Web Developers, Designers, SEO and Social Media Marketers
Selling websites and designing them is a skill that is based on function and esthetics. Developers and designers typically do not involve themselves in the marketing aspects of the site beyond making the site SEO compliant. As a result of this focus, many of these professionals may not stress the fact that a person or company will need to market their website. The unscrupulous developers who do not care about client loyalty or are looking to milk every client for every dime they can get; will avoid the subject of marketing in order to not scare the client away. How many of you would have built a website and spent the money that you did if you had known that there was going to be even larger costs associated with the site for marketing purposes.
This problem is also a little too ironic for me to consider it to be an oversight or accident of the web development process. It is interesting that many developers are tied in deeply with SEO and Social Media marketing firms or they offer these services themselves. The really interesting part of this situation is the fact that most of these individuals only have social media marketing such as Pay Per Click, and Facebook advertising in their marketing arsenal. There must be a million websites, blogs, and forums as well as other social media sites that one can use for advertising but these individuals focus almost entirely on Google or Facebook. The reason for this is due to the fact that Google and Facebook are easy solutions. They are easy solutions because these companies supply all of the tools needed to build ads and choose demographics. This makes it much more simple to create ads but it also allows the marketer to claim no responsibility for the results.
No Guarantees with PPC and Social Media Marketing
When online marketers sell you social media marketing, one of the first things that they tell you is that it does not work for every product. This is their way of escaping responsibility. The next thing that occurs is that they try to get you to pay the largest amount of money you can afford for the advertising. They will tell you that you need to spend all kinds of money for this advertising. I have heard so many numbers that I don’t even know what the going rate is anymore. Somewhere between 20 and 50% seems to be the average at the moment. This means that for every $100 you spend, between $20 and $50 dollars goes to the marketer to build your ad. It is absolutely in the interest of this marketer to get you to spend as much as you can afford. Many of these marketers will push for at least $100 per day on this advertising and take no responsibility for the results.
Social Media Marketers Don’t Like Content
Content is poison to anyone selling social media advertising. This is because content is the best method of achieving organic traffic. If you properly post relevant content on your website, you will achieve quality traffic in time. Social media marketers want you to spend thousands of dollars a month on social media and to keep spending this money. This is an important point because Facebook and Google advertising only works while you are paying. In contrast to this point, articles and blogs continue working in search engines long after you paid for them. Social media marketers can’t keep charging you large amounts of money for content the way they can with Facebook ads.
You might ask, “why don’t these marketers just sell content?” Some of them do and use it as a combined approach with social media advertising. The unscrupulous or unskilled marketers avoid content because of inherent issues within content marketing such as writing skill and understanding its structure in relation to web design.
Content Marketing Requires Writing Skill
Not everyone can write content. Web content and marketing requires an understanding of writing articles and blogs in a manner that effectively positions the product and brand within search results. The writing needs to be able to reach the target market. This is different than writing an article about the benefits of a product. A content writer needs to be able to write articles that are worded in a manner that answers what the intended audience is asking or seeking through search. This is a skill that takes a lot of practice and research. Many marketers are either incapable of learning to do this, or lack the willingness to write content because of the time investment. Why spend time learning to write content when you can just post a Facebook ad and make money that way?
Content Needs to Be Relevant
Content also needs to be written in a relevant manner. This means that the content must reflect the subject, the core value of the site, products, and function. Writing content that is relevant means that it reflects the purpose of the site. It would be useless to write 100 articles that have nothing to do with your site. Articles such as this will not appear in search engines and worse yet they may damage your site in search results. Irrelevant content will make the search engines think the site is something that it is not. Again, writing in this manner takes time because you need to study the site.
Content Needs to Be Unique
If you write 100 articles that are about how great your product is, these will likely not rank because the search engine will view them as duplicate content. This means that recycling articles from other sites and rewriting articles will not work in most cases. Marketers need to be able to write content that is unique to the consumer- and to the search engine. This requires some level of creativity that is not always present in many marketers. This brings into play another problem with many content writers. Even if the writer is skilled and creative, he or she may not be able to structure content properly on a website.
