Even with countless options, most businesses end up using one familiar platform and sticking to it. The result: stagnation. If you’re looking for a change, here are a few places to get started and help you branch out.
“You opened a business? Make yourself a Facebook page, first thing.” “Everyone is on Instagram, you have to join.” “You’re B2B? LinkedIn is the only way to go.” “Twitter is great.” If you’re a business owner, you’ve definitely heard at least some of these sermons. Why? Because our natural instinct is to do what we’re familiar with or what others have done and succeeded at.
The main problem is that every piece of content you write, upload and promote eats away at your marketing budget, most of which gets flushed down the toilet. And that’s how you stagnate: by doing the same thing month after month. In many cases, the results you want will come from a new and unexpected place – one you haven’t tried yet. In order to find it, you always need to be on the lookout and even actively searching.
Risk diversification – without going crazy
Your marketing budget is like every other investment. You never know for sure what it will bring you. Platforms are created and fail, trends change and sometimes all of your campaigns on one particular platform (which shall remain nameless although you know which one we’re talking about) get stuck for no particular reason, multiplying costs. Even worse, the platform-that-shall-not-be-named might unilaterally decide that you violated it terms and conditions, blocking your page permanently. There are plenty of reasons to diversify risks. Being active on more platforms opens up more freedom of choice and more ways to try and get maximum results for the minimum price.
But don’t misunderstand us; the goal isn’t to be active on every platform. If you’ve got a limited marketing budget, you can definitely focus on one or two platforms. But it’s in your best interests to try a few and to keep looking instead of getting stuck on the same one.
Taking advantage of everything the world has to offer: platforms you just can’t ignore
Every platform specializes in something else. Content engines will bring you viewers already in reading mode while platforms like Facebook know how to attract a certain kind of people according to behavioral characteristics. But there are basic, more important platforms that are often forgotten and don’t get the kind of love they deserve.
Google (its organic side at least), specializes in funneling people to you who are actively searching for you. The problem is that this requires an immense investment in creating quality content and even more patience while you wait to see results. Of course, you’ll also need a trained professional to manage these efforts over time. This is a lot to ask for in an age when everything is immediate and on demand. On the other hand, in many cases, the audience that SEO gives you is the most profitable one for you to reach because they found you organically, precisely because they need your product and searched for it. This is in complete contrast to the other side of Google that knows how to bring in a lot of customers in a short amount of time but not always in the right state of mind.
2. There are offline platforms too
We all know it, but we need a reminder from time to time: digital or not, your audience gets up in the morning, gets dressed and leaves home. This raises the question: where else can you reach them besides the screens in their homes? What experiences can you create for them? Handing out flyers is also a kind of platform and tying balloons to cars with coupons can also be a great option to increase brand awareness – much more so in some cases than another post that gets lost online. All you need is to set aside part of the budget for these projects.
3. You home is also a platform!
If your customers come to visit you, your home can absolutely be considered one of the platforms you should be investing in. Take part of your marketing budget (give up on promoting 2-3 posts each month, for example) and use it to improve your look and product and treating the customers you host. There’s a good chance this investment is going to bring you more work.
4. In reality, even you yourself are a platform
The ads you run are meant to increase brand awareness. But, as we all know, people respond much better to other people and your chances of being the first person others think of when they need something will increase the more you remain in close contact with him. Make the decision to spend half an hour every day for networking conversations. Be the first to volunteer to help others, advise them and generally make them aware of you. This is so elementary that most people aren’t bothering with it anymore.
How to choose between platforms
You should always think first about what kind of business you’re running and then try to figure out where your audience is located rather than picking a platform and trying to find people there. And if you have a business with a physical location, set aside part of your budget ahead of time to create a real experience there as well.