Digital marketing is a huge practice which involves numerous techniques – one of which is social media. Digital marketing involves trying to reach people in a number of ways – some of which are offline, but still digital. Social media marketing, meanwhile, is limited to what happens within the boundaries of the internet and the specific social media platforms.
A digital marketing campaign could include numerous components, including social media, web page advertisements, mobile advertisements, TV, SMS, and more. Social media marketing tends to be limited to a specific platform or group of platforms, such as Twitter or Facebook.
Social media marketing is still useful and is incredibly important. It can be used with content strategies to help to grow your website. For example, you might run a social media campaign around a specific product launch or event. Digital marketing, on the other hand, could involve just website banner ads, or could also include TV ads, email marketing, or other techniques.
Depending on the type of product or service that you want to promote, and the strategy you have in mind for your brand, both digital marketing and social media can be very important. The key is understanding your own target demographic. If you have a wide audience then social media is invaluable because it can reach a large range of people, and it can be used to turn your existing customers into brand advocates who will help you to reach as many other people as possible. Other types of digital advertising are more targeted, and have value too because they allow you to reach the specific type of person that you are looking to reach.
For example, if you want to reach pilots then you could use online marketing on forums, private groups and flyer-specific websites to send out informative content that would be of value to them.
Electronic billboard ads and radio advertisements are also of value, and can be useful for reaching people who live in a specific area, or people who are interested in a specific type of content. Whether they would offer a good return for your depends on the type of business that you want to run.
Social media marketing is a powerful tool when it is used properly, but many businesses fail to understand that the quality of the follower is important. Unless you are in the business of ‘being an influencer‘, there is little point in building as large a list of followers as possible, because most of those followers won’t be interested in what you are selling. Even relatively mainstream products have a list of people that will and will not be interested in them. Children do not buy groceries, vegans do not buy cow’s milk.
Yes, you have a high chance with mainstream products of any given person being interested in them, but knowing your target audience will allow you a better chance of reaching a real customer. Start with a small base of real followers, and keep on marketing to them. Encourage them to share and comment on your content, and over time their friends will get exposed to it, and will hopefully become followers as well.
Use relevant hashtags, and you’ll get your content in front of other people with a genuine interest in it. Once you have a feel for your audience you can branch out to paid posts.
Digital marketing is another powerful tool, but it is one that many marketers are scared of because it tends to not be ‘free’. With digital marketing, you will usually need to pay for your ads, even if you’re just testing the waters. It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re new to social media marketing, and it is easy to end up spending far more money than you expected if you don’t target your campaigns properly. When used well, though, digital marketing can offer a huge potential ROI.
Social media is a subset of digital marketing, and it is a very valuable marketing technique, but there are so many others. If you’re looking to get started with online marketing, then you should aim to use a diverse array of techniques.
While you can ‘DIY’ a lot of your marketing, there are many benefits to having a dedicated marketing team that knows what they are doing and that has made all of the most common mistakes before with someone else. They will be able to find the best balance between social media and other digital marketing techniques for your business, and work with you to reach your target audience in the most cost effective way.
Every company, and every demographic, is different, and it really does matter which platforms you share your message on, and the tone and medium that you use.