It’s hard to imagine a world without digital marketing. It’s hard to remember what life was like before digital marketing took over. But some people are still clinging to traditional marketing methods, insisting that digital marketing can’t replace them. So, which is it? Is digital marketing taking over traditional marketing, or is traditional marketing holding strong in the face of digital competition?
To answer this question, we need to understand what digital marketing is and what traditional marketing is. Then, we can compare the two and see which one is better suited for today’s business climate.
Digital marketing is a broad term that covers any type of marketing that uses digital channels. This can include everything from website banner ads to social media posts to email campaigns. If it’s digital, it counts as digital marketing.
Why is digital marketing important?
Because that’s where the consumers are. Over 80% of Americans are online, and they’re spending more time than ever before scrolling through social media feeds, browsing websites, and checking their email. If you want to reach your target market quickly and efficiently, digital marketing is the way to do it.
Which digital marketing elements should you use?
There are a lot of digital marketing channels, and it can be overwhelming to try to use them all. The best digital marketing strategy is to focus on the channels that will reach your target market most effectively and get you results. For example, if you’re targeting millennials, you’ll want to focus on social media channels like Snapchat and Instagram. If you’re targeting baby boomers, you might want to focus on email marketing or banner ads on websites.
Here are a few digital marketing strategies that small businesses can use:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is a technique used to improve a website’s ranking in search engine results pages using different keywords to reflect the business products or services. People type in keywords to look for products and services and search engines deliver the results of those searches.
There are a lot of keyword research tools:
- The Google AdWords Keyword Planner
- Moz’s Keyword Explorer
- Wordstream’s Free Keyword Tool
- Semrush Magic Keyword Tool
- Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
- Ubersuggest Keyword Tool
Most of the tools above also offer website auditing and SEO reporting tools so you can see where you can improve your site’s performance from an SEO perspective.
Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media platforms. According to the 2021 HubSpot Blog poll, 79% of marketers report buying paid advertising on Facebook. (HubSpot) and according to Hootsuite – Users spend an average of 19.6 hours a month on Facebook. (HootSuite)
That’s a lot of money spent on advertising on one social media platform and a large amount of time for a user to spend on the same platform. Those figures alone would indicate that social media has a massive impact on a business’s visibility online as well as a way they can communicate and advertise to prospective clients.
Social media can also offer cost-effective advertising in the digital space more so than traditional marketing techniques.
Paid Search Advertising
Paid search advertising is a form of online advertising that involves paying a publisher (usually a search engine, like Google) to advertise on their site. This can be on the basis of search terms, display ads or shopping ads.
Website optimization is the process of making changes to a website so that it performs better in search engine results pages. Things like page load speed and heavy images can hinder your website’s performance. (As well as many other SEO technical elements)
Also looking at ways you can enhance your user experience when they are on your website can increase the likelihood of potential clients doing business with you.
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.
Marketing automation refers to the use of software to automate marketing tasks, such as email marketing, social media marketing, and paid search advertising.
A log of marketing automation tools also offer Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems that are built in. Making it easier to keep all of your sales and marketing data in one place.
Email marketing is the process of sending commercial messages, typically to a group of people, using email.
Traditional marketing, on the other hand, refers to more old-school marketing strategy methods like print ads, TV commercials, and direct mailers. These methods are still used today, but they’re not as effective as they used to be. Thanks to the internet, people are savvier about avoiding advertising than they used to be. They can fast-forward through TV commercials, ignore print ads, and delete unwanted emails without even reading them.
So what are some of the more traditional marketing strategies being used?
Print marketing (or print media) is a form of traditional advertising that uses physically printed materials, like newspapers, magazines, flyers, and brochures, to reach potential customers.
Print media is now incorporating augmented reality and QR scan codes to create a more interactive experience for the reader. By scanning the code or image with their phone, they are able to view additional content or videos that are relevant to the advertisement. This merger of two types of marketing allows businesses to reach out to their customers in a more engaging way.
TV Commercials (Or Radio)
TV or radio commercials are short video ads that are played during TV shows. They usually last around 30 seconds and can be very costly to produce.
Programmatic TV Advertising is a new type of TV advertising that uses data and technology to target ads more effectively. By using programmatic TV, businesses can target their ads to specific demographics, like age, gender, location, and interests. This helps businesses make the most of their advertising budget by only paying for ad space that will reach their target audience. So it’s making an older form of advertising more effective.
Interactive Advertising on TV with QR Codes or websites or social links is also emerging. This allows businesses to track how many people are interacting with their ad and what they’re doing after they see it.
Direct mail is a type of marketing that involves sending physical letters, postcards, or catalogues to customers or prospects. It can be a very effective way to reach out to potential customers, but it’s normally expensive.
To make the most of their direct mail campaigns, businesses need to use data to target their audience and personalize their message. They can also use QR codes or website links to track how many people are interacting with their ad.
Outdoor Marketing & Signage
Outdoor marketing is a type of marketing that uses physical signs and billboards to reach potential customers.
Outdoor marketing can be a great way to reach people who are on the go, as well as target specific demographics like commuters or those living in a certain area. What’s more, interactive online media through QR codes or augmented reality is starting to emerge in this space too.
So, it’s clear that digital marketing is more effective than traditional marketing. But does that mean digital marketing is taking over? Not necessarily. While digital marketing is growing at a rapid pace, traditional marketing is still holding its own. Many businesses are using a mix of both digital and traditional methods to reach their target audiences.
There’s no doubt that digital marketing is the future of marketing. But for now, traditional marketing still has a place in the world. So don’t feel like you have to choose one or the other – use both to create a well-rounded marketing strategy for your business. Get creative with merging the two!