Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing [Infographic]

A top-notch marketing plan is one of the most important methods for businesses interested in reaching a large audience and growing the bottom-line. Bigger companies spend well into the thousands, some even millions, to reach their target audience in order to convert them into paying customers.

However, most small to mid-sized businesses don’t have unlimited resources to dump into marketing. Requiring an educated decision on how to market. Some businesses do very well with traditional marketing strategies and ignore digital marketing completely. Some businesses find that digital marketing works best for their business.

Deciding the best marketing plan requires a bit of understand of each and how each strategies work, and how they can work together.

Digital Marketing Defined

The promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media. For example, advertising mediums that might be used as part of the digital marketing strategy of a business could include promotional efforts made via the Internet, social media, mobile phones and electronic billboards. (Business Dictionary)

Digital Marketing Makes Sense (and Cents!)

The majority of people today are spending most of their time online. Connecting with consumers via Social Media, Blogging, Email, just makes sense. Digital marketing allows consumers to find you, thus the more online exposure and visibility your business has the better.

Digital Marketing is also relatively easy and inexpensive to use. Most online sites are free to use, and paid methods can provide great exposure for a small budget.

Traditional Marketing Defined

Traditional Marketing refers to a kind of promotion, advertisement in which companies used this method in the early period to market their product. This Marketing includes print advertisements, billboards, flyers or pamphlets, TV, newspaper, radio, etc. (QuoraIn addition to direct mail postcards, brochures, fliers sent through the postal mail. (Marketing Schools)RECOMMENDED FOR YOUWebcast, November 27th: Why Podcasting is the Ultimate ABM Strategy

Traditional Marketing Has Its DrawbacksTraditional marketing provides very little interaction with your audience and can be very costly.

Traditional marketing does allow you to broadcast a message to a targeted audience (mailers by zip code, print publications by industry or interest, etc.) However, it is more of a one-and-done, where it is only seen while people are viewing that publication or reading their mail before tossing it into the recycling bin. Many experts think traditional marketing high risk and low reward.

What Should You Do?

If your business isn’t using digital media for marketing, it’s time to start marketing in 2019! However, don’t give up on traditional marketing efforts if they work and you have the budget. A good marketing plan will coordinate your online and offline efforts, using both digital and traditional media to get your business the exposure it needs to succeed.


Image showing differences between digital marketing and traditional marketing


6 Ways To Grow Your Local Business With Digital Marketing

If you have a local business, it’s important to engage in digital marketing to attract more local clients. Many local businesses make the mistake of believing they should only use online advertisements and other forms of online marketing if they have a business beyond their immediate community. However, with online ad capabilities nowadays, it’s easier than ever to target target customers in your local area and help them learn about your business. That said, there are specific realms of digital marketing that it’s important to include in a local business marketing strategy, and others to avoid. Nailing down strategies that can target those in your city should be a top priority for your local business. Here are six ways to grow your local business through digital marketing. 

1. Facebook Ads

Because it’s remarkably easy to create a target audience in Facebook ads by location, many local businesses utilize Facebook advertisements. However, Yael Bendahan, a digital marketing strategist and visibility coach, stresses that the sales funnel attached to the ads needs to be conversion optimized. “Facebook Ads can’t fix a bad funnel or offer – they will simply amplify the results you already have,” she noted. You’ll be wasting money if your funnel doesn’t convert. Test out different funnels on smaller audiences, then make adjustments before spending your entire marketing budget. 

2. Youtube Commercials

YouTube Commercials can also capture your target audience. In fact, Aimee Tariq, COO of WebMetrixGroup, shares that “YouTube commercials are the most effective form of paid traffic advertising because it leverages the search engine history of the user with google AI.” Even better: it’s recommended over Google, because the AI crafts the message to a warm audience at a fraction of the cost of google adwords. Inevitably, that means higher ROI for your business.

3. Instagram

Instagram is another ideal place to connect with customers near you, using features such as location tags and hashtags by your city or state. From there, you can message potential customers with large followings and offer a free product or service in exchange for an Instagram post or story. Haley Jean Marie, founder of media marketing and content creation company The Salt Influence, also recommends using Instagram to engage with and support other local businesses. “Yes, it’s social media,” she reflects. “But we need to ground social media back into the human experience – being authentic and making connections with other businesses on social media will help grow an authentic community.” To get started, plug in your city in the ‘locations’ tab and see which small businesses pop up. Today In: Leadership

4. SEO 

Engaging on social media through the aforementioned three advertisement types certainly helps with SEO, but bolster your business’s internet presence even more by optimizing your website. Cyle Patnode is the founder of Your Online Advisors and specializes in helping businesses rank well in their local areas. “Regularly post on your Google My Business page and completely fill out the information section inside your Google My Business dashboard,” Patnode recommends. “These two simple actions, in addition to implementing a google review strategy, can place your business on the first Google results page.” The higher your page ranks on the Google results page, the higher the chance of local customers finding out about your business. 

