You’ve probably heard the terms “digital marketing” and “online marketing” used interchangeably, but they aren’t actually the same thing. Though they have some similarities, they also have plenty of differences. If you offer products and/or services online, it’s important to understand the differences between these two terms and all that they entail. Here’s a basic guide to digital marketing versus online marketing, and tips for figuring out which term you should use in your own communications.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Think of “digital marketing” as a very wide umbrella that covers many different digital channels and platforms. It’s not limited to just the internet. The main goal of digital marketing is to promote your marketing message.
If you’re confused about how digital marketing can extend beyond the internet, consider how apps work on your iPhone. Although you need the internet to download an app initially, once it’s on your phone, it works independently from the internet. Apps are considered a type of digital marketing, and they can be very effective.
Digital marketing is an ever-evolving term that changes as technology continues to advance. Here are some of the most popular types of digital marketing you can use to promote your message:
- Television ads
- Mobile marketing (SMS campaigns)
- Content marketing
- Video marketing
In short, the term “digital marketing” can be used to refer to anything that has a digital foundation and helps you build your brand or distribute your marketing message to your intended audience.
What Is Online Marketing?
Like digital marketing, online marketing is also used to promote your business and marketing message. However, it’s just one tier within the broad digital marketing blanket. Unlike digital marketing in general, online marketing requires access to a live internet connection. For that reason, it’s also commonly referred to as “internet marketing.”
Online marketing tends to evolve quickly, so it can be challenging to keep up with it. If you’re serious about becoming an online marketing leader, you may want to hire a team of professionals uniquely suited to the challenge of evolving marketing materials and approaches to meet the ever-changing needs of this marketing approach. Here are a few of the top terms associated with internet marketing:
- Social media marketing (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
- Pay-per-click advertising (Bing Search, Google Search, etc.)
- Search engine optimization (keywords, optimum web page formatting, etc.)
- Display advertising (shopping ads, image, video, text, etc.)
Google also offers a new device segment for TV. This means companies can now serve ads on smart TVs that connect to the internet. If you’re a newcomer to online marketing, this fast-paced world may seem intimidating and confusing to you. But it’s important to understand how to harness the power of online marketing for your business so you can meet your profit and growth goals.
Digital Marketing or Online Marketing: Which Is Right for You?
Now that you know digital marketing and online marketing aren’t the same things, you may be wondering how to tell which approach is right for your business. The answer is you should use them both. Online marketing is essential if you want to compete with other businesses in your industry. Most of the world looks for their information online now, so you should take advantage of that trend.
But don’t ever feel pigeonholed into using only online marketing to promote your brand. After all, it’s just one small portion of the digital marketing umbrella, and you can have much greater success if you adopt several different marketing approaches.
For example, in addition to creating a social media marketing campaign and using SEO tactics to stay ahead of the curve, you should also look into digital marketing methods that don’t require the internet to work. Branch out to SMS text campaigns and video marketing. If your budget allows, you should also pursue television ads to expand your reach.
Is It Really a Big Deal To Confuse Digital and Online Marketing?
In the big scheme of things, it won’t derail your marketing efforts if you occasionally confuse digital and online marketing terms. What really matters is that you have a deep understanding of what each of these marketing types can do for your business. After all, once you understand them, you’ll be able to use them more effectively to get the results you want.