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Zack Jackson

Own Your Audience

150 150 Zack Jackson

There’s been a great deal of talk lately (or “noise” might be the better word) about Apple vs. Facebook vs. Google vs. Advertising vs. Privacy.  I could sit here and try to dissect the entire hot mess, but really you just have a bunch of billion dollar companies fighting with all of them trying to look like the “hero” to the court of public opinion.  

It’s kind of like when Directv would fight with a network like ESPN over money.  Each side would tell you how the other is the “bad guy” and how you need to go complain to them to “do what’s right.”  Simple fact is, no matter who “wins” this battle of digital privacy, there’s still going to be a million ways to track individual users and “new and improved” ways to squeeze money out of small businesses for ad spending.

I bring all of this up to hammer home this message … Stop just relying on other resources to reach your audience! OWN YOUR AUDIENCE YOURSELF!!!

Yes … using companies like Facebook and Google to advertise to a targeted audience is a useful resource, but don’t let it be your ONLY resource.  When you do that, you are always at the mercy of their system. They control the algorithms and will in turn control who sees your information and how often. When you own your own audience, YOU have that control.

It is absolutely essential that you explore ways to gather the contact information of your customer base, and then use that information strategically in ways that reward your customers and increase your revenue.  There are many ways to do this … email databases, loyalty programs, and text message reward systems are some examples.  And the beautiful thing about systems like these is that when you send something to your audience in these ways, EVERY single one of them will receive it. 

Meanwhile, Facebook will sit here and squash your organic reach down to about 10% of your audience and then tell you to spend money for the “privilege” of reaching the rest.  Why?  Because they own the audience and get to decide how to utilize it.  When YOU own the audience, you’re the one who calls those shots.

When done right, social media marketing can absolutely be an effective way to boost your business. However, things are always evolving and changing, so it’s entirely possible that there will be a day that social media marketing doesn’t exist or it least isn’t the shiny new marketing toy. When you’re the one who owns your audience, you’re already prepared for that evolution and can continue to reach them in the most effective ways possible.

So … What’s your pivot?

150 150 Zack Jackson

You don’t need me to tell you that 2020 was a wild ride for small businesses in just about every way imaginable (not to mention every way that was previously unimaginable). As we move forward (hopefully) to the light at the end of the tunnel, we also need to look back and learn from this experience. Many businesses took a huge hit in 2020, some closing their doors forever.  Meanwhile others THRIVED during the situation.  How?  The pivot.

If there’s one thing that the pandemic has taught us as a business owner, it’s that we can’t put our entire business model into one expected outcome.  Many of our clients are in the food and beverage industry, so needless to say they had to make some massive pivots.  Restaurants that were built on the business model of “cram as many people as you can into the place” were suddenly forced with the reality that there were now ZERO customers that could be a part of that model. Suddenly they needed to learn how to adopt to curbside takeout, online ordering, minimal staffing, and more.

While it has been a very difficult journey for them, many of these businesses have learned that they are able to create new revenue streams within their business that they previously never thought they would be able to do. Even when things return to “normal,” many of these pivots will remain as part of their plans and will provide multiple revenue streams for the business and can also help protect against future unforeseen events.

We as a company had to pivot as well.  Clients that previously needed help with event planning and day to day social media marketing, suddenly needed help with web design, ecommerce, email marketing, and whatever else the day threw their way.  We made those pivots, and it helped us learn new ways we could help small businesses succeed in a forever changing marketplace. (We also found a new appreciation for tequila to help take the edge off this wild ride.)

Finding new ways to innovate and expand your revenue streams is the key to your businesses’ growth, while also insulating it during trying times.  So … what’s YOUR pivot?  If your number one source of revenue disappeared tomorrow, what would you do? Don’t rely on just one expected outcome. Explore things like ecommerce, affiliate marketing, social media, or whatever makes sense in your industry to always stay in touch with your customer base.

If you have any questions about content creation or marketing for your business, please feel free to reach out to me at zack@thejpgagency.com.  I’d be happy to provide any insight I can. Thank you!