As marketing moves more and more to the digital space, it’s tempting to get caught up in new trends and technology but today I want to talk to you about a rule of thumb that will guarantee conversions, regardless of what platforms you’re using.
If you’d like to watch this in video form, click here… otherwise, read on.
In life, we all know there is value in owning our assets. If we own a home, we build equity. If we own a car, we can free ourselves of monthly payments. If we own our disposition and foibles, people like us more. In these spaces, the value of ownership is clear. The value of ownership is also ever present in digital marketing too, though we easily overlook it. Today, I hope to teach you how to avoid overlooking this valuable distinction.
Last week, Facebook announced the launch of a suite of additional functionality, namely increased massaging capabilities that they hope will help you grow your organization. Innovations like these are great. After all, if we never launched new things like this, we wouldn’t even have email, let alone the internet. But we must take caution before jumping on the new innovation bandwagon. Here’s why…
Unclear in Facebook’s click-to-message launch is whether or not you as a business or member of a company will own the data that goes along with it. For example, will you own the phone numbers or email addresses from which potential customers are messaging you through the Facebook app? And if not, how can you continue a customer relationship with that person beyond the initial conversation?
Contrast this with owning a phone number or email address that you obtain through a lead magnet, landing page, or other text to opt in tool. Once you get these valuable addresses or phone numbers, you store this data in an email marketing program or CRM system that you own because you pay monthly or yearly for it. What’s more, you can download this data and back it up on your own computer regularly because you own it. You can also continue a relationship with a customer after they purchase, or give them an extra nudge if they don’t purchase immediately (we know in marketing that often times the first touch isn’t the converting one… sometimes it takes months of getting back in touch). In other words, ownership gives you time and flexibility as well.
I have clients and students who have found ways of converting customers without even leaving an app like Instagram or Facebook… and this is exactly what Instagram and Facebook want. They are a third party who don’t want you to leave their platform… they do everything they can to keep you there. So as great as those in app conversions are, do you really want to be counting solely on a third party for your business/organizational success? Do you want to be reliant on a third party who you have to pay for increased traffic and visibility when your organic strategy starts leveling out? Do you want to be reliant on a third party who doesn’t have to (and doesn’t want to) share their CRM data with you?
I’m not saying never to use innovative tools that social media provides. I love social media and the possibilities it’s opened up for business and commerce. What I am saying, though, is to be weary. Give it some time before you rely upon Facebook or Instagram Shops to do all your selling for you versus your own website, for example (again you own your website). Instead, toe wet… keep your conversion system on your own website while dabbling in the new tech. Use email opt ins and text to opt ins that we know have worked for years and that allow you to maintain CRM data and valuable nurturing relationships with customers (hello repeat purchasers and referrals). And most importantly, try not to get too distracted by new trends. We all have limited time and budget… put most of that into the tried and true and a tiny bit of it into the aforementioned toe wetting. And no matter what… focus on ownership in your marketing, just like you do in your life, which means getting your customers off third party apps and into databases that YOU own and control. (Hint: Social media is a great place to find these people… your own data bases, email marketing programs, and the like are great places to convert them.)
And remember, marketing trends are like any other trend. Who knew animal print, for example, would catch on like it has. When it first came back to the runways, no one really did, but a fashion forward person may have bought a piece or two. Now, seeing that it’s likely here to stay, they may own more. Moral of the story? Treat your marketing as you would animal print. Step in slowly until you know a trend is here for good. What worked yesterday (and even years ago) will still work tomorrow while you figure it out (and you will own your data and be in control of how you make your money at the same time).