Writers Need to Know How to Structure Content to Make It Work
Most marketers do not know how to structure content. This refers to taking the content and posting it on the website and linking it in a manner that achieves the best results. For example, if you write a blog about the benefits of learning Japanese, you would ideally wish to link this content to a product and have it sell. While this works there are more complicated scenarios that must be considered. In some instances, the subject matter of blogs and articles need to be structured or linked differently. For instance, if your trying to rank in search with certain terms to achieve deeper market penetration, you will need to structure your content such that it gives authority to this subject. This can be a confusing area because it requires building proper landing pages which link to a core concept or function of a site. This is also why you can post 100 articles and get very little traffic and conversion. It is for these reasons that many marketers concentrate on Facebook ads because it does not take this level of work or thought. Content for these marketers equals more work, less revenue, and more cost for you.
Content is More Cost Effective than Social Media
Social media can fool you. When you start seeing tons of traffic coming from Facebook ads this is an exciting event- especially if you had no traffic prior to the ad. The problem is that traffic is not conversion. If this traffic is not converting then it is useless. This is a serious issue with social media advertising because it requires tremendous amounts of traffic to achieve conversion, and this is not cost effective.
Think about it in these terms. If you spend $1000 a month on social media advertising and if you are lucky enough to make $2000 a month in revenue, then you have $1000 ROI. If you spend $1000 on one month on content, you will get permanent content that continues working after it is purchased. Even if that content only makes $300 per month it pays itself off between 3-4 months. After that it is all profit. In order to achieve the $1000 per month, you have to keep paying $1000 month to social media advertising. That is a lot of expense to maintain a return of $1000. When you consider the content option, the cost effectiveness becomes clear over a course of months and years. If you spent $3000 on content that returns $900 a month than you will achieve the same financial results as social media advertsing with out the continuous expense.
You also need to consider the fact that social media ads take time to work because you need to experiment with keywords and ad design in order to achieve conversions. This is problematic because there is a heavy expenditure in social media ads and typically the rate of return is less than 1%. The chance of you posting an ad on Facebook and making $1000 from that ad is dismal.
Even if content marketing produces less return in the second year you are still in a profit zone. If you maintain content by updating it, you can keep content relevant for a long time.
Content Costs Less In The Long Run
There is an initial investment in content but this cost starts to go down over time. This occurs because once you have many different articles there is less of a need to continue posting new articles in the same volume. You will always need new articles. Once your site is selling and generating new traffic, you can reduce the amount of new content and maintain the old content. This is another practical and cost effective aspect of content.
All Sites Benefit from Content
The same cannot be said for Social Media. If you are selling something like paper products you will likely not benefit from social media advertising. You will always benefit from content because content can create traffic from many different topics and will always generate traffic from these topics. If you are selling paper, you can create articles for a wide variety of users and consumers such as benefits of paper, comparison pages, unique uses for the products, etc. This cannot be achieved easily through social media ads. Social ads are very limited forms of content and temporary. This makes website content a more effective sales funnel.
The More Effective Sales Funnel
Social media ads work by getting the attention of users of social media; getting them to click on an ad. Then the customer either signs up on your website or landing page or coverts depending on the design. This methodology of selling explains why most of the traffic that is obtained from social media is useless and why conversion is so dismal.
Content is a more effective sales funnel because it captures users of the WEB from search results. These users click on your content because it is what they were seeking, and this is the best traffic possible. This organic traffic provides the best means of conversion because the person was seeking your content. If the person seeking paper products found your site because they were looking for the best paper for presentations, and they clicked on your article, “Quality Presentations start with Great Paper” then this visitor is much more likely to convert than the social media visitor who was prompted to visit your site by clicking on an ad to win some paper.
You Need Content- It's Not an Option
As you can see content is a major aspect of driving traffic and building your business. If you think that you are going to be able to make a successful website without using content or just using social media you are likely going to fail. If you are experiencing problems with selling or social media ads are failing you, you should look at content solutions. Please feel free to contact us with questions.