Online Marketing vs. Digital Marketing? The Basics Explained.

The internet has changed almost every industry, allowing consumers to discover a new business or idea and provide feedback through reviews and social media. This shift has only helped online marketing; however, the roles and responsibilities of a marketer have evolved.

Simply buying ads on social media platforms isn’t enough anymore. To compete and thrive in today’s digital world, marketers must understand how to integrate digital marketing into their overall marketing strategy.

What is digital marketing?

Put simply, digital marketing is the use of digital tools to spread a business’ or organization’s message to attract customers and drive business.

The four main areas of digital marketing are SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (paid search), e-mail marketing, and social media marketing.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of tweaking your website’s content and structure to make it appear higher on major search engines like Google and Bing.

This is particularly important for small businesses that are not yet established, as well as businesses that want to establish themselves as a reputable brand.

When optimizing your website for SEO, you must make sure that the content is relevant to your target audience and that your site has the correct keywords and high-quality content to rank well in search results.

PPC (Pay Per Click)

PPC, or pay per click, is another form of online advertising that businesses can use to gain visibility online. Similar to SEO, PPC involves carefully crafting unique ads that will appeal to a targeted audience.

However, in PPC, the advertiser pays only when a user clicks on the ad. Therefore, the advertiser must carefully consider whether or not the cost of a PPC ad is worth the return on investment.

PPC is most effective at attracting customers who are actively searching for the products and services that your business offers. This could be a truly interested audience – you just have to make sure that your PPC ads are targeted at the proper audience.

E-mail Marketing

E-mail marketing, or sending out emails to customers with special offers and important information, is an essential part of any marketing strategy.

Depending on the size of your business, you may already be e-mailing customers to let them know about special discounts or events. To get the most out of e-mail marketing, you need to develop and follow a simple but effective email marketing plan.

The first step is to decide on a campaign theme for your e-mails, followed by developing a list of important information that you want to share with your audience.

The next step is to craft compelling subject lines for your emails that will make your customers want to read the e-mails’ content. Using A/B testing, you can send out varying versions of your emails to see which one performs best.

E-mail marketing is also a great way to keep in touch with past customers who may want to hear from you again. A strong subject line and a short and sweet email will not only make your customer remember your brand, but may also encourage them to share your email with their friends.

Social Media Marketing

Last but not least, let’s talk about social media marketing. Simply put, social media marketing is using social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to reach your target audience.

Often, businesses and organizations will use social media to follow and connect with people in their niche – whether it’s social media for sales, marketing, or customer service – to gain credibility and make an impact.

To be effective, your social media strategy must include a combination of the following:

  • Content – Make sure that you are consistently posting interesting and informative content that will encourage people to engage with you on social media.
  • Community – Get involved in the social media communities that exist in your niche. Post frequently, engage with others, and build a following.
  • Measurement – Measure the results of your social media efforts and report on your progress regularly. Without this step, it’s difficult to determine whether or not your social media activities are worth the effort.
  • Adaptation – You don’t want to run the same campaign on every single social network. Instead, find the ones that work best for your niche and modify your approach to fit the platform. If you do everything else right, the results of your social media efforts will appear organic.
  • Iteration – Don’t forget about your social media efforts – keep iterating and improving upon your strategy to increase the chances of converting traffic into leads and customers.

With this brief introduction to the basics of online marketing and digital marketing, you should now have a good idea of what these terms mean and which marketing strategies and approaches may be effective for your business or organization. For more information on digital marketing, visit the A.C. Nielson website at To begin your journey to digital marketing success, visit