Discover the fascinating differences between social media marketing and traditional marketing strategies in our comprehensive guide, “Unveiling The Shift.” Gain valuable insights into the evolving landscape of digital marketing and learn how to leverage the power of social media to enhance your brand’s reach, engagement, and overall marketing success. Stay ahead of the market and adapt your marketing approach to thrive in the era of social media dominance.
Marketing has been here for a while. In all of history, it went through drastic transformations. Also, so did the consumer’s wishes.
That being said, one can’t say that the more conventional form of marketing has perished. We still get TV advertisements, street billboards, and other “traditional” promotions.
So, are online marketing and social media marketing, in particular, different from traditional marketing?
Which approach leads to more engagement?
Let’s figure out the results.
What are the Contrasts Between Social Media Marketing and Traditional Marketing? A Rough Comparison
Traditional marketing has been here forever. However, the invention of the web has changed its job forever.
Now, thanks to digital and online marketing, we have plenty of new ideas to advertise online, and social media marketing is among them. But because both traditional and social media marketing has the same goal, it can be challenging to tell them apart.
As you can see, social media and traditional marketing use content to sell a product but utilize different channels. However, media use is not the only thing that sets apart one from the other.
To get a deeper understanding of the difference in the nature of these two notions, let’s look at social media and traditional marketing as separate.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is done on social media websites and platforms to get the word out about the product or service and get new customers.
If you’re using social platforms, you must have probably been the target audience for some brands’ social media campaigns through an advertisement, a recommendation from a user, or while browsing hashtags.
To succeed with social media marketing, you have to keep up with its main requirements:
Every awesome social media marketing campaign starts with building and helping the brand-follower relationship. Also, a long-lasting relationship is built on trust, for which authenticity, honesty, and transparency are essential prerequisites.
How can you show your social media audience that they can trust you?
View social media as a two-way communication method where your audience’s voice matters as much as yours. It involves interactivity to a certain degree, allowing your followers to shape your brand’s digital presence.
Here are some suggestions on how you can put your audience in your social media marketing strategy:
- Contests and sweepstakes
- Streams with live discussions
- User-generated content
- Customer service on social media
Sephora is one brand that nails strategies to boost interactivity. For instance, you can identify plenty of user-made videos featuring products sold at stores.
Such an approach creates a solid sense of belonging and builds trust between a brand and a would-be customer.
Now, what about social media marketing ROI? Is it worth your money?
There is no definitive answer. Much depends on how well you can determine your target audience and tailor your material to their needs.
If we talk about estimates and averages, most CMOs say social media marketing is good for your investment. According to Forbes, most marketers get a massive return on investment from social media efforts.
However, DMA and BlinkIT are slightly skeptical, reporting that 52% of marketers get a good return on investment from organic social media. The resources also say that social media marketing comes in later after search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, email marketing, and PPC regarding return on investment.
So, who do you listen to here?
Remember, these are just figures, and social media performance differs from one individual case to another.
But, if you are worried, start low and slow – single out a small budget to test the waters and keep investing if your marketing campaign shows a positive result.
What is Traditional Marketing?
Conventional marketing uses traditional media. These are print, broadcasting, direct mailing, and other outbound lead generation methods, to promote and sell a good or service.
Traditional marketing traces its origins back to Mesopotamia. It originated when societies started forming. First, product manufacturers started strapping stone seals to the products to help people tell them apart. A bit later, stone seals were out and replaced with clay, giving each product its unique personality.
More modern traditional advertising, as we know it, was made during the Renaissance time thanks to the invention of the printing press. When printed media became a thing, businesses started putting their ads there. Also, that’s how print advertising was invented.
However, the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution periods were the ones that gave traditional marketing a real push. Back then, the world discovered product demos, celebrity advertising, and product differentiation.
What about traditional marketing these days? Is it still relevant?
Even though most of the focus these days is on digital marketing, traditional product promotion methods can still be useful.
Usually, companies combine conventional with digital marketing to drive brand awareness. Let us say, Cristine Rotenberg, the owner of the nail polish brand Harrods, invested in outdoor print ads to see if they deliver any ROI:
Later, during a stream, Cristine revealed a slight surge in Harrod’s website visits several months after the billboards were placed, which she attributed to this specific campaign. Although the billboards were only made at Toronto and couldn’t bring more solid results, some positive return on investment continued to be there.
This example brings us to a major conclusion: traditional marketing methods are common.
An indie e-commerce nail polish brand that mostly sells online will not profit much from a billboard venture. However, it could try its chances at a beauty field trade show, a traditional marketing tactic.
So, give traditional marketing a try but be mindful of the strategies you use.
Now that we’ve discovered social media’s and traditional marketing’s peculiarities, let’s explore their differences.
Difference #1: Particular Targeting
In marketing, there are some main audience research methods:
- Focus groups
Let’s see how these strategies play out in social media and traditional marketing.
As mentioned, traditional marketing is more outbound, meaning you give a product to a consumer who often has no idea about you or what one is selling.
So, the best way to figure out about a customer in traditional marketing is to see. That’s why traditional marketing ventures usually focus on specific areas and keep in mind local audiences (like in the Holo Taco example). It’s easier to observe (survey and interview) a tiny group of people, right?
Observation also involves fewer biases than the focus group method, for instance. However, it can bring not enough data, making your ICP vague.
The story is different from social media marketing. Digital media constantly collect social data regarding the users, making social media management smoother and supplying you with information you would otherwise have to look up manually.
Take Facebook, for example. If you are an active user and have some followers there, you may already track their demographics:
It’s also possible to see how people interact with your work and the times when they are going through their Facebook Feed:
On top of that, all this data gets updated daily, so all you have to do is keep track of these metrics in real-time, analyze and put them to use.
So, social media marketing allows for more specific targeting than traditional marketing.
The same goes for audience segmentation. Regarding traditional marketing, segmentation mostly focuses on more general aspects such as age, gender, area, and income since the message is often made for the bigger masses.
In social media marketing, you can add behaviors, purchase patterns, different psychographics, and other particular details to make your campaigns more customized.
Thus, it is a win for social media marketing in the targeting and segmentation category.