Social Media, where digital marketing is at right now, and probably will be for the foreseeable future.
If you are on top of your social media marketing game, you don’t need a website, right?
Wrong! Very wrong!
We all know that websites are your own piece of the net. Your “home base” in other words.
You have a website, but maybe feel that it isn’t quite doing all of the things that it could be.
Is it enough to just have a half-decent website if you are very active on social media?
Having your own website is like having your own shop. It’s your space, that you control. Social media is trying to sell things in someone else’s space. You have your own profile, sure, but it’s basically standing on a soapbox yelling at the crowd and hoping people will pay attention.
Facebook vs Google
When users are searching Google, they are in a buying mentality.
When a person opens Google or another search engine, they are looking for something specific. For example, if I have a blocked drain I will Google “local plumbers”. If I am looking for digital marketing for my company, I will search for the best digital marketing companies in my area. I won’t visit Facebook and check out profiles.
However, I may use Facebook to ask for referrals.
When users are on Facebook, they are in a social mentality.
Users cruise on social media a lot of the time. Vaguely scrolling through your feed is a more social activity than a direct buying action.
Sure, if something comes up that you like, you may click on the link. As a business owner, this leaves a lot up to chance. Catching a potential sales convert in your sales funnel is only possible if they leave their details. And this is unlikely to happen on Facebook. People who are in a social mentality don’t want to fill in forms, thus will not be correctly funnelled.
Sell on your website – build relationships on Facebook.
Your website has one purpose. To sell a product or service, and to capture details of potentially interested customers. It can and should still represent a brand, but it does not build relationships. Creating a relationship with your customers is done on a social platform.
Imagine a shop where you sell your goods.
That shop has a purpose. It doesn’t attract people just to chat and have a cool drink in order to get to know the owner. Socialising is done at events. In the same way, social media is a socialising platform. You can connect with your customer and build a relationship, but essentially the selling should be done in your shop, ie your website.
Don’t let someone else call the shots
Social media platforms are essentially someone else’s creation. Their terms and conditions change all the time. This, in turn, affects your ability to sell your product or service. Having a profile on any social media platform and relying purely on that in order to attract and capture potential customers’ details is like setting up shop in someone else’s establishment.
You will in all likelihood get customers, but what happens when the big shop decides not to open? Or decides that it doesn’t like something that you are doing, and closes you down? You are totally at the whim of the bigger establishment, which is never a good thing.
Your own website is your own space. You call the shots. No one can tell you what to do, what to say or how to sell. This is super important in order to maintain a consistent image for your customers, both existing and potential. And we all know that consistency is key.
Know the difference between a marketing tool and your business’s core
Social media is, in essence, a marketing tool. Using marketing tools correctly is very important, and you need to be able to do this. However, a marketing tool should be a support system or an addition to your business’s core – its website.
Remember when Facebook changed its algorithms, this past April?
A large percentage of businesses on Facebook suddenly didn’t show up in their audience’s news feeds or in searches.
Making sure that you have your own space that does not change, and using social media purely as a marketing tool will allow you to weather these storms. Don’t be the business that gets caught out by YouTube suddenly charging to store your videos on their server. Be in control of your own digital marketing ship at all times by keeping control of your business’s core.
As a marketing platform, Facebook is known to the world for its superior selling power. Studies have shown that 52% of users have found a retail product on Facebook that they have been interested in buying and one-third of users regularly engage with their favourite brands on-platform.
In May 2020, Facebook officially launched their online shop function.
While it has been possible in the past to integrate your Shopify or WooCommerce store to link your Facebook page, this is the first time that Facebook has offered a solution to businesses that do not have an existing website.
With no operational charges (other than standard transaction fees), it would appear that a Facebook shop is a no-brainer for businesses wanting to sell their products?
But how does it compare to hosting your own online shop on your website?
Remember the Facebook algorithm we talked about?
This algorithm is there to optimize certain posts and hide others. This encourages a more social experience for Facebook users but casts a shadow over the reach of pages that are trying to reach their audiences. That is, unless you pay for Facebook ads.
That is where Facebook is making their money on these stores.
Imagine a warehouse, filled with thousands of products.
This is ultimately what Facebook is.
