In case you haven’t noticed, the internet is a fluid, ever-updating, ever-adapting place. Online, people are always looking for the new, for what’s next, for more. Being stagnant on the web is like being dead.
It’s understandable why some things fall by the wayside. It takes time—a resource so many of us are short on—to keep adding to and updating your brand’s web presence, be it on your website, blog, social media pages, forums or message boards, or wherever. Plenty of small businesses don’t have a dedicated marketing department or employee, and many struggle to scrape together a marketing budget.
But none of that changes the effect of letting your web activity languish. When existing and potential customers or clients see a noticeable stretch of inactivity, it triggers an immediate loss of interest and confidence in the business.
Maybe the brand went silent because they don’t have the resources to keep up. That doesn’t signal a strong, successful company. Maybe the employees just don’t care, which isn’t a sign of a customer service-oriented enterprise. Maybe they don’t know what they’re doing. Maybe they’ve closed down or are intending to soon.
Regardless, people are unlikely see a stagnant brand and think, “Wow, they’re so wildly successful that they don’t have any interest in getting new business! Count me in!”
Common Inactivity that Hurts Your Brand
There are a few places on the web where efforts tend to fall off that are highly visible to the public. Here are three of the most prominent that can do the most damage when they go stagnant.
Blogs are a big one. Starting a blog should come with the commitment to update it consistently. For some brands, that means daily; for others, once or twice per month. One weekly post is fairly standard, though, and it’s a good way to keep showing life and to satisfy the search engines’ desire for regularly updating content on your site.
News or events pages on your website (or blog categories) are another important area to keep up with. Sharing industry or relevant local news add value to your site, gives people a reason to drop back in regularly, and encourages people to share your content and announcements. But there’s nothing sadder than checking in on the news and finding the most recent item is almost a year old. That’s not news. That’s old. People are never looking for out of date. If you can’t maintain news and events postings, get rid of the framework you have in place for them.
Social media sites are the third major area where brands blow it by going stagnant. One common problem is that so many business people create accounts on every social media channel they’ve heard of and just can’t keep up with it all. It’s far better to pick an appropriate site or two and use them well. Social media is key to engaging with and growing your audience, and to staying fresh in their minds. But you only do that with ongoing activity. Also, lots of people check out a brand’s social media pages to find social proof of their value; when they find dead accounts, they move on.
Make It Work
To skip content marketing, social media marketing, and other areas of digital marketing would be a shame. They’re cost-effective ways to build your brand and to grow, no matter what you sell. Talk to your staff; you might be surprised to learn about skills and passions that can be applied to digital marketing, and perhaps you can do more in-house than you realized.
Of course, maintaining a blog, using social media for promotion, and other types of digital marketing do require strong writing and communication skills, an understanding of how to measure success and adapt strategies, and other know-how. Often—and especially without your own marketing personnel—it’s best to outsource these responsibilities to professionals. They know what they’re doing (hopefully), and the efforts don’t start falling off, making your brand look stagnant.