The holidays are now over, and small businesses across the country are gearing up to make the first quarter of 2017 a successful one. As an entrepreneur, you probably have just as many New Year’s resolutions pertaining to your business as you do for yourself, and there’s usually no better time of the year to take a deep breath and reassess the internal workings of your business along with your position within your industry. You may also be reviewing your marketing expenses and questioning the effectiveness of your current digital marketing and branding strategies. You may believe that digital marketing, especially organic content marketing posted to your social media channels, is not terribly effective at driving prospective and existing customers back to your website. It’s an unfortunate fact that content marketing, even great content marketing, is not enough to drive traffic back to your site. Your business must maintain a complete digital footprint and establish a customer journey, both of which exist to “funnel” social media followers back to your website.

Social Media Success Doesn’t Directly Translate Into New Customers

Social media networks, once a niche Internet industry, have grown into digital behemoths. Events that many would have considered absurd just a few decades ago, such as new media personalities gaining popularity and clout strictly through social media channels, or presidents and other world leaders tweeting to their constituents, are now considered normal.

Social media, like the Internet at large, allows lightning-fast communication, even to an audience of thousands or even millions, and there are no “gatekeepers” deciding who deserves to have a seat at the table. This has led many small businesses to believe that there’s something magical about social media and content marketing. They assume that great content will lead to an immediate increase in business and a bump in revenue, with little to no effort necessary to facilitate that process.

There is No Magic Button

While we believe that creating and posting great content marketing is a necessity for small businesses in 2017, building a social media audience and funneling readers and followers back to your website is nether magical nor effortless. The fact is that it requires a lot of time, effort and resources! And, all of the time and resources you’ve invested in great content can all be for naught if you’re not maintaining a complete digital footprint that actively encourages and can successfully facilitate such funneling.

Always Be Funneling

In David Mamet’s award-winning play and film Glengarry Glen Ross, the motivational phrase “Always Be Closing” is used to motivate a team of under-performing salesmen. While it’s debatable whether or not a singular focus on closing deals is the hallmark of a great salesperson, it is true that a good salesperson, like any good businessperson, should be primarily focused on closing sales. While it’s also true that content marketing shouldn’t have a singular focus on funneling, the primary goal of every digital branding and marketing campaign should be to funnel traffic back to your website and have them complete a specific call to action.

This requires that your business focus on ultimately driving traffic away from your social media channels back to your website, rather than simply focusing on building a social media audience. It’s important to note that building a social media audience is important, but all too often it’s the only goal that small businesses seek to attain with their digital marketing and branding. This should rather be one of the first steps towards increasing sales and growing the revenues of your business.

Link Your Social Media Back Home

It’s also important to note that not every social media posting must have a link back to your website, blog or to a landing page featuring a call to action. You may wish to repost third-party content that your readers may find interesting, to respond to a client or customer over social media or to focus on a partner or an organization that you wish to support. Cases like these it may be inappropriate to actively funnel traffic back through your own digital footprint. However, when you are designing an overall content marketing campaign, your primary goal over the course of a week, month, quarter or year should be to funnel traffic.

The Importance Of A Complete Digital Footprint And Customer Journey

Every aspect of your digital footprint, from your website and blog to your social media channels and content marketing, should be designed to harmoniously work as one unit. This will help facilitate your customer’s journey from the discovery of your brand to following through your desired call to action. At Blue Zenith, we can help you create a complete digital footprint and design your entire customer journey, because ignoring your website in favor of building your social media presence, or focusing entirely on content marketing with little regard for your website’s ecommerce or landing page capabilities, puts your entire digital marketing campaign at a disadvantage.

Your Customer Journey