Your product could be hidden in the back shelves, but Facebook ads bring it to the display window.
The chances of your product being found without these ads are pretty slim, unless the Facebook user is searching for your specific product and knows to find it on your Facebook page.
The greatest downfall to Facebook shops is order tracking.
While I have no doubt that Facebook will advance this system in due course, it is currently difficult to track and monitor sales, especially with an influx of purchases.
Using an eCommerce website, these reports and processes can be simply automated, saving you hours of admin work and grey hairs.
Using your online store, the Facebook shop and ads functionality is still available. Users will simply be redirected to your platform instead of Facebook’s payment process.
What this means is that you can still utilize Facebook and keep your sales records and processes in one simple location.
How “Back End” can help you
1. Creates long term, loyal customers
Transforming fresh leads into loyal customers is no easy task. We all know that back end conversions are where it’s at, and to be honest this isn’t going to happen on social media. Well. it might, but it’s much less likely than on your website. Capturing initial attention is all well and good, but it doesn’t lead to long term commitment. Your website is all about back end. It not only captures customer information but keeps them coming back to a recognizable platform.
Your website offers potential customers consistent information in order to convert them.
- An introductory or opt-in offer
- Positive testimonials
- An inviting introductory product
- The perfect upsells
All of these of course can be offered on social media, but it is important to note that new customers don’t want to trawl through endless posts in order to find what they want. Your website is the place that they will convert down the sales funnel.
Netflix is one of the best examples of a sales funnel on the net today. They are a MASSIVE subscription video streaming service who have got the back end down to a T. Have a look at how your eye is drawn, and you basically have no choice but to sign up for 30 days free. This not only captures your interest but captures your information too.
2. Captures info
Capturing information on your potential customers is vital. There is no point in hoping ineffectually that they may come back to buy something. Social media allows people to casually check out your products, without leaving any info. Only if they click on a link do they get rerouted to a landing page or some other form. Interested party information can be used for further campaigns such as email or even text. This is vital to fully building your sales funnel and consequently your business.
Groupon have the capturing info down perfectly too. The first thing that pops up is a bubble that offers you a great discount and then asks for your email address. In fact, you kinda have to fill it in to see the rest of the page behind it. Its also an automatic terms and agreements signature, so all the legal stuff gets out of the way without you even noticing it.
3. Create an online shop
Online shops are great. Fewer and fewer people want to actually go to the mall in order to buy things. After all, who really wants to put on pants if you don’t have to? Some social media platforms such as Shopify and even Facebook do have an online shop functionality, but again you are totally at the whim of their changing moods. Building your own online shop takes more time than just using available social media platforms, but the dividends payout tenfold when you collect the right information and have control over your own digital retail space.
New Chapter is an example of an award-winning eCommerce site. Loads of CTA’s and bright colours help the user complete the journey in a short a time as possible. That site went from a $0 webpage to a thriving online shop worth seven figures in less than a year.
What your website should have
So what exactly should your website have? Is it enough to just have the basics if you really want to convert those potentials down your sales funnel? The answer to this is a resounding no! A three-page little site with a few images is definitely not going to capture anyone’s attention. You need to follow not only basic principles but more advanced ones too in order to really make your mark on the vast digital sphere.
1. Design principles
We all know the basic design principles. Make sure you have images. Make sure everything is visible and readable, don’t waffle on…. Bla bla bla. But what principles can you follow to REALLY make your site stick out?
Not everything is created equal. And that goes for elements of a website too. Visual hierarchy is a very important part of web design that is often overlooked. This affects how readers see your CTA’s, forms and value propositions amongst many things. Your business objective should be upfront and center so that people instantly know exactly what you are about. From there, your CTA should be second with your text next in line.
Take these guys for example: Our Place. The purpose of the website is clear with a pic image of kitchen utensils and delicious food. Once your eye has taken in the image, the CTA is next with a bold colour, right in the middle of the image. The text follows with the navigation bar last to come to your attention.
This may seem obvious, but the “rule of thirds” is in photography for a reason. Ever heard of the Fibonacci sequence?
Your website should have pleasing proportions for the reader. Did you know that Twitter columns are based on the Fibonacci sequence and rule of thirds? Your website should be too. Here is a great example of a well-proportioned website.
