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Digital Marketing & Lead Generation: What’s The Difference?

When it comes to having a successful business online, you need to know the difference between Digital Marketing and Lead Generation.

While they might have some overlapping parts, they both have their role to play in making sure you have a long-term business that works.

Digital marketing is all about building a brand and getting your name out there.

However, lead generation is all about finding people to buy or bringing them into your funnel.

Both of these options need to complement each other for you to have the right business.

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the way of getting visitors to your website. It involves multiple different ways of getting people from another website to yours.

Being good at digital marketing is a must for any business that wants to stay on the Internet for a long time. It is also a must for people who want to attract visitors as cheaply as possible.

The biggest thing you need to know about digital marketing is that every channel will require a new tactic.

For example, the tactics you use to get visitors through SEO will be different from the tactics you use to get traffic with social media marketing.

When you combine all of these tactics, you get the field of digital marketing. It is all-encompassing, and you might require multiple different experts for each channel you want to market on.

What Is Lead Generation?

The difference between lead generation and digital marketing is all about the purpose of acquiring traffic.

Lead generation is a lot more common in direct marketing online ventures. If you’re looking to sell a product or do affiliate marketing, then lead generation is most likely what you will try to do. Lead generation is going to a traffic source and persuading people to go to your website and buy.

Lead generation is all about the end result and how to get there.

You try to get to your goal as quickly and as efficiently as possible with lead generation. There’s also strategy involved in lead generation because you end up finding the most cost-effective way to get to profitability for your business.

Learn even more about the benefits and how-tos of lead generation in this post.

Why Are Each Of Them Important?

Both of these methods have their own upsides and downsides, depending on what you are trying to do with your business.

You wouldn’t start a lead generation campaign when you needed digital marketing, and you wouldn’t do the opposite.

However, these two methods can be complementary since you will need both to be successful online. The most successful businesses are the ones that understand marketing and lead generation and can leverage them on each channel to be as successful as possible.

We’re talking about that company you know that has a great brand and is also advertising and doing other lead generation things to continue getting more customers.

Types Of Digital Marketing

What sets digital marketing apart from other methods of building a business is how many variations there are to it.

You have so many methods of building and growing a business online, and it is essential to understand which methods are best for your situation.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is a method of getting traffic from search engines.

The most used website on the entire Internet is Google, so it is a huge benefit to your business if you can have your website appear number one on its listings.

This strategy and technique of getting your website ranked number one on Google and other search engines is what we call search engine optimization.

There are two variations to it, and they differ in how effective they are and their morality.

  1. White hat SEO is all about doing things clean and buy the book.

  2. Black hat SEO is about doing the most effective strategies without regard for if Google frowns on them or not. Black Hat SEO is usually a violation of Google’s terms of service, so you have to do secretly to be successful.

White Hat SEO

If you have a legitimate business, White Hat SEO is the preferred way of getting the best returns on your search engine investment. While you will take a lot longer to rank your website, it is better for you, and everyone will thank you for it.

The people visiting your website will appreciate that you are giving them a valuable service and also helping solve whatever problem they had.

However, you might still end up getting caught in the crossfire as Google hunts for websites that use Black Hat SEO methods to rank.

Black Hat SEO

The first method of search engine optimization is Black Hat SEO. It is all the things that Google frowns upon and says violates its terms of service. Google wants companies to create high-quality content with real links from other websites.

This means spending a lot of money to build content and create links. However, it also means a better experience for the users, so it is the method that most legitimate businesses prefer.

However, Black Hat SEO is all about doing things that Google does not want you to do. Instead of creating good content, you can use software to generate content randomly. You don’t have to build good links.

You can create a lot of spam links with software as well. You can even build a private blog network, which is a great way of maintaining rank, and use that blog network to maintain an edge on the Google search engine ranking pages.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is another form of digital marketing. It is currently the biggest growth area for digital marketers. Websites like Facebook and Instagram allow you to reach an audience that numbers in the billions.

When you do social media marketing right, you can create a brand for yourself that markets on autopilot. You might never need to write or create another advertisement again.

This is the power of social media marketing, but you have to understand how to harness it, so it does not hurt you.

Social media marketing is also a great way to gauge what your potential clients are saying about the market. The information you get here can allow you to pivot or even find new ways to please your marketplace.

Video Marketing

Video sites like YouTube have become essential for digital marketing as well. YouTube is the second most popular search engine on the entire Internet.

People spend more time on YouTube than they do on TV. Advertising and Marketing on YouTube is also relatively cheap. In fact, you can get started marketing on YouTube with just a video camera. It allows you to reach a hungry audience, and if you can do it correctly, you can create a big brand that has loyal followers.

Digital marketing is all about building a huge brand and getting traffic to your website.

Using a website like YouTube will allow you to create videos and then redirect that traffic back to your website. It will also help you build a name for yourself, as you can share your videos on social media and other channels.

Essentially, everything complements with others to create the best marketing experience for potential customers.

Brand Building

Ultimately, digital marketing is about building a brand or making sales. Building a brand gives you that staying power to make more sales in the future. It is giving up the present for what could be a better future. Digital marketing gives you multiple ways of branding your website and your business.

You can use this brand to get more sales, and your lead generation projects will be more successful.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the hidden secrets to success on the Internet. It is one of the only methods in digital marketing where you control the platform.

