Building marketing resilience for online businesses
So – I have a small business selling graphics for folks with craft cutters like Cricut/Silhouette machines to use to make decorative signs, pillows, shirts and whatnot. I’m a single parent and I support my family with this business, and I’ve done quite well over the years.
Sales have been down bigtime this year. I finally ran the numbers and I was shocked to see that my income is about 10% of what it was at this time in september last year. No wonder I’m broke!
This is significantly due to some issues with Facebook ads (no need to go into detail but their ads aren’t working well right now) but here’s the thing.
I don’t WANT to give Facebook my money anyway. I think as a businessperson, part of my “voting with my dollars” has to mean also not paying a company like Facebook as a part of my marketing strategy.
I think this is a good time for me to jump ship. Honestly – paid ads have been the source of most of my income for years and I do really love them, but I’m not sure if there are any other ways other than FB ads and Google ads (also nope) to utilize an ad network.
My initial thought was – I’m going to approach bloggers in my niche and see if I can just pay them directly to put an ad on their site. Who knows. BUT I wanted to maybe open some dialogue here with other folks. Or maybe someone knows of some other place where this dialogue is going already.
I have a friend who suggested I create my own ads network. Which TBH is beyond my scope, but MAYBE someone is already working on that? A decentralized ads network that skirts around big tech? I could get behind that. But not even just ads themselves, I would really LOVE to talk to some fellow businesspeople about how they are working on reducing their dependence on big tech in marketing and running their business.
It’s hard to avoid big tech if you want to reach people online.
One thing you can do is develop your organic reach. Paying Google for ads works best, but you can also improve your search engine rankings with optimization and promotion (SEO). You’re still relying on Google, but at least you’re not giving them money directly.
Another thing you can do is put out content to reach people and bring in business. You can tweet things you are working on, or put out YouTube videos.
The big tech entities are not the only ones you can advertise with. Large, successful websites prefer to cut out the middlemen and run their own ad services. Look for websites and independent forums in your niche that don’t use Google ads. There’s probably a link somewhere on their site with information for advertisers.
The best strategy I can think of for minimizing your dependence on big tech is to generate return business. If you can get some printing businesses using you as their go‐to designer you will be less dependent on bringing in new business.
I think my purpose in posting this is not so much seeking advice for my own situation – I’m pretty confident on my next moves, and I’m not new to the online business game – but I feel like online businesses ARE generally too reliant on big tech and I think mostly I’m looking for some dialogue on how we can become more decentralized and independent of this. Or maybe I’ll just have to figure out a system and tell people once I figured it out 🙂
And how does it work in reality?