Are you a business owner that is doing their own marketing?
For many of my clients, that’s the case, at least in part.
When you’re totally new to marketing, especially digital marketing, I find that a lot of people default to social media.
Even for my students in my digital marketing class at Wichita State, it’s a common misconception that social media is the be all end all for marketing online.
Not only is social media not your only outlet, it’s dangerous to put all your eggs in one basket.
I’m going to outline why you may want to focus on more than just social media and then give you some alternatives that you can add into your digital marketing plan. (And hint – it’s actually pretty easy to expand out and include these!)
Don’t Build Your Business on Rented Ground
Let’s just cover this – why is social media not the only way you want to market your business? Because you can’t control it!
Remember in October when Facebook and Instagram went down for basically 24 hours? Were you part of the panicked crowd?
If you were trying to launch a new product or service during that time and did 90% of your business through social media, well, you were out of luck! You could turn to Twitter (like many did) or TikTok, but if your followers weren’t there it didn’t really matter.
There have been many other large digital companies (Spotify most recently) who have had issues with downtime. The big problem with social media marketing is that you’re at the mercy of a corporation that is almost impossible to contact.
Is Your Audience Really There?
The other problem with social media? Is your audience really going to see you there anyway?
Think about it. If you pay attention to the marketing conversations at all, you’re probably familiar with the gripe about algorithms, reach, and their follower counts. With social media, you really have zero control over who sees your posts and when.
It’s not just about controlling who sees your posts though. It’s about how your audience likes to learn. Are they really going to read a loooooong caption on Instagram? That they then can’t even click a link on even if they wanted to?
If only 1-3% of your audience is seeing your social media posts anyway, are the right 1-3% of your audience seeing that post?
Digital Marketing Options You Can Own
Don’t get me wrong. Social media marketing can be a fantastic tool for your business. But you’re probably starting to see why it shouldn’t be the only way you’re marketing your business either.
When it comes to digital marketing, you want to put the majority of your emphasis on the pieces you can own. This means you control your message, how it’s shared, how it’s viewed, and even what it looks like.
Plus, when you diversify your marketing channels and build up your audience in a few places, you have far more control and options when something isn’t working the way it should. You’ll also be able to reach your audience where they want to be reached.
Your website is about the only piece of your digital marketing that you have 100% control over. You can make it look and behave basically any way that you want. Everything on our list is subject, at least in part, to third-parties.
It’s not just about control either. Everything in your marketing should lead back to some place on your website. It’s your business’s hub online, more or less.
How can you use your website to act as a digital marketing tool outside of all of that? Content!
Whether you choose to blog, vlog, post testimonials and reviews, case studies, or anything else, there are lot of ways you can publish consistent content with your website. Consistent content helps build up your Google rankings and brings people back to your website for more.
Pick something that’s easiest for you, though I’d highly recommend blogging. It’s great for your SEO, is easy to do on a consistent schedule, and allows you to answer your customers’ questions and objections.
The second-best place to focus your marketing efforts? Emails!
I don’t talk about email marketing enough, and if I’m honest, I’ve neglected my own a bit. It is, however, one of the best things you can do to cultivate long-term success in your business.
Let’s look at that a little bit more closely. Your social media followers enjoyed your posts enough to follow you, but it was pretty quick for them to do so. They might see a few of your posts every once in awhile, engage with them, but they might also totally forget about it once they’ve liked and kept scrolling.
Your email audience, however, liked you enough to allow you into their inbox. That’s a far more personal space than their Instagram feed. If you’re doing email marketing the right way, your subscriber double opted-in to hear from you and they haven’t unsubscribed when you emailed!
Your email list is literally your warmest audience. They’re going to be the most primed to buy from you when you have an offer and the most receptive to what you’re saying.
Don’t ignore it.
Podcasts are straddling the line between your own and third-party digital marketing, simply because you typically need an outlet to have people listen to your podcasts (i.e. Spotify, Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio). However, you can totally host a podcast on your own website and just have people listen there, too, so you always have a bit more control over it.
Podcasts are a great way to reach your busiest audience members. They’re not going to take the time to read a 2,500 word blog post, but they will take 20 minutes of their time to listen to your materials while they workout, go for a walk, commute to work, or clean the house.
Podcasts, in short, help you better reach that multi-tasking audience and provide some education. It’s a great way to get in the ears of your ideal client week after week and build up some trust with them as well.
Third Party Digital Marketing
Whew, those are all the channels that you can own. Now, what other third-party options do you have at your disposal beyond your typical social media channels?
There’s a lot of back and forth as to whether YouTube would count as a social media channel. I mean, people can comment, like, and otherwise engage with your videos. Plus, YouTube shorts feel a lot like TikTok right?
While YouTube does have a social aspect, it’s also the second-largest search engine. Think about what you personally use YouTube for. You’re not really looking to engage, but you’re usually trying to learn something right? Or catch the latest music video from your favorite band. Or find that trailer for the newest Marvel movie (wait, that’s not just me right??).
YouTube is a fantastic place to build an audience, but it’s also a great place to post content that can be found over and over again. It even has one of the best monetization platforms for Creators, but that’s just a secondary goal.
A video you created two or three years ago could still be found by someone new. It’s truly a fantastic platform for any long-term digital marketing strategy.
Guest Articles & Interviews
Want to drive people to your marketing channels from other sources? A great way to do that is to get outside of your own channels!
Podcast interviews, live show guest appearances, even guest blogs and writing on places like Medium or for bigger online publications can help you spread the word about your business.
Third-parties publishing your expertise and your content not only lends credibility to what you’re saying, but it also provides you with a bigger platform to bring people back to you and into your own channels.
If you want to accelerate your digital marketing and where you get seen, there’s no matter way to do that then through digital ads.
Ad channels like Google Ads (search, display, and YouTube), Facebook & Instagram, TikTok, and more give you the ability to really drill down and target your ideal customer and ensure that they see your message.
You’ll of course want to focus on ad channels that you think your ideal customer is already spending their time, so keep that in mind. But ads can help solve that 1-3% problem on social media channels, too.
Planning Your Digital Marketing
Hopefully these have given you some solid ideas of where you can start to expand your digital marketing.
Yes, there are a lot of channels and methods to choose from and no, you don’t have to do all of them. You can actually make it a lot easier, though, to hit many of the options without it being incredibly overwhelming. Come back next week to learn how that works!
If you’re ready to start planning out your digital marketing to diversify and expand your reach though, I’ve got just the tool for you! My free walkthrough guide will help you think through all of the angles to create your digital marketing, teach you how to choose your outlets, and even help you to set your budget.
I actually use this same guide for myself when it’s time to set a new marketing plan because it actually works! You can get it for free – right now – and get started today!