Hick’s Law basically says that the more choices one is faced with, the longer it takes to make a decision. This ties in with the KISS rule. (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) Keep your website and online shop pared down as much as possible. Of course we don’t want to give our customers no choice, but definitely, don’t bombard them with a zillion things to choose from either. The key is in the balance.
2. Copy principles
Readability and consistency
One cannot stress this enough. Your website’s copy needs to readable and consistent. Don’t waffle. Don’t have unnecessary paragraphs about your dog. Copy needs to say exactly what the point of the website is, in as few words as possible. No one wants to trawl through pages of text to get to the nitty-gritty and find what they are looking for. Make sure that your website says this upfront.
Landbook’s Vitamins and Supplements site is a great example of good copy that gets to the point. You know exactly what you are looking at, and how it works. If you are eager to learn more about digital marketing we suggest you to check out our signature course – Digital Marketing Bootcamp.
- Sentimentally feeble: Our product is so much more than just a gimmick
- Pompous: We have the best product ever. You are silly to go anywhere else
- Righteous: Our product is authentic and that one isn’t
- Grandiose: Our product, is, by design, a vision and a game-changer
- Leading: Our product is the leading dog comb in the world!
- Condescending: You haven’t tried anything yet
- Patronizing: We are a never seen before product!
- Pseudoscientific: Clinically proven anything, or scientifically proven to do anything
- Confusing: Hybrid imagining leading to unequaled energy
- Overused and not fresh: Fresh approach to selling. Proven experience in achieving
- Wide-eyed: America’s most often used hair product
- Arrogant: other products simply don’t compare to our wondrous one
- Simplistic: We make an incredibly difficult thing so simple that even a monkey can do it
- Naïve: This product will solve all of your problems!
In fact, here is an example of a website that nails copy: Modcloth.
It is succinct, to the point and makes you want to carry on reading. Even if you are not interested in buying kitchen items. Or were you? Doesn’t that big bowl look awesome…. And that’s how great copy creates back end converts.
WCB Agency with more then 10 years experience can create a beautiful design for your website, develop and put it live.
Website check list
Let’s take Yale School of Art – www.art.yale.edu/ for reference
✓ Does your page load quickly?
A page that loads slowly is an immediate turn-off. You have 2.7 seconds to tell them that they have landed in the place. Make sure that your images are the correct size ad your text is compatible.
Website speed for both mobile version and desktop for the Yale School is quite fast.
✓ Is it clear what you do (and for who), right away?
Your page should be instantly understandable to its readers. Make sure that your product or service is right at the top.
The website of the School of Art represents this structure as a whole. We kept an eye on this website, and noticed some differences with it: today it is less psychedelic, but they still have plenty of other work to do.
It is not really obvious what the Yale School of Art does. Clarity would be “We offer classes for people who want to start a career in art”. What and for who.
✓ Is there a clear funnel (next step)?
Readers need to be turned into customers. To this, you need to guide them down your funnel. Be sure that they follow clear steps in order to reach the ultimate goal, which is to become a loyal client.
A clear funnel would be “View our Courses” or some other call to action under each section. No point for the Yale School here.
✓ Is the branding consistent?
Consistency is key. No more so than on your website. Your branding needs to be consistent, and so does your message. Make sure your logos are all the same and check your colors and fonts.
It’s difficult to see consistent branding on the Yale Shool of Art website and their Facebook page as well.
✓ Are users easily able to find information and book?
Websites are there for one purpose: to get people to book, buy or convert them into leads. Be sure that a Book Now button or similar CTA is upfront and central.
No upfront and center Call to Action (CTA) here. You have to look through the menu to find the steps.
✓ Do you have clear keywords?
Keywords are how Google decides what your site is about. Be sure to have enough relevant keywords upfront and central both for Google and for your readers.
Doesn’t look like the Yale School of Art website really looking for Google recognizition. This is what they provided for meta description of their website: “This site was built with Economy by Linked by Air”.
✓ Is your website integrated with Google?
Google likes Google. So the more your website is integrated with Google, the more it will rank.
The Yale School oF Art site is hooked up with Google analytics and search console, so that’s good.
