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Is It Possible to Do Digital Marketing Without Social Media Marketing?
The business world is moving towards digital infrastructure. Traditional marketing activities are now being replaced with digital marketing activities. We have different segments in the digital marketing mix that help the company target a different set of consumers based on their age, gender, income, profession, desire, interest, habits, and the different types of products that customers buy.
In this article, we will be diving deep into the concepts of digital marketing and social media marketing. We will also be understanding the scenarios in the present in which companies can function without including social media marketing in their digital marketing mix and what the future of social media marketing will be.
Any marketing activity done by the business through digital platforms is known as "digital marketing." There are three umbrella terms for all digital marketing activities −
Social media marketing
search engine marketing
Search Engine Optimization
Companies can design a digital marketing mix to derive the benefits of digital media.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is an integral part of the digital marketing umbrella. It's the marketing initiatives done on social media platforms. Some of the renowned social media platforms in India are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Hike, Telegram, YouTube, Mx TakaTak, Omega, and others. Companies can do social media marketing in the following ways −
Sponsor their content on social media platforms like stories and posts for a wider reach.
Build the company’s own social media handle and create organic and entertaining content for the users.
Invest in affiliate marketing done through social media platforms.
Collect data on potential customers through LinkedIn and other social media accounts.
Scenarios in which a company can function without social media marketing in its digital marketing mix are
Durable products − durable products are those consumer products that have a longer life and are not purchased frequently. It is a kind of one-time investment for years. For example, furniture, switchboards, doors, almirahs, bicycles, sofa sets, electronic gadgets, and others Though companies such as Ikea and Pepper Fry are currently advertising their products and having a strong presence on social media platforms, businesses can still survive without social media marketing for the time being.These products are costly, and therefore the consumer generally tends to compare the price, features, and product benefits with the competitor’s brand before purchasing one for their use. Companies need to focus more on search engine marketing and the company’s website to sell durable products.
Unsought products − These are the types of products that consumers would not purchase on their own. The salespeople generally follow the push-selling and aggressive-selling approaches for these products. Examples of such products could be life insurance policies, health insurance policies, fire insurance, funeral plots, and others. In the case of insurance, since there are a lot of terms and conditions, consumers generally prefer going on the website and personally meeting the salespeople before purchasing the product. With these products, companies can avoid social media marketing, but just to give you the current figure Max Life Insurance today has more than 47.3k Instagram followers, SBI Life Insurance has 110k Instagram followers, ABC Life has around 21.6k followers, and others.
Technical products − these are the products that will help the company automate its current processes and give it an edge over its competitors. It is generally expensive and requires a lot of pre-purchase effort to crack the deal. Companies can use LinkedIn to do the first level of the advertisement or find out the potential and interested consumers, but eventually they would have to get on-call or meet personally to close the deal as there are too many to take into consideration, and generally even the decision makers of such products are not in the mood to conduct business when they are using their respective social media accounts. These are world-related discussions, and generally, customers prefer email marketing.
B2B products − Here, the companies are selling the products not to end consumers but to businesses. Generally, the cost involved is high, the company is on a contractual basis, and the purchase order is in bulk. For example, a B2C consumer would purchase one laptop for their use, but a B2B customer would purchase 1500 laptops for all their employees working in the organization to maintain a unified system and data protection. Here as well, the customer would prefer email marketing as a form of digital marketing and not social media marketing. Companies need to come to mutual agreements and read all the policy-related documents before making the purchase.
The Future of Social Media Marketing
Today we have around 4.62 billion social media users, and that figure is supposed to reach 6 billion worldwide by the year 2027. Instagram today has the highest number of followers, and most importantly, these social media platforms consist of people from varied age groups, races, ethnicities, professions, religious beliefs, education levels, income statuses, and others. Even in the case of the above-mentioned products, the companies would have to switch to social media marketing in the near future. Consumers, on average, are spending around 2 hours on these social media platforms and are in varied states of mind. Consumers would want to see the brand’s presence as well as the presence of various product categories on social media, and companies should not miss out on opportunities like such.
The question here is not "Is it possible to do digital marketing without social media?" but "Will digital marketing activities be effective without social media marketing?" We can see that only in certain exceptions can the company function without social media marketing. Social media marketing is the lifeline for all fast-moving consumer goods, as well as accessories, clothes, shoes, cosmetics, and others. If the company wants to target the end consumers of the product and the product is used by the consumer in his or her daily life hustle, then social media should be in the company’s digital mix.
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