I watched Bird Box over the holidays - did you see it? Highly intense and a little bit disturbing. No real spoilers here, but the people had to wear blindfolds to get around so that they didn’t see “the bad guys.”
I’ve spent a lot of time pondering how much extra preparation and different uses of your senses it would take in order to get around all of the time with a blindfold on. You would have to use special tools to get yourself from point A to point B, and your other senses would become heightened due to your inability to rely on sight.
Can you imagine if that happened to you with your company's marketing? In other words, let’s pretend Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn all went away. Just poof - overnight - no more social media. How in the world would that change your marketing efforts? It would be no doubt like putting a blindfold on.
It would certainly mean that you had to put a lot more emphasis on your own company's branded content that lived on your website. After all, you own your website; you DON'T own your social media sites.
What if, just as a brief experiment, you made a marketing plan for 2019 that excluded social media? What would you do first? How would it change your existing marketing plan? And how would you distribute your branded content so that people could see it in places other than on social media?
I am definitely describing an apocalyptic marketing environment, one with a bleak landscape and a loss of traditional marketing channels. And OH MY GOD NO FACEBOOK!!!
But come to think of it, this is a very healthy exercise. It forces you to become more creative, more nimble, and more strategic. Assuming search engines were still around, you would have to rely heavily on making sure that you configure your website in such a way that Google loved you. Your opt-in email addresses would become one of your company’s most valuable assets. And the content on your website would have to be a whole lot less “salesy” and a whole lot more engaging, relevant, and "question-answering focused."
The benefit to this hypothetical exercise is that you would become a lot more focused on the content that you own. You would become much more thoughtful and precise about every single word and phrase you included on your website.
I happen to think that this is the perfect exercise for every marketer to go through. Search engine dominance has become so critically important these days, with or without social media. And the type of hypothetical draconian marketing planning I am suggesting ensures that you are putting emphasis in the right place. At that point, social media merely becomes the means to have conversations, distribute your content, and learn from other marketers.
I am certainly going to lead my team through this exercise briefly, so that we can make sure we are putting emphasis on our own branded content. I strongly believe that if you put your emphasis first on your own branded content rather than social media activity, your strategy becomes so much more meaningful.