✓ Does your website contain social links?
Does your page link back to your Facebook or Instagram account? Facebook is high on SEO, so your page will rank better if it links back to social media.
Would be better with clearer links or even embedded feeds.
✓ Are there testimonials displayed?
Anyone can tell other people how great they are. Do you have real testimonials stating how good your service or product is? This also helps with SEO.
There are no testimonials on the Yale School of Art website.
✓ Is your website mobile friendly?
An average of 80% of your website traffic will be visiting your site via mobile devices. Is your page set up to handle this? If not, you stand the chance to lose that potential 80% of new customers.
Responsive design is missing, too. So the students and the others struggle when it comes to using this website on a mobile device or a tablet.
Facebook check list
✓ Logo as a profile picture?
Your logo is the face of your business. It needs to be upfront and center, and instantly recognizable. Users don’t want to faff around wondering where they are. Make sure your customers know exactly who you are right away. A consistent logo creates brand awareness and builds trust.
Logo of the Yale School is not consistent on their website and Facebook.
✓ Cover image used effectively?
Your cover image is your billboard space. You have 2.7 seconds to show them what you do, who you do it for, and invite them to explore further.
Yale School Facebook cover is interactive and catches your attention.
✓ Is there a clear call to action (button)?
The best button here is a Learn More button that directs them to your website.
On the left side, we can see a navigation bar with certain sections.
“Send Message” is an auto-generated CTA by Facebook. Ideally, they should have an “Apply now” or “Learn More” button.
No point for the Yale School here.
✓ All info provided?
The more info you provide and the more thorough you are, the more Facebook likes your profile. Profiles that are complete will show up in searches higher than ones that aren’t. Use keywords in your descriptions. Facebook does take keywords into account, and can even help you to find the best ones.
Multiple info fields missing on their Facebook page. No point here.
✓ Is it clear what you do (and for who), right away?
What you do and for who should be in your branding, in your cover photo, and in everything you do. Readers should instantly know what they can get from you. Again, you have 2.7 seconds to impress upon them how you can change their lives.
You can see right away what the Yale Facebook page is about and what their message is.
✓ Links to websites and social platforms?
The more your social platforms link back to your website, the more conversion rate you will have. This will increase traffic, and eventually get people down your sales funnel, which is the ultimate goal.
It’s easy find links to their website and contact them directly.
✓ Is your content regularly updated?
Facebook is like a stage. If you get up there and say nothing, people will begin to throw rotten fruit at you. No, not really but they will lose interest, and fast. You need to be saying relevant things all the time. Invite your Facebook or Insta users into the life of your company. Build relationships that result in trust. Catch your customer’s interest, and keep it.
The Yale School website updating content on a regular basis.
✓ Does your content help meet your goals?
Is it funneling people to your website? Is it creating leads? Your content needs to be relevant to your business, and build relationships.
Mostly the Yales Facebook page is about the latest events which took place recently. So goals aren’t met… so no points for the Yale School of Art here.
✓ Are reviews active?
Potential customers want to see what others are saying about your company. Good reviews will go a long way to building trust ad tempted that new client to take a chance on you. A company with no reviews will fall out against one with good reviews. Bad reviews will simply lose your customers.
If you need to leave any comment about the Yale School you have this opportunity under the tab “Reviews”.
✓ Does your content follow the 80/20 rule?
The 80/20 rule is 80% not selling anything, 20% selling. So for every four posts that you make, you can post one sales post. People don’t want to be sold at all the time. Also, Facebook doesn’t like sales. It will shadowban any post that uses “salesy” words in the copy, such as “free” or “sign up” or “book now”.
Doesn’t look like their Facebook page follows 80/20 rule.
Social media such as Facebook is a marketing tool and needs to be treated as such. You cannot control the environment of your social media posts, so don’t rely on it. It’s a great way to reach the masses and create personal relationships, but it really shouldn’t be your main selling platform.
Your website is a place of stability and consistency. Here you can build your brand, and really get people to invest i.e. buy your product or service. Your website is a space that you are totally in control of, and you should use that to your advantage.
So by all means, have a social media account, (or ten!) and use them to market your business. But make sure that the core of your business is your website, and treat it as such.