In years gone by, you could make the argument that you didn't really need a website to grow your business effectively. You could simply create your Facebook page and conduct most of your business through that. You could easily connect with your community and get your messages, offers and updates out to your loyal followers easily and effectively.
Going forward — that's no longer the case. Your website is going to be critical with both the lead generation aspects of your business - as well as keeping your community informed and up to date. No longer can we rely on platforms you don’t control to keep your clients and prospects up to date with what’s happening in your business.
As a result, many business websites have been neglected for several years and just aren't ready to take on this role - both in terms of being technically up-to-date as well as not being setup properly to grow your business in the direction you want to go. If you’re not a tech head, you may not be aware that a security storm is also brewing, and that if your site is not up-to date and secured you’ll be branded as insecure and unable to be trusted. There’s only a few months to get things sorted out on that front.
But who could blame you. It’s been all to easy to focus on the amazing tools that Facebook has provided us all to generate cheap low cost leads for our business - hell I even built a whole business around this. But now that dynamic is starting to change. In fact, the writing has been on the wall for a few years now. There’s a reason for years we’ve been working with our high end clients developing strategies that work outside the Facebook ecosystem.
There’s a reason we’re focused right now on strategies that work via your website that you have 100% control of - because you don’t know when the Facebook gravy train is going to become no longer viable. I'm not saying it's all doom and gloom, but the marketing landscape could change VERY quickly if you are mainly working within Facebook, especially Facebook Lead Ads and Messenger bots.
Now look, don’t get me wrong. Facebook is still the place you want to be right now. It’s still the fastest and most effective way to master your marketing — especially if you’re starting out and you’re NOT a celebrity with hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers.
Facebook doesn’t want cheap and nasty advertising on their platform (and rightly so). They want to be seen as a company that shares and connects people with ideas. Read between the lines and this means: they want to be a media company, not just a tech company.
They want to be seen to be connecting people in a positive way. They want people to be producing content that is high quality, authentic and helpful. They’re under intense scrutiny right now with the US Senate Committee investigating how they treat user data. This matters because it is that data that provides the very granular targeting that makes Facebook ads so successful.
The good news is though, if you’re excellent at what you do, it’s never been a better time to start acquiring leads via content on your site. The marketing community calls it “Native Ads”. It’s basically content you can load up on any platform. It doesn’t matter if you want to run it via Facebook, LinkedIn, Outbrain or elsewhere. For a while now it’s been pretty obvious that Native is the answer. It’s what is going to set apart the legitimate businesses who know their stuff from the wannabe’s and hacks who only know how to game the system and don’t have much more value than that.
Most business owners I speak with are a bit embarrassed when it comes to their website - but with a few tweaks you can convert your website in the a fully functioning death star to acquire new clients.
But for it to work, your content needs to be amazing. It needs to be helpful and insightful.
In addition, your website needs to be up to speed (literally, stuff needs to load fast) and a host of other business and technical factors need to align strategically with your marketing plan. It’s not going to be good enough anymore to just boost random pictures and posts on your Facebook and hope that it’s going to work.
Native is the core strategy we’ve been rolling out with our high end clients over the last 1-2 years. For my clients, It’s a strategy that’s been generating leads that result in turnovers between $500k and $2 million a year. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Yes, you’re going to need to get a bit more sophisticated.
Yes, you’re going to need to get better at writing content.
Yes, you’re going to need to get your website design game together.
But when you do, you’ll reap the rewards.
You’ll have far more control over your marketing.
Your message will have a longer impact on your prospects.
You’ll get higher quality enquiries coming through that are better clients and spend more with you.
… and your clients will thank you for going the extra mile, educating them, and showing them the difference between you and your competitors.