5 Reasons to Do It All: Why Your Business Needs a Website, Social Media, and an Email List | Megan Mallicoat

5 Reasons to Do It All: Why Your Business Needs a Website, Social Media, and an Email List

Man jumping off dock into water
I don’t understand it. I can’t afford it. I don’t have time.
Those are the things I hear again and again from business owners thinking about creating space for their businesses online. And I get it. It’s a big deal — there are a lot of steps to finish, and many of them are confusing. But people buy stuff — a lot of stuff — online. And even when they buy a product or service from a brick-and-mortar store, they frequently do research online first. This means that whether or not you want to set up shop and sell stuff online, a digital presence is a must-have for all business owners today. 
Generally, there are three ways to cultivate an online presence: with a business website, through social media accounts, and with an email list. It’s tempting to start slow and pick one method to concentrate on — after all, your focus is (rightfully) on your business, not the Internet! 
Resist the temptation.
If you pick one and ignore the others, you’ll miss out on the true power of digital marketing. Let’s discuss five reasons to tackle it all, even if you feel like you don’t have the time or money or know-how to do so: 

1. They’re not the same.

Though they certainly have similarities, websites, social media, and email are different. They have different strengths and weaknesses. They lend themselves to different kinds of content. They’ll attract different customers.

Your website, for example, is a great place to post carefully constructed, strategic content. But it’s not the best place to interact with your customers. Social media, though, is a great place to build relationships with your customers, but it probably won’t be as successful at selling your products as your email list will be.

It’s not uncommon to see a business attempt to use its Facebook page as a website. This is the digital equivalent of putting your wares on a small table in the corner of someone else’s storefront. You forfeit a lot and gain little. When your digital footprint includes a website, social media, and an email list, you can leverage each one’s strengths.

2. They need each other.

Websites, social media, and email work best when they work together to get results.

For example, your social media accounts will direct people to your website, and you’ll use your website to collect address for your email list. You can further engage your customer base with your email list by sending them content from your website or using the list to find them on social media. 

Think of it as a stool with three legs or a rope with three strands. Together, they support your business. Together, they provide a strong foundation for your marketing initiatives. 

3. They create content for each other.

If you’re worried that you won’t have time to create unique content for each avenue, let me reassure you that the content does not need to be completely original between your three platforms.

In fact, this is one of the ways that they support each other. A blog post from your website, for example, makes a great social media post, and is probably also the kind of thing you can email to your list.

And, much of the content you’ll create will be what’s called “evergreen” content — meaning, you can share it again and again across your platform, and because it’s not dated or time-specific, your customers will always find it useful. 

4. It’s a fast way to grow your business. 

Being present in multiple places online gives you a lot of exposure, and it allows you to connect with your customers in several ways. Studies show that it takes a handful of interactions with a person to turn them into a customer. When you reach them through your website, social media, and email, you’ll connect faster.

Truly, the cost of running a website, social media, and an email list is not high to begin with; factor in the growth it will bring your business, though, and you can’t afford not to. When you’re ready, you can even use this system to run relatively inexpensive but highly effective ads. (In fact, you’ll need this framework to run effective ads.)

5. It will help you build relationships with your customers.

People spend a lot of time online. Interacting with them where they already are gives you a chance to connect with them when they’re not in your store or office. Plus, the internet is an inherently social medium. You can use it to show your human side, build community, reward loyalty, and set expectations.

You don’t have to be a tech wizard to connect with customers online, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money. Simply be authentic, helpful, and genuine. 

What’s your biggest concern when thinking about going all in to digital marketing? What have you tried that works or doesn’t work?
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