5. Content Marketing

Content marketing can also assist with SEO ranking. Used to describe adding blog posts to your company’s website to rank higher, this content is a great place to appeal to your local customers. For example: if you run a skincare company and you’re based in Scottsdale, tailor the content to protecting your skin in the Arizona heat. This way, keywords around skincare, Scottsdale, and Arizona will rank you higher. Come up with blog topics that specifically answer your target customer’s problems and questions. Alina Petrov of Semrush advises, “creating content with no understanding of what works for your audience and your brand is a waste of time and resources.” 

6. Email Marketing

Finally, engaging in email marketing is a great way to keep your current customers coming back. There are a number of creative ways to build an email list of your customers. If your local business is a brick and mortar store, Pam Neely of GetResponse recommends having a tablet for customers to type their email into rather than a signup sheet to appease any hard-to-read handwriting. Other ideas include hosting events in your area and adding attendees’ emails to your mailing list, or asking to email their receipt instead of printing it. 

Focusing marketing efforts on these six avenues will have more customers coming through your front door – or onto the homepage of your website – in no time.


7 Fresh Aspects That One Should Know About Digital Marketing

From print to digital, marketing has changed at faster clip in the last five years than during the previous 50. This rapid evolution doesn’t show signs of slowing down. Marketers generally rely on SEO, social media, content marketing, paid advertising or email marketing to gain leads. However, over the last year, the digital marketing arena has witnessed some dramatic changes. Here are the seven new developments regarding digital marketing that every marketer must know.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) holds exceptional future opportunities in digital marketing. Many organizations are already depending on the cutting edge features of AI, and many more are slowly starting to implement AI for their digital marketing efforts. For example, companies such as Uber, Microsoft, Pizza Hut, and others are already using AI to automate various activities.

According to a Gartner analysis, AI technologies will be pervasive in almost every new software company by 2020. AI is one of the most significant commercial opportunities for companies and will increase global GDP by 14% by 2030. In other words, companies that do not adapt to artificial intelligence fast will be at a severe disadvantage within the next few years.

In the realm of digital marketing, AI can examine consumer behavior, search patterns, and utilize data from social media and blogging platforms to assist businesses better understand how consumers discover their products and services.


Chatbots are a perfect example of AI in practice. These virtual assistants use instant messaging to chat in real-time with customers. Moreover, they also offer benefits such as outstanding service, meeting customer expectations, automating repetitive tasks and respond 24/7.

Mastercard recently created a Facebook Messenger bot that, with the help of natural language processing software, deciphers what a customer wants and responds accordingly. In fact, various reports state that chatbots will be an essential part of digital marketing. Innovation Enterprise state that 85% of customer service will be powered via chatbots by 2020. According to IBM, businesses can save over $8 billion per annum with the help of chatbots by 2022.

Programmatic Buying and Advertising

Programmatic advertising means using AI to purchase or sell advertising space. This process automates the buying, placement and optimization of media inventory. Using AI to automate advertisement buying eliminates the need to request for proposals (RFPs), human negotiations and manual insertion orders.

Programmatic advertising leads to higher conversions and lower acquisition costs because it’s faster and more efficient. Programmatic advertising allows the brand to tailor their message and creative to the right audience at the right time with the help of audience insights. This method delivers more precision and personalization for a more efficient marketing campaign. One well-known model of programmatic advertisement buying is real-time bidding.

Around 86% of digital display advertisements will be programmatic by 2020, according to eMarketer. In other words, programmatic advertising is changing the face of digital advertising very fast.

Voice Search and Smart Speakers

Search Engine Land states that an estimated one billion voice searches per month were carried out till January 2018. As per ComScore, 50% of all searches will be done by voice by 2020, and voice shopping is presumed to surge from $2 billion to $40 billion by 2022 as per OC&C Strategy Consultants. It’s no surprise that organizations are rethinking their digital marketing strategies due to this increasing use of voice search. 

