The difference between digital marketing and social media is that social media is just one of the available channels of digital marketing. Many people believe that by engaging on social media they are doing digital marketing but this is not 100% true, as there are many more components that make up a digital marketing campaign.
What is Digital Marketing?
My definition of Digital marketing is: Building awareness and promoting a brand or product online using all available digital channels.
The major components of digital marketing are:
Internet Marketing – Website, SEM (search engine marketing – includes SEO and Pay per click advertising), smartphones, mobile markets (i.e. Google Play, Apple Store), email marketing, online banner advertising and Social Media.
Non-Internet digital channels – Television, Radio, SMS, digital billboards (indoor and outdoor)
The diagram below shows exactly the relationship of the different components that make up digital marketing.
What is social media?
Social media is the latest buzz word in Internet Marketing the last couple of years. The success of the new generation of social media platforms, mainly Facebook and Twitter, changed the way we socialize, interact and shop. This also brought new channels to digital marketing as well.
Social media is the term we use to describe platforms that bring people together for the exchange of information. The most popular social media platforms are: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and YouTube.
Some interesting statistics about social media:
To get a better idea of the impact social media has on marketing, have a look at these interesting statistics:
What are the advantages of using social media in your marketing campaigns?
There are many advantages of utilizing social media for promoting both your online or offline products and services.
- It’s a fast way to spread the word – If you have a big fan base, you can tweet or post on Facebook and your message can instantly go to thousands of users around the World. In fact, social media is the fastest way (even from TV and Radio) to make an announcement or spread a message.
- It’s good for SEO – There are more and more signs that social signals are used for ranking purposes by both Google and Bing.
- It’s a trend – Social media is a trend you cannot ignore if you want to stay close to your customers and in synch with the latest developments in marketing.
- It’s one of the ways to interact with your customers and find out what they want – With social media your customers can show that they like a product or piece of content by voting (Like, Tweet, +1) , commenting and sharing. As a marketer you can analyze these statistics, talk with your customers and find out how to make your products, content or services better.
Digital marketing VS Social media
It should be clear after reading the above definitions that social media is a major component of Internet Marketing which is part of Digital marketing.
If we compare the two side by side we will find that:
- Digital marketing goes beyond the Internet and tries to reach people in the off-line world using digital means while social media is limited to the boundaries of the Internet.
- A Digital marketing campaign may include one or more components (Internet Advertising, Mobile ads, TV, SMS etc.) while a social media strategy may include one or more social media platforms (Facebook, twitter etc.)
- Social media is strongly associated with a content strategy i.e. you create content and use social media to promote it while a digital marketing can concentrate entirely on banners (either on the Internet, TV or billboards) for promotion.
Which is more important digital marketing or social media?
It depends on the type of brand, products or services you want to promote. There are cases where other forms of digital marketing will be more appropriate to build awareness than social media. Social media is a must of every product, brand or service that has a wide audience.
For example, if you are selling a software product, social media can help you find new customers, educate your existing customers (by sending them tips and tricks) and keep them informed about new updates, upcoming releases etc.
If on the other hand, you are selling custom tools for farmers you can use social media as a resource to find out more about the products but your main selling point will be billboard ads on rural areas and Radio ads.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is the process of promoting a product or service through the various social media channels. In general there are two ways to perform a social media marketing campaign.
The first way is free and has to do with building followers, fans or connections by sharing useful content, running contests and generally engaging with your users.
The second way is through paid advertising. You can use Facebook ads, Google Adwords or Twitter promoted accounts to advertise your product or services on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter respectively.
Are social media marketing campaigns successful?
There is the misconception that social media traffic does not convert but latest statistics show otherwise.
The success or failure of any campaign depends on many factors including the experience of the digital marketing consultant so choose wisely.
What does a typical digital marketing campaign includes?
While the digital marketing components are a lot, a typical campaign includes mostly items from the Internet Marketing family. It is very common to see a promotional campaign with:
Social media promotions – paid advertising on Facebook, promotion on Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.
Mobile market promotions – Development of native apps and submission to the Google Play and Apple Store
Email marketing – Promotion of products or services through email marketing campaigns
It is important to know the differences between the different marketing theories so that you can select the most appropriate tools to use in your campaigns.
Digital marketing is the future of marketing and will gradually gain more ground in the online and offline World.
Social media on the other hand, is the new way to connect with other people, it is part of digital marketing and it’s here to change the way we find new customers and promote our products.
Sources: Digital in 2018