There’s a common question floating around social media these days: “What’s the difference between digital marketing and online marketing?”
Well, let’s dive in and explore.
What is Digital Marketing?
Put simply, digital marketing is everything online marketing, social media marketing, and beyond. It also incorporates offline marketing, which happens to be pretty much everything else.
When it comes to marketing, we often get into a habit of thinking in terms of the tools we use or the platforms we employ. Yet, the most effective tools and the most successful platforms frequently evolve or change as our industry does. For example, when Social Media started, marketers used to focus heavily on television commercials, magazine spreads, and billboards. Now, with the emergence of platforms like YouTube and Instagram, our focal point has shifted to content strategy, creativity, and engaging with audiences.
When to Use Digital Marketing
Although there are hundreds of tactics and strategies you can use to market your product or service, at the end of the day, you’ll want to pick one or two areas of focus and dedicate yourself to those platforms. In general, you’ll want to use digital marketing for:
- Attracting and motivating potential customers to action (e.g., purchase a product, make a call, fill out a form, etc.).
- Generating leads.
- Gaining brand awareness.
- Linking to and engaging with key influencers.
- Establishing thought leadership
- Collecting raw data and analytics on audience behavior.
- Determining product and marketing trends.
- Funding acquisition.
- Demystifying the process of getting a product from conception to sale.
Additionally, depending on your product or service, you may want to use digital marketing to educate your target audience about:
- The benefits of your product/service
- The competition
- The industry
- How to purchase
- The prices of your product/service
- Insight into your target audience’s lifestyle
- Why you’re the best choice
- And more…
In choosing your focus area, bear in mind that not all tactics or strategies will suit every business, product, or service. Thus, you’ll want to pick one or two platforms, focus on mastering them, and then branch out into other areas of digital marketing. This will enable you to become more efficient and effective while avoiding over- or under-utilization.
So, what’s the takeaway from this? When it comes to marketing, we often get bogged down in the nitty-gritty of platforms and tools. Yet, at the end of the day, the most effective tools and the most successful platforms often evolve or change as our industry does. As a marketer, being familiar with these changes is critical. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself scrambling to keep up, or worse, struggling to implement an outdated strategy.
As a digital marketer, it’s your job to stay informed of the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing. Additionally, being able to explain the difference between digital marketing and online marketing can be an essential part of your job. With some basic terminology knowledge, you’ll be able to effectively choose the right marketing strategy for your unique business and marketing goals.