Today in motorsports racer marketing debates: Should you have a website? Is social media enough of an online presence to get to the career goals you’re after?
Here’s the short of it: You should definitely have a website.
A website serves a lot of functions in the digital world that social media just can’t. We’ll break down what those differences are, and what to consider as you’re building out your own website.
What’s the difference?
Both a website and social media are valuable in the online landscape and creating a presence in the digital world. They are great partners and can’t be a replacement for one another.
Let’s talk about websites first. A website, hosted on a platform like Squarespace, ShowIt, or WordPress, is a digital home that is entirely yours. Here is where you have complete control over your brand’s reception, from your visuals to your words to your structure, because you are paying for it.
Your website is where they can get the best sense of who you are by reading your biography, seeing your race schedule, career highlights, sponsors, and blogs and interviews. Create a branded website that tells people who you are, what they can expect from you, and how they can connect with you, whether that be on Instagram, through an email list, or through direct partnerships.
Social media, on the other hand, is not a platform that you own. You are renting space from large corporations to share about your brand. But what you lack in branding control and algorithm frustrations, you make up for in potential reach.
Social media is a place for people to meet you and interact with you “in public”. A website without incredibly strong SEO isn’t going to do a lot of marketing all on its own. But social media is a great marketing tool to help people meet you, understand what you’re about, and direct them to more permanent places where they can go deeper with you—like a website.
Your website should be the go-to place for information on your races, your rates, and your team/racing life. Social media should be the go-to place for flashes of life as a racer and in-the-moment updates from the track or your garage.
If you haven’t built yourself one yet, there’s no time like the present. Creating a digital space that can’t be taken away from you when Facebook crashes (or worse, who knows) will ensure that your online presence is available and under your control.
What to Put On Your First Website
Your first website doesn’t have to be huge and fancy—just one page will do, honesty. Your website needs to be informative, well-branded, and geared towards a type of deeper conversion.
People are on your website to learn more about you and how you got started racing. Tell them about it! Include a brief but detailed description of who you are and your racing story, where people can tune into your next race, and any and all press/interviews you’ve done.
As mentioned, your brand is under your complete control on your website, as compared to social media. This is your time to shine and live out your values and niche through your colors, language, fonts, and image choices. Don’t forget to include your sponsor’s logos onto your site for added value.
Your website, while a great home and landing page, should also not be the final stop for your fans and your potential sponsors. We’re looking to convert those viewers into fans who stream your races and sponsors who invest in your brand. Create opportunities for both to take the next step with you with a newsletter.
What other questions do you have about websites versus social media? At their best, they work together and aren’t a replacement for one another!