There are a lot of people in the online marketing community that will tell you that you probably don’t need a website today because you can go directly to the platforms that already have traffic and where there’s already a great user base for you and there is some truth to that, but I would still make the argument that there are many reasons you still need a website in 2017. That’s what I’m going to talk to you about, social media is amazing but the reality is that you don’t own and control the platform. You don’t get to fully control how it looks, how people interact with it and you don’t control the rules.
Social Media Companies Disappear
We’ve seen social media companies disappear but we’ve also seen social media companies change the rules of how you’re able to engage with people. You need your own platform to be able to do that on your own terms though. A website lets you do that.
Having a hub where you can control content and you can set your own content guidelines and rules but, where you also have the ability to have a direct relationship with your audience by getting them onto your email list or newsletter is a must. What if your favourite or most popular social media platform went away like Friendster, Orkut, Yahoo! Buzz and Vine did? What would you do to be able to reach people and to connect with them directly? How do you have ownership of the relationship? That’s why having your own website matters.
It’s Not Just About Having a .Com or a .Net
It’s about being able to have a sense of security and certainty when it comes to your brand and also knowing how people will find you. Having your own website and the ability to put out content in the form of a blog or articles also means that you have the opportunity to be found in search engines the way that you want on your own terms and that you have a more effective tool for marketing yourself. A website can also help you consolidate your brand. It means that if you happen to have a podcast for example, you can get people to that through your website as well.
If you’re a digital artist of any kind you have a portfolio that people can download and that they can print out and take to the decision maker, so they can vet you.
There are multiple things that you can do with a website that you just can’t do with many of these social media platforms. All social media platforms are still very important for your brand and that you should go directly to where the audience is participating to where the conversation is being had. You also need a hub of your own where you can set the rules and you can dictate the narrative and not to beholden to someone else.
Having an Email List
Having an email list still is very important for your personal brand and for your business today, even with all the things that you get in social media. Having that direct access to somebody’s inbox really matters. To be able to do that and you have lead magnets and to be able to do drip content in the form of autoresponders or give someone a free 10-step course, you need to be able to have a website that you can tie to this email marketing campaign and where you can have Google Analytics and all these other things that are going to be important for you to make decisions around your audience and around your brand and business.
You’re Going to Have to Take Your Brand Seriously
I know setting up these things can feel really intimidating and overwhelming. It’s just easier to have a social media profile. It’s just easier to have a Facebook page than to set up a website. I get that. Ultimately what you need to do is you need to accept the fact that at some point you’re going to have to take your brand seriously.
You’re going to need to have a website that people can get the information you want put in front of them in one place. It also makes you look a lot more prestigious and if you’ve got to work with brands and do sponsorship you’re going to want to have this website as either another property that you can throw ads against a new sponsorship with, or as a place where they can learn information about you but also because you want a professional email address.