The importance of social media and online marketing to early stage businesses based on innovation or technology is the focus of the next StartUp Masterclass supported by the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) on March 26.The event, at Cambridge Judge Business School, UK will explore the role and application of online marketing, social media and search engine optimisation.
In another first, the masterclass is being broadcast to groups in different locations via live video streaming. For example, it will be screened at Chris Lamb Training Centre, John Innes Centre at Norwich Research Park, the same night for people who can’t make it to Cambridge.
CfEL director Shai Vyakarnam says that the ability to validate ideas, gather user feedback, reach potential customers – within very short timescales and with reduced budgets – means that the role of social media cannot be ignored.
Startups have natural advantages compared to larger established companies, such as flexibility, scale and a lack of historical bureaucracy which can be enhanced by using social media.
At the same time, search visibility and traffic matter in order to increase awareness and reach customers; search engine optimisation (SEO) is therefore increasingly important.
SEO ties in with almost every aspect of the company web presence, including social channels. So, how do you manage and optimise this complex process? And how do you verify that your efforts in online and social media are paying off?
Two experts in the field will be sharing their knowledge and experiences at the CfEL showcase.
Eric Swain is a director at the consultancy Gather & Throw, where he helps startups and early stage ventures launch. He said: “The social web has moved beyond interesting sideline activity to being, for many people, a well-entrenched part of their lives. Organisations are now realising they need to do a better job of understanding what the reality of the social era can mean for their businesses.”
Rob Chant runs The Cambridge Web Marketing Co, a web marketing consultancy focused on delivering SEO and related services to small businesses. His past experience with both designing and building web sites gives him deeper insight into the SEO process.
He said: “Google is still one of the most important platforms globally for visibility, exposure and direct business results. Straightforward search, let alone the increasing integration of search and social media, is a massive traffic driver. Getting that traffic, however, is much easier said than done! That's where search engine optimisation comes in.”
The Cambridge event starts at 5:45pm and there will be a Q&A session after the presentations. Visit the StartUp Masterclass web site, or book online at http://groupspaces.com/StartupMasterclass/item/256489 . You can also follow on Twitter: @strtupclass / @CfELCambridge
This is part of the ongoing Startup Masterclass programme which has been running events across Cambridge, Norwich and Bedfordshire. The aim is to foster an inspiring culture and an enabling environment for the creation and growth of ventures with a specific focus on early-stage businesses and small SMEs of less than ten people. It is also for freelancers and individuals who are considering launching their own business venture. The programme is grant-funded by ideaSpace Enterprise Accelerator.
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: CfEL director Shai Vyakarnam