There are very few companies that have an unlimited marketing budget. As a result, most companies will have to make choices as to how their budget is spent. In many cases, the main options on the table are email marketing and social media marketing (SMM). Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both to determine which might be best suited to your needs.
Email marketing is a strategy of promoting products and services through email. It entails emailing your own legally-obtained database of client email addresses (not emailing contact lists that have been purchased from somebody else).
Email marketing works with an already-existing mailing list. This means that you have a direct line of contact with your customers, some of whom will have purchased a product or service from you before. As such, it presents you with various advantages:
Email marketing’s biggest strength is the level of control that you have. With this control, you are able to run a more tailored and targeted marketing campaign while also keeping your overheads low, meaning that you can achieve a lot with a limited marketing budget.
As is the case with every marketing approach, there are potential downsides that can limit its overall effectiveness. Email marketing is no exception. These are some of the downsides:
Now that we’ve explored the basics of email marketing, let’s turn to social media marketing.
Social media marketing is a strategy that involves using social media platforms to help you build brand awareness, promote your products and services, and interact with leads and potential customers.
Being the more accessible form of digital marketing, when compared to email marketing, it has its fair share of unique advantages:
Social media’s biggest strength is its reach. There is a growing number of social media users, all of whom you can get a hold of easily, without a great deal of effort. This makes it easy to build an audience, and even easier to get the right data for your digital marketing campaigns.
Given its ease of access, social media has its fair share of disadvantages, most of which, if left unaddressed, could do more harm than good.
Misusing social media exposes your business to an unforgiving audience who may not be quick to forget your misdoings. Also, with social media platforms being in the business to make money, you will likely find yourself having to spend money on ads.
Both channels can be extremely effective:
Many have argued that email marketing is losing its ground compared to social media. Whether this is true or not depends on your target audience. For example, if your buyers are young B2C, then they will probably be more into social networks. If they are older B2B clients, then an email might be one of their main channels of daily communication. As a business owner, you need to understand your target audience and tailor your campaign around that.
You could of course try using both approaches. This way, you get to benefit from the advantages of each, while balancing the inadequacies of one with the other.
Start by creating pages on the social media sites where your target audience is present, then post different types of social media content consistently to acquire and build users. You can then take it a step further by paying for ads to grow your audience. Ads are a great way to build an audience quickly. Also, given that the results would be immediate, you can potentially build a decent-sized audience pretty quickly, ultimately converting them into paying clients. You can also remarket, mainly through displaying these social media ads to your website visitors and email subscribers.
Once you have built an audience on social media and other channels, invite them to join your email list. The goal is to offer your audience value and a reason to be invested in the company, ultimately making a purchase of your products and services. You can do this by sharing information about your company, customer reviews, or even some useful tips and tricks. Doing so will raise your customers' loyalty to your brand identity. Just be sure to portray an accurate image of your business and the products or services that it offers. Also, be sure to keep your audience in the know should there be any developments or promotions that customers could benefit from. This will help you use email marketing to nurture and convert leads.
Allow the two to complement each other. Email marketing, for instance, will help you convert leads who didn’t convert from social media. On the other hand, SMM may help you catch those who didn’t take the required action from email with the help of remarketing.
There is no evident winner between the two. They are both effective marketing options for your business. However, it all depends on the type of business you are, your budget, and the buyer’s journey stage you are targeting. Ultimately, it is a good idea to use both approaches. If you understand how they compliment each other and utilise their different strengths and weaknesses, you will be getting the most from your marketing budget.
by Roman Shvydun | 25 Jan 22
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