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Marketing Vs. Advertising: What’s The Difference?


If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to join the big league and go digital! Digital marketing is the new norm — it’s the fastest growing marketing channel with absolutely no signs of slowing down. 

In fact, most businesses spent more on digital marketing in 2021 than they did in 2020 and plan to increase their spending as we enter 2022. But this really shouldn’t come as a surprise — marketing has always been about three things: location, location, location. And today, your target audience is largely online. 

The digital marketplace has put a lot of purchasing power back into the hands of consumers and buyers, forcing many (smart) marketers to get much more creative and much more authentic, as well as helpful. Today, consumers jump from channel to channel seamlessly throughout their day, and increasingly — those channels are digital. 

The average consumer researches services, products, solutions, and brands before making any buying decision. Digital technology provides marketers with a range of new and exciting tools, allowing them to be more strategic and focused in their advertising approach. Digital advertising simply makes sense if you want to get your message, promotion, or marketing campaign in front of your target audience to help them make a buying decision. 

So, what are the best digital advertising techniques, you ask? 

We’ll tell you.  

Marketing vs. Advertising: What’s the Difference?

Before we start talking about advertising, it’s important to talk about marketing and advertising. These terms are often used interchangeably when, in reality, there are key distinctions between them that you should know.

So, what is marketing, anyway? Marketing involves the systematic planning, implementation, and control of different components to bring buyers and sellers together. Advertising, on the other hand, is simply one component of marketing. Advertising involves the placement of ads in mediums including the internet, newspapers, magazines, billboards, television, radio, and direct mail. Advertising is the most costly aspect of marketing. For this reason, it’s important to maintain a solid understanding of how it works so that you can get the most bang for your buck. 

What Is Digital Advertising?

In 2021, the most lucrative type of advertising that you need to know about is digital advertising. Digital advertising involves advertising on digital channels and platforms, including search engines, social media apps, blogs, and more. 

Why Use Digital Advertising?

The world of digital advertising can be confusing and overwhelming to newcomers who are used to traditional advertising methods. And while digital advertising may come with a bit of a learning curve, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with digital advertising methods so that you can effectively grow your business.

If you’re still not convinced that digital advertising is worth your time and effort, here are some of the reasons why you should use digital advertising: 


Believe it or not, but digital advertising is relatively cost-effective! Instead of having to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for traditional advertising avenues, you can set a budget that works for you since most digital advertising charges per click. This means that you only pay when someone clicks on your content. 

That being said, the cost you pay per click does tend to vary a lot depending on the platform you’re using, the type of advertisement, and your industry. 

These budgets and returns simply aren’t possible with traditional advertising avenues. 


Another benefit of digital advertising is that it offers detailed targeting capabilities. This is because online platforms gather data about users that you can tap into when trying to advertise online. Targeting ensures that you’re reaching people interested in your business and gives you a better chance of a conversion.

For example, say that you’re trying to reach your target demographic of young women. Depending on which platform you’re advertising on, you can target based on gender, age, geographic location, educational background, income, life events, hobbies, interests, and more. So instead of just looking to reach young women, you can specifically target women ages 18-35, in the United States, with a college degree, with an above-average income, interested in health and beauty. 

It makes sense that a more targeted approach is more effective since you can reach people based on specific interests that relate to your brand and products. 

It’s worth noting that iOS 14 has introduced limitations to tracking and targeting iOS users. The new iOS 14 has an feature that allows users to opt in or out of tracking. Data collected from, say, Facebook pixel or Insights from Instagram. 


Finally, digital advertising provides you access to valuable analytics that you can use to improve both your advertising efforts and your overall business. You can easily track the success of a digital advertising campaign throughout its lifetime. If it’s not performing well, you can make changes to get it back on track. 

Digital advertising also provides you with valuable information on your audience. Let’s say that you’re not exactly sure who your target audience should be yet. Your digital advertising campaign can provide you with information based on features like lookalike audiences. From there, you can begin to learn more about your target audience and further tailor your digital advertising strategy. 

What Are the Best Digital Advertising Techniques That Work?

Since its inception over 25 years ago, digital advertising has been steadily innovated upon. Today, there are many effective digital advertising techniques and strategies, and by using the most effective ones, you can easily drive a large amount of targeted traffic to your website. 

Search Engine Optimization

Having a website in this day and age is a given — that’s not even up for debate. But what you need to start focusing on is search engine optimization (SEO). By investing in SEO, you can effectively improve your website to help it rank well in search engines like Google for searches related to your services or products. 

SEO involves incorporating specific keywords related to your services or products on your website. When consumers search those specific keywords in Google, relevant pages will appear in the results. 

