THe Difference Between Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing

It utilizes an assortment of digital channels like SEO (search engine optimization), social media and PPC (pay per click) to entice audiences towards a prospective brand. Digital marketing uses internet as the core medium of promotion which can be accessed using electronic gadgets like computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Internet marketing techniques such as search engine marketing (SEM), e-mails form an integral part of digital marketing. Moreover, it also includes non-internet channels like short messaging service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS), callbacks, etc. All these different channels form an integrated part of digital marketing. Digital marketing is considered a BTL Below-The-Line marketing as it targets a smaller and more concentrated group and works on forming loyal customers and creating conversions.

SMO or (SMM), on the other hand, is a branch or subset of digital marketing that excels at promotion using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and so forth. It makes the use of social media for the purpose of marketing. Social media relies heavily on the interaction of the users, sharing information and forming a community of sorts and hence has a ‘social’ element to it. It utilizes the creation of artistic content which is presented accordingly to lure the audience towards your products or services and create a brand following.

According to Zephoria Digital Marketing Consultants, there are over 1.71 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide. This means that statistically Facebook is too big to ignore and hence, should be a vital part of your social media marketing strategies. Online video consumption on such platforms has been on a steady rise and is the next big thing in terms of marketing strategies. SMM is also a BTL Below-The-Line marketing as it relates to segregated groups formed over common interests on social media platforms.

Companies looking to address their marketing needs need to choose between a digital marketing agency or a specialist agency. If you are looking for someone to plan out your entire marketing strategy, then a digital marketing agency would be a good choice. However, if you are looking for someone to only handle the social media aspect of your strategy, then you are better off working with a specialist agency.

With the extreme popularity of digital media, people are more willing to incorporate digital marketing into their everyday lifestyle. As per the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) report, Internet ad revenues in the United States reached a staggering $27.5 billion in the first half of 2015.This has opened up several job opportunities world over. There is a high demand; however, we experience a dearth in the skilled workforce as people are still coming to terms with the rapid evolution of digital media.

To meet the increasing demands of talented individuals, there are several online courses in digital marketing available. A quick Google search on this topic will enlist a host of institutes that offer the mentioned lessons. The courses run for a number of days where all the related topics under the umbrella of digital marketing are addressed. Students gain valuable insights into the subject that enables them to carve a niche for themselves.

The digital marketing course includes basic understanding of marketing and advertising concepts and fundamental knowledge of statistical and analytical tools. They are also given comprehensive information about email marketing, SEO/SEM, pay per click, mobile marketing, online video among others.

Social media marketing courses include an in-depth understanding of the principles of social media, major social media sites, social media strategy and measuring social media. It offers a look into the strengths and weaknesses of the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. and delves deeper into the newest trends surfacing on social media.Social media is an indispensable part of digital media strategy. SM platforms are leveraged for the purpose of branding of a product or service as it provides a more interactive medium open for a two-way conversation. Digital marketing is more relevant in terms of creating brand awareness, marketing or reputation management. Although they have different online applications, they serve the larger purpose of brand advancement and customer conversion into leads and sales. Consumers have become more brand conscious with active participation and most spoilt for choice with the plethora of options available online. Their share in the overall marketing strategy has grown manifold rendering traditional strategy techniques obsolete. The rate at which digital media is advancing, it won’t be far fetched to imagine a future where virtual reality has transpired to every aspect of our existence.

10 Social Media Marketing Tips to Help You Avoid Social Media Failure!

Used correctly social media marketing can give you a platform for brand awareness, exposure, networking, and a huge boost in traffic & sales. The problem is, most people don’t know how to use the social media properties correctly…

Social media marketing gives you an edge over larger competitors. Studies show that most companies are not yet adopting social media, leaving a sweet gap for the “little guy” to do big business in that space.

Follow these 10 simple tips to create your own strategy for Social Media Marketing success:

1. Map Out Your Social Media Strategy

What is it you most hope to accomplish with your social media marketing plan? What response do you expect from your target market? Ideas to consider in your overall objective might include:

-Branding
-Networking
-Exposure
-Inbound Links/SEO
-Relationship/Trust Building
-Customer Relations (think @comcastcares on Twitter)

2. Connect With Your Target Market

Get an image of your ideal customer or website visitor clearly in your mind. Who are they? What are they searching for? What do they want and need the most? What do you feel they expect from you through social media communications?

Consider what they experience on their end in everything you do. They are the person that you want to attract into your funnel, so you want to make a great impression – and also include a strong, specific call-to-action.

3. Offer Consistent, Quality Content

The content that you post to social media properties should be both consistent as in regular updates, and also consistent with your overall message or objective.

If you are an MLM recruiter for example, provide quality resources for recruits. If you own an ecommerce gardening site, offer gardening tips. Whatever your message, you want to make it consistent across the web.

