Why I Do Digital Marketing (And Not Just Social Media)

In college I had a job planning concerts on campus. Anything from small open mic events to a stop on a band’s national tour. Huge productions. I had a blast doing this, but I knew we could get more people to experience these events with some good marketing.

So the next year, I pitched a social media job for myself. My superiors took a risk on me. I developed the job description, set my hours and I was off to the races. I developed campaigns and ran social media promotion for all the major events on campus.

It worked well.

We sold out events that never had been before, we set new concert attendance records, and we doubled the account’s following.

So a week after graduation, I got a job at the local coffee shop and wrote up my social media business plan with my cousin. When I first started freelancing, I managed social media accounts for brands and businesses.

It didn’t work very well.

After doing this for a year, I started to question why I was unable to replicate the success I found doing it in school. After taking a step back, I’ve realized promoting a business is too big a job for just social media to handle.

Let me explain the advantages of the three main digital content platforms, and why I believe you need more than just a fun social media account to grow your business.

Website

A website is great for high value interactions with customers and clients. This is your home court, where you design the experience, showcase your brand, and ask the customer to commit. But a bad website can kill your chances at making the sale. By not being clear, not reassuring the customer, and not calling them to action, visitors are likely to leave your site before they even read what you want them to read. A good website does the opposite. It clearly explains what you offer, reassures the customer that they’re making the right choice, and calls them to the solution you provide.

Content

Content is a great way to build a tribe by bringing people real value. This could be a blog, a video series, or a podcast. Content can enable you to really connect with customers and turn them into fans of your work. If you’re committed to bringing them helpful, valuable content, they’ll miss you when you don’t publish something. This also builds trust over the long term, making it easier to sell high-priced services down the road. Bad content focuses too much on selling. Good content focuses on helping, and lets the details fall into place later.

Social Media

Social media is great for reach. Connecting with people locally or globally becomes possible through social media. Bad social media has a big ego. Trying to get people to care about your business Instagram’s cute coffee photos is a sucker’s game. It’s not changing anyone. Good social media is generous and personable. It’s social. Having authentic connections and interactions with potential customers is huge. Even if your business isn’t “Instragrammable”, you can still connect with potential customers online. Leave a comment. Send a DM. Encourage someone. Invite people to an event.

Don’t use social media like a billboard. Use it like a hand written note.

I used to just run social media. But I realized that if I sent someone to a website that didn’t make sense, it was wasted time and money. I used to just run social media. But I realized that without valuable content to further engage the audience, it was all shallow.

Now I do digital marketing. And let me tell you, when a website, content, and social media work together, it changes things.

Joshua Reese