Internet technologies have impacted many industries in different ways. Education, Social System, Healthcare, and many other fields were absolutely transformed. For example, the introduction of EMR in hospitals streamlined documenting and improved record-keeping compared to paper medical archives. At the same time, it made it possible for a doctor in another clinic to have access to the patient files.
This is only one of many examples where technologies led to the improvement of the provided service or helped in reaching ambitious goals. For instance, in marketing, Internet technologies have made a revolution. The industry split up into periods before the Internet and after, turning digital marketing into a powerful tool for attracting the target audience in a short period of time.
It is, indeed, more effective in reaching customers than any other marketing activity. With digital marketing, your marketing decisions are based purely on data analysis which allows for better targeting. Digital marketing serves to present the brand in the most appealing form and send the right message to the right people.
However, it is common to misinterpret and confuse such categories as digital marketing and social networking. In this article, we will dive deeper into the meaning behind each of these terms and discover what the tools are the most effective in attracting your target audience.
What Digital Marketing Is?
Digital marketing is marketing that went online. If you use digital technologies or a digital medium to market your products or services, it means you are fully involved in digital marketing. A digital marketing specialist can use different digital marketing channels to reach potential customers. Social media is only one of these channels. Digital marketing can be done through websites, digital ads, search engines, etc. The number of these channels continues to grow along with the emergence of the new technologies.
Digital marketing degree depends on the business size and marketing budget. The more you are ready to invest in marketing, the better it works, and the greater are the results. If you limit your online presence to website and email marketing, attracting a larger number of people and turning them into customers is not possible. However, with the rise of social media marketing, it has become cheaper to market your product online while targeting the right segment of your audience.
Social media marketing is based on the active utilization of social media platforms to build your brand and connect with your audience. It helps in brand building, raising brand awareness, growing sales, and driving website traffic. In fact, it performs a digital marketing job but utilizes the means of social platforms.
What makes it stand out from digital marketing is its simplicity. It is easy to start an account on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, or LinkedIn and update it regularly according to the needs and desires of your followers. However, SMM also has its cost. In order to draw attention to your profile, you need to pay for advertising. Its main benefit is in the fact that it reaches the customer you think your product will fit best.
Social media has a wide collection of data on each of its user that is perfectly used for marketing purposes. You need to specify age, interests, gender, marital status, and other characteristics, and be sure your ad will reach your person of interest.
However, although this marketing may seem too simple and chaotic, it still requires strategy and planning. Social media marketing is based on analytics that covers thousands of people, a strategy that makes it reasonable, and planning that turns it into an organized and well-planned activity directed at acquiring a wider audience.
What Is More Effective – Digital Marketing or Social Networking?
It would be wrong to assume that there is a specific answer to it. Digital marketing includes social media, so it would be wrong to say that one is better than another. Digital marketing is much wider and encompasses many different aspects. Apart from social media, it includes SEO, content, website design and development, and other aspects. Social media marketing covers only those areas that have a relationship with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and so on.
However, if we consider different businesses and brands, it makes sense to talk about the effectiveness of digital marketing as a whole and its subcategory of SMM. Nowadays, small and medium businesses may not even have a website, but they can have millions of followers on Instagram or other social networks. Brand building happens there, so their owners are interested in hunting customers exclusively in social media. In this case, SMM will be more effective than digital marketing. For big businesses, all aspects of digital marketing are critical for successful operation.
Nowadays, digital marketing is a must for every business. Entrepreneurs should hire a digital marketing specialist or gain necessary skills and competence themselves to run their company’s profiles and appeal to the clients. However, it is important to determine what digital marketing type or channel will fit the business purposes best and how to allocate funds planned on marketing. In some cases, a business will do perfectly fine without a website relying merely on social media presence.