Digital Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing
For many, the words digital marketing and social media marketing have become interchangeable and somewhat synonymous. And while the two are indeed closely intertwined, they are not, contrary to what many believe, the same thing. Knowing and understanding this distinction is important in ensuring that your digital and social media marketing efforts are effective.
- Digital marketing is an umbrella term that is used to define all marketing efforts, which are executed via digital platforms. This includes everything from email marketing, mobile marketing, influencer marketing, content marketing, online advertising and yes, social media marketing. In other words, social media marketing is a type of digital marketing method and not the entire umbrella of digital marketing.
- Social Media Marketing as Part of Digital Marketing – Social media marketing is a type of digital marketing method that includes promoting and engaging your audience across social media channels. This includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. It is done both organically by sharing free content, engaging with users, etc. or paid, via Facebook ads, Twitter ads and other social media promoted posts.
- Social Media Marketing efforts are typically used to drive customers and potential customers to your business website and towards your online content. It essentially tries to get individuals talking about your business and your brand in an organic way. Digital marketing includes far broader and full-scale marketing efforts across multiple digital platforms used to build awareness and drive sales. A thorough and well executed digital marketing campaign can include a combination of email marketing, mobile marketing, influencer marketing, social media marketing, online PR campaign, PPC campaign, indoor and outdoor digital advertising, etc.
- Digital Marketing, unlike social media marketing, is not solely internet-based. A big misconception of many is that the word digital automatically equates to the internet and that digital marketing involves only internet-based activities. Not true. Digital marketing strategies and tactics employ television, radio, as well as billboards (i.e. digital). It seeks to reach the audience in the offline world while using digital methods. Social media marketing, however, as it involves social media channels, is entirely internet-based.
As stated above, the key difference between the two is that social media marketing is essentially a type of a digital marketing method and it is a very important one. The benefits of social media marketing are numerous, including, a fast and relatively cheap way to spread the word about your business, it’s great for SEO, it’s a great way to engage with and gain feedback and insights from customers and potential customers, increases inbound traffic and conversion, etc.
You cannot go wrong with a well-developed and concise social media marketing strategy. However, it is essential to remember that social media marketing alone is not equivalent to a complete digital marketing strategy but rather is one part of the larger whole.