You can identify the very best keywords for your web pages by doing a little bit of keyword research to see what your target audience is searching, as well as which hot keywords your competitors are targeting. The goal here is to choose keywords used by your target audience and attract them to your website. 

SEO is an incredible tool to help advertise your brand to consumers. Investing in this digital advertising approach can boost your exposure, foot traffic, and ultimately, your conversion rate. It does, however, take quite a bit of time to perfect SEO, but the results can be well worth it for your business. 

Consider hiring a great advertising agency like MuteSix that can handle SEO for you. This way, you can focus your time on what matters — your business. 

Paid Social

There’s no doubt that advertising through social media just keeps growing and growing year after year. Consider these numbers: There are 3.80 billion active mobile social media accounts globally, with a whopping 1.3 million new active mobile social media users added every day. According to experts and advertising statistics, social media advertising budgets have doubled — worldwide — from a measly $16 billion to a cool $31 billion in the past two years alone. 

With that said, the two types of social media online advertising are organic (an online word-of-mouth technique) and paid. Placing paid advertisements, sponsored stories, or promoted posts are popular ways to reach more of the demographic of the brand without paying a bundle. Of all the social media platforms, Twitter and Facebook are the most popular for companies to reach new customers, with LinkedIn a popular approach for B2B sales.  

Paid Search or Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertisements explain their concept right in the name: These are ads that advertisers only pay for when a viewer clicks on them, which contributes to the strength of PPC as a tool. So, for example, if your ad was seen by 100 different people and only one person clicked on it, the cost of your ad revolves solely around the one person who clicked. 

Keep in mind that 64.6% of viewers click on Google ads when they are looking to buy an item or service online. Increase these odds by hiring an experienced ad agency like MuteSix

Video Ads

Video ads are arguably the easiest type of digital advertising because it’s precisely what it sounds like — simply a video promoting a brand, product, or service in some way, shape, or form. Video ads can show up as a colorful commercial-esque ad right before watching other videos on Facebook or Youtube, for example, or they can be integrated as display or native ads.

Video ads are growing like wildfire in popularity, especially with the younger generation of consumers. However, the most challenging part of creating them is the time and effort it takes to plan and develop an intriguing video that is visually appealing, shares the message, and speaks the brand, as well as having emotionally enticing audio or music playing in the background. 

Despite being the most time-consuming type of digital advertising, it’s proven to be extremely effective. Why? Because viewers can absorb the content and learn more about your brand without a lot of effort, and advertisers will have a much easier time catching their target audience’s attention. 

To make sure you’re creating the best video ads to boost brand awareness and drive in potential customers, it might be best to bring in the experts. This way, you can spend your valuable time working on your products and services rather than your marketing campaign. 

Email Marketing and SMS Marketing

Email marketing might be one of the oldest forms of online marketing, but it’s still by far one of the most effective advertising strategies and marketing techniques. When your business uses email, you can reach individual members of your target audience directly in their personal inboxes. 

Emails are an excellent way to connect with not only your current customers but potential customers, too. You can send useful information about new services or products, send weekly or monthly newsletters, and even deals tailored to different segments of your audience. 

SMS marketing is the evolution of email marketing. Sending text messages to customers not only enables a direct personal connection between you and them, it also gives you the marketing power to instantly target your audience no matter where they are or what they’re doing. Surveys show that more than 70% of Americans carry and use a smartphone on a daily basis. That number will likely increase! SMS marketing is crucial for businesses of all sizes and industries.

The Future of Digital Advertising

Based on what we’ve covered so far, it’s not crazy to say that digital advertising is definitely the future. But don’t just take our word for it — here are some statistics to back it up and convince you that you need to get started with digital advertising as soon as possible: 

  • Nearly all ad buyers expect digital advertising to make up more than 50% of their total marketing budget in just two years time.

  • Digital advertising spending worldwide reached an estimated $378 billion in 2020 — a figure that is forecast to increase to a whopping $646 billion by 2024.

  • Sixty-two percent of companies have, or plan to have, an omnichannel marketing strategy that incorporates many of the different channels mentioned above, including SEO, social media, PPC, email, SMS, and more.

A Final Word

Whatever your digital advertising needs might be, there’s a solution for your business. Not ready to spend any money just yet? Start with an organic social media advertising strategy. 

However, if you’re ready to take your ad spend to the next level to yield mind-blowing results, try one of these types of online advertising: SEO, paid social media ads or video ads, PPC, or email marketing. MuteSix works with disruptive DTC brands both big and small. Our key differentiator is that we turn smaller, lesser-know brands into household names.  

Special thanks to our friends at MuteSix for their insights on this topic.
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