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Traffic You Own vs Traffic You Don't: How to Take Control of Your Marketing

May 26, 2020
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SEO, SEM, and Social Media Marketing are all dependent on one thing, other people's platforms. Now don't get me wrong, I am a big believer in leveraging these platforms. But, in order to succeed in scaling and growing your business long term, you must turn traffic from these borrowed platforms into traffic you own.

In this video, I'll share the importance of building a list you own to help you drive qualified traffic to your site at any time.

Video Transcript: 

As I said in the opener, we're going to be talking about traffic sources that you can actually own and ways to control the visibility of your business and control how you grow and the types of people that you engage with over time.

There's a lot of different mediums that we can leverage online to generate traffic. We can use search engine optimization. We can use social media platforms. We can even use referral partners, other different versions of ad sites, whether it be Google Ads, Bing Ads, or even social media ads.

The problem with a lot of these types of traffic is you're renting space. You actually don't own your Facebook profile. You don't own your Twitter profile. Those can be taken down at any time for really any reason, whether it be a guideline reason or if the company just wants to take it down. It's their space. They own the platform. But something that you do own is your website. Your website is yours. It's where you create your content. It's where you have control about what's being said and what's not being said, and it's where you can really showcase who you are to the world. Your website itself might not drive traffic to itself just because people know who you are.

You're going to need to leverage some of these other mediums like search, like social, like partnerships, maybe even doing ads. But the thing is, what you want to do is make your website something that engages with people. And this is where you want to be to build your list.

This is where you create contacts or engage with people. They raise their hand and say, "I want to learn more from you. I want to engage with you. I want to go deeper with you." Email is an extremely powerful tool. It's a tool that's not going away. It's something that we use every single day. The problem is email has gotten very noisy just like other platforms like social, like search.

And businesses that are actually doing it well and continue to grow are the ones that are building an email list that is very geared to their audience, and they're creating content that speaks to the people that they engage with. There are a number of email lists that I stay subscribed to because they provide a ton of value to me. And every single time they send me an email, they are driving traffic to their site. They own that traffic because they've created it. They've engaged with it. They've built that list, and they can send targeted emails to their audience with content that is relevant and specific to them that drives them back to their website. I'm not saying that search or SEO or any of these things are bad. They're actually extremely valuable.

The thing is we have to realize what we own and what we're just borrowing. We can't impact the search algorithm. We can't change a social platform, but we can leverage those traffic types, those borrowed traffic types, to engage with people. And this is where HubSpot for us comes in.

Well, the reason we like HubSpot so much and we're leveraging it for a number of our clients at the free level is because it allows them to have a CRM where they can store their contacts, people are coming into their site. It allows us to build and segment these lists, so we know if people are interested in one thing or another, and then we can send them targeted emails. Based on that, it allows us to do email marketing. It allows us to do form capturing.

It allows us to do some attribution, so we know which channel was effective in helping us build our own lists. But at the end of the day, it gives us a platform that we can leverage to reach out to our contacts and drive traffic that we own, people that we know have already said, "I want to learn more, and I want to hear from you." Those are the types of people that are typically easier to convert. Those are the types of people who are possibly going to be our clients, if they're not already, because they've already stepped into your world and said, "Hey, you guys have something of value," enough so that they actually gave you their email address. A lot of times we can start running around and we can spend a lot of money in these different platforms and engaging.

And some of them are very well worth the investment. If you can invest in SEO and generate a ton of organic leads, that's really powerful. That's something that we've done for our business over time, and we generate a lot of organic leads, or maybe you're a business that does really well with paid search.

Paid search can be very powerful to build your list. And now you've got customers or people who already said, "I'm interested in your product," that you can send them targeted emails to help them come back to your site and take those next steps. You want to leverage the different platforms that you don't own in order to build a platform that you do. It's all about creating that community. It's all about building that network. You don't need a bunch of new people.

What you need are people that are going to purchase from you over and over again, people who are going to stay with you for the long-term that are going to invest in and grow with your business. Those are the types of businesses that scale well, because they have a built in customer base. They have a built in user base of people who are truly interested in what they are doing. If you're not already leveraging this, if you're not already investing in email marketing and more than anything, building your list and owning your traffic, you need to get started right now because you never know what's going to happen on those other platforms.

But if you have control of the message and you can drive people specifically to your products and your services, that gives you the upper hand that nobody can take away. I hope you found this video helpful. If you have any more questions about digital marketing, any of the other channels like SEO or social media, we would love to help you and direct you in the right area.

And if you're really interested in learning how we build this and how we help nurture our clients, please comment or contact us. We'd love to continue that conversation with you and share a little bit of the tips and insights that we use each and every day. Until next time, Happy Marketing.

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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