Delivering this campaign provided us with many critical learning points for best practice in using the webinar format to create highly effective campaigns. Examples include: optimum webinar length; the need to build content around thematic structure and include multiple topics areas; trialling the implementation of polling unit questions and their engagement.
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