As advertising is becoming predominantly digital, are in the process of, or have already made a digital transition. As a result of that, social media and digital marketing have become booming topics. However, even for an avid internet user, digital advertising can be an ambiguous concept. Many companies don’t know where to start and what to make their priority.
Why is digital marketing so important?
The number of internet users keeps growing on a daily basis. “We Are Social” and Hootsuite’s Global Digital Report, published in January 2019, found that the number of internet users worldwide was 4.39 billion, which is 366 million (9%) more than in January 2018:
Another mind-blowing fact is that Facebook gets 42,033,600,000 logins every month.
What all this points to is that all eyes are online right now. Your audience spends a lot of time on the internet. Your business needs to be doing the same to stay relevant and expand its reach. To join the movement, you can use one or more of the many forms of Digital Marketing: email marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization, Google advertising or Social Media advertising.
Social media is one of the most used and most effective forms of digital marketing. Through social media, businesses increase sales, generate leads, and build brand awareness. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, allow you to target different audiences to deliver different types of information.
We Are Social and Hootsuite’s report states that at the beginning of 2019, the world had 3.5 billion social media users, with 288 million new users who joined during 2018. The global social media penetration was 45%. On average, people spend 2:16 hours on social media every day. The most common user profile are males aged between 18 and 34. An average user has 9 social media profiles, and 83% of internet users have actively engaged with social media. The most used social media platforms are Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, and Instagram.
So, yes, social media marketing should be a pretty important part of your marketing strategy. While social media is just a small drop in the digital marketing sea, it is a pretty important one.
The differences between social media and other types of digital marketing strategies
In large part, the communication strategy and choice of channels depend on the goals. Social media is mostly used for communication with users/customers and growing brand awareness, while other forms of digital marketing campaigns have goals to drive traffic or increase sales. However, social media platforms have added some features lately that enable sales. For example, Instagram now allows companies to tag products and sell directly through the app in some countries.
Also, different platforms have different audiences. Social media marketing uses Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, and many other social platforms. People go there to share information/content and communicate with each other publicly or privately. On the other hand, other forms of digital marketing include blogs, Google Ads, forums, apps, YouTube, etc. where the users search and explore their interests and needs.
The planning process also differs. Social media planning requires a much shorter amount of time than creating a marketing strategy. Planning in other digital marketing campaigns requires making the strategy for each channel, including social media, compatible. For example, if the company uses content marketing, this content is later distributed through social media channels, so this needs to be considered during the content creation process.
The planning process also differs. Social media planning requires a much shorter amount of time than creating a marketing strategy. Planning in other digital marketing campaigns requires making the strategy for each channel, including social media, compatible. For example, if the company uses content marketing, this content is later distributed through social media channels. This needs to be considered during the content creation process.
The role of Social media in digital marketing strategies:
Brand awareness. More approachable companies always have better brand loyalty and enable users to identify with their brand. Moreover, creating and posting great content, of course, will make the image of the brand even better.
Reputation. Managing social media profiles is tricky. Social media managers need to be careful with how they communicate a brand’s voice. Good communication with users is key to a good brand reputation.
Competitive advantage. Clever and original content can bring a brand more forward than its competition. Good content can create a buzz and make everyone talk about it. For example, Gilette’s “Boys will be boys” campaign triggered a large part of the male population, gaining 1.5 million social media mentions in the first two days. The original tweet has been shared more than 230,000 times, showing that brands should have an attitude.
Increase sales. This can vary from campaign to campaign. Creating a well-targeted campaign with the right call-to-action, can drive traffic and increase sales on the company’s website.
What should you focus on more – social media or other digital marketing channels?
The answer is obvious – both forms are important. However, the intensity and structure of the two strategies depending on the nature of the product/service, and the brand. A digital marketing strategy is a must for every brand. But whether or not to include a social media strategy is a choice that depends on the organization.
Social media gives audiences easier access to the brand. Companies can utilize their social media presence to educate their customers, find potential ones, and build a community of faithful followers. Ignoring social media means staying away from your customers and taking away their chance of identifying closer with your brand.
However, before choosing what digital marketing channels you’re going to use, you have to get to know your audience. Learn where your target customers spend there time and meet them there. That’s the only way you can be sure that your strategy will be effective.