Launching Your Brand Online: Which Channels Do You Start With?
Your business plan is set. Product and operations are both ready. You want the clients to start coming in. Enter your Marketing Strategy. Your strategy needs to be channel specific though, so which ones do you start with?
- Do you launch your website and THEN your Facebook page? Or maybe both together...
- How about email marketing to ignite some purchases? But you need email addresses for that… where do you get them?
- Should you launch on Facebook or Instagram or both? Can you afford both?
- You think it’s important to capture leads as they’re searching on Google. Where do you send them to? Your Facebook page or website?
Back to square one!
Confused? You’re not alone. Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear cut answer. So don’t expect to finish this article with one. Fortunately, we’re going to help you think it through.
Before we start, let’s be clear on something: we’re assuming you have a brand! Meaning you have defined your essence, your objectives and what you want exactly out of your business. You even have a clear visual identity.
Should you start with a website or a Facebook page first?
Ideally, you want to have your website. It will act as a central point across all your channels. Traffic should pour in from the different touch-points to allow potential leads to take action on your website (be it a download, a call, or an online transaction…). As supporting channels, you’ll have your social media accounts to increase awareness as well as drive traffic to your website (different social channels have different objectives). Additionally, email marketing helps you engage your existing leads as well as existing clients - for repeat purchases. Google Adwords also helps you get visibility and get conversions.
We know it’s not always this easy. Budget, time and resource constraints can force you to choose a different path where you need to pick just one or two channels of the above.
In this case, you need to be informed and you need to make a decision based on the optimal way to get a good return for your investment. There’s no point in paying a big sum, get a mind-blowing website and not have anyone visit it!
I’m on a budget, I can’t afford a website, social media management and online ads!
If you’re selling online, there’s no question that you need an e-commerce website. But is that the only option? E-commerce websites can be costly and if you’re just launching you might not have this budget or the resources to manage it. In this case, you can start with a Facebook page: display your product, spike interest and invite people to contact you through the inbox. We’ve launched many brands with our clients this way and they’ve grown into big operations today. We even have a client where we allow mobile visitors to simply click an order button that shares a message directly on Whatsapp. The message is then sent to the owner directly and the order goes through because they didn’t want to invest in an overly complicated website with no one to manage it.
Perhaps all you need is a minimal landing page to get sign-ups from people searching on Google, and then you could use email marketing to stay in touch.
Another example might be a mobile app, where all you need is a minimal Facebook page to use Facebook ads and Google Adwords to drive downloads directly from the App Store and the Google Play store.
Here is an example of how a media publisher mastered the Facebook platform without a website.
Hybrid models exist, they work!
What to take from all of this?
It’s about understanding your resources, capabilities and above all your audience. Also remember that you can always build up your reputation online as you grow. Your business grows on the ground; it can do the same in the digital world.
Alternatively, that’s why we’re here. Just send us a message, we’ll setup a call or a meeting and we’ll help you define your approach.