Today, AI is smarter than it was and has led to a decrease in errors made by popular voice assistants such as Alexa, Siri and Google. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, adopting a voice search strategy isn’t only about staying relevant. It’s also about designing a unique and optimized consumer experience that will nurture relationships and strengthen brand loyalty.

Video Marketing

Video marketing is one of the most essential marketing trends today. According to WYZOWL, 83% of marketers say video gives them a good return on investment. And 52% of consumers say watching product videos are the reason they have made online purchases according to The E-Tailing Group’s whitepaper.

Today, video marketing has moved beyond YouTube. Marketers are also leveraging Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn for video marketing. Furthermore, with the increasing use of mobile devices, consumers are more comfortable with videos since it can provide the same information in a format that works regardless of the platform.

Content Marketing Continues to Dominate 

Google’s March 2019 algorithm still favors regularly updated and complete content. According to Point Visible, 88% of B2B marketers agree that content helps audiences see their brand as a credible and trusted resource.

Therefore, marketers will need to continue investing in content due to the value Google places on well-researched and regularly updated articles. In other words, content marketing will continue to play a massive role in attracting new customers to your website and building relationships with them in a real and quantifiable manner.

Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing is the method of employing varied platforms to give your audience a multichannel experience. However, it’s also essential that brands present a seamless, consistent message across all mediums, online or offline. For best results, all marketing channels must be linked to one all-encompassing strategy. 

An omnichannel approach leads to 18.95% engagement rate, a 250% higher purchase frequency and a 90% higher customer retention rate, according to ClickZ. This is yet another area where artificial intelligence plays a role in helping brands understand consumer behavior to create a more personalized advertising campaign.

Technology is changing the way brands communicate with consumers, who are getting savvier and expect a more personalized experience. To stay ahead of the curve, you might need to invest in some futuristic tech in the near future.


Digital Marketing is the Foundation of Your Brand

As a newbie to this business a couple of years back, I distinctly remember feeling a little awkward when I didn’t have a clear answer to the most obvious question:

What is digital marketing?

The scope of information in the various answers I found made my head swim, but I quickly deduced that digital marketing was a constantly expanding collection of methods to deliver branding messages.

To put it simply: Digital marketing is a way to build your brand online and help your ideal customers understand who you are, what you stand for, and why they should learn more about you.

There are 4 major forms of digital marketing that are critical to building a brand online:

  1. Content marketing
  2. Social media marketing
  3. Email marketing

Getting acquainted with these basic strategies is a good first step in developing your own online branding strategy.

What is Digital Marketing?—An Overview

Most of us spend the majority of our time tethered to the internet.

Perhaps we’re using it actively to communicate with others through social media, watching YouTube videos, completing work related tasks, or Googling a Peking Duck recipe.

On the other hand, we might be passively connected with apps or have websites sitting open on our devices while we do other things.

When businesses pay to place branded messages in these websites or apps, that’s digital marketing.

One of the most effective ways that businesses use the internet to grow their brand and convince consumers to learn more about their business is not through advertising on websites or apps, but through useful pieces of content that customers are actually searching for.

We call this content marketing, and it includes blog posts, videos, podcasts and more—and it’s usually free to access.

1. Content Marketing

Businesses that use content marketing are creating useful information (content) that offers to ease a burden or solve a problem for a potential customer.

This might be a blog post that teaches you how to build a shelf, a video that shows you how to choose the right car after having your first child, or a podcast on the best wireless headsets to buy this holiday shopping season.

The goal is to create content that’s related to your business in some way. A company that sells shelves would write a blog post on how to build a shelf. The idea is that someone reads the blog post and becomes familiar with the shelf brand. Down the road, when they’re looking to buy, this is where they come.

By providing this useful, free content, your brand has been built in their mind as helpful and knowledgeable, which puts you a step above all the other shelf-sellers.

Attracting Customers Passively

What makes content marketing so effective is that you usually don’t need to change it much after you create it. It sits on your website and waits for customers to come to you.

Because it’s not an advertisement that’s thrown in their face, but rather is an honest attempt to help them with a problem that they find by searching online, they are much less likely to be annoyed by it—they become exposed to your brand passively.

Consider this statement from the Content Marketing Institutequoted in Forbes Magazine:

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Keywords to remember: attract and acquire.

Offering to Solve Your (Potential) Customer’s Painful Problem

Content marketing plays a critical role in branding by demonstrating your industry knowledge and setting you up as a thought leader.

