Perhaps one of the most powerful traffic generating methods among Internet marketing is social media marketing. By definition, social media marketing is the process of promoting one’s brand, web, merchandise or services using social media channels whose purpose is to attract targeted audience and gain enormous amounts of traffic. It is the only low-cost marketing technique that can deliver large numbers of visitors into a particular site. In general, there are two types of social media marketing. One is by using social media networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and online forums. The other is by using content marketing tools such as weblog and other blog sites. So how do these two Internet marketing strategies differ? Let’s find out.
The purpose of social media marketing is not only to gain exposure, but also encourage sharing of thoughts, ideas and interests related to one’s business and indirectly promoting it. Through social media marketing, one can directly market his business without going through the hassles of regular advertising campaigns and – most important of all – one has the ability to inform a large number of people about his business and/or services.
Alternatively, content marketing is an online marketing technique which uses media such as blog posts, press releases and articles, to name a few, that allow creation and distribution of significant and important content so target audience will have a clear understanding of what one is trying to convey. In other words, it is a way of communicating with customers without actually selling. One does not need to pitch his business, but rather deliver information that is consistent and valuable to his audience, thus allowing them to make an intelligent choice.
Now that we know the difference between social media and content marketing, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches.
Advantages of Social Media Networking
• Cost effective
• Generates viral results
• Customer feedback and interaction
• Increase the development of the product online
• Ability to educate a large number of people regarding one’s business
• Increase search engine rankings through generated traffic
• Time Consuming – compared to other online marketing strategies, social media marketing requires a lot of time and effort in order to maintain that hard-earned relationship between the business and its prospects.
• Rigorous Work – constantly updating your website means more time for work and the moment your business gets bigger, you are expected to converse to a larger audience on more varied areas of discussion.
• You have to be responsive at all times and give service to your target audience.
• You need to keep up with new lines of communications and software.
Advantages of Content Marketing
• Retains reader attention
• Cultivates loyalty
• Imposes knowledge to an audience about one’s industry and business
• Conveys a message to your audience easily. A good writer who puts in good content, backed with the right tools to publish it, will definitely capture the attention of many different people from different walks of Disadvantages
• What to write about. This is especially true when you are just starting your business. You struggle about what to write and, worst of all, you struggle on how to write it.
• Writing good content. So you finally manage to write some contents, but the question still arises – are you writing good content?
Now that we have come to understand the difference (and similarities) between these two Internet marketing strategies, it is clear that social media marketing and content marketing should be integrated together to create a successful Internet marketing campaign.