Having all your revenue coming from one source is a huge risk. Using a single sales and/ or marketing channel to market your business is a fatal mistake. Single-source dependency aka over-reliance on any one thing can ruin your business.
Let’s take a step back and go through everything that I mentioned above. To make you understand why this is so important to consider, I’ll showcase some examples for you to better grasp the entire concept.
In the early 2000’s a lot of Online marketers were focusing on Affiliate marketing using Google AdWords to generate traffic. Not only did most of these marketers send paid traffic to somebody else’s landing page, but they also used a single marketing channel to promote their business.
Others built their own websites, incorporated the affiliate links on the site and relied heavily on Google’s organic search and advertising. Even if they used two different Google products, their earnings were dependent on one source: Google.
Needless to say, that Google has shut down quite a few AdWords accounts in the past and has also blackballed several sites without notice.
We’ll fast forward to a few years later.
We have a new giant in town, it’s called Facebook and the entire scenario is repeating itself. Today, a lot of businesses use Facebook groups to engage with their members. Often times these members pay a monthly membership fee to the group admin (business owner) for access to valuable and relevant information.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with using Facebook groups as a marketing vehicle to keep in touch with your clients and use the different tools available inside groups (e.g. Facebook Live) to make your content more appealing. However, relying on Facebook groups alone to generate money for your business aka building your house on someone else’s land, which you don’t own, is a huge risk.
It so happens that Facebook has shut down quite a few high-profile Facebook groups without warning or recourse.
The recent Facebook privacy scandal where the data of up to 87 million users was improperly shared with the UK-based political consultancy Cambridge Analytica is another classic example of why relying on one single marketing channel is a huge mistake.
Be Everywhere, Use A Bouquet of Marketing Channels
We live in the era of social media, video marketing, podcasting and voice.
In the history of human kind, there have never been more possibilities and ways to put your business on the map and get out of obscurity. Yet, so few small business owners (and corporations) use all these marketing vehicles to propel their business.
And this is just the online piece of the cake. Let’s not forget the offline channels, which include TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, billboards etc.
Obviously, time and money will play an important role when putting together your marketing arsenal. Businesses with bigger budgets and more people on the team can manage a bigger number of channels than a solopreneur or a small business owner with two team members.
Yes, you can outsource to agencies.
Yes, you can work with talented freelancers and contractors to help you pick the most relevant channels and focus primarily on those.
Here are some questions you should answer prior to putting together your specific bouquet of marketing channels:
- Where does your ideal client spend most of his/ her time: in his/her inbox or on a particular social channel?
- Does your ideal client prefer podcasting over radio? (Hint: If your ideal client loves to go to the gym, chances are he/ she will listen to podcasts. Ask for feedback to verify whether this applies to your audience, too.)
- What are the three social networks your ideal clients love to interact most on?
- What channels does your ideal client use to get product referrals and recommendations?
- Does your ideal client prefer Pinterest over Instagram (or vice versa) when shopping? And why?
- How many hours of video does your ideal client consume? What are his/ her favorite channels: TV, YouTube, or maybe Facebook?
- Where does your ideal client get the latest news? From Twitter or the TV?
This is just a short sample of questions you can embed into your checklist when analyzing the behavior aka the content consumption behavior of your ideal client. This will provide you with a clearer picture as to what the most relevant marketing channels are for your particular audience.
Based on your assessment, you’ll be able to pick the marketing channels that have the highest impact and deliver the best experience to your ideal prospects and clients.
There is No One-Size-Fits-All Marketing Channel
There is no such thing as channel “X” is better than channel “Y”.
Channel “X” may be fantastic for increasing brand awareness, whereas channel “Y” may be a phenomenal lead generation platform. Channel “X” might be the preferred way to reach Millennials, whereas channel “Y” might be an awesome vehicle to building meaningful, long-term business relationships.
Furthermore, you will not find one marketing channel that can provide all the long-term benefits that multiple, relevant sources can do for you and your business.
If you’re just looking for some quick, short-term gains, then you can obviously forget all the advice and pick whatever channel you want. But for those of you who want to build sustainable businesses that will be around for many more years to come, all of the above applies.
Therefore, I leave you with this:
Harness the power of multiple over one. However, make sure the multiple are chosen wisely. Use the questions I provided you with above to start the process and build a framework, a system around it that you can use in the future to easily add or remove sources.
How many sources do you use to promote your business? What’s your favorite marketing channel and why?