To achieve that status, it’s critical that you address your potential clients needs by clearly communicating:

  • What you believe
  • What problems you solve
  • Who you solve them for

You can’t run a successful marketing campaign that produces results without a clear and effective brand message.

Prospects are looking for products and services that remove pain, frustration, and obstacles—value.

Your content should carry these consistent messages throughout, making it clear why a customer should come to you if/when they have the problem you solve.

The Customer Comes Looking for Us

We want the customer to discover our content and become familiar with our brand as the answer to a need or desire they’re on a quest to fulfill.

Here’s how that scenario usually plays out:

  1. Your potential customer has a problem and searches online for a solution.
  2. You have some form of content (video, blog post, etc.) that helps them solve the problem.
  3. Potential customer gets to know your brand through that content and realizes better solutions for their problem (and other problems) are available for sale.
  4. The customer connects with your brand and it sticks in their mind.
  5. The next time that customer needs something related to your area of expertise, the customer remembers you.
  6. The customer contacts you, saying, “I’d appreciate your help,” or, “I need your product!”
  7. You get them more specific information on your product or service.
  8. Client says, “Let’s do business,” and buys your product or signs up for your service.

Branding Through Content

Content marketing works because you’re only providing what the customer came looking for. The customer feels like it was their idea to begin with and isn’t pushed away by a heavy-handed suggestion or ask.

Under those conditions, you allow the customer to stick around and absorb your brand message and recognize the potential value your company offers as they continue to look through the variety of content you have published

You get the opportunity to demonstrate through your amazing content that your entire brand is knowledgeable and trustworthy.

2. Social Media Marketing

Social media is one of the most effective avenues in the modern world for placing your content in front of people without being obnoxious or invasive.

The constant stream of social media posts that pass in front of the average person each day provides an effective platform to initiate brand familiarity, generate interest, or catch someone’s eye so that they’ll remember you for later.

People can easily click on the posts they want to view or zip past the ones they don’t.

The power of choice avoids pressure, yet makes the “invite” somewhat personal at the same time. That vibe empowers people to take an introductory look at things that spark their interest without obligation.

As they do that, you get the opportunity to hold their interest and lead them through your content over time, which develops overall brand familiarity and lays the foundation for a long-lasting relationship with your prospect.

More than that, you can interact directly with customers, speaking to them in real time and engaging them with your content. You can respond to comments and form real relationships in a way that just isn’t possible through other forms of marketing.

There is no other form of marketing that allows a brand to form deep relationships with their customers in this way.

The How’s and Why’s of Social Media Marketing

Our friend Carol Stephen wrote a highly informative post on all things social media, which she sums up like this:

“Now, I’m not saying people should give up on traditional marketing, but…

  • Social media marketing (SMM) is more targeted
  • Engagement is greatly increased with SMM”

The Influencer—Building Brands Through Social Media

Influencer marketing, a branch of social media marketing, is when real people increase their followers’ understanding and opinion of a brand by sharing their personal experiences with those brands.

Here’s a great example:

Veronica is a runner in Dallas I found through a Facebook runner’s group. She put together quite a personal following as she ran for more than 1,000 consecutive days through illness, pregnancy and birth, never missing a day.

Her followers (including me) identify with the human story she tells.

Along the way, we became familiar with what shoes and gear she wears when she runs, her training methods, the races she signs up for, and the causes she’s enthusiastic about.

Veronica knows more about running than I ever will, so, when I need a running shoe, I’m going to look into the Altra lineup because Veronica has already put her recommendation in front of me 300 times—an awesome level of brand familiarity happened while I followed her story.

And, here’s the amazing part… I don’t mind that she keeps telling me about her shoes. I feel like I’m in her inner circle, so it seems perfectly logical to me to go buy that brand.

In short, I based some of my purchases on the personal and accessible information she provided—an effective overlap between content marketing and social media marketing that can drive customer relationships and sales.

3. Email Marketing Campaigns

While everyone complains about junk mail piling up in their inboxes, email marketing is still king.Through targeted email campaigns, companies have the ability to provide customers with information specific to their interests, which encourages them to get to know your brand, even if they don’t buy anything right away.

The challenge is to get the customer to at least sign up for that initial email, signaling that they have at least a fringe interest in your product or service.

That also allows us to keep that initial lead warm and increase brand familiarity over a longer period of time, potentially leading to later action by the customer.

