This week we feature Ryan Hanly, Founder of Travello. Travello is a social network app for all types of travelers, from 1st time backpackers to experienced solo travelers & digital nomads.
In this interview, you can read more about his work at Travello, favorite marketing tools, productivity tips as well as his advice for budding marketers.
. . .
Your location: Brisbane.
Your favorite gadget: TV remote control! I hate it when I can’t find it!
You start your day with: A stretch.
Your favorite time-saving trick: Do our social media while I am walking to work!
Your top blogs you read daily: Invision, Medium, Tnooz.
. . .
Describe an average day at Travello?
There is really no average day at Travello — every day is different with new tasks and new challenges. When you are small team you are spread quite thinly and need to become adept at completing tasks across the business. You suddenly become very good at things you had no idea you had a skill set in. And I think this adaptability is really important in the early stages of a start-up. If you aren’t good in a particular area, you need to get good — fast. So you need to learn how to do it and don’t wait for somebody else to do it, or it just won’t get done.
As a startup founder, what are some of your favorite productivity hacks?
I know this sounds really simple but one of the ways that I stay productive is to create a list and prioritise the tasks. It sounds a little archaic in a digitalised world, but visually seeing what I have to do and then doing the most important things in the morning is how I really stay on top of the workload.
It’s also a good idea to get started on task that you are avoiding or would normally procrastinate around to avoid. I think there is a book about this along the lines of ‘Swallow the Frog’. It basically says do what you don’t want to do first.
But if I can’t see what I have to do, it really gets lost amongst the pile and possibly forgotten about. So the simple method of creating a list really works for me, keeps me on track and gets the most out of my day.
As a person who is well-versed with online marketing/ inbound, I’m sure you rely on a few marketing tools to automate your efforts. What are the top 3–5 tools you use?
To be honest as we are still scaling up and manually managing a lot of things, we haven’t really started too much in the full automation perspective. Also, we’ve just got the new site live, next steps are to get more sophisticated with what pages we show based on visitor/user behaviour too…which is where some of the automation comes into it, as it will also then link into app usage too.
We use Vision6 Email Marketing/Automation platform for our current email efforts. Taking things next level are really with Marketo and HubSpot or even Pardot (Salesforce).
For social we aren’t using a content and ad automation platform yet, however we have been looking at various options such as AgoraPulse, Sprout Social, Buffer, Hootsuite Sprinklr, MavSocial. Also looking at Social content and message aggregation tools such as Snapwidget (currently integrating on the site), Curator.io and Stackla.
Your company has a growing community of users. How do you use this treasure trove of customer insight to power your marketing efforts?
Travello is now being used in over 180 countries, so we have really rich customer insights. We look to use these insights to curate experiences around the individual. We know where our users are and what they are interested in, so we can really provide them with intelligent solutions which enhances their travel experience.
Many companies cannot get the customer insights that we have around our users, so that is really advantageous for us as a company and we can really market to an individual rather than a demographic. This is really the future of marketing, that is, marketing to the individual. We call it the ‘market of one’.
What is your strategy for getting people to your site and then converting them to a customer?
We use a range of messaging — some paid and some organic — across all our social media and we rely heavily on this. Once they reach the App Store or our website it’s really about hooking them within the first 3 to 4 seconds. That’s really all the time you’ve got, so you need to make that visual count.
We have a very clear value proposition and a very clear call to action upon first viewing of our website for the App Store. This is integral to increasing conversions — you can’t make people dig around to discover what they want out of your product. Hand it to them on a platter.
Is there any advice you’d like to give to budding startup marketers to help them work smart and stay productive?
You really need to know your audience and make sure you know what they want. That is really key. Don’t try to target everyone because you will end up appealing to no-one. Know what they respond to and then communicate to them in a clear, direct and concise manner.