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  • Writer's pictureArushi Thapar

How NOT to be dependent on Facebook as a small business



You’ve figured out the product. You’ve got the early adopters. Your backend is in place. Your market fit is feeling right (to you at the very least!).


Now what? You’re set to scale. 

But wait.


Upwards of 80% of your business comes from 1 paid channel? Every time you try to scale said channel you see a downswing in your ROAS?


As a scaling business, this is a rite of passage. The good news is that there is a way to push through and move beyond. It just takes a little bit of patience, and a lot of experimentation to find the right path forward for your business.

 

Now we know we know - time, money, and expertise (because money) are all hard to come by. So what do you do? With time & money - the key is to prioritize and optimize! Solve for what your short & mid-term objectives are and try to resist the temptation to do everything in half measure, no matter what your competition is doing. For expertise - wellllll, call us? ;)


Okay but for real, with limited budgets, it is unlikely that you’ll be able to spend money on every possible channel, so the key is to pick, start, and learn what’s working for your business and then move to the next and the next and the next. 

How?


Well, while each business is different, we’ve put together a quick framework to help you get started on analysing your choice of marketing channels.



As you are weighing your options, the key factors we’d recommend considering are,


1. Addressable audience size: The largest audience segments typically sit on Google, Facebook, and Affiliate paid marketing platforms. Depending on your product, current scale, and ambition, you will potentially make a trade-off between quality and quantity. If you have a product with mass acceptance and easy adoption, then scale matters more than niche recommendations.



2. Relative audience quality: The relative quality of the audience plays a role in the platform of choice. For example, referral programs are the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing and therefore high on relevance for your digital brand; whereas a form of push marketing like Google Display is likely lower, despite what the platform targeting tools can do.



3. Competition strength & level of impact: The relative need for social proof and peer testimonials should play a role in determining your platform of choice. For example, baby/children’s products need high levels of trust, and new-to-market brands can struggle to build that, so the level of impact will be higher in communities, or referrals. But snack brands are more impulse-driven and therefore a platform where you can showcase taste with visuals or content could work just as well.



4. Effort to scale: While money is typically an eliminating factor, your time (or your teams time) is just as important. In the early days, it is important to choose 3-4 areas and focus all your energies on getting those mediums optimized and delivered. There are several paths to market success and if you look back at successful D2C brands over the past 7-8 years, you’ll see that they’ve all taken different ones. 



5. Immediate measurable return on spend: This one is pretty straightforward. We’ve spoken with several founders who wonder why they should continue spending on influencer marketing if it does not seem to be impacting growth. Or why investing in social content is a worthwhile use of limited resources. Each medium has its own gestation period and role to play – so you need to balance your short- and long-term brand and growth objectives as you pick.



We hope this framework will help you start on the next phase of your digital marketing journey. It can be overwhelming, so just break it down, ask yourself some fundamental questions, pick a path, and then learn everything you can about that path to move forward.



If you have another 10 questions that popped up as you read through this, feel free to reach out to us at meet@thebuildinc.com and we’d be happy to chat with you about your business and help you navigate where to go next!



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