Any successful business owner knows the value of good marketing. From word of mouth to complicated viral campaigns getting your business in front of potential customers is the lifeblood of any industry. Now more than ever the digital world is opening up new avenues of getting the word out and the first step to bringing your business into that world is building a website.
Your website is the centre of gravity for your digital presence. It should be paired with some kind of social media and depending on your specific business needs, other forms of digital marketing. The simple fact is that building a website is not like buying floor cleaner from a door to door salesman. It can be, but a lot of the potential power of a website is wasted like this.
There are three ways you can look at getting a website up and running for yourself.
- Build It Yourself
- Boxed and Delivered
- Ongoing Digital Presence Integration
We will take a look at each of these briefly now.
BUILD IT YOURSELF
Of course, this will always be the cheapest option and being totally honest with you, there are a number of (almost) free tools that will make this possible for you. Wix and WordPress are probably the largest contenders but there are a number of other online services that allow for this. This is great if you are wanting to learn how to build websites on their platform but you really need to ask yourself, is it possible that your time is better spent elsewhere?
If you wanted to build websites you would be running a website building business, if you are not then your passion and talent lies elsewhere and that is perfectly fine. When we have a problem with the lights, we call an electrician, when we need to do our taxes, we go to the accountant and when the customers need the services you provide, they call you. So, when you need a website, get someone who knows websites.
BOXED AND DELIVERED
Purchasing a website outright is a good, insulated way of getting a website for yourself. The key thing to note here is the service ends with the delivery of the website and anything else moving forwards is the start of another transaction. If you are capable and have the time to maintain the website yourself this might be a good approach. It is a little bit piecemeal in terms of maintaining a larger online presence though as it is not uncommon for a business to be using multiple people to handle the website, social media, email marketing and so forth.
The major advantage here is that you can use it as a starting platform to express your own creativity into your website. The disadvantage is that if you are inexperienced a small change can mean a big difference to the final appearance of your website and this can be undesirable.
ONGOING DIGITAL PRESENCE INTEGRATION
This is what we think a business should ideally seek. What is the point in having a great website unless it is integrated well with your social media and, for example, email marketing strategy? In this day and age social media and other forms of digital marketing are the tools of business success. There are many advantages to an integrated approach including ongoing support across platforms, cost/time efficiency, and meaningful content creation/management.
This kind of approach will mean more of a commitment to the agency you use in terms of a monthly payment or contract but the payoff is worthwhile in the long run. A good digital marketing agency will interweave your website, social media and digital marketing to help build up exposure and presence of your brand over time. The results aren’t instantaneous but they can be extreme.
So What Should You Do?
Well, ultimately that’s up to you. The most important thing is that you get your brand out there in the online world. A website and social media built by yourself is always better than none at all. A professionally managed website is, in most cases, better than building one yourself but if you can make the commitment a fully integrated online presence is the best way to take advantage of an increasingly online world.