One Channel Dependency Might Kill My Business!?

Is all your revenue coming from one source? That's a huge risk! Using a single sales and/ or marketing channel to market your business might be a fatal mistake for you. Single-source dependency means over-reliance on one thing and that could ruin your business. It's like having no backup. As much as you diversify your effort into various marketing channels and revenue sources, it’s unavoidable that you find a disparity in results. But that’s not to say you should stop doing it. You never know when a small revenue driver can become your main income and vice versa. 


Some businesses are dependent on one revenue source so they make themselves unduly exposed to forces outside their control. What if that source is over?


For lots of businesses this source is Google, when sales are primarily driven through Google Ads. And they take huge hits when a new competitor outbids them. 


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For other businesses it might be Facebook. A lot of companies use Facebook to engage with their audience. Often they manage groups in which members pay a monthly membership fee to the group admin (business owner) for access to valuable and relevant information. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with using Facebook groups as a marketing tool to keep in touch with your clients! Nevertheless, relying on Facebook groups alone to generate money for your business might be like building your house on someone else’s land. It's a huge risk. 


I know it from my professional career. We had a client, a very successful company that was built within the Facebook community. The community was one of the biggest in our country and had grown over many years, of course. Since 2011 countless amounts of time and effort were spent on building it and, you bet, it was really worth it. Imagine it as a heaven for an online marketeur. Selling the products almost organically, with no need for paid advertising. It was really dreamy. 


But in 2018 Facebook had changed the algorithm. Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would reduce the organic reach of branded content and would focus more on “meaningful connections”. What is a meaningful connection you may wonder… Facebook no longer aims to keep you on their feed as long as it can, but instead focuses on quality time. Thus, users should be much more in touch with the friends, communities and groups that they are part of and, most importantly, truly interested in when it comes to content. And as a result of this, we started to see lower and lower numbers everywhere. 


What happened then? Out of nowhere there was a dropdown of organic reach. The businesses faced 34% decline in organic reach, on average. There were not enough people seeing the posts and not enough people were led to the website.  There were not enough orders to meet the same ROI as before. Of course, the company wasn't ready for this. This happened all of a sudden, with no warning! We did not have any back up. The company had to fill this gap by investing huge amounts of money into paid advertisements, in order to reserve the same numbers of orders and to keep the audience nurtured as before. Lesson learnt: Never rely on one channel only. It might be easy, but can also cost you a lot. 



For example, you are a real estate agent and you only generate leads from one channel - Zillow. This dependency makes your business vulnerable. What if Zillow shuts down? What if it becomes way more expensive? So, there are other options.  Platforms like Facebook can help you strengthen your brand. You can show your properties there via organic posts or paid ads, as well as build a community through a Facebook group. You can turn your Instagram into your album of properties, as well as connect with wealthy people via Linkedin. If you have a strong influence on each of these platforms and other agents don't, who do you think has the advantage?


Do you sell houses and have a community that has been engaging with your content for some time? Make your posts personal. Bring your story or stories of your previous customers into it. Leverage the fact that people get inspired by others and are interested in reading breathtaking personal stories. Increase your organic reach with high quality content. By high-quality I do not mean professional pictures or videos. What I mean is content that your audience wants! Study your target audience thoroughly before making any content plan. It will pay off, believe me…


Only a few small business owners use a variety of marketing tools to promote their business. Have you considered Facebook? Instagram? Podcasts? Twitter? Linkedin? Bing? And this is just the online section. Let’s not forget the old, but gold, offline channels! The older generations still watch TV, listen to the radio, read magazines or newspapers, as well as see billboards! Pick some other way to have a backup, to present your services somewhere else, to build a relationship with your clients or potential customers. 


The other thing that can help avoid or at least alleviate the one channel dependency is branding. And it might be the business branding or personal branding. Are you a real estate agent? You should build your own personal brand! Are you a small business owner? Work on your small business' brand!


A personal brand is kind of like a stamp that defines your persona and how people see it. In the past, personal branding used to be only about business cards, logos and websites. Today, it’s much more diverse. (Although websites are still useful for anyone building their brand and if you'd like to know more, you can read about this topic here.)  Anyone who has access to the internet and social media can showcase themselves as an expert, build an audience, and attract clients that might be interested in their business. It’s a connection between how you see yourself, how you communicate with others and how they see you. Advice? Build your personal brand.


Personal brand is a thing!


If you can count on the loyalty of your customers and strong market positioning, you’re more likely to recover when your main revenue driver goes away. I am not endorsing losing focus on your main revenue drivers. I am pointing out that you should put in more of an effort to please your existing customers, invest in content marketing, associate your brand with other reputable brands (co-branding), and use a relevant variety of marketing channels to expand your reach and nurture your reputation. On a strategic level, this would mean allocating more of your budget to projects aimed at brand awareness. 


