Targeting the right audience that will increase brand awareness and bring sales to the business is what marketing initially highlights. Coming up with the right marketing tactic that will result in a marketing campaign that’s fitting for your target audience isn’t an easy task, especially when there are not many resources available and the risk of spending too much is higher than the probability of success for your business. However, since we are now living in the digital age, technology presents us with more opportunities to connect with people, and one of them is social media. Today, businesses of varying sizes, especially small businesses, have made social media a stable platform for them to market their products and services, reaching more people in the process.
Given the “age gap” that traditional marketing and social media marketing has, they both certainly have different approaches and each one has shown effectiveness in bringing results to businesses. You may be used to one or the other, maybe both. But is one of them better than the other? We’ll try to get to the bottom of that so sit back and read on.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing or SMM is a form of digital marketing that utilizes different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and more to build an online presence, brand awareness, drive website traffic, and increase sales. It allows you to engage your customers in a personal way by posting content that speaks to their needs and interests. It also involves running your paid social media ads and keeping track of results through the use of analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Sprout Social, and HubSpot to assess your social media performance.
As social media was initially built to bridge communication and connection between people, it has then evolved into an active marketing tool for businesses to promote their brands. With 4.48 billion social media users all over the world, many marketers see social media as a potential hub for targeting the right audience online.
Thus the term, “traditional,” this marketing approach uses conventional tools such as print and broadcast media, direct mailing, and telemarketing. Unlike social media marketing, traditional marketing generally focuses on advertising your business and reaching your target audience offline. Despite the wide digital influence in this day and age, traditional marketing still has its power and continues to work its magic for mid-sized companies and large corporations who optimize TV ads to promote their products and services to people. Not only that, but 63% of small businesses also use print media, which is a form of traditional marketing, showing that it’s still an effective marketing approach today.
Now let’s take a look at these aspects to get a better understanding of the concept of social media marketing and traditional marketing:
When it comes to engagement, traditional marketing is quite lacking since it’s one-way in the sense that it’s only your brand that reaches your customers, which means that there are fewer chances of establishing relationships and brand loyalty. On the other hand, social media marketing’s forte is engagement. Since social media was built to bridge connections, it paves a way for businesses to directly interact with their customers and get feedback that will help in improving their products and services. You can easily do this by creating engaging and shareable posts, as well as initiating friendly conversations on the comments section or threads. Unlike traditional marketing, social media marketing allows you to build a healthy following community online.
Social media marketing is one of the most cost-effective digital marketing strategies for businesses, especially for small businesses that are just starting. Social media is free; you can simply make an account and access its features free of charge. Paid ads on social media are also not as pricey as you would think because you can set a bracket that matches your budget. But of course, the wider the audience reach, the higher the budget. While with traditional marketing, the cost can be more expensive since you’ll be utilizing TV ads, radio, and print ads to promote your business and reach your target audience.
The approach of traditional marketing is more sustainable compared to social media marketing since it leaves a lasting impression on the audience and provides consistency. With social media marketing, you would have to constantly produce new content to promote your business and catch your audience’s attention. Traditional marketing which uses TV ads, brochures, flyers, radio ads, and other print media can be used for a longer period without the need to produce new content or material for promotion.
In terms of convenience, social media marketing is winning on that aspect. With social media marketing, you don’t have to go through all the time-consuming processes of promoting your business. You can do it at the comfort of your home, on the go, and even while sitting in your office. You can focus on other important matters because you don’t need to spend hours on it since there are also social media marketing apps that help you manage your task and schedule posts. On the contrary, traditional marketing would require you to approach a publishing house or advertising agency, which takes a lot of time and effort.
One of the advantages of social media marketing is that it’s measurable. You can keep track of website visits, clicks, impressions, and shares, which is difficult to do for traditional marketing because you can’t exactly measure how many people you were able to reach and engage with using radio ads and newspaper ads.
Another downside to traditional marketing is that once you publish your content or material, you can’t alter it anymore. As compared to social media marketing, you can easily revise the content and add further improvements to make it more engaging.
Social media has built-in marketing features that allow you to target the right audience for your business. Using the interests, age, and location of your target audience, you can reach them wherever they are, locally or globally. This means that in terms of audience reach, social media marketing gets the spot since it can go as far as where the internet and social media are accessible. With traditional marketing, people will get to see your advertisement but it doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be the right audience who are interested in what your brand offers.
Reading through this article, more advantages went to social media marketing because of its suitability in this day and age. It mainly answers the concerns and hassles of marketers who got to experience promoting their business using traditional methods. Although, of course, you can’t rid traditional marketing of its advantages as well. Living in a digital world doesn’t mean that you can’t optimize what traditional marketing has to offer and it also doesn’t mean that social media marketing is better. Everyone has their opinion of which marketing approach best fits their business.