SYDNEY — Tackling the world of online marketing in an ever-changing environment means shaping the right communications strategy to learn as much as possible about your audience and what they expect from you.

Organized by Nava Marketing and sponsored by Innovacorp, Nova Scotia Business Inc. and the Cape Breton Partnership, the Social Media Sydney conference Friday brought together about 140 entrepreneurs, marketers, communications specialists and post-secondary students to discuss how a company can stand out from the crowd and get noticed, and eventually make money.

Companies need to know how to target their audience, said Cam Gordon, the director of communications for Twitter Canada.

“There’s so silver bullet solution, not one platform that’s going to be a guarantee. It’s knowing where your customers are,” he said during a question-and-answer session.

Gordon was one of five marketing and communications professionals invited to the one-day conference.

Others included Fergus Dyer Smith, the founder and CEO of Wooshii, a leading online video production community; Kieron Donoghue, the founder of Humble Angel Records in the United Kingdom; Sarah Goforth, a longtime communications specialist and director of outreach for the University of Arkansas office of entrepreneurship and innovation; and Tracey Boutilier, the owner of Vibe Creative Group, based in Sydney.

Permjot Valia, the entrepreneur-in-residence for Momentum, an initiative created by Innovacorp, was one of the organizers of the conference.

He said by giving local companies and entrepreneurs access to some of the sector’s leading marketing practitioners, it could spur ideas and best practices in product development, the advertising rollout process and how to convince consumers a company’s product or service is essential to have.

Related coverage: Q&A: The Post chats with participants at Social Media Sydney conference

“Cape Breton and a lot of other communities like Cape Breton can sometimes feel isolated from the world. These tools such as video, Twitter, music, make us feel connected to the world,” Valia said.

Holly Chisholm, program co-ordinator at Innovacorp, said the mix of professionals at the conference made for opportune networking.

She said some advice was practical based on the limited time and funds entrepreneurs are often faced with.

“If they are giving these great tips on what you can do that’s not costing a lot of money, you can do that in-house and that’s just a part of building your business and build it in early so that it becomes a part of your overall plan.”

Valia said based on the response to Friday’s conference, it bodes well for future conferences aimed at the local startup community.

“Hopefully this will now become an annual event where we are able to attract world class practitioners.”

Twitter: @cbpost_chris

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