Building a digital presence for your brand takes time and effort. There are so many components, it’s difficult to keep up! You’ve been thinking of ways to make it easier. Your website seems a bit unnecessary, it’s not doing anything so why bother having it? You could just use Facebook instead, right?
Before you go jumping on the I-don’t-need-a-website-I-can-just-use-facebook-for-all-my-digital-marketing bandwagon there’s a few things your need to understand.
You still need a website
Your website is a vital part of your brand’s digital presence and you shouldn’t rely solely on Facebook or other social media platforms for your digital marketing. Social media should be used to drive traffic to your website, not replace your website. And there are a few really good reasons why.
Not everyone is on Facebook
Granted there are a lot of people out there that have Facebook profiles, around 65% of Australians are active on the platform on a monthly basis.
But what if your target audience consists of people that aren’t regular users? Have you considered that some people don’t even have a profile? How are they going to find out about your company? And remember, not all people on social media interact with brands or use social as a search tool for information (although Zuckerberg would like to think so).
You need to have an online presence that is accessible to everyone. You need to be able to be found by people searching the internet. Your website should be thought of as a hub of information, social media is the tool to drive traffic there.
A website is yours
That’s right, you own your website. Facebook may be ‘free’ to join but it isn’t yours. If you read the fine print (which no one does but should) you will see that all of the content you put on the platform belongs to them – it belongs to a huge global organisation. Which means they control it.
On the other hand, you pay a small fee to have a domain and website host and it’s all yours! It won’t suddenly disappear, you aren’t governed by the rules of Facebook so your content can’t be removed. And you aren’t a slave to the Facebook algorithms and paying for advertising in order for your fans to see your posts.
With fewer distractions and competition for attention, a website is far easier for audiences to navigate than a Facebook business page. Because you have control over your website, you can display the information in a way that makes sense to visitors and you’ll have a much better chance of converting them into a lead.
You own your own data
Having worked closely with web analysts I can proudly say I know a thing or two about the importance of owning your own data and will shout from the rooftops about how it is vital for businesses of all sizes to make informed decisions based on insights from their data.
Facebook and other social media platforms own the data from your page. Not you, them. You want to own your own data, you don’t want someone else owning it because then they control it.
When you drive traffic to your website you can start to look at the data and gain valuable insights about your visitors and the content they are viewing. Your data helps you target your audience more effectively. You can build a database by encouraging visitors to join a mailing list, you can then market to them directly. This direct contact with your customers can prove to be very valuable.
Build your own
Creating a website used to be quite a chore, involving designers and developers making it quite costly for small businesses. And you didn’t always get what you wanted. Even WordPress can be a headache to navigate for the tech savvy.
But now there is a number of easy to use web building platforms such as SquareSpace, Weebly and Wix that allow users to build decent looking websites. Unlike previous build your own websites they are drag and drop so you don’t need any knowledge of HTML.
Even if you get help in the initial setup (a good idea if you want it to look professional and be user-friendly) the platforms are very accessible so you will easily be able to make updates yourself.
I’m not suggesting you stop using social media either, it is a valuable part of your marketing. But to rely on it is a big mistake.
Use your social platforms to communicate and engage with your audience, to create awareness of your brand and the products/services you offer. In your posts, provide links to your website so that your drive traffic to it and can obtain information about your audience.
Your website should be your focus, it is how you will be found and the primary source of information about your business.