The lines between ‘traditional’ and ‘online’ marketing are blurring. Offline marketing includes activities such as radio ads, billboards, magazine spreads, etc. While online marketing includes activities performed directly on websites or in social media.
Regardless of whether you call it ‘traditional’ or ‘online’ marketing, the main difference is the means of communicating the message. With digital marketing, you can target the right audience and reach them with whatever message you want through multiple platforms they use daily, such as email, blogs, and social media.
As a marketer, if you’re unable to tell the difference between traditional and digital marketing, then it’s time to get a new job.
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing
To better understand the differences, it’s important to first establish what they are. Let’s start with the most basic:
- Digital Marketing: The practice of marketing a product or service using digital technologies (e.g. email, social media, mobile phones, etc.).
- Traditional Marketing: The practice of marketing a product or service using non-digital technologies (e.g. radio ads, billboards, magazine spreads, etc.).
So, what makes up digital marketing?
- Digital Marketing Channels: Email, social media, display ads, text ads, mobile phones, etc.
- Traditional Marketing Channels: Outdoor ads (e.g. billboards, bus wraps, etc.), Print ads (e.g. magazine spreads, etc.), Radio ads, and TV commercials.
A few years back, these were considered ‘traditional’ channels, but they each have a digital element that makes them better suited for digital marketing. For example, billboards can be seen as digital because they can be targeted to the individual based on their demographic and psychographic profiles.
Similarly, newspaper and magazine spreads are better viewed as digital because they can be targeted to the individual based on their demographic and psychographic data.
What is a Digital Marketing Plan?
A digital marketing plan is a roadmap to reach your target audience. It should include the channels you’ll use to reach them, the type of content you’ll use to engage them, and the type of metrics you’ll use to assess the success of your plan.
If you’re brand new to digital marketing, then it might be a good idea to start with a simple plan and then add to it as you learn more. You should also develop a simple plan for your ‘offline’ marketing, just in case your digital marketing efforts don’t work out as you’d like.
The Difference In Approach
When you’re starting out, it’s important to remember that there is a difference in the way digital and traditional marketers approach marketing.
Traditionalists believe in one-way communication: They want to present information to the public and hope people will learn something from it. For them, the more noise you make, the better — unless, of course, you’re trying to sell them something…in which case, make sure you drown them in enough noise.
Digitally-inclined marketers believe in two-way communication: They want to interact with their audience by engaging with them and offering something valuable. For them, pitching is an essential component of marketing. They want to have a conversation with potential customers and see where it goes. If it ends up being a fruitful conversation, great. If not, they’ll at least be able to point to something valuable they provided for the conversation.
One of the first things you’ll want to establish is your marketing mix. This is the combination of tactics you’ll use to promote your product or service. It should include both digital and traditional elements. If you’re unsure about what mix will be effective for your company, then it might be a good idea to experiment with several mixes and see which one leads to the best results.
You’ve likely heard of A/B testing, which is when you test different versions of a campaign to determine which one performs the best. You can do the same with your marketing mix, but instead of comparing versions of a campaign, you’ll be comparing different combinations of marketing tactics to see which one leads to the best results.
What is a Conversion Rate?
Your conversion rate is the ratio of those who acted or performed a specified action (e.g. made a purchase, filled out a form, etc.) to the total number of people exposed to the content or channel. To get an accurate read of your conversion rate, use a tool that can track both digital and offline activity, like HubSpot’s Conversion Rate Optimizer.
Types of Content You’ll Use
You’ll want to establish what type of content you’ll use to engage your audience. Keep in mind that people are much more likely to engage with content that is valuable to them, meaning that long and in-depth articles about products they’re not interested in will likely get boring very quickly. In addition, you’ll want to establish what sort of articles you’ll write and what sort of voice you’ll use.
If you have a sales-oriented blog, then you might find that writing about products that are not related to your niche will result in fewer sales. For example, a health-related blog might not do well if it only publishes long-form articles about luxury goods.
Once you’ve determined the sort of content you’ll use to engage with your audience, consider what will make it valuable. To get the most out of your content, make sure you include both digital and traditional elements. For example, a great way to engage with your audience is via short videos about your product or service. However, if those videos are simply re-posts of your blog articles, then they won’t provide much value. Establishing the value of your content will also help you determine the right price to charge for your services.
The Key Performance Indicators
Now that you have a good idea of your marketing mix and the types of content you’ll use to engage with your audience, it’s time to establish the key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to evaluate your progress.
Your KPIs should be both quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative measures include things like the number of articles published or the amount of traffic to your website. While qualitative measures include the type of content you’re producing and the engagement you’re getting from your audience.
To start, you’ll want to use quantitative metrics to determine whether or not your overall marketing strategy is working. For example, if you did an A/B test and the article containing the sales message converted at a higher rate than the one without it, then you can conclude that this particular strategy improved the performance of your marketing campaign.
Once you’ve established that this particular strategy is working, you can switch over to the qualitative measures to get a better understanding of what’s going on. Here, you’ll want to look at things like the comments section of your blog posts and what your social media followers are saying about your company and its products.
Running a Smooth Blogging Experience
To get the most out of your blog, you’ll want to establish a smooth blogging experience for yourself and your team. This means getting all of the right equipment and software to automate your workflow, hiring capable writers, and using a content planning tool to keep track of your content’s publication schedule.
If you’re looking to grow your business quickly, look for niche markets that are trending now but may not yet be saturated. Look for markets that are growing and have room for you to grow alongside them.
To start, you’ll need a quality laptop or desktop computer, a decent internet connection, a microphone, and a speaker. You’ll also need a digital camera to take professional-looking photos for your blog posts. Don’t forget about the software! You’ll need a content management system (CMS) to publish your articles, an email marketing platform to distribute those articles, and a calendaring and scheduling tool to make sure you don’t miss a beat.
Many large businesses now use blogging as a form of content marketing, and many of those businesses began as a personal blog. If you’re looking to grow your business rapidly, then establishing a quality personal blog is a great way to do so.