Digital Marketing is Not Social Media! Discover Why.

After working with many customers in digital marketing I noticed a big gap in the content marketing industry.

The Problem:

Many decision makers do not know what digital marketing is . Last quarter I contacted potential customers to talk to them about digital marketing and how it can help grow their revenue, build their brand and reduce costs.

Many of them asked,” isn’t digital marketing social media marketing?”

This article, intends to explain the two terms.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is any form of marketing that involves the use of the internet or electronic devices.

Businesses use digital channels such as social media, search engines, websites, apps and paid online advertisements to connect with potential and existing customers.

 Internet-based marketing includes content marketing, search engine optimization often known as SEO, E-commerce marketing, social media marketing , email marketing and affiliate marketing.

Unlike social media marketing, digital marketers use all this channels to promote  their products, services or brands.

Why is digital marketing not Social Media marketing?

Many people confuse social media marketing with digital marketing yet they are two different terms.

Social media marketing or management is one part of internet-based marketing which uses social media channels to reach customers or build an audience.

By continuing to read this article you will understand:

  • Why you need internet-based or digital marketing
  • The main difference between social media marketing and digital marketing.

So let’s dive right in…

Social media marketing  is the process of promoting a service or product through different social media channels.

Popular social media channels include:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • snapchat
  • YouTube

Social media marketers promote their client’s products on social channels either for free or through paid adverts.

The freeway involves creating posts and sharing them consistently on social media to increase engagement or sales.

The paid way involves paying for adverts  on social media.

7 Reasons why digital marketing is important today?

Can’t seem to justify your spending on digital marketing?  Before you reach that conclusion, it is a good idea if you skim through the remaining part of this article.

  1. Reach more people

A report published by Statista noted that as of January 2019, the number of internet users was 4.4 Billion where 3.5 billion were social media users.

Number of Internet users as of January, 2019

Source: Statista

In fact, 57% of the millennial generation say that social media has been a huge influence on how they buy.  Others say that they make their purchases from a direct result of adverts they see online.

However, only 45% of digital marketers feel that their efforts are paying of. Digital marketing is not just about having a website or a social media page and sharing content and articles. It is about having a digital marketing strategy.

However, do not forget that social media marketing is part of internet-based marketing but not in full circle.

Through digital marketing, you have a chance of reaching more than 3 billion users online from any part of the world.

  1. Makes it easy for small companies to compete.

If a huge company comes to town and decides to wipe out small shops, they can do so easily. However, when your business is online, you can build a brand and reputation that no one will ever break.

Some of the creative ways to building a brand reputation online include content marketing, podcasts with transcripts, webinars, e-newsletters etc.

Digital marketing is something that small businesses can use to shine even when the market is dominated by big players. With digital marketing, you can even outrank big players like Amazon or Safaricom.

When done by experts, digital marketing can be the secret to your dreams.

  1. Clear targeting

Digital marketing is the only method of marketing where you can advertise to people who want what you are selling. In digital marketing, you have control over age, behavior, size, placement, device and even location.

An offline billboard advert may reach 2 million people, but what percent of these 2 million people actually coverts?

As noted earlier, mastering digital marketing goes beyond creating blog posts. You need to dissect huge demographics and target the people who are interested in what you have to offer.

Digital marketing is targeted and highly relevant to that particular audience. It is able to connect with people in a way that print advertising may not.

Businesses that focus on SEO( search engine optimization) or PPC get much of their traffic and ROI from search results.

PPC or Pay per click is when you place an AD on google so that when someone types a keyword, your website shows up first.

Search Advertising for “Laptops”

With PPC, you can target people based on their problems, goals, education level, location, profession, age, interests among other.

  1. You can make digital marketing personal

People love personal messages. Through internet marketing, you can target people to an individual level through segmentation and personalisation.

80% of consumers prefer to work with businesses that make their messages personal. This gives people the feeling of connection and control.

  1. Decision on Analytics

When you pay or place a TV ad, you may never know how it performed. Most clients know how it performed through the agency.

With digital marketing you can know who liked, viewed, shared, and commented or when they liked the article.

Search Console Analytics ( Data= Better Decisions)

For example, the 3 months analytics report above  allowed one of our clients to understand whether the digital marketing campaign was working or  not.  Their click through rate increased but they also had a problem converting. With this data, they were able to understand what people were responding to and change it instantly

With this kind of data, you can be able to make better decisions.

  1. Easy to start small and grow small business

Most marketing efforts are expensive and require a lot of money to increase website traffic.  However, with digital marketing, small businesses can scale and adapt as their businesses grow.

For example, on social media you can pay $ 20 for an ad but you cannot pay this amount on newspaper or TV ads.

If something is going wrong in your marketing efforts, you do not need to wait for the ad contract to end.  All you have to do is make the changes and relaunch the ad immediately.

With digital marketing, you can make changes, get instant results and improve your ads.

  1. Highest Return on Investment (ROI)

Digital marketing outsells those that don’t. A report published by Forbes noted that 78% of businesses that use digital marketing are able to reach people who are shy to call your company and order for a product or service.

When companies understand which investments drive the greatest margins, then they can beat the market using efficient digital marketing.

  1. Matches people buying behavior

81% of shoppers go online to read reviews before making the important buying decision.

A report done by Get App Lab noted that 53.1% of shoppers prefer searching something and buying it online.  28.9% prefer researching items online and buying them on physical stores.

Most people who visit your store, do so after reading good reviews. The average person spends more than 6 hours a day online.  For young people, spending 10 hours a day is not new.

Interestingly, over 1 trillion searches are done each year. Most of these searches are done through Google and YouTube.

In short, today’s buyers journey begins online.


People may not be able to leave the old marketing ways of advertising but with digital marketing you can reach an enormous audience in a way that is cost effective and measurable.

Why do you think YouTube TV has become so popular? Netflix?  Commercials are cliche  . Many people use ad blockers and others never spend time on websites that have annoying ads. They choose to watch or  read media that does not require them to sit there watching commercials.

People want to buy from brands that give value and respect their time.

Over to you!

Now that yo know the difference between digital marketing and social media, do you think you can spend on professional digital marketers?  What was your idea about digital market prior to this definition?