The majority of digital marketing on the Internet is done on someone else’s platform. For example, on YouTube, they can ban you for whatever they want. It is the same thing on Facebook and Twitter.

Many businesses were wiped away in one fell swoop by a ban from the platform.

It can even happen with SEO on Google. Google likes to change their algorithms, and that can create a lot of problems for businesses. When that happens, you essentially end up with nothing. Owning the platform is the key to success with digital marketing. However, most people never do, which is why success only happens for a few businesses.

Email marketing entails building a list of contacts and mailing out to them periodically. It is a great way to keep your loyal followers with you at all times, and you can even market to them when new products come up.

Content Marketing

Content marketing uses a lot of different platforms, so there is a lot of overlap with SEO and social media marketing. However, content marketing is an inbound type of marketing. It is where you create things and hope to attract people to your website.

For example, you could create extremely valuable content that people want to share. When that happens, you end up in a situation where you didn’t have to do a lot of promoting, but your content was still able to attract many people.

Types Of Lead Generation

The major difference between digital marketing and lead generation is that one is a subset of the other. They also both do the same thing, but one of them is about getting sales. The purpose of lead generation is to get people into your sales funnel.

You use the same tactics and channels as you would with digital marketing, but you are more sales-focused when you do lead generation. It is all about identifying those people that you want and think will be good customers. You also use more money to find and acquire leads.

Think of lead generation as a sniper picking out individuals to persuade to buy. In lead generation, use a lot more paid traffic sources to get people into your funnel as well.

For example, instead of branding on social media, you can buy advertisements and pay people to promote your products or services.

Social Media Advertising

Using social media for lead generation is almost always about paying influencers or advertising. For a social media site like Facebook, you can advertise to all users.

That gives you access to more than a couple billion people.

If you optimize your advertisements correctly, you can even get traffic for pennies on the dollar. Once you get that traffic from social media, you can put them into your marketing funnel.

You can also send them to another website to buy if you are doing affiliate marketing. However, the major difference is that you will be trying to get them to buy quickly.

Media Buying

It does not make sense to use media buying when you are doing digital marketing. Media buying costs a lot of money, and it is something you would only do if you are selling a lot of product to cover those costs.

Media buying involves paying for advertisements on websites all over the Internet. This is the preferred method for the majority of people doing lead generation. It offers a cost-effective way of getting into the lead generation market, and you can make great returns if you understand media buying principles.

There are three big players in the media buying world, and after them, you only have a lot of smaller players that you have to contact individually.

The Big 3

The three big players in the media by landscape are Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

They each have their own place, and it will depend on the type of product you are trying to sell.

  1. For example, if you wanted to promote your book, you would advertise on Amazon.

  2. Facebook is a great way of advertising both digital and physical products.

  3. Google offers its display network to advertisers, and it is easy to set up an account and advertise your products.

Media Buying On Other Sites

After these three sites, it gets challenging for you in the media buy and advertising world. The big problem is that there are so many websites, and it can get technical if you don’t understand mathematics and website optimization.

However, these are small roadblocks, and you can get really low advertising prices if you know where to look.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization for lead generation is a bit different.

As you know, you can target different keywords when you start doing SEO optimization. The major difference between the two is that you will want to target the keywords that are considered commercial for lead generation.

That means finding keywords where the searcher intends to buy a product.

However, the major difference between these terms is how competitive they are. You will need to be excellent at doing SEO optimization to survive on this marketing channel.

PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising

Pay per click advertising is the alternative to SEO when it comes to lead generation. You can simply bid on a keyword instead of spending time to rank on the search engine pages.

This gives you a quick entry into the market, and you can optimize the process to create a great funnel.

Lead generation will always depend on how good your funnel is, so you need to optimize every part of the process to be the most efficient possible.

You also need to understand basic mathematics and statistics to get the best results.

However, paper click optimization is a valuable skill to learn because it will help you in every business venture you enter.

When To Use Lead Generation and Digital Marketing

The difference between lead generation and digital marketing comes down to a simple thing you need to look at.

What is the purpose of the traffic you are getting?

Once you have answered this question, you can know which one is right for you.

Lead generation is a subset of digital marketing, so you still have to know digital marketing to do lead generation. However, lead generation is all about quickly getting people into your funnel and persuading them to buy.

Digital marketing is getting people to the website. If you own a simple informational site, then digital marketing is what you will need to do. This is because you are monetizing with advertisements, so you don’t need to build a funnel.

However, if you had a product to sell, you will try to do lead generation.

Lead generation is also popular in the affiliate marketing segment.

This is usually where lead generation is used the most, so if you intend to be an affiliate marketer, you must get good at lead generation principles.

Examples Of Digital Marketing And Lead Generation

The biggest example of lead generation is those websites that direct you to Amazon to buy a product.

Almost every brand you see on social media could be an example of digital marketing.

These people are simply trying to get you to visit their website and embed their brand into your mind. Once you figure this out, you have a better understanding of the entire process.

Wrap Up

It is essential to understand the difference between digital marketing and lead generation. When you do that, you will know which tool to use and when.

Lead generation is for building a funnel to sell products or services. Digital marketing is simply getting people to your website or even getting the word out.

They both have their place in business, but you should choose the right one to maximize your results.


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