Part I: Owning Your Website vs. Renting Online Space
The concept of own vs. rent is not a new one. In digital marketing, we think of sites you can’t control, like social media channels, as rentals and your website is what you own. We’ve had a couple of customers indicate they’re considering abandoning their websites and focusing their marketing investment on social media. With each lightening fast passing day in the digital marketing world the evidence is more and more clear. This is a very dangerous strategy.
If you support YOUR BRAND with YOUR OWN WEBSITE, you can execute your marketing strategy and activities on YOUR OWN TERMS.
We are not suggesting you ignore social media. In fact, Julie Lord, our resident social media expert at REACH Maine Marketing Agency, will be offering a great series of posts on social media execution for your small and medium-sized business in the near future and we greatly look forward to sharing that content with you.
Your website is an investment just like building a new warehouse or purchasing a new widget production machine. Depending on your business’s size and competitive landscape, we realize in many case the investment can be significant. For long term sustainability, investing in your website is a must. Social media can and should be used as a lead-generating tool to drive highly qualified, engaged, brand-supporting traffic to your website so you can sell your product or service.
The Facts About Renting Your Digital Space
Here are the facts about why putting all of your time and money into social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Pinterest, Instagram is a mistake:
- Those Likes and Followers you worked so hard to grow! You don’t own them, the channels do.
- Because social channels “own” your Likes and Followers, they can change the game at any time. In 2014, Facebook started gradually reducing the organic (free) reach of Facebook posts from business pages forcing many businesses (including REACH), to open our wallets and “boost” our pages and posts. As social media channels continue to evolve and mature, there will be increased pressure from stakeholders and stockholders, so we expect this trend to continue.
- Some social channels will fail! Google+ is a great example of a social media platform many businesses invested in that is now near extinction. How do you recoup your investment in those Google+ connections? Hopefully you’ve connected with many of the same folks on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn all ready :}. Remember MySpace? Uggh.
- If you sell products online, you control the sale on your own website. Transaction costs are becoming increasingly fixed with baseline minimums at 2.9% + .30 cents per transaction via stripe.com. That’s pretty simple. As social channels offer ecommerce, they will likely charge pay-for-performance transaction fees that you can’t control. If you can afford lower margins through social channel sales, why not? But take the premium margin on your own website whenever it makes business sense.
Steps To Get Your Website On Track
If you are looking for a strategy to improve your website’s performance, consider these starting points:
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. (If not, get help and fast!)
- Include a form to gather email addresses so you are building a marketing list that you OWN.
- Blog about your product or service. If your current website is so old and limited you can’t blog, contact us, we can offer suggestions.
- Kindly solicit testimonials (images/text and/or video) from you customers and clients to create a testimonials section on your website.
Let REACH Help You Represent Your Brand With A High-Quality Website
Related Info From Experts
The decision to own or rent your online space is not a new topic that uncovered by the REACH Team. This is an ongoing marketing strategy dilemma that many small and medium-sized business face. The following links provide more detailed marketing rhetoric on this topic.