On January 26th, we had a great panel discussion centered on online marketing and user experience for mostly small businesses. The panel featured 3 professionals representing a pretty diverse range of industries, expertise and professional backgrounds which made for a great discussion on a rich topic. The panel featured Thyra McKelvie, the founder and CEO of Rendezvous Strategies. Thyra specialized in developing web strategies, positioning, and marking communication strategies. Charlie Claxton is the Chief Creative Strategist at Up Top Design and Development and the firm was recently merged with another company in order to increase overall web and mobile platform solution. Shannon Evans McDonald is a Community Manager at Crown Social. Her experience includes social media and tactics. To recap, we’ll share some of the questions that were posed (in italics below) followed by a summary of anecdotes and takeaways from the panel’s responses.
The tips for startups of how to create an effective online presence:
The landing page has to be clean and the customer has to understand what the company is selling right away. The website needs to persuade both types of the audience: analytical through quantitative, and emotional through pictures and qualitative. For startups, it has to be very straight forward and clean.
Then, it would be the content in order to create an effective online strategy. For startups, the marketing budget is normally so tiny that there is only one shot. By being your own creator and the brand image, it would significantly increase the company’s credibility in the long run. Thyra suggested the four steps to create contents: Be your own publisher, create your community, break into other communities, and integrate social media tools. As Shannon pointed out afterward, the content becomes the king and she recommended that it is more important to provide fewer great articles than a lot of average ones. From the website perspective, Charlie stressed the core benefit of creating a well optimized website and integrated contents will significantly increase the brand presence comparing to spending a lot of money in SEO. From a strategy perspective, both Thyra and Charlie touched on leveraging not only online, but offline, to increase awareness through interesting people around the network. Leverage the traditional methods to interact with people such as phone calls, drop in visits, meeting over a coffee, etc. Finally, pair up with partners in a faster growth area will also help the business out.
Pet Wearables – Owen Ho, Deepak Batra, Vivian Sun, Nini Wu, Nicky Yi.
Rendezvous Strategies (http://www.rendezvousstrategies.com)
Up Top Design and Development (www.uptopcorp.com (Links to an external site.))
Crown Social (www.crownsocial.com (Links to an external site.))