I recently read an article about a print publication picking up popularity in New York.
For most digital marketers, this confusing.
Print is supposed to be dead! Digital is everything! Do people even still read newspapers? Aren’t those people 70 years old with no understanding of emojis?
No. They’re young professionals. Actually reading and looking forward to a print publication like it’s 1999.
Sometimes when the world seems to be going in one direction, an underdog comes out to surprise you and completely change everyone’s perception of the “way it’s supposed to go.”
The pandemic has been interesting because it’s highlighted a weak spot for most businesses — their online presence or lack thereof. In the beginning, anyone who couldn’t transition their business to online models was swimming upstream.
But what’s also interesting is that the pandemic has created trends in the opposite direction. People have been forced to slow down, reflecting and reconnecting – essentially becoming acquainted with their own humanity. It’s not a coincidence everyone started baking bread, painting, and learning how to play instruments. Activities that have existed for thousands of years and can be enjoyed without wifi.
I’ve been saying that social media is rented space for a while now – out loud to an empty room (this is the pandemic after all).
For those unfamiliar with the ways of Mark Zuckerface, as my mentor calls him, the goliath platform overlord arbitrarily turns off the faucet when he feels like it.
What does that mean?
That once Facebook knows you’re a business, it’s game over for free organic growth. They will lower your engagement, your ability to show up in people’s feeds to force you to buy ads. It’s a pay-to-play system where you have to feed the beast to reach any potential customers.
There are ways around this, of course, but they take time and effort. Time and effort that I, as a business owner and team of one frankly don’t have the bandwidth for. Also, as someone with a rebellious streak- I resent having to play a game that’s rigged from the beginning.
Despite digging in my heels, social media is a great tool for any marketer, and you CAN achieve success.
But it’s also a fickle source of lead generation. You don’t own any of the stuff you publish on social media, and if tomorrow they decide to change something with the algorithm or come out with a new feature, you have to evolve to keep up.
This brings me back to the print media newsletter.
From 2013-2017, arguably the heyday of Facebook, I heard people say, “Websites are dead! No one reads email. Invest in social.”
But that’s not entirely the case. Email is certainly not dead.
In fact, it’s one of the most underutilized yet crucial forms of marketing. And even if you have beautiful ads running on Instagram introducing people to your brand, you still need a home to send them to.
That’s why everything starts with your O&O- owned and operated content.
This includes your website, your email list, and anything else that isn’t subjected to the brain of a man who permanently lives in gray t-shirts.
These are your core marketing components. They’re the structure that holds up the rest of your brand and any marketing activities.
In our current reality, having a strong brand voice on platforms that you own is crucial. It’s what makes you stand out, what makes people want to buy from you, hire you, and spend their money.
Once you have a strong brand message in place, you can extend this easily to the rest of your marketing channels.
But without a point of view, unique positioning, or language that represents who you are and why people should care, it’s hard to make an impact.
People’s minds are fragmented. There’s still a lot of uncertainty as we enter this transitionary period and start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
If you can translate what’s in your head onto paper and speak in a way that makes it easy for people to understand, you’re already way ahead of the pack.
And if not… let’s talk about that. Maybe I can help.