It is very easy to think that social media marketing and digital marketing are interchangeable terms in an era where the hullabaloo about social media is causing a lot of companies to heavily invest in such marketing. However, the truth is, digital marketing long preceded social media invention. Even in the age where TV or Radio was the all the rage, there was digital marketing. While there are a few people who attempt to imply that digital means fresh or new, digital marketing has existed for almost a century.
Let’s have a look at major differences between social media marketing and digital marketing:
One of the easiest way to quickly dismiss any argument that social media marketing and digital marketing are synonyms is using their definitions. Social media marketing involves promoting, advertising and creating awareness of a service or product using the social media only.
Digital marketing, on the other hand, involves promoting, advertising and creating awareness via all the available digital channels including offline marketing channels such as TV, radio and internet channels such as SEO among others. Basically, from their respective definitions, it is easy to conclude that social media marketing is a component of digital marketing simply by virtue of being fueled by the internet.
Digital marketing encompasses all marketing from all digital platforms ranging from TV, mobile, radio, computer and even telephone. That is, any and all digital channels that can be used to promote a product and services are viable candidates for the term digital marketing.
Social media marketing is on the other hand, restricted to social media platforms only. That means all other marketing forms on the internet like using online banners et cetera is not social media marketing. However, all internet marketing including social media marketing is considered digital marketing.
One of the worst assumptions a digital marketer can make is to assume that due to a large number of people on social media, everyone is on social media. Although a huge percentage of people are on social media, there remains a substantial number who aren’t for their own personal reasons. As a business, it is imperative that you reach out to this people as well. As much as they aren’t on social media, there are very likely to be using another digital platform. That is a beauty of a digital marketing strategy, it will not isolate the non-social media users.
The reason that there is such a social media marketing frenzy is that of all the other digital marketing platforms, it is the only one which allows direct engagement with the users. Through likes and comments, it possible to gauge your customers’ response to a product or a service. It also allows for interaction with customers as its title implies there is an exchange of information. While the other mediums allow some form of feedback, they are mainly one-way channels of communication. Their feedback is mostly based on estimations and assumptions. With social media, you have a direct line to raw data from your clients. The challenge comes in tailoring your content appropriately for the intended audience. As a business, you have to ensure that your content is relevant, sensitive and informed.
When a business is thinking of a digital marketing strategy, you can expect it to be a broad strategy that covers everything from how it will create awareness in TVs, Mobile phones, Radios and the internet. This is because a digital strategy focuses on reaching the audiences on most or all digital marketing platforms.
A social media strategy, on the other hand, will focus on how best a business can engage with social media user. Things that will arise include how it can build a fanbase and how best to speak and listen to their followers. A social media marketing strategy is, therefore, more low-level.
When it comes to speed of reaching your customers, social media marketing beats all another digital marketing platform in a heartbeat. Unlike the other platforms, with social media, a business is always connected to a large customer base. Conveying a message to thousands of people only takes a click. The marketing process on other platforms especially the non-internet ones the other hand involve lengthy processes unsuitable for instant promotion.
So there you have it, it’s paramount to understand the various digital marketing theories so that you can carefully craft your strategy. Digital marketing is the alpha of marketing and doing it right might be the difference between success and failure. And remember, social media is also part of digital marketing so the two go hand in hand.