What is the Difference Between Digital and Online Marketing?

Digital Marketing


Digital and online marketing are two terms that are used quite frequently these days. But, what exactly is the difference between the two? Not many people are aware of it and this can be detrimental if you are running a business because you need to devise a powerful marketing strategy. Digital marketing refers to the use of digital technologies for marketing a product or service. Digital technologies include social media, display advertising, mobile phones and online marketing. Yes, that’s right, online marketing also falls under digital marketing, but it is rather specific. It refers to all sorts of marketing that’s conducted over the internet.

It is true that most of digital marketing is also conducted online; there are some elements that are offline. For instance, businesses can send promotional text messages to their clients. Since text messages don’t use the internet, this cannot be classified as online marketing. Instead, they are a digital technology. Similarly, mobile apps fall under the category of digital marketing because they don’t necessarily rely on the internet to operate. Nonetheless, online marketing itself is an umbrella terms that comprises of different types of marketing, such as search engine optimization, email marketing, content marketing and social media marketing.

Moreover, since online marketing is regarded as a subset of digital marketing, all the above-mentioned methods are also considered part of a digital marketing strategy. Thus, even though the difference between the two forms of marketing may seem confusing initially, it is not that complex. In order to be able to discern between the two and understand them properly, you first need to have a strong concept of marketing itself. It defines the administrative practice in which goods are marketed to customers and uses the 4P’s of marketing i.e. product, price, placement and promotion.

Digital Marketing

All platforms, both online and offline, which are used for advertising the essence of your products and services is digital marketing. This means that this form of advertising is not limited to the internet, but it does include all forms of marketing that happens on the internet. It has preceded traditional marketing by eliminating hard-copy based platforms and moving to virtual solutions. The choice of strategy by a business doesn’t depend on their willingness to accept technology; it depends on the results of its past campaigns. In the long run, the aim of digital marketing is to attract new customers while ensuring that your existing client base is satisfied with your products and services.

Different Types of Digital Marketing

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There are several channels that are in digital marketing and also form the basis of online or internet marketing. Let’s take a look at some:

  • Mobile advertising

This involves developing advertising messages and works as a conduit for transmitting information to customers without using onscreen internet connectivity. As noted above, sending text messages to inform customers about new offerings or promotions is part of mobile advertising.

  • Display advertising

This refers to branding through flyers on webpages and apps with the primary purpose of dispensing information about a business’s products and services to potential clients on the digital space. Doing so enables a business in getting greater exposure for their brand and prompts prospective customers to engage. The more clients find out about your product, the more popularity you can enjoy. Such ads are shown on distinctive parts of the apps that are exclusive set aside for marketing purposes.

Whether you are using online or offline methods of advertising, digital marketing is known to generalize the concept it targets. To a great extent, online marketing will continue rearing its head when you talk about digital marketing because it is the basis upon which internet marketing has been developed.

Online Marketing

While online marketing’s dominance in digital marketing highlights the relationship between these two concepts, they are mostly two distinct elements of marketing. In simple terms, online marketing is considered a subset of digital marketing, but it does come with a unique characteristic. It depends on the internet for it to work due to which it is also called internet marketing. An excellent example would be a pay-per-click (PPC) ad on a website. Since online marketing depends on the internet, its scope and coverage is limited as opposed to digital marketing and its components.

This means that online marketing cannot reach out to customers who don’t have an internet connection. Nevertheless, it still remains the most preferred form of marketing and a great chunk of global businesses depend on it for promoting their brand and offerings.

Different Types of Online Marketing

Similar to digital marketing, there are several forms of online marketing to be found as well. What are they? Let’s take a look:

  • Search engine marketing

It is the context on which online marketing operates. SEM is a form of online marketing that involves advertising a business in search engines for directing traffic to the website. It is also a broad term that encompasses search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PSA). The latter comprises of pay-per-click campaigns while the former involves optimizing website for keywords used in searches.

  • Social media marketing
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As the name indicates, this form of marketing is applicable on social media platforms, which are used as tools for transmitting information about products to the target audience. These social media platforms provide excellent coverage to businesses due to which they have become the go-to option for most businesses for reaching this shopping-inclined generation. Most of the leads that businesses get nowadays and convert into customers are generated via these social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest are only some of the important tools that can be used.

  • Website

Websites form the basis on which online marketing campaigns are conducted. As they are the base for digital marketing services, you can find them in multiple forms, such as a blog or an individual or business webpage.

  • Content marketing

This form of online marketing involves creating useful and valuable content to be published on websites or blogs. It is of the utmost importance because it is through your content that your customers will learn to trust you and even content will engage with your business. What you post can go a long way in raising awareness about your offerings and can also inspire trust in the people you attract. Also, if you incorporate social media sharing buttons in the content, people will find it easy to share it with others, which can be a huge source of traffic for your website.

To sum it up, disassociating these two means of marketing is extremely difficult and may not be possible at all. But, understanding their difference is important in order to develop a strong and effective marketing strategy for your business. Instead of focusing on only one aspect, it is essential to comprehend that a combination of digital and online marketing strategies can help a business in getting a firm footing in the market. It enables the business to use all possible channels of engaging with customers for maximizing lead generation. As long as they are used in the right way, online and digital marketing can work wonders for the business in expanding the customer base and boosting the bottom line.

Author Bio:

Sidra has helped both well established and start-up digital marketing agency adelaide takes their ideas from sticky notes and whiteboards to fully develop robust manpower that serve vast specialized communities. Her expertise ranges from Tech Hiring, to CXO level Blogging. Get in touch with her for more information.


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