As part of this year’s annual conference Open for Business in the Aviva Stadium on May 12th, Sandra Hennessy of Dynamic Web Marketing will be running a series of one-to-one web strategy clinics. We hold these every year, inviting a member to host them. Sandra may well be known to some of our members, attendees and readers already as she is one of the lecturers on our Diploma in Digital Marketing.
Conference delegates can book a clinic online but as they are one-to-one and run only in the afternoon the places are very limited so please no dawdling! (You can book your ticket for the conference online too and again less of that dawdling at the back please!)
I had a chat with Sandra last week about how she is going to run the clinics this year and here is how she replied
Q. Sandra, you are running a one-to-one web strategy clinic at Open for Business, the IIA Annual Conference on the afternoon of May 12th in the Aviva Stadium. Which key areas are you hoping to help delegates with at these clinics?
A. I anticipate a lot of questions around search engine optimisation and social media but I hope to help businesses identify new ways to increase their online profile and conversions. QR codes are getting popular and a lot of the larger businesses are using them, I am currently on a mission to get Irish SME’s using QR codes in innovative ways to help drive sales.
Q. Some of our delegates and members might recognise you because this isn’t the first time you have helped on the web strategy clinics at our annual conference. Tell us about some of the issues you managed to resolve for delegates in previous years.
A. I am delighted to be sponsoring the clinics, I only recently set up my own business but have been working in online marketing for 9 years now. Over the past few years the clinics have centered around websites evaluations, giving delegates advice on how to improve their website usability, search engine optimistion and conversions. I expect this theme will run into this year but the web is moving and how we attract new business online is changing every day. Setting up and using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter was discussed last year but I anticipate a lot more questions in this area as it is now paramount to any online marketing strategy to include social and business networking.
Q. And in the (2/3) years that you have been doing this and working in this area in general what are the biggest changes/ challenges you have seen for Irish businesses who are coming online or upping their online game?
A. The biggest challenge I have seen since the birth of social media is time. It’s great that we can use Facebook, Twitter etc for free but it does take time to set up and manage. Part of what I do every day is help businesses establish and implement their social media strategy. I help them build social media it into their working day. It eventually becomes habit rather than a chore but it takes time to get to this stage.
Q. If you have one piece of advice for an Irish business reviewing their online strategy what would it be? I know tough question!
A. Three words – PLANNING, DELEGATION and ANALYSIS. Planning will help structure things, plan out a time line for different stages and don’t be afraid to delegate out some of the work to colleagues. Once upon a time looking at your website once a month and making a few changes would suffice but now online marketing is an integral part of any marketing plan so it needs to be planned into every day tasks. Decide when things will be completed and who will complete them. Once they have been implemented, analyse. No point in taking the time to plan and implement if you are not going to review how successful your online marketing campaigns are.
If you do hope to participate please book online. In this form you can include details of the particular issue you wish to discuss so Sandra can prep in advance and you can really make the most of your half hour with her.
I mentioned QR Codes in a previous post and lo! as is often the way three virtual buses come along together and I found this post from Prosperity about the various uses being made of QR codes in entertainment and media in Japan in particular.
Typing out loud here, I could see them working very well for making content from our events available to mobile phone users attending those events. For example the QR Code on the right should bring the user to the Events page on the IIA website. I have a QR reader installed in my phone (Nokia E51), having read about it back at the beginning of summer. I suspect it’s a poor reader but so far I have not convinced it to read any QR codes that I have since happened upon! I must find a better one me thinks. I’ll keep you posted on my success or otherwise. I’d love to hear about any innovative uses people have found for the codes.