“How Does Marketing Through Online Social Networks Differ From More Traditional Marketing?”
In the past, people primarily turned to print and radio ads to receive marketing messages. However, with the development of online social networks, all of these methods of communication have changed. Today, digital marketing via social media is a growing sector and will only continue to evolve as businesses seek more effective ways to reach consumers.
The Rise In Digital Marketing
It is well-known that the majority of people now access the internet on mobile devices, with studies showing that 85% of UK adults use their phones to search for information online, and 48% do so regularly.
This trend shows no signs of slowing down, with people frequently searching for information as they travel around the world – especially now that geo-blocking measures have been removed by telecoms companies. As a result of this, all businesses, big and small, must now consider how they can utilise the internet, especially when marketing.
Traditional Marketing Vs Online Marketing
Often, entrepreneurs and marketers will be confronted with a decision between marketing online and marketing via traditional methods. The debate generally stems from a fear of missing out (FOMO), with some companies deciding to only advertise on social media platforms, while others use more conventional methods. However, the truth is, it’s not a either-or situation. And as with most debates, the answer is not so simple.
Forbes recently carried out a study totalling 3,600 respondents in the United States and Japan and found that 66% of millennials would prefer to learn about new products from a brand or company they already know and trust, rather than through an ad on social media. For other generations, the preference was 61% and 52% for Gen X and Baby Boomers, respectively.
So, if you are running a business, and want to figure out how to market your products or services to the largest audience possible, there are plenty of traditional methods you can still use. And beyond that, if you are using social media to grow your audience, you are already partially engaging with customers through trusted platforms.
Why Does Marketing Through Social Media Matter?
Today, more and more people are discovering the power of social media as a way of life, with the number of Americans using TikTok, for example, soaring to 148 million globally as at November 2019. Marketers are also taking note and using the platform to reach consumers with marketing messages.
It’s a place where people can find the content they want, when they want it – whether that’s news, jokes, or upcoming events – and it keeps growing. As a result, marketers can have an unprecedented amount of influence over the decisions and actions of hundreds of thousands of people.
Businesses, brands, and organizations of all sizes can now market directly to this audience, using a combination of paid advertising and organic content to build and grow their presence.
The Importance Of Brand Awareness
Awareness, or the understanding of a product or service among a given population, is extremely important in today’s world. This is particularly relevant with regards to marketing through social media, where people are regularly researching, discovering, and sharing information based on their interests.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, 40% of consumers have researched products or services online before purchasing them, while another 21% have modified a product or service after researching online alternatives. This means that digital research is now an essential part of the purchasing process, especially as 66% of respondents said this type of research had influenced their purchasing decisions.
This also explains the growing importance of content marketing in attracting and retaining customers, with businesses gaining a significant amount of influence over their consumers through the compelling stories they create, the knowledge they share, and the trust they build.
These businesses can range from traditional players in a digital world, such as the Google and Facebook of this world, to new businesses entirely built on marketing online, such as Upwork, Amazon Mechanical Turk, and TikTok. This is why establishing a good digital marketing foundation, with a mix of traditional and online marketing, is so important.
Traditional And Online Marketing Mixes Perfectly
Often, businesses and brands will follow a similar path, opting to use only one method of marketing or the other. The rise of affiliate marketing, for example, saw marketers shift from traditional methods to online platforms to connect with prospective customers.
Traditional methods of marketing, such as radio and print ads, saw a decrease in engagement and click-through rates, whereas the digital methods, such as paid ads and social media, increased. It’s not that one method is inherently better than the other; it’s that they work together, with each having their specific advantages.
“The key to successful marketing is understanding your target audience’s needs and wants, which can be hard to do if you don’t have good listening and understanding skills,” says Chris Brogan, author of Trust Agents and The New Marketers Guide To Influencer Marketing.
“Traditional methods of marketing, such as radio ads and billboards, reach a large audience but require a lot of effort to maintain engagement with those audiences. Online marketing, on the other hand, allows you to target the right audience with greater precision, based on their interests and demographics, and can be achieved much more rapidly.”
The above should provide you with a clear understanding of why marketing through social media is, and will continue to be, a growing trend.
This is a place where people can find the content they want, when they want it – whether that’s news, jokes, or upcoming events – and it keeps growing. As a result, businesses can have an unprecedented amount of influence over the decisions and actions of hundreds of thousands of people.
What’s more is this audience has a shared interest in your product or service, whether it’s their favorite TV series, sports team, or band. So, if you want to reach this audience, you can use a combination of paid advertising and organic content to build and grow your presence on social media networks.