Now more than ever, customers want to get to know everything about your brand. They want to know what your services are, what you as a company really cares about and what your product means to them in their lives. It really is a lot to think about. Then on top of that, you have to figure out where to tell all your prospective customers, in different ways and communicate those things that you know, they will want to know. Luckily for us, there are an abundance of free tools available to everyone that allows you to reach your audience in a way and convey your message in interesting and unique ways on each platform.
Today, social media allows each brand/business to be different things on different platforms, all for the benefit of getting your message out to your audience. Here are the things that you need to know about each of the major digital destinations, prioritized for you so that you can easily understand what to do with each platform as well as what content you should be thinking about when you create content for those destinations. We will also put them in order of priority for you so that you have a firm understanding of the importance of each and how they all work together. Let’s start with the most obvious digital destination, your website.
1) Your Website
This is THE SINGLE MOST important digital asset you have in your arsenal. With a majority of our clients, we have seen FIRST-HAND how a great website can boost your business, all by itself. Don’t misunderstand this…all websites are NOT created equally. You may think you have a great website, but if it is not laid out in a way that is easy to navigate, you lose customers. You may think you have a great website, but if it slow to load, you lose customers. You may think you have a great website, but if it is not optimized for search, you miss out on potential customers. You may think you have a great website, but if the content on your site is not positioned in a way that benefits visitors, you lose customers. Most business owners do not even know that they need to think of all of these things when building a website. What’s worse is that there are some that we have consulted, that do not have a website. All of your content that you put out as a business, is a first impression to your potential customers. All of it. Everything you put out is a first impression. If you think it’s time for a new site, remember these five things and make sure whoever is building your site can provide all of these services when building.
- Make sure your website is versatile: Ensure your site can grow and expand, as your business grows. Will you be able to easily add or remove pages depending on the products you offer? If the answer is no, then move on to another vendor.
- Ensure that your website is optimized for search: Most websites we run into from prospective clients are not. It’s no one’s fault, but if you paint houses for a living wouldn’t you rather save your money and have your site built so that you can take advantage of the potentially thousands of searches from people who search for “painters in San Antonio” or whichever city you are in? Here is where we find that most websites that are built do not take advantage of the potential thousands of Google Searches. If you are not doing this, you are potentially missing out on thousands of dollars in potential revenue.
- Content Layout: Ask yourself if the content on your site is laid out in a way that moves the user’s eye and creates a path and moves them where you want them to go. Does your site do this currently? Today, people are used to reading things that are 140 characters or less, so if you can’t get your point across in less than that you lose them.
- Navigation: Can end users find what you want them to see, easily. In most cases, the answer to this is no. People can and will come to your site for a variety of reasons. Make sure what they come for is easy to find. We can also help you identify what people are coming to you for.
- Easily Identifiable Domain: this is one thing that gets overlooked often times is your domain name. If it is not easy to remember, like your phone number, it will soon be forgotten by prospective customers.
If these five things are not in order, you may be potentially missing out on thousands of customers and potentially tens of thousands of dollars in business.
Something that most people look over. Especially if you are in a services-based business, YouTube can be your best friend and provide an addition revenue stream for your business. Millennials now learn about topics they are interested in by watching YouTube videos. You can literally learn anything there. From changing your water filter in your refrigerator, to learning how to create Facebook ads. This platform is perfect for “How To” videos! Whether you are teaching someone how to change pipes under their sink, or how to create a healthy diet for themselves, you can make your videos literally about anything you like…as long as there is value for the end user. However, as with most things, you can learn the basics, but until you get into doing things regularly and have experience understanding what works, you may not be able to take full advantage of the power of this platform. Additionally, YouTube videos can also be embedded into your website to provide additional resources for your customers and help you generate new leads from your videos.
The all-powerful. Facebook’s advertising tools are among some of the most powerful tools you can use right now. Given the amount of data that this platform (and YouTube) have on just about every consumer, they can hyper target your ads to whoever you want to see them. The trick and what is all comes down to, is are you creating ads that your customers will find appealing, that will make them want to take an action from your ad. Now, ads aside…your business should be using Facebook every day at least once to create debates and show potential customers what you are doing. This is a place where you can have direct conversations with your customers about their lives, needs and understand more about what they are looking for. Facebook is also a major destination for creating debates. Remember this when posting. We have seen great success creating debates or questionnaires for people to respond to that generate leads because you start to understand what people need and how you as a business can fit into their lives. Whatever you can do on Live video, you should. It will expose your page to new audience members especially if you focus in and around creating debates. The platform was made for conversation, so whatever you can do to generate conversation around something that an audience segment can care about, you will be successful.
Use Instagram as the visual representation of what you are trying to put out there when it comes to your business. The good and the bad of Instagram is that you can control what you want people to see. What I mean by this is that as a user, we get so caught up in making sure that we put out content on this platform that makes us look good, when what we should be worried about, is putting out content that is authentic and something that people can use in their everyday lives. This platform has created a whole industry for photographers that didn’t exist before because the platform has become so important. You can tell the success stories of your clients or depending on your business have direct consultations with them via video so that they can show you what they need. More millennials will follow a brand on Instagram and Facebook than any other platform and will routinely scout your business before making any purchasing decisions. So keeping up with these platforms is not only important, it could lead to additional traffic to your site and help potential customers discover your business.
The great thing about all of these tools, is that they can all work together to help your business achieve its goals. Look at it like a car. A car cannot move without fuel, which powers the engine, which turns the axle, to move the wheels which move you from point A to point B. This is the same principle. When you have everything working in tandem, your opportunities for success improve dramatically.
However, what frustrates most businesses is that this takes patience and a time investment. It does not happen overnight. There may not be an initial direct correlation to ROI or there may be times when you may not be able to figure out where exactly your business comes from. But chances are that if you are on these platforms and actively using them, to promote your business in a way that adds value to people’s lives, you have a greater chance of making a great first impression and attracting potential customers, as well as giving your current customers a way to stay in touch and follow along in your businesses journey.