Skills rev up at digital garage

A thirst for digital know-how was behind the demand from businesses for free workshops run by global search engine giant Google in Perth this week.

The booked-out digital garage – the largest ever held in Australia – saw more than 1000 people through the doors of Perth Town Hall this week.

Ironically, the free gift handed to those who attended was a pen and notebook, showing that old school methods of communications are not dead yet.

Google Australia Head of Brand and Business Marketing Richard Flanagan says it was no surprise demand for the workshops ran high, with Google research revealing 90 per cent of small businesses do not take full advantage of all available tools and technologies.

“The 10 per cent that are doing great things, they are growing revenue faster, hiring more people, exporting more and really kicking goals when it comes to business,” he told BP Digital.

“Business owners are telling us that those skills and how to develop confidence using those tools is where we can help and that’s where digital garage comes in.”

Flanagan says even though the concept of digital has been around for a while, there are a whole range of reasons holding businesses back.

“It is just the plethora of tools that are out there. When you think about all the different tools from social media to online marketing to video to mobile and website, there are a lot of things to think about and a lot of different voices that business owners are hearing.

“Our advice is to pick one, start simple, make that work, learn from it and then try another one because there is no way in a single day you can build a website, install analytics, get ads running, have a social media plan and be making videos.”

“If you try to do too many things you might get a bit of burn out and not see what is actually working for you.”

Flanagan says for most businesses the website is the foundation for accomplishing the goals that will drive the business forward.

“Every other marketing tactic should drive towards that goal, whether it’s any one of social media, online ad platforms, any offline channels such as a billboard or ads in newspapers or magazines.

“Everything should be driving traffic to that goal. Once you have analytics installed you can see which of those elements is working well and which is not.”

Digital garage is free and available here. The company also launched Digital Springboard, where businesses can access new digital skills via in-person training for the rest of the year.

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