When your brand is established, it is like you have built a wall around your company that can shield it against market forces. Even though investing in your brand may seem like a waste of time because it does not deliver an immediate ROI, it’s the safest long-term investment you can make. 


The One-Size-Fits-All Channel does not exist

It's obvious that businesses with bigger budgets and more staff can manage a vast number of channels. An entrepreneur or a small business owner with two team members is not going to have a marketing department full of specialists obviously. If you cannot afford marketing agencies, or hiring other freelancers and contractors to help you pick the most relevant channels and focus primarily on those, you can always use an app to run your marketing campaigns online, with no previous knowledge of advertising. 


No one can say “Facebook is better than Tik Tok” or “Instagram may be fantastic for increasing brand awareness, whereas LinkedIn may be a phenomenal lead generation platform”. Everything needs to be tested because every “rule” is different for each business and is supposed to be based on data! 


What channel should you add to your arsenal? Do you wonder how to find the best online channel for your business? Try a multi-channel strategy! 


A multi-channel strategy tries to combine different channels to reach the user in the best possible way. You just display your business in as many places as the consumers are. This type of strategy contemplates including new channels and new forms of communication into your digital multi-channel strategy. This is a difficult task, especially for those companies that have used the most conventional channels so far. However, there are numerous advantages of integrating online multichannel into a company’s strategy.


Ask yourself: What are the two or three social networks your ideal clients use the most? What channels do they use to entertain, to get information, referrals and recommendations? This will answer you or at least help you get closer to what the most relevant marketing channels are for your particular audience. Based on your results, you’ll be able to pick the online channels that are supposed to have the highest impact and deliver the best experience to your ideal prospects and clients. 


You should define what your social media strategy objectives are. If you can’t explain why or how a particular channel will help you achieve your goals, then it’s more than likely you shouldn’t adopt it. It would be a waste of time. 


Who is your target audience? Do you know who you should have in mind as your ideal buyer? What are their needs, what do they desire, how and when they do like to consume content, and through which channels? To answer these questions, it's extremely helpful to create buyer personas. The personas are developed based on a combination of customer behavior and your understanding of their motivations and challenges. 


In the process of creating these personas, you’ll gain insights into your audience. You will find out the communication style that works for them, and the ways in which they like to consume content. Also, you can find out the ideal price they are most likely to pay for your product. Learn how to create your buyer persona.


What channels are the people from your target audience using? After you’ve set social media strategy objectives, you need to consider where your audience is interacting online. For instance, it could be deemed a wasted effort if your largest customer segment is composed of retired people and you choose Tik Tok as your prime channel.  



What channel is he into?


Also, you must adjust your content to that channel as well as to the audience you are speaking to. Once you know who it is that you are talking to, focus on your target audience’s needs and preferences. Your created personas will help you understand your audience’s concerns, preferences, and goals. When you know these, you are able to create content your buyers will find engaging, relevant, entertaining and valuable. Personas help you determine the very sort of content you will need, as well as the best way to communicate with your audience. 


Don't underestimate this. Being dependent on one channel might kill your business. Be ready to squeeze more out of other platforms when it comes to it! 



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Here Is Why Your Facebook Posts Get a Lower Organic Reach

Weird. Your page likes or followers remain the same, but you no longer reach as many of them as you did in the past, right? The reason is obvious – algorithms change as does the business strategy of social media networks. Let me explain what I mean by that.


In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would reduce the organic reach of branded content and will focus more on “meaningful connections”. What is a meaningful connection you may wonder… Facebook no longer aims to keep you on their feed as long as it can, but instead focuses on quality time. Thus, users should be much more in touch with their friends, communities and groups than they are part of and, most importantly, truly interested in when it comes to content.


What is the result of this change? A 34% decline in organic reach on average. But that hasn't been the first time we faced such a drop in organic reach...

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Decline in Facebook Organic Reach Over Time


In other words, those who were building their community and follower base on Facebook in the “early days” of Facebook leveraged the opportunity to reach almost everyone for free. Today it's totally different.


This strategy applies for more platforms, of course. Instagram (being owned by Facebook) follow the same rules. So do the others… And it makes (economically) completely sense for them.

How to get out of it?

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Here are some tips to follow to increase your reach:

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One Channel Dependency Might Kill My Business!?

Is all your revenue coming from one source? That's a huge risk! Using a single sales and/ or marketing channel to market your business might be a fatal mistake for you. Single-source dependency means over-reliance on one thing and that could ruin your business. It's like having no backup. As much as you diversify your effort into various marketing channels and revenue sources, it’s unavoidable that you find a disparity in results. But that’s not to say you should stop doing it. You never know when a small revenue driver can become your main income and vice versa. 


Some businesses are dependent on one revenue source so they make themselves unduly exposed to forces outside their control. What if that source is over?


For lots of businesses this source is Google, when sales are primarily driven through Google Ads. And they take huge hits when a new competitor outbids them. 


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