This helps you achieve your branding objectives, and allows you to create the perception that you want people to have of you or your company. Anyone who follows you online should easily be able to fill in the blank: (You/Your Company) is known for ___ .

Being consistent with your message and your branding also lends toward your goal of relevance and theming when it comes to SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.

4. Focus on Content, Not Marketing

Most people get this backwards. If you focus on valuable, high-quality content then that content will do the marketing for you.

You shouldn’t have to digg or bookmark your own content, but rather focus on writing such great content that your readers give it an unsolicited digg or stumble for you.

Your job is to write, and provide easy access to social media services where your readers can share your content with their friends & groups.

When people like what you have to say, they will share it – period. And when they share it, the search engines will take notice. Write top quality content & updates, and let the rest happen naturally.

5. Caution! Do Not Over-Optimize

Social Media Marketing can help you achieve top search engine rankings for specific keyword phrases. But be careful… because there is such a thing as over-optimization.

Using the same anchor text everywhere that you link to (or request a link to) your site leaves a ‘digital footprint’, throwing up a red flag that you may be trying to manipulate the search results (or PageRank).

Avoid this by using natural variations in anchor text for the links that point back to your primary website. You need a certain number of “click here” or similar links to give balance to your optimization strategy.

6. Stop Linking To Your Home Page!

Social media is about micro-topical conversations, so consider how you can introduce internal offers or pages of your website into these conversations.

This will keep your groups and followers engaged in the topic at hand, and provide higher value to your readers.

These deep links, or links pointing to internal pages on your site or blog, help it gain authority in the search engines as well. All other things being equal between two identical websites, the one with more deep links will outrank the other. This also gives you more exposure in the search engine results, since your internal pages will begin ranking for specific relevant keyword phrases.

Tip: Your home page may not be the best link to share on your Profile while networking on social sites. Consider linking to your “about me” page instead for a more personable introduction to you and your site.

7. Provide a Valuable Resource

There’s a reason its called Social Media, and not Self-Promotional Media. Keep that in mind when you consider your social media marketing plan.

If all you post is self-promotional links and requests, you will eventually become a part of the “noise” and ultimately be filtered out by your target market. They may not unfollow or delete you, but they will begin to scan over your posts and tweets without even realizing it.

Avoid this by becoming a valuable resource in your niche. Share links to domains that you don’t own. And I don’t mean your own Squidoo pages or Facebook profiles – I mean domains you have ZERO association with. Provide value to your groups by sharing relevant links and resources.

You mean, you want me to *gasp* promote my competitors?! Yes – and become friends with them too. Interlinking and networking is powerful!

8. Social Networking

To truly achieve your social media marketing objectives, you need to do some social networking as well. Forget the word “competitor”. Other publishers or webmasters in your niche will be your best friends in the social media landscape!

Locate every competitor on your level (or within reasonable range) and create an “inner circle” of friends or business peers. These are people you can interview or be interviewed by, exchange links with, joint venture with, etc. Stop looking at them as competition, and start looking at how you can leverage each others’ position in the marketplace!

Tip: Don’t ask for favors. And don’t flaunt the favors you do. Simply follow, comment on, link to, or otherwise become “known” to select publishers in your niche. They will notice… and generally begin to reciprocate. Given a little time the relationship will form naturally and be incredibly beneficial on both sides.

9. Build Rapport

Get involved in discussions, reply to blog comments, ask for feedback (and then respond to it and act on it!). People want to know that you’re a real person, and not just “a company” – or worse: a bot spitting out links and sucking in cash.

Don’t be afraid to have an opinion or to express your thoughts on hot topics within your niche. Your unique voice in the market will attract your ideal visitors and customers.

Social media gives you an opportunity to be personable. An ecommerce site has its limits when it comes to establishing trust and building long-term customer relationships, so use social media as an opportunity to make a real connection with your target market.

10. Link Freely – And Don’t Apologize For It!

This is somewhat of a combination of tips #3 and #7. One thing that really makes me cringe is the 2 words “shameless plug” – promise me you wont ever use that phrase!

The people that follow you, subscribe to your updates, or ‘friend you’ on social media sites… want to hear your latest news and tips. If they don’t, they’ll quickly unfollow you – which is fine. This is not a numbers game or a vanity contest – it is a means of syndicating and socializing in a professional yet personable way.

There is a right and a wrong way to link to resources and content on social media sites. The wrong way is to say “read my blog post” or “visit my website”. The right way is to share a cool link (whether its yours, or something of interest to your readers from another website) and to open a discussion on that topic.

Have a clear objective, be a valuable resource, and use social media properties in the way they were intended to be used. Anything else will get you filtered out, unfollowed, banned or blacklisted… and ultimately be a complete waste of your time.

Done right, following these 10 simple tips, social media marketing can currently grow your online business faster than any other means.

7 Steps to Sell Your Boss on Social Media Marketing

With words like “tweet,” “blog” and “unfriend” entering our standard lexicon, there’s no question that social networking has a significant place on our contemporary culture. And it’s no surprise that many companies have been using social media online to connect and communicate with their customers online.

