Influencers play an important role in promoting brands and their products. With the growing trend towards micro-influencers, it is no longer necessary to have millions of followers to get sponsorship deals and earn an income from your social media platforms. However, having a website can strengthen your own brand and provide new streams of income not available on social media sites. Here, we’ll look at six reasons influencers need a website.
1. A home for your brand
It’s a wise move for influencers not to put all their eggs in one basket. If you put all your efforts into developing a channel on a single social media site, you could lose everything if something goes wrong. Google Plus, My Space and Vine are all examples of platforms that have vanished, leaving their influencers having to start again from scratch.
Today, most influencers adopt a multichannel approach, having separate accounts on sites like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. This, however, means your followers are segregated. You may even deliver different types of content for each.
Having a website provides your brand with a common base where all your followers and subscribers can hang out, stay in touch and discover what’s been posted across all your channels. And if your social media platform goes down the pan, a website protects you from losing all those followers.
2. Grow your audience
The bigger your audience, the more appealing you become to sponsors and the more money you are likely to earn. A website takes your brand beyond the bounds of a social media channel and makes it visible to a worldwide audience on the internet, attracting new followers from Google and other search engines. When they visit your site, they can then find your social media content through the links you have made to it.
What’s more, linking to your social media content on your website gives it a better chance of showing up in search engine results too.
3. Add new income streams
There are ways to make money on your website that you cannot do on a social media platform. For example, you can join AdSense and display Google ads on your site, earning money every time someone clicks on them. You even have control over what type of ads to display and whereabouts on your site to put them.
You can also join an affiliate marketing network and partner with relevant brands by displaying their ads or links to their products. Doing this, you will earn commission every time one of your visitors buys from a site you link to. Millions of businesses have affiliate programmes, including popular stores like Amazon and eBay.
4. Take advantage of email marketing
Email marketing is a highly effective way to market your merch and your sponsors’ products. Unlike online advertising, it’s free and it has a long history of providing the highest return on investment of any marketing channel. To do it successfully, you need to collect your followers’ email addresses and get permission from them to send emails – something you can’t do on your social media channels.
On a website, you can easily create a members’ section which contains posts and special offers that only subscribers can see. You can then make it a condition of subscribing that users sign up for email updates. As people from across all your channels sign up and your mailing list grows, you’ll be able to market your merch to a wider audience.
5. Set up a merch store
It’s easy to add an online store to a website and with this in place, it opens up the opportunity to sell your merchandise directly from your website. There are several advantages to this. You can sell to those who find you on the internet, not just those from your social media channels; you are not restricted by the selling terms set by social media platforms; and you won’t have to pay any selling fees imposed by the platforms. And with email marketing in place, you can drive customers directly to your store.
6. Giving you editorial control
As a content creator, you know what you want to say and the best way to say it. To do this, you need editorial freedom, something you don’t have on a social media site. Some sites accept only certain types of media, have limits on post length, allow comments when you don’t want them, and so forth.
Provided you don’t break any laws, you are free to post what you like on a website and control whether viewers can respond or not. So, if you want to post a mixture of video, text and images, link to sponsors websites, create content for members only, categorise your content into different sections, remove or edit old posts, you can.
7. Wrapping up
If you think of all your social media channels as individual little businesses, your website is your brand’s HQ. It’s the place you have control and where you have the opportunity to unite and stay in touch with all your followers. It’s also somewhere that provides even more opportunities to develop your brand and earn more from it.