Digital marketing and social media marketing are two important components that can help small businesses succeed but the terms are often used interchangeably. We’re not here to argue over semantics but rather to help you understand that one of them is actually a key component of the other. Both digital marketing and social media marketing can help you take your business to new heights with the proper emphasis placed on creating sound strategies for both. This post should help you understand the two terms by defining what they are, their distinct advantages, and the endless number of opportunities it can create for your business.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing refers to the use of electronic devices (computers, tablets, cell phones) to market to consumers. In recent years, there has been a major shift from traditional media to digital media and consumers have been making a shift towards mobile shopping, making digital marketing now more important for businesses than ever before.
A major advantage of digital marketing is the ability to track return on investment (ROI) through readily available statistics (e.g. Google & Facebook Analytics) such as clicks and click-through rates, demographics and more. Being able to understand the target market helps coming up with a digital marketing strategy much easier than using traditional media such as TV or billboard ads. Also, digital marketing makes it simple to adjust marketing efforts according to results. If a campaign is under-performing based on analytics, adjustments can be made for improvements on the fly. More of your efforts can be focused on areas where your marketing budget should be allocated.
Another major advantage is that digital marketing gives businesses an opportunity to use multiple channels to help potential customers discover their business, whether it is through paid online advertisements, SEO, or email marketing.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing uses social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc. to build brand awareness, sell products or gain attention for a brand or company. Social media marketing is actually a key component of digital marketing.
Succeeding with Social Media:
Once you have established which social media platforms will work best for your business, it’s important to follow a few guidelines and create a plan to reach your audience.
Your social media accounts should do the following:
- Provide value to the people who have liked your page with relevant information and up to date news.
- Be entertaining.
- Be shareworthy.
One of the biggest social media platforms for businesses is Facebook and the frequent algorithm changes can create obstacles for small businesses looking to market themselves on a budget. It’s important to stay up to date with the latest changes to ensure that efforts are not wasted.
Creating a Digital Marketing Plan:
Ready Artwork offers a Social Media Plan and an SEO plan. A combination of the two would be considered a digital marketing plan. There have been studies conducted to try to understand how social media affects SEO and vice versa. For example, a study conducted by QuickSprout noticed that 100 Google+ followers helped increase their search result rankings by 14.63% and 70 Facebook shares and 50 Facebook likes equated to an increase in rankings by 6.9%. Based on these results, one can safely assume that social media at least has an indirect effect on SEO.
Define what your goals are. For an e-commerce website, the goal would be to increase sales as much as possible. For a lead generating or informational website, the goal could either be to collect email addresses or have visitors fill out a contact form on a landing page.
An example funnel could look like this:
- Use social media to build brand awareness, link fans and followers to your website through compelling or enticing content (blog posts, deals etc).
- Send your visitors to the page or pages you would like them to view (proper SEO performed can also improve the amount of time visitors spend on the website).
- Track how many visits came through social media, and view the number of goal completions through analytics.
This is definitely an on-going process. It’s a common misconception that if a website is built, a tidal wave of traffic will immediately follow. Unfortunately, that is not usually the case. A digital marketing plan needs updates and adjustments the same way that a car requires maintenance and the amount of work needed adjusts depending on the conditions.