Where will your company focus its online marketing efforts this year? The common wisdom the past few years was to base your campaigns around social media sites such a Twitter and Facebook. But with Facebook’s recent announcement that it would be phasing out company web page posts’ organic reach, the tables have shifted.

Organic reach? Simply put, before the announcement, a company could create a Facebook page, gain followers, and when the company posted on Facebook its post would appear in its followers’ timelines. This option no longer exists, and now companies must pay to have their posts seen by followers. If the followers choose to share a post and if it can gain traction it will begin to make its way to new viewers. That’s a lot of “ifs.”

Of course, Facebook isn’t the only place to promote your brand. There are all other manner of social media sites; Pinterest, Instagram, and the aforementioned Twitter. But why put your business’s media reach in the hands of someone else? It’s time to take control of your message, its content, and when and where it shows up. We’re here to show you how.

Your website or blog is the home base of your operation. While you can certainly use social media to direct an audience to you, this is your hub, your HQ, and this is where your message should start. By having all content come directly from your website, you have the power over your brand and your message.

An email newsletter is one of the most cost effective, direct route options to keep you in touch with your audience. You have a specific time you need to get a message out, so why would you put that in someone else’s hands? You choose when your newsletter goes out, and you choose exactly who will be seeing it. Putting in personal touches can foster an immediate and emotional bond between you and your costumers.

Instead of placing your fate in the hands of a social media algorithm, you use your newsletter to direct people to your webpage — not to another site that you simply “rent” space from. It takes time to amass a good mail list, but you’ll be surprised how effective you can be when there’s no middle man to impede your progress.

Your website’s front page should have an easily accessible email subscription sign-up option. You can use social media as a secondary way to bring potential customers to your site, but upon them signing up for your newsletter you now have a quantifiable customer base to access at any time. This will allow you to foster a direct relationship between you and your audience (as opposed to a customer and Facebook).

Today’s advertising market regarding television, magazines and media consumption is a difficult landscape to navigate for businesses. With the internet we have an opportunity to reconnect with our customers, to break down the 3rd party walls, and to form bonds that can’t be diminished by a “middle man.”

There is no denying that companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Reddit have a massive reach, and that reach can provide large flows of traffic quickly. But putting them in the forefront of your marketing strategy is a mistake. Why give away the power of your brand to another company? By focusing your marketing on your own company’s website and newsletters you take back that control and remove any type of filter that might exist thanks to 3rd party interference.

Spend some time looking at your company’s website and streamlining its newsletter dispersal. When you completely control your online presence, your own brand, and your own media reach, you begin to build relationships and a network, and you run the show. Take back the power of your online presence and build your own customer base. It’s time to remove the filter and connect with your audience.