But the benefits of social networking aren’t always immediately apparent to some. And that is especially true for businesses who are interested in having a lot of control over their brand name and brand image. Convincing some that every business has something to gain from online media marketing can be difficult. It can be hard to see how Web 2.0 marketing can result in a positive return on investment (ROI).

When it comes to convincing your boss or colleagues to invest in social networks, it helps to have a plan.

Here the 7 steps you can take when it comes to selling social media marketing to your boss or company.

1. Explain how social media is an unbeatable research tool. When a company is effectively tapped into the social media landscape, they get to hear a lot of chatter that they wouldn’t hear otherwise. Those engaged in social media marketing campaigns will be able to monitor channels for any mention of their company, competitors, industry, clients and potential clients. Setting up a social media marketing listening campaign lets a company know who is participating and what is happening.

Thanks to tools and services like Quantcast, Alexa and TweetMeme, it is now easier than ever to track and measure what people are talking about online. This information is invaluable for developing future marketing strategies, both online and offline.

2. Match the benefits of Web 2.0 marketing with your company’s goals. Whether your company or your client is a service provider, a business to business specialist or a business to consumer retailer, there’s a social media marketing strategy for them. But in order to convince others of online media marketing’s benefits, you have to be aware of the company’s goals. Do they want to enhance their customer service operations? To they want to reduce costs? Do they want to manage their reputation? Social networking can do a lot to help achieve all those goals. When you know what your boss or company wants, you can show how this will help them achieve it.

3. Start small. Even if they’re not bullish on social network marketing, your boss or others at your company are probably aware of the range of social applications and services that are out there. They may think that launching a social marketing campaign will be a huge undertaking, one that will require many work hours just to set everything up.

But that’s not necessarily true. A Web 2.0 marketing campaign doesn’t have to include a setting up a Facebook Fan Page, a Twitter account, a blog and a YouTube channel. In fact, it’s often easier to start small. Figure out which service will best match the stated goals of your boss or your company. It may be something as simple as registering a Twitter account and starting to engage people via tweets. Starting small requires little time and less cost. But the results can become apparent quickly. You can even begin to measure such results with a tracking service like Quantcast.

4. Set up a strategy and follow it. A social media campaign can appear strange and different, even to people who have plenty of marketing experience. If you don’t have a clear strategy for implementation and execution, reactions to your plan will be understandably skeptical to your social media marketing strategy. Take time to explain each step of the plan, describe why it’s being done and how it will benefit the company.

5. Look for examples of social media success. Lots of businesses, large and small, well-known and unknown, have been able to already achieve a lot with social media marketing. From Charles Schwab to FujiFilm to Goodwill, there are countless examples of companies who have been able to successfully use social networking to achieve their corporate goals. Find them and broadcast the results.

6. Anticipate Questions. It’s natural for people to be skeptical of new things and new ideas. While you may be well aware of the benefits of social media marketing, keep in mind that resistance may simply be the result of some people being overly cautions. That’s why it’s important to anticipate any and all questions or objections someone may raise. Find good case studies and other examples of social media marketing successes. Have these on hand to use as examples. Here are some common questions that skeptical bosses may have about social media marketing:

• Our customers aren’t online. This line of reasoning is being used less and less, but some companies may still think this is true. The truth is, at the cusp of the 2010s, nearly everyone is online. Online activity isn’t restricted to any gender, income level, education level, or location. There are countless surveys to prove this. One of the largest survey groups, the Pew Research Center, frequently provides data for online use, broken down by several categories.

• What if someone writes something bad? This is a common fear among those resistant to social media marketing. But studies show that when companies engage with customer complaints and criticisms, they end up looking better than before. Mention that people will likely complain whether you’re engaged in social media or not. It’s better for nearly every brand to appear involved with its customers. Even the angry ones.

• It’s too time-consuming. After setting up social media marketing accounts on networks like Facebook and Twitter, the actual maintenance doesn’t take that much time at all. You can spread social media marketing efforts among the staff, or you can task a single person to handle it. Either way, social media marketing doesn’t require countless work hours. Create a timeline showing the typical amount of time one will spend on social media every week to help prove this point.

7. Make your case. Prepare a short, punchy presentation that hits on all the above topics. Give your boss or colleagues plenty of time to ask questions. Think about your boss or colleagues’ personal preferences and consider how you can best sell your Web 2.0 marketing idea. And remember that there may be some things you don’t know. Social online marketing is still relatively new, and that means that there are still many unanswered questions out there. Be honest about what you don’t know, but make sure to point out all possible benefits to Web 2.0 marketing.

Social network marketing is an exciting new medium that companies can use to achieve just about any business goal. By convincing your colleagues or your boss of the effectiveness of this type of online marketing, you’ll be on your way to discovering the enthralling, challenging and rewarding new world of online business networking.