You've got a website, a Facebook Page, Google MyBusiness, and maybe Twitter or Instagram or some other type of social media set up for your business. That's a LOT of places to keep track of. What's the best way to make it all work together?
The first thing to remember - a website is the only place you control 100%. Social media is controlled by private companies and a bunch of algorithms (particularly Facebook and now Instagram too), which means people only see what each company wants them to see. So your website should be the "base" of your operations.
Facebook defines organic reach as "how many people you can reach for free on Facebook by posting to your Page". Unfortunately, Facebook's organic reach declines more each year, so even if somebody has clicked Like on your business Facebook Page, it doesn't mean they'll see everything you post on it. I've seen many businesses based purely on Facebook, without a website - it might be free, but this is a risky way to set up a business.
Facebook claims that because there's more content than time to read it all, they're helping us by filtering all that content for us. The more cynical amongst us think what Facebook really wants is for you to PAY for ads that help spread your content. It's an indisputable fact that if you pay, it increases your reach.
So in the face of all this, what's the most effective way to set your business up to communicate with current and potential clients and customers?
The first step of your content strategy is easy and free:
This helps generate traffic to your website, which Google likes for search results. However, it depends on the size and quality of your social media audience, and how much content you have to share.
What Google likes even more is regular, "fresh" new content. So the next step may be to add a blog to your website. Then your content strategy would start to look like this:
This adds the benefit of continual new content on your website, which Google likes a bit more.
But what happens if you're still not getting enough traffic? The problem with the previous scenario is, you need an awful lot of social media followers, AND you need to allow for those pesky algorithms, to get really good traffic into your website. And building that can take a lot of time and effort.
Many businesses already have a list of customer email addresses, so in this case a really good solution is to implement a newsletter. Email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing strategies out there. Sure, you can email directly from your regular email software. But using proper newsletter software adds a bunch of features which make your efforts measurable - you can not only see who's received each newsletter but also who's opened it (and when), who's clicked on links... and who hasn't. This helps you refine future efforts.
Once the newsletter is added in, your content strategy starts to look like this:
This gives you multiple ways of driving traffic to your content. Congratulations - you are now Content Marketing. ????
Of course, there are also paid advertising options such as Google AdWords or Facebook Adverts. The good news is, if you have a content strategy set up, it's fairly simple to add advertising into the mix so you can really get a bang for your buck:
There's obviously a lot more than can be done, and over time you'll get a feel for what does and doesn't work for your business, but these are a good place to start.