In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, we’re all looking for the best ways to reach our customers and to push them to make a purchase. Some people swear by search engine optimization while others prefer digital advertising or offline marketing, and the truth is that no one platform ‘s better than any other. This article helps you decide which is better for your, business social media or email marketing.
All customers are different, and they want you to communicate with them in a variety of ways. If you sell predominantly to retirees, for example, then direct mail is likely to be much more efficient than Snapchat. Similarly, younger customers are more apt to find you through Instagram than in the phone book.
Social media marketing and email marketing are a little different because almost everyone has an email address and a social networking profile. 78% of people in the US have a social networking profile, and usage is expected to hit a third of the world’s population by 2020. Email use worldwide will top 3 billion users by 2020. (Source: hubspot.com )
With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at which is better. Will social media marketing take the crown or will email marketing come out on top? Let’s find out.
Social Media Marketing
Using Social media as a tool to promote your business has enormous potential in comparison to email marketing, in part because the barrier to entry is so low. It only takes a couple of minutes to sign up and to start posting, and you don’t need huge marketing budgets to get going. You also don’t need to have subscribers to begin with, which you need if you want to start sending emails. Best of all, it’s a great leveler, allowing individuals and small businesses to compete with national and international companies in a way that was never previously possible.
Still, to do social networking right, you’re going to need to invest in advertisements and content creation and to spend a considerable amount of your own time if you want to get results. It can also be hit and miss. Too many people set out to create a viral video, and that’s just not how social networking works. Sure, it might happen – but it’s unlikely, and it’s a poor idea to aim for viral success because you’ll inevitably fall wide of the mark.
Instead, social media marketing is all about building long-term relationships with people. Email marketing tends to be more transactional, whereas your social media presence will almost act as an extension of your customer service team.
That means that measuring the success of your social media marketing efforts on sales alone is not a good idea. It’s much easier to generate a direct profit using email marketing, but social media marketing will boost your business in ways you never even thought about – it just might take a while to pay for itself. Prepare yourself for that before you invest the time, or you’ll be disappointed.
There’s a perception of email marketing as old fashioned, but the truth is that email marketing is as strong as ever thanks to easy personalization and marketing automation software which can help you to do the job much more efficiently.
Email marketing is still huge for a variety of reasons. For B2B campaigns, for example, it’s a no-brainer. 86% of professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes, and if you integrate an email marketing campaign with a customer relationship management (CRM) system, you can usher prospects along the buyer’s journey until they’re ready to make a purchase.
When it comes to capturing potential customers’ attention, nothing can top email. Even if people don’t open them, they’ll still see them there sitting inside their inbox. And when you compare the open rates of your emails to the number of your Facebook fans who are seeing your updates, you’re likely to find that email marketing comes out on top.
But email marketing also plays a vital role in the inbound marketing methodology. Many companies are choosing to release high-quality content, such as e-books, white papers, or webinars, in exchange for a visitor’s email address. Once you have their email address, you can contact them on a regular basis and start to develop a relationship in the hope of turning them into a customer – a lot like you’re doing on social networking sites but with more precise targeting.
Conclusion: social media or email marketing
Trying to pick between social media or email marketing can feel like trying to choose your favorite child. Certain technologies work better in certain situations, but both email marketing and social media marketing are so versatile that they both have a place in every marketer’s toolkit.
That’s why the very best marketers take advantage of both social media and email marketing, and they adapt their messages for each platform so that they’re reaching the right person in the right place at the right time. Choosing only one or the other will artificially limit your potential, so test both and track the results and see what works for you.
That’s how you succeed using modern marketing tools like email and social media. You have to find out what works for you, and not just what works for your competitors or the industry as a whole. Test, measure and refine. You’ll be bringing in new customers in no time.