Updated: Nov 10, 2019
Yes Sweetie, there is a difference.
The short answer is digital marketing is an all-encompassing terminology that includes your online opportunities to reach your potential customers. Or more specifically…
Your business' website
Online directories/magazines/news sources
Etcetera, etcetera and so on and so forth
There is many a way to digitally market your business that extends beyond social media marketing.
And the issue many business owners face, is that very fun question, “Ok, but where do I start?”
Helllloooooo Google. Start with some research. Figure out everywhere you can be online and what feels like a reasonable place for your business to be seen and found by new customers. This can be a HUGE list. The important thing is that you just get it all down. You do not have to market in all of these digital spaces, you simply need to know that you can.
From here, depending on your resources and your abilities, start with where you’re at. For some people, one strategy is going to be enough. I usually suggest somewhere around 4 different mediums and focusing on what you want them to do for you. Do you want leads? Customer engagement? Brand awareness? Pick targets for each platform and make a timeline. Begin creating a strategy for hitting those targets.
Before you start impulsively checking your campaigns as soon as you launch them, give yourself 30-90 days to let each strategy run its course. At the end of this time period, optimize. Ask yourself did you enjoy launching this campaign? Why or why not? Most people will associate this answer with the comfortability of the task and the success of the outcome. Chances are, this is your first time doing something like this and your results may not be as attractive as you hoped. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t successful. It’s giving you the base data you need to make more educated digital marketing decisions in the future. So if you didn’t see the results you wanted, don’t give up, optimize! Digital marketing gives you all the options you need to course correct. Figure out why potential customers are sticking around or leaving and tweak each strategy accordingly.
Begin monitoring and measuring your progress a little more regularly, such as every 3-7 days and stay in tune with how you’re feeling about it. It may not feel good at first. Typically, the first six months of digital marketing is frustrating, confusing and challenging for everyone. Stick it out. Start wrapping your head around it by arming yourself with knowledge. And remember, hiring someone to market your business immediately after you establish your goals doesn’t usually work. You need to know what platforms and mediums work for your business before hiring an outside professional. You need to understand the lay of the digital marketing land before handing the keys to your business’s car over to a new driver.
Embrace going through a few failures. Lean in to the uncomfortability. And challenge yourself by testing out new platforms and not just sticking with one that feels the most natural. Digital marketing is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the ride!