Almost every company we deal with has an unlimited budget, so they're always able to do just about anything we recommend with no worries about needing to set priorities.
HA!! If you believe that, I've got some oceanfront property to sell you, right here in Ohio!!
The truth is...budget is always an issue. Even for those who do have money to spend, there has to be some sort of priority. Some type of strategy that says, "Spend here. Don't spend there. Spend here now. Spend there later." And, with the growth and flexibility of social media, many organizations are questioning where to spend their money online.
Do we really need a website?
Is a well-built Facebook page enough?
Is search engine optimization necessary?
Should we have an Instagram account?
There are certainly exceptions to every rule, but as a general rule, here's how I would prioritize an online focus for MOST businesses.
#1 - Website
Your website is the central hub of your brand online. You could have the sweetest Facebook page known to man, but if your website sucks, you lose! Having a website is one thing; have a GOOD website is another!
#2 - Search Engine Optimization
Connected very closely with #1, search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential component to any organization's online marketing strategy. A well-designed website can totally miss the mark when it comes to search. A beautiful website with a powerful sales message and all the right conversion tactics won't do you any good if no one can find it!
#3 - Social Media
Taking a front seat lately with many companies, social media has become the darling of online marketing. And with good reason. Facebook connects a billion people! Twitter is everywhere. New social media platforms are turning up every day, it seems. But, these elements cannot stand alone, nor should they be the #1 priority of your online marketing strategy.
I read recently that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. Very rarely does a Facebook Business Page show up as the first result in a Google search. To build a strong presence online, start first with an effectively optimized website; then build a social media campaign to connect the dots.