Social Media Marketing vs Traditional Marketing – What’s Effective In 2021?

The exponential growth of smartphones has paved the way for a revolution across various industries. This smartphone ecosystem is catapulting what television did in the early 2000s, with the numbers currently standing at 3.8 billion smartphone users. Just so you know, 3.5 billion people are active in social media. If you are keen on doing the math, one in two people across the world is leveraging social media right now. So, as a marketer, are you wondering if social media marketing works? Are you still reluctant to come out of your traditional marketing approach? Well, by the end of this blog, you’ll gain clarity on what will work in 2021. Fasten your seat belts. It’s Social Media Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing.

Traditional Marketing – A Quick Overview

Traditional Marketing typically involves advertising via conventional channels like newspapers, televisions, radio, billboards, etc. Until the digital revolution, traditional marketing has remained the core of operations for numerous marketers worldwide. Not to mention the fact that traditional marketing is effective even today, except that the frequency and dependability of marketers have reduced significantly.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Simply put, in social media marketing, social media sites are the modes of communication through which brands engage with the audience. Ads across different sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., get categorized under social media marketing. Just so you know, 90.4% of social media users are millennials, opening a floodgate of opportunities for years to come.

The Common Thread

Keeping aside numerous differences, social media marketing & traditional marketing share certain common aspects. They include,

  • Brand Awareness: Both these marketing strategies ultimately aim to uphold brand reputation across a wide range of audiences.
  • Customer Attraction: These strategies have the capability of pulling audiences towards a brand, enabling organizations to grow their brand community.

The Elephant in the Room – Differences

While both these strategies converge at building brand reputation, the approach and path remain fundamentally different. Let’s discuss the differences between social media marketing and traditional marketing here,

  • The Reach Aspect: When it comes to ‘reach’ in the current scenario, social media marketing emerges to be the undisputed winner. With people spending nearly 3 hours on social networking and messaging, pushing a brand via social media makes more sense than commercials or newspapers. With Facebook crossing 2.6 billion monthly active users and Twitter reaching 326 million monthly active users, social media can be the ideal jackpot for modern-day marketers.
  • The Engagement Viewpoint: One of the significant advantages of social media marketing is that it is a two-way engagement medium. This way, customers can interact with one another and with brand prospects seamlessly. However, traditional marketing is a one-way engagement medium. By engaging customers actively, social media marketing gains the edge in this regard.
  • The Spend Perspective: With social media sites promising better ROI for marketers, spends has been targeted towards this marketing rather than the traditional one. According to a report by Inbound Marketing Inc., in 2016, the annual median cost of social media marketing techniques stands at $12000. During the same period, the annual median spend of television commercials and newspapers stood at $50,064,000 and $2,012,000 respectively.
  • The All-important Analytics: Marketers need to know and understand the effectiveness of ads before making informed decisions. When it comes to traditional marketing, there aren’t accurate analytics reports that can identify how well an advertisement has performed. In contrast, there are innumerable analytics sites (including the free Google Analytics) to help marketers comprehensively.

Final Word

While traditional marketing bore fruits before the advent of the Internet, the time is ripe for marketers to look beyond newspapers and TV commercials. With numerous advantages, social media marketing can be the one carrying the baton of success for years to come.