Digital marketing and social media are common terms in the world of business. In a rush to define each task, marketers often misrepresent digital marketing and combine it with social media engagement.
It’s important to note, there’s a lot more to digital marketing campaigns.
Defining Digital Marketing
Let’s begin with digital marketing.
The idea is to advertise a specific brand/product/service online using various digital mediums.
This can include TV ads, SMS ads, social media, digital billboards, and contemporary Internet marketing (SEO, SEM, PPC Advertising, Mobile advertising) to name a few. Yes, digital marketing does include social media but as one can see, it’s just a part of the campaign.
Comparing Digital Marketing Vs. Social Media
In essence, digital marketing is an umbrella term for an assortment of digital channels. While social media is one of these digital channels. Therefore, heading onto Facebook/Twitter and engaging with potential leads is not enough to build a functional digital marketing campaign. There are numerous moving parts to a good campaign and indeed this can include social media use.
Understanding Social Media
If this is the case, then what does social media represent? Social media is one of the newer mediums in the world of Internet marketing and has emerged as a wonderful “next gen” solution. With several platforms rising to the top (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram), it’s changed how things are done in marketing. People use these platforms and interact with them throughout their busy lives providing unparalleled access to viable customers.
The term “social media” is used to describe any platform where people communicate and exchange information.
Social media can be used in a multitude of ways including building free fan pages, adding followers, and continuing to share valuable content. This is a great way to spread the word and engage with potential leads. The platforms can also be used with PPC or PPV ads where a set budget is in place to show ads to the target audience throughout the day. Each business uses a different approach and some use both!
Pros of Using Social Media
1) Syncs Well With SEO Campaigns
2) Quickest Way To Reach Target Audience
3) Builds A Sense of Community (i.e. Fan Pages, Brand Accounts)
4) Trendy (Most People Are Using These Platforms)
5) Great Testing Ground To Learn More About Your Target Audience (i.e. Preferences, Dislikes, Buying Habits)
6) Increased User Engagement (Likes, Shares, Comments)
As one can see, there are real advantages to making sure social media accounts are used as a part of one’s digital marketing strategy. It can be a real game-changer for the way things are done and how quickly word spreads about a brand.
Digital marketing is all about reaching people through these digital mediums including sources beyond the Internet. However, social media is restricted to the Internet and cannot be accessed without a viable connexion. This is why digital marketing is able to provide a full-fledged solution to businesses while they run future campaigns (i.e. Mobile ads, TV ads, Internet ads, and of course social media).
However, this doesn’t mean social media is completely devoid of scaling and general growth. A business can easily begin to scale by growing their fan pages, moving to new social media platforms, and essentially building out a niche audience using this specific digital marketing component. It can also become a synchronised part of a larger digital marketing campaign where everything is interconnected from TV ads to social media ads.
Which Is Better?
Is it smarter to focus on social media campaigns or look for a more widespread solution? This is a question many brands are left with and it’s a good one. In most cases, it’s all based on the brand, its products, and how it is looking to grow. There are many situations where social media is simply not the ideal component to focus on and other digital mediums suit the business more. However, there are also campaigns where social media platforms fit like a glove.
It’s all about keeping an open mind with decisions of this nature.
A good example of this would be a software solution where social media can do wonders. The target audience will already be computer-savvy and that’s essential in managing a software solution.
Plus, it can also become a great way to create news pieces based on software updates, upcoming releases, and more. Everything works better on social media in situations such as this where software is involved.
However, the same cannot be said for things such as construction tools where the target audience might not be using social media as frequently. They might respond better to a simple TV or radio ad.
In the end, digital marketing and social media are not the same things nor should they be confused with each other.
A smart marketer will make use of both or the one where their profit margins increase. As mentioned, in some cases, social media is the ultimate tool to use while other times, a simple TV ad is going to do the trick!
Keep an open mind when it comes to building a well-rounded strategy.