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Updated: November 11, 2021

Digital Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing

To the uninformed, digital and social media marketing seem like the identical thing. Many believe because they're marketing on social media channels, they're engaged in digital marketing, but this isn't absolutely true.
Digital Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing

Digital marketing refers to an umbrella term used to describe all types of marketing activities a company performs digitally in the online and offline world. And social media marketing is simply one of the channels used for digital marketing.

Any successful business knows they need to meet their target audience where they are. With over 50% of the world’s population active on social media, it’s safe to say that most companies make use of select social media channels to find customers, increase sales, and advertise products and services. While social media marketing is part of digital marketing, one is not required to do the other.

Effective internet marketing is selective and targeted. Not every brand will need to use every single marketing strategy. However, digital marketers know brands experience a quicker and more immediate response from social networking sites compared to other forms of digital marketing. Hence, most include it as part of a larger digital marketing strategy to maximize ROI.

A Digital Marketing Campaign vs. Social Media Marketing Campaign

Any type of marketing campaign is a planned sequence of activities and processes aimed to promote an individual product, service, or company. Many digital marketing channels and marketing strategies are used and coordinated to align marketing goals, regardless of the type of campaign. All marketing campaigns should have specific and measurable outcomes.

Of course, the super-objective is always to increase sales, but this isn’t the be-all-end-all of digital media marketing. Some campaigns focus on increasing web traffic, while others look to improve conversion rates. Thoughtful goal setting will influence the content of your marketing campaigns and enhance the success of your marketing.

The difference between digital marketing campaigns and social media campaigns can be summarized as follows:

Digital Marketing Campaigns

The aim of digital marketing is to utilize a variety of electronic channels to increase sales and profits, create brand awareness, build customer loyalty and brand value. Marketers will typically test a digital marketing campaign, measure analytics, and implement changes based on real-time data. Search engine optimization (SEO), content creation applications, Google Ads, website analytics, and content calendars are some tools used when it comes to digital marketing. A digital marketing strategy covers and includes the following:

  • Website design and development
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Organic and paid advertising
  • Multiple content mediums across different platforms
  • Content marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Native advertising
  • Email marketing
  • Analytics analysis
  • Social media marketing

Digital marketing tip: Regardless of whether you’re publishing a paid ad or posting a new video, it’s important to understand the buyer journey and what types of marketing strategies to use at each stage of the process. No matter how smart your content marketing or ads are, if they’re not being placed in front of your audience at the right moment, they won’t deliver the results.

Social Media Marketing Campaigns

Social media marketing focuses solely on online social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and more. The principles of digital marketing remain the same, except they’re only applied to social networks. Marketers carefully select channels that best express a company’s brand, provide optimal visibility, and are popular with the brand’s ideal internet users. A social media marketing strategy covers and includes, but isn’t limited to, the following:

  • Customer engagement on several online marketing channels
  • Follower and conversion analytics
  • Influencer marketing
  • Organic and paid marketing
  • Content planning and publishing
  • Community engagement via polls and direct messages
  • Analytics analysis
  • High community engagement with followers

Social media marketing tip: Online groups and communities are great places to promote content, deals, products, and services. Groups of like-minded internet users will build brand awareness and provide valuable customer insights to improve your content and strategy.

The Advantages of Social Media Marketing

Knowing your target customers’ social network preferences and online behavior ensures you market your products and services the right way on the correct digital channels. TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, offer a plethora of digital marketing benefits:

  • Brand awareness: Social media enables targeted marketing, providing the benefit of getting your company in front of its ideal customers, even if you have a niche market.
  • Lead generation and sales: Social media marketing is a sophisticated tool for increasing digital marketing scope and acquiring more leads through organic and paid advertising strategies (67% of online shoppers have brought a product after seeing it advertised on social media.)
  • Improved SEO: Social media marketing campaigns don’t impact search rankings, but they can affect search engine optimization (SEO) by driving more traffic to websites, increasing authority and brand recognition, and boosting local SEO.
  • Retargeting: You can recapture potential leads or customers if they’ve left your website without moving further down the buyers’ funnel, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
  • Cost-Effective: Compared to traditional marketing, social media marketing offers greater control over budget spend because the analytics on social media platforms are concise and targeted.

Digital marketing is far more comprehensive than social media marketing. It encompasses; pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, digital campaigns and ads, branding, SEO, and all media marketing. Just because you are running a social media marketing campaign, it doesn’t mean you’re fully engaged with digital marketing; however, if it achieves the results you need and covers your marketing needs, that’s perfectly fine too.

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“Still have question regarding digital or social media marketing? Our experts can answer them and even help you set up your own campaigns!”

Conclusion: Your Digital Marketing Strategy

You don’t need to include all off and online marketing channels in your marketing plan, but understanding how social media fits into your digital marketing can create a strategy that boosts customer engagement. And, if you’re too busy, then why not leave it to the experts?

A professional digital marketer can help you create a customized digital marketing plan using the most appropriate digital marketing channels and social media platforms to suit your business, target audience, and budget. At Comrade Web, we offer comprehensive digital marketing services, including social media. On average, our clients report a 42% increase in conversion rates. Click here to find out more about our result-driven services.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you would like to discuss your project, reach out to our specialists.

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About the Author
Stan Bogdashin
Stan co-founded Comrade Digital Marketing and serves as its marketing strategist and IT expert recruiter.
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