Digital marketing and social media both experienced sharp rises in popularity recognition. Both of these rises stemmed from the same source, online technology and the accessibility it provided to millions (now billions) of people. While digital marketing became so widespread from a business perspective, social media’s upsurge was predominantly because of entertainment purposes. However it didn’t take long before these differences were a thing of the past and both digital marketing and social media became the perfect match.
The rise of social media
Social media is a major part of daily life for so many people. Whether it’s for entertainment, work, or communication, social media offers people a way to express themselves and connect with others. As of July 2022, there are 4.7 billion social media users on an average of 7.4 social media platforms per month. The detailed breakdown of these global social media statistics can be found here.
It wasn’t until the early-mid 2000s where social media began to find its feet. It was at this time when some of the most popular social media platforms launched; beginning in 2002 with LinkedIn, before MySpace in 2003, Facebook in 2004, Youtube in 2005 and Twitter in 2006. These 4 years became the most significant period of time for social media, with all of these platforms aside from MySpace still being used by billions of people today.
With so many people using social media on a day-to-day basis, it didn’t take long for advertising agencies and businesses to start identifying social media platforms as lucrative opportunities. Before long, social media became its own marketing channel and most digital marketing strategies had social media as a core component. Here we’ll discuss why digital marketing and social media are the perfect match and compliment each other so well.
Digital marketing past & present
Due to digital marketing consisting of multiple channels, including social media, it’s not quite as simple to date back. That being said, it was between the 1990s and 2000s when it began to gain serious traction. As previously mentioned, the main social media platforms still used today launched in the early to mid-2000s.
When looking at email marketing, it was around the late 1990s when the first defining email clients became available. Hotmail, Yahoo and Microsoft Internet Mail (eventually becoming Outlook) were launched to the public.
For search engine optimisation, Google was the main driver and while launching back in 1998, it wasn’t until the late 2000s when we saw the introduction of ground-breaking algorithm updates which changed the way digital marketers approached SEO entirely.
These days digital marketing is everywhere and businesses of all shapes and sizes are using it. With the current landscape being so heavily reliant on digital media and technology, digital marketing has become a powerful way of increasing exposure, growing engagement and generating leads.
Within digital marketing are multiple channels that are used to deliver on a goal or objective, whether it’s from a sales perspective or more in-line with improving online branding and performance such as optimising a website. Digital marketing campaigns often utilise multiple channels together; this helps to reach the target audience in a variety of ways. With the resources currently available, you can essentially connect with online consumers from all over the world, which is exactly what the global industry titans aim to do.
The perfect match
Social media is now a major channel in digital marketing. There are many social media platforms, with the main focus of most digital marketing campaigns being the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok. The reasons for this is simply due to their popularity, with billions of combined users of these platforms alone.
Each of these social platforms has its own purpose and characteristics. Which channel is used will depend on the campaign messaging and branding. For example, LinkedIn is a platform for business and can be a powerful tool for B2B digital marketing. It’s also a space for connecting and advertising to other working professionals, which influences the style of messaging used.
Twitter on the other hand, is great for quick replies and often more colloquial forms of communication, allowing for actual conversations and real engagement. Using trends and focussing on hashtags that are popular are common techniques in social media marketing. Instagram and TikTok are ideal for sharing visual media, whether its images or videos. These are excellent for building brand awareness through imagery, using matching templates and brand colours.
Due to having all of these options, digital marketers can implement social media into campaigns in a couple of ways. Firstly, using social media to gain more impressions and increase engagement by consistently posting and communicating. The best way to reach users on social media is by posting frequently, using relevant hashtags, and jumping on trends early. You can reach many people and share your business to your target audience.
Furthermore, having multiple social media accounts with consistent branding and content will help to build brand authority. For example, using email marketing as part of a campaign, including links to social accounts that have the same branding and evidence of being active will help people to trust your business and feel more connected.
The second method of using social media within digital marketing is paid advertising. All of the main social media platforms offer paid advertising, where digital marketers can spend money on targeted advertisements that users will see on their platforms. Money can be spent on boosting organic content, or having unique placed advertisements. The benefit of paid advertising is that your content becomes much more likely to be viewed, especially with how competitive organic social media is in the current climate.
Digital marketing and social media are the perfect match. Using social media to reach the desired audience in a variety of ways and style of messaging means campaigns can be customised specifically depending on the objectives or business. Social media platforms receive huge amounts of revenue from businesses and digital marketers via paid advertising, as well as more people using the platforms overall. Partnerships can be struck with brands and collaborations further increase the number of users active on a specific platform.
Essentially, they both benefit each other greatly, and the relationship between both digital marketing and social media will absolutely continue to grow, as new platforms launch and more advanced integrations become available. We are already seeing the introduction of exciting technologies like augmented and virtual reality via the metaverse, and there’s no doubt that more of these ideas will become components to digital marketing campaigns in the near future.
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