The bottom line is that email campaigns are statistically proven to be effective. According to Campaign Monitor, a popular email campaign scheduling tool, an average of 94% of people say email drives their desire to get online and take action.

Delivering content that feeds their expressed desire for information produces results.

Pro tip—the personalization of email marketing increases the chances of consumers responding. Almost 50% of consumers will open an email with a personalized subject line.

Take on Digital Marketing

A few things to remember:

  • Engaging content is the key to attraction
  • Don’t badger the customer—open the door and let them come to you
  • Building your brand over time is more important than short-term sales

That last one is most important.

Marketing vs. Branding

Without a strong message, marketing loses all its power.

Learn the difference between marketing and branding, and how they work together to form an effective business tool.


How To Help Franchisees Adopt Local Digital Marketing

Running a local franchise is hard work. Franchisees are responsible for the vast majority of tasks that keep a business humming — hiring, customer service, accounting, day-to-day management and more. One task that can hamstring franchisees is executing a local digital marketing strategy.

Franchisees understand the importance of a local digital marketing strategy but often lack the time to dive into the nuts and bolts of the tactic. Often, this unfamiliarity understandably leads to skepticism and, ultimately, abandoning the tactic altogether.

So how can franchisors, who are often responsible for providing marketing infrastructure and guidance, help their franchisees adopt digital marketing at the local level? After working with thousands of franchisees from more than 200 franchise brands, this is what we’ve learned.

Show franchisees what they’re paying for.

Franchisees are entrepreneurs first and foremost, and entrepreneurs don’t rush into spending money without knowing where it’s being spent. Franchisors and marketing partners must be transparent and communicate clearly to franchisees exactly what they’re paying for.

They aren’t paying for the idea of local digital marketing. They’re paying for the promotion of their business. Before any talks of lookalike audiences and click-through rates, franchisors and marketing partners should show them which ads are being placed on which networks.

Showcase value to franchisees in quick, simple terms.

A franchisee’s time is valuable and limited, so grabbing their attention is paramount. One sure way to grab their attention is to put the hard numbers in front of them. Forget about the wonky digital metrics for now, and focus on return on investment. Franchisors and local marketing partners can prepare a case study, email blast or one-sheet — anything that shows franchisees the final product: more customers and more revenue.

Don’t leave franchisees hanging.

Introducing a local digital marketing program is much different than executing a local digital marketing program. Without proper support, your program is unlikely to ever be adopted by a vast network of franchisees with differing needs and capabilities.

The first level of support is training. Digital marketing training is essential for the long-term success of a franchise-wide program. And franchisees want to be trained. In a 2016 BIA/Kelsey survey of franchisees, 33% of respondents said “more training in digital advertising” was what they wanted most from their franchisor — the most common answer among survey participants. Before rolling out a digital strategy, franchisors should have training resources in place, including printed materials, video tutorials and live support.

The second level of support is ongoing education. The ever-changing nature of digital marketing is a major obstacle to local-level adoption. It’s frustrating and time-consuming for franchisees to stay up to date on all of the twists and turns in the industry. It’s up to the franchisors and their marketing partners to do the heavy lifting, providing digestible content for franchisees to take in when they can. This includes emails, newsletters, webinars and a robust online resource center where all of this information can be found.

Meet franchisees in person.

Effective communication is at the heart of all of these initiatives, but some forms of communication are more important than others. Emails and phone calls are nice, but they can’t replace the power of face-to-face interaction. Depending on the size of your franchise system, meeting with each franchisee should be a priority.

If that isn’t practical, franchise conferences are a great place to get in front of as many franchisees as possible. Set up a digital marketing booth at the conference, where local digital experts can give franchisees the individual attention they deserve. Engaging franchisees on a personal level displays an emotional and tactical investment in their individual success and increases the likelihood of participation.

Provide a turnkey marketing solution for franchisees.

According to the BIA/Kelsey survey, “franchises report they use on average 20 different free and paid advertising or marketing channels.” This fragmented approach is difficult for even the most experienced marketers to execute. It’s understandable that a franchisee would be hesitant to adopt such a complex system that requires the skills of a professional marketer and the resources of a franchise brand.

Franchisors and their marketing partners must provide a more convenient solution — a centralized platform where franchisees can find training, ongoing education, live support and transparent performance data all in one location. When this infrastructure and support are delivered with convenience and efficiency, franchisees can stop trying to catch up with the current state of digital marketing, and instead use digital marketing to keep their local businesses ahead of the curve.