The Difference Between Social and Digital Marketing: Which Is Right For You?

When it comes to online marketing businesses have to ensure the they have portioned off the largest part of their marketing budget towards this. Many business owners are unsure about what exactly to invest in when it comes to online marketing because of the fact that there is such a range of options.

On the one hand businesses can pump their money into digital advertising in order to increase the company’s reputation and to bring in more customers. On the other hand the likes of Facebook advertising and ads on Instagram can also be successful campaign options. In order to identify which you need to invest in most heavily, it is important to recognize the difference between the two mediums, and then look into which will work best for your particular client base. Whilst social media can be described as a form of marketing, it is far better to recognize it for the individual approach which it is, as this strategy does differ from the rest of the digital marketing techniques available. Here are the key differences between these two marketing strategies.

Social Media Marketing

The key benefit of using social media marketing is the way in which you can directly target customers for your ad campaign. Given the fact that social media compiles such a large amount of information about customers, this is perfect for businesses looking to market to a certain set of potential customers. These ads can be aimed towards a huge range of characteristics about the customers, from their demographics, their interests, their age and even where they were educated. Businesses are able to create multiple ads for different social groups, and then present a different face of the company to a variety of people.

From Instagram and Facebook to the likes of Twitter and LinkedIn, social media advertising is a great way of really drilling down into your target market.

Digital Marketing

As mentioned, social media marketing is certainly a form of digital marketing, yet it stands alone when compared to the alternative forms available. When people discuss digital marketing, which is an umbrella term, they are referring to more specific marketing techniques which we will take a look into here:

  • SEO – Search engine optimization is a strategy which is used to bump websites up the search rankings for a variety of keywords which pertain to their business.

  • PPC – Pay Per Click will see companies place ads on popular websites with their niche, and will pay that site for each click which their ads receive.

  • Email Marketing – Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing and it still packs quite a punch in the modern day. Compiling the email addresses of clients old and new is a great way to stay in touch with them and to market to them both now and in the future.

  • Promotional Marketing – Through the use of promotion and coupon websites, online stores can offer great discounts on their products in order to introduce a new market to their wares and services.

These are just some examples of what we refer to as digital marketing.

Use of Professionals

Another fundamental difference between digital marketing and social media marketing is that social media marketing can be performed without the use of a digital marketing company. Digital marketing strategies could be attempted by someone in the business but they really do require much more expertise in order to find the success that the company needs. Social media marketing is a very simple strategy to work out. In fact, way in which the ad portion of the social media channels are set up, there is a basic step by step guide to launching ads.

Cost of Advertising

One of the biggest advantages of social media marketing is the fact that you are always in control of how much money you will spend. For example you can set the figure at the beginning of the ad campaign and when the money’s gone, the ads will stop. In terms of other approaches such as SEO And email marketing, this can often become a bottomless pit of money. With this being said however, both of those approaches will offer excellent return on investment. There is a clear difference here in terms of how money is managed through each approach, rather than how much each costs.

Another important point to make with regards to social media advertising costs is that businesses can use this platform to advertise without actually spending any money. Whilst the efficacy may be reduced through a free approach, businesses can still stay in touch with customers and promote to potential customers with an active and well thought out social media profile. The same cannot be said about any other form of digital marketing.

Selecting Which is Right For Your Business

In terms of selecting the right option for your business the question really comes down to where you should be spending the money. This is because, as we have mentioned, a social media presence should be a core part of a marketing strategy anyway, even if you do not decide to invest money in social media ads.

In truth the smart approach for any business is to utilize a combination of various marketing techniques in order to grow its online presence and reach a wider audience. As a general rule smaller businesses should be focused on social media investment and email marketing. For these businesses the investment in SEO can quickly get very expensive, especially if you are challenging for highly-competitive keywords with some big players. Medium to large companies however should ramp up their focus on SEO and Pay Per Click advertising, which will help it to grow the brand and attract a new audience. Regardless of the scale of the business however, social media profiles should always be active and investment in ads on Facebook and Instagram in particular offer fantastic value.

Marketing has changed a great deal yet digital marketing techniques which have been around for a long time already, are still just as effective as they always have been.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the management of EconoTimes


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