When your social media is successful and you are an engaging influencer, it can seem redundant to move forward with an actual website. Everything you do is documented on social media and people are able to reach out to you via those channels for partnerships or purchases. But are you doing your brand proper justice with only an Instagram page? You can truly build out and push your brand further with a website. The benefit of having started with social channels is that you now have a ton of beautiful, tailored, and themed visuals from Instagram to use for your website that will directly reflect your brand. Your website will help expand on and support what you’ve already created.

Use your Website to Take Ownership of your Brand Name

You have a brand name on your social channels and it’s time to own that name across all channels possible. The best part about owning your domain name sooner, rather than later, is you protect your brand name from getting snatched up by anyone - including competitors who are watching your social channels succeed.

Ideally, you would grab your brand name as your domain name. If your first choice for a domain name is taken, don’t sweat it! There are plenty of extensions to choose from that directly reflect your niche and will appeal to your target market. For example, if you’re a coffee addict who knows everything there is to know about local coffee shops, coffee to try when traveling, the best beans to buy, and more then why not own your brand name at a .COFFEE domain name? There are always alternatives available when domain name hunting.

If you are in the process of building your website and don’t want to buy your domain name until you have something to use it for, you can always have your domain name redirect to your Instagram page until your website is ready to go live. Hover offers a “Connect” feature that allows you to easily connect your domain name to your Instagram page.

Use your Website to Explain Who You Are

While Instagram can show a lot about you and your brand, there are only so many hashtags and words that fit into your profile and picture captions. You owe it to yourself and your brand to give a proper introduction and delve into everything behind the creation of it. You don’t work this hard curating content for Instagram to let it stop there. The benefit of starting on Instagram is that you already have high quality and custom images to work with for your website. Let your website be a professional marketing tool, like all the other Instagram tools you use, to add credibility to your brand. You may even want to consider learning how to start a blog to add even more trust and credibility for your fans.

Use your Website to Boost Searchability for Yourself/Brand

It’s important that if someone is searching for your name or brand that you have the content you own populating the top searches. A website is one way to do that and also a way to expand your content offerings from images and short videos to written and in-depth videos. Your website can provide your audience an easier ability to find you and also let them explore much more about you.

You can also use your website and Instagram analytics tools together to get an in-depth understanding of your audience. Grow your audience and recognizability by having a website that populates in search results.

Pro tip! Having a website helps your audience know which channels are legitimately yours by linking out to the ones you own and operate - not copycat or fan pages. Direct your audience to your official social channels.

Use your Website to Link out to Publications

If you are featured in some cool content - such as a Narcity list on top fashionistas to follow on Instagram or a Forbes list of the most successful social media influencers - then you should take this opportunity to save this content somewhere. You often benefit from sharing publications with potential partners, sponsors, or people looking to hire you as an interviewee, writer, or speaker. You can create a spot on your website for “In the News” and link out to these places that mention you.

Pro tip! Reach out to these publications after your website goes live and request that they link out to your website in their content piece about you so that you can start some link-building to benefit your website’s off-page SEO.

Use your Website to Further Partnerships and Sponsorship

When someone reaches out for partnerships or sponsorships, or when you reach out to them, you often need to have a presentation prepared for sponsors that includes information on who you are, their spend, and statistics on an average return on their investment. This is a document that you can have downloadable from your website so that any prospective sponsor can access it automatically. Use it as a way to collect emails by keeping this content gated.

Author Bio - Samantha Lloyd, Content Marketing, Hover

Samantha is a digital marketing expert and entrepreneur. She currently works for Tucows, taking on the content marketing role for their subsidiary, Hover. She loves filling you in on the booming tech industry of Toronto, and beyond. When she’s not working, she lives for travel and the ocean and is always looking for a chance to dive, snorkel, and paddleboard.