And the differences between owned earned and paid media
Is Mark Zuckerberg taking over the digital world? Is it only going to be all about social media in the upcoming years following 2020? Have you watched Social Dilemma on Netflix and totally convinced that it will be all about social media? In this blog post, we aim to give an answer to why you should have a professional website rather than relying on just social media.
Without a doubt, social media has been shaping today’s consumer behaviours. Instagram, Pinterest and other social media channels are growing every year and people spend hours and hours scrolling their news feeds. These channels are great to put your message out there and reach millions of people, however, entrepreneurs should prioritise professional websites over their social media channels.
We hear a lot of entrepreneurs asking ‘Why should I have a website while I can just rely on social media?’ or ‘Why should I invest in something expensive while I can just post every day and find clients?’ These are valid questions but there are even more valid answers to why you should invest in a website rather than relying on just social media channels. Here are five reasons why you still need to have a professional website in this social media age;
1- You have full control of your website
First of all, you need to ask yourself this question: Would you like to rent a space or be the landlord? Renting a space might be a temporary solution but not very ideal right? Everyone would love to own their place and bring their guests over.
A website is a house while social media is rented space. Let us explain this to you in another way. There are three types of media in digital marketing. These are owned, earned and paid media. This is also called Digital Marketing Trifecta.
Owned media includes owned channels such as websites, applications, mobile sites, blogs etc. Social media is not owned media because brands don’t have full access to their customer data or control over the experience. If you create your own forum or social media channel, then it is owned media.
When a company pays to leverage their brand on a channel, this is considered paid media. These could be social media ads, banners, TV and radio commercials etc.
Earned media is advertising generated by your customers. This could be word of mouth, shares and mentions on social media and reviews.
Even though earned and paid media are very important in the mix, owned media is the primary part of your marketing mix. Your final aim should be bringing your guests to your house and your house is your owned media.
Starting a Facebook or Instagram page might get you somewhere, especially if you are just starting out and don’t have any capital. You might actually collect leads by giving targeted ads or even organically using Facebook groups. However, you don’t own these social media channels. When you create business pages and groups on social media, these channels are just rented spaces. If the landlord decides to shut down the place, you will be out. Or if he thinks that you are using third-party apps, you will be blocked from using these channels.
It can happen to any business at any time. If you build a great profile on TikTok, Instagram might take it over or the channel might just be blocked in some countries. So your reach would be limited and you would have nothing else to do.
If you are a business owner, you need to make sure that you have 100% control over everything from your digital presence to your staff. If you don’t own your channels, someone else does and it is up to that person to keep or kick you out of these mediums. Don’t be at the mercy of someone else and invest in your own media before any other channels.
2- Organic Search and SEO
While there are ways social media can improve your SEO results, it does not directly contribute to SEO ranking. Search engines love websites and they tend to rank them higher on search results.
Social media has the potential to drive quality web traffic to your blog or website so you need to focus on having a website or a blog so you could bring in visitors using these social media channels. Social media is just a marketing tool to feed your own channels so that you could reach more people.
Your website is your content hub and you are free to fill it up with quality content. You can add videos, blogs, customer reviews, and FAQs. When you use the right keywords on these pages and optimise your website, you have the chance to climb up search rankings which then allows you to gain more visitors through organic search. Plus you can still use social media as a marketing platform to drive traffic back to your website.
3- Gaining insight into your current and potential clients
Even though social media channels provide some sort of insight, a well-tracked website can provide much more than that. With Google Analytics or a different analytics platform, you can track who visited your website, what their interests are, where they live, how they found your business and how long they stayed on each of your individual pages. These are all great insights when you want to use a marketing tool (such as social media) to promote your business. For example, if you want to give targeted advertising on Facebook, you can check your audience’s interests and target them so that you are not wasting your money on people who may not even be interested in your products or services.
4- Credibility and social proof
Having your own domain makes you more credible, and this builds trust between your brand and audience. Imagine an online business that you want to buy expensive products from and they don’t have a website, return policy or even guarantee information. You cannot track the shipment because you cannot log in and see your order details. Would you still pay a lot of money to buy that product online, knowing that the business may not be legit?
5- Opportunities to bring in revenue
Websites provide entrepreneurs with a lot of functionalities. If you would like to collect leads, you can set up a lead generation form and even a freebie to attract more leads. If you would like to sell items and make money while sleeping, your website can provide you with the e-commerce functionalities you want. Even though it is possible to make sales with social media, your website is the place where your inventory is stored. It is your inventory and you should have full control over it.
In addition, business owners can place filtering, categorisation and search options on their website, and use user experience techniques to turn their website visitors into customers.
We know that an effective owned-media strategy requires investment, time and commitment, however, it is smarter to invest in something you own than to build on land that doesn’t belong to you. Invest in your website today so you have full control over your digital presence rather than just having a marketing tool.
Whether you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, connect with us today to make sure your 2023 digital marketing strategy is in place.