A few weeks ago, Facebook and Instagram experienced outages, leaving users frustrated—and brands in the dark. Unable to post content and connect with their customers, many businesses lost revenue.
So, what’s the lesson? The social media blackout is a great example of why integrated, multi-channel marketing is so important for brand success. Placing all your marketing eggs in one basket—or relying too heavily on one central media strategy—is risky.
A recent article in Entrepreneur magazine reinforces that point, “you can’t build the foundation of your business on someone else’s platform.” The author argues that brands must protect and maintain the assets that they control: their websites and mailing lists. (read the entire article via the link below)
While I agree that your website is an owned marketing asset that’s central to maintaining consistent and reliable brand-driven connectivity with your audience, I’ll take that one step further: For your brand to survive and thrive in today’s digital marketing arena, you need to establish relationships with your customers—connections that are guided by an integrated, cross-channel marketing plan.
This strategic plan should be revisited and updated on a regular basis:
- Website. Ensure your website is primed for business: Your messaging should communicate who you are, what you do and the value you offer. Be clear and concise, using strong CTAs (call to action) that prompt action.
- Email marketing is essential to brand success (72% of consumers prefer email as their primary means of communicating with brands). Optimize this channel by updating/maintaining your mailing lists; and use drip campaigns to keep your brand front of mind. Test your emails and redeploy campaign elements as needed.
- Product packaging. Review your current packaging: Does it provide an opportunity for customers to interact with your brand—either physically or electronically? Consider incorporating ways for users to consume your content or experience your brand using elements such as augmented reality or video.
- Promotional and printed products. How are you making brand impressions with your audience? Use tangible touches—like promotional products or unique printed items—to make those connections. Brainstorm ways to incorporate these items into your marketing plan, as they have a longer shelf life than digital ads or social media posts.
Social media is like most technology: It’s great—until it doesn’t work. Of course, social media is important and essential in brand marketing. But always, balance is key. To ensure your brand weathers the next social media blip, have a diversified plan.