Be The Ugly Duckling !
We cannot stress enough the importance of having a website for your small business. Now, you might be wondering, “Do I need a website if I have a Facebook Page?”
The answer is yes!
Although you can set up several social media pages for your business at no cost at all, there are certain crucial factors that a well-designed website can offer you that no social media platform will ever be able to.
We all know that saying “you need to spend money to make money”, and this is especially true when it comes to your online business.
The first thing to remember when considering your online presence, is that people take websites seriously. Very seriously.
In fact, studies show that online users automatically consider businesses who have a website more credible than ones who don’t.
The second thing to be considered is that, as a business owner, you want full control over your brand – no matter what.
Ultimately, you want to decide exactly how your brand is presented to the public, regardless of whether it be a one-page website or a more sophisticated sales and marketing hub.
Setting up your online business solely on social media platforms, places you in the uncertain (and unpredictable) hands of the social media gods.
Should there be any changes made by these platforms, you have no voice and no control. You are at their disposal 100% of the time.
Let’s think back a few days to the 13th of March – the day Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram experienced a major outage on their main platform.
This resulted in users being unable to reach the content they were searching for. Additionally, they were unable to post, comment or even react to a post.
Business owners or entrepreneurs who rely solely on these platforms to do business, were shut down for the duration of the outage, causing major loss of revenue.
The worst part about it? They could do nothing but sit and wait until the problem was solved.
Furthermore, any person who pays for advertising to reach their target market can rest assured knowing that their audience was not reached during that time.
You will have noticed that it is becoming much harder (more technical and more expensive) to use Social Media to reach your desired market. The reason is quite simple. As competition in this space heats up, so too do the resources required to use these platforms also increase.
Think advertising budgets, dedicated personnel, content generation and expertise required to drive a successful Social Media marketing campaign today. And so, building up an audience through Social Media is becoming much more difficult.
You share an audience with every other business on Facebook, and you pay to access this audience, with your time, your content and your advertising budget.
And because competing for the attention of this audience is growing increasingly expensive, it makes more sense to get subscribers to your content on your own platform, i.e. your own website.
In addition, you want the interaction with your audience to move beyond the top of the sales funnel. So unless you have a social network integrated sales platform, you want your audience to be immersed on your own website where you control the interaction to a greater or lesser degree.
Your website is yours – you own it. Social media is a simply a marketing tool that can be used in support of your business goals.
That is the major difference between a website and Facebook or other social media platforms.
Although there are some nifty marketing tools provided by social media, by having a website you are able to home in on your marketing strategies, right down to very last detail.
By having a website as well as an ever-growing email list, you own two of the most valuable assets needed to build a thriving business.
Ultimately, you should be sending your potential customers to your website so that they can begin the process of knowing, liking and trusting you. This is where we build relationships with our customers.
Should they not be ready to make a purchase right away, there should be the option for them to sign up to an emailing list, subscribing to a blog or event notifications, and yes, also following you on your social network pages.
Any and every person who signs up to your emailing list has given you permission to nurture them by allowing you to stay in touch and adding value through the content you present.
This process will ultimately result in a higher conversion rate and, of course, a profitable business.
Relying on just one method of marketing can not only be dangerous (when will there be an outage again?) but it can also be tedious.
By using your website as a base, you can incorporate several powerful methods of marketing which will target the exact audience you are aiming at – and you’ll never miss.
However, the first step is knowing with unquestionable clarity what your goal is. With your goal in mind, you can develop your plan.
Most importantly, you want to make sure your marketing plan has substance and is resilient enough to remain unaffected by outages.
In order for your business to grow, your audience must grow. Furthermore, your ability to actually reach your audience will largely contribute to the success of your business.
Therefore, no effort put into building an audience (and connecting with them) is ever wasted.
This can be done by providing free, accessible content which is interesting and informative. Interesting content is more likely to be shared among online users, thereby spreading your brand's word.
Make sure you stay informed and up to date on matters relating to your industry and the interests of your audience – then provide them with the answers they are looking for.
By keeping your visitors engaged and interested, you are more likely to turn leads into paying customers.
Therefore, it’s easy to see why audience engagement should be a major part of your online marketing strategy.
To be clear, we are not saying that social media is not useful or important. In fact, one of the digital marketing strategies we employ is comprehensive social media marketing.
However, having a website is undoubtedly more important. Having a well-devised social media presence as well as a website, ensures long-term success.
ITM offers sophisticated website design services which are tailor-made to suite your goals and budget.
In addition, we can help you devise an intelligent marketing strategy using every possible avenue available.
If you would like to see your business grow, contact us today.
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