Some of us would understand what happens when we get offers from consultants or developers who offer to set up your social media accounts for free, as an add-on to the basic service they charge you for.
This is the case of typical dilemma a business owner or marketer will face while running price comparisons for services against what needs to be done immediately. This stems from partial knowledge about the digital domain, and just because we have heard that it is so important to have digital presence of some form, and having a website is so important, one has to dive right in, while not understanding where we are headed.
Digital media has been around for a while. Ever since the 90s, when consumers got their hands on the internet, people have been talking about the wonders of doing business over the web. Most people feel they have missed out on opportunity just because they did not have a website. Thus, when a developer knocks on your door and suggests he can build you a website for the price of popcorn, you think why not watch the show.
But just when the popcorn starts to pop, your developer starts to talk about what he can throw in, as an optional extra, for a small price. Like fries and coke come free with your burger at McDonalds, you end up owning a facebook page, a twitter account and a few other spots on social media, that make you feel special about having paid for a website.
But this is where the journey starts. Most platforms are going “pay-to-play” especially if you are looking to go beyond your limited circle of friends and family to sell your products and services. Most developers offer you algorithmically delivered SEO that will place promotional content in pockets around the internet to increase your site’s visibility on search engines. Very often, these practices are outdated, and can often lead to your website being penalised by search engine algorithms that are designed to detect optimisation techniques such as keyword stuffing.
So what should you do?
The answer is really quite simple. If your developer is good with delivering you a burger, fries and coke, then you should not be expecting a fine-dine 8-course meal to be laid out before you. But if you are looking for a chef to lay out a dinner for 10, delicately served to perfection, then you will definitely have to pay for it.
What will you get?
An interesting question to answer before you ask what you will get, is “Where do you want to go?”. Understanding the aim of your digital enterprise will be key towards creating the strategy you must follow. And once you have decided the aim, the next step will obviously be devising a strategy. This you can do in conjunction with a consultant or developer, and proceed to the next step of designing it.
Once you have devised your strategy, you will know whether you need to start with a website, and what all more you need in order to create an impact in the digital world. There are different kinds of advertising available with Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and so on – most of which will require tailored customisation to suit your business needs. We’ll outline a few of these below to make the task easier.
All platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin provide options for paid advertising that helps you reasonably target an audience based on demographic regions, income groups, or interests depending on the campaign of your choice. Your organic reach might be somewhat limited among the followers of your page or twitter handle.
The beautiful part is, most platforms provide multiple options and flexibility in paid advertising options, and with your creativity and expertise you can expand the organic reach by investing a little money towards gaining a little more attention.