Original Article By John Pearson At TheSelfEmployed.com

Marketing in 2021 has a lot to do with branding. You set yourself up as a business with a name and logo, and have a mission statement. Your next step was to set up Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.

Considering you have already put a lot of work into these forms of marketing, do you need a customized website as well? Website design is easier than ever with a website builder, and you can create gorgeous pages with no prior experience. You can choose from a ton of themes with incredible functionality. But is it worth taking the time to do so as well as investing in annual subscriptions?

Social media is certainly a massive component in your marketing strategy. It is the best way to connect with customers. Targeted advertising gets your company’s message to millions of people at minimal cost.

It makes sense that people wonder about the necessity of a website. However, without a website, your online presence is always going to be severely lacking.

Here are the reasons you need a customized website in addition to social media accounts.

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The most clear-cut reason to have a website is simple functionality. Your website gives you the space to provide service to your customers. You can include live chats, sales forms, and contact forms. You can showcase your products.

While you can get this functionality with social media, this is the best way to have it all in one place, and to customize it to your liking. Social media functionality is limited to what the app designers offer and you have to play by their rules.

Online presence

However, functionality is not the biggest reason that a website is important. Rather, that comes down to true online presence. Every business, no matter whether it consists of one person or a thousand, needs a website in order to appear legitimate.

This is partly due to the fact that people are naturally skeptical of businesses without official websites. While Facebook and Instagram can increase your presence and reach, potential customers expect to find a link to a complete website. Without one, they begin to wonder whether your business is legitimate or even whether it truly exists.

But your website will build your online presence beyond merely proving you exist. It gives you the ability to shape your brand. Your brand should be present in every aspect of your website. It should be in the color palette you choose, the illustrations you include, and the theme of the website.

Your brand’s voice should also come through in the copy. Your target audience should recognize that they are being spoken to. This is the start of your relationship with them, and it should set the tone.

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Presenting: you

Your website also gives you the opportunity to tell your story. Instead of including it in the occasional Facebook or Instagram post, you can have a whole page with photos of you and your motivation for doing the work you do.

You can provide a full background of your business, as well as the bios of any employees you have. You can give write-ups to your products and services, explaining what makes them unique.

Including a blog that you post to regularly helps create an environment that is truly yours. A blog gives you the opportunity to share your thoughts, both about the progress of your business journey as well as your insight into the industry. You can share all the knowledge and wisdom you have, which would normally only come through in bits and pieces in the products and services themselves.

A blog has additional benefits. Good articles about subjects that are commonly searched for online bring organic visitors to your website. These visitors are more likely to trust you, seeing that your engaging blog post brought them to you, rather than a marketing communication.

If you don’t know what to write about, research the most searched terms relating to your industry. Then write about these subjects, including the associated keywords which will make your articles easier to find.

Not everyone uses social media

Finally, one of the reasons you should have a website is simply that not everyone uses social media. We all know the negative impact social media can have on our mental health. Most of us use it anyway, but a growing number of people are choosing to avoid it as much as possible.

When these people search for your business, they should have the opportunity to connect with you without having to use social media. Without a website, you may lose customers who don’t want to connect in any other way.

Social media provides incredible marketing possibilities. But a customizable website is still important to grow your online presence.