A Digital Marketing Series ::

Getting Started with Digital Marketing

understanding the difference between digital marketing and digital advertising

The ever-evolving world of digital promotions can be perplexing, especially for newcomers. Recently, we unveiled a comprehensive guide on our landing page, delving into the nuances of digital marketing and advertising. If you missed it, fret not! This blog post offers a concise recap, ensuring you’re well-equipped to navigate the digital frontier.

Digital Marketing vs. Advertising: A Refresher

Digital Marketing: An umbrella term, this encompasses a myriad of online methods to promote products, services, or brands. From organic strategies like SEO and content creation to relationship-building via social media, it’s all about establishing a robust online presence over time.

Digital Advertising: A focused subset of the digital marketing realm, this zeroes in on paid promotional tactics. Be it banners, pay-per-click ads, or video commercials, the aim is to achieve targeted, immediate results.


In the bustling world of online promotion, understanding the difference between digital marketing and digital advertising is paramount.

Digital Marketing:

This is your comprehensive strategy to build an online presence. It’s the universe of methods that businesses use to promote products, services, or brands through online channels. Think content creation, SEO, social media marketing, and more. While some strategies within digital marketing require payment, many, like organic search or social media engagement, focus on long-term growth and relationship-building.

  • Broad online strategy to promote brands, including content, SEO, social media, and more.
  • Can be both paid and organic.
  • Focuses on long-term engagement and building relationships.


Digital Advertising:

Think of this as a subset of digital marketing, laser-focused on paid promotions and advertisements. Whether it’s pay-per-click ads, banners, or video commercials, digital advertising seeks immediate results and targets specific online audiences.

  • Subset of digital marketing, specifically about paid online ads.
  • Offers immediate visibility, targeting specific audiences.
  • Results are often short-term, linked to the duration of the ad campaign.

In essence, while digital advertising is more about getting the brand out there quickly and to a targeted audience through paid means, digital marketing encompasses a broader range of strategies, both paid and organic, aimed at building and nurturing long-term relationships with customers and prospects. Both play crucial roles in a comprehensive online marketing strategy.

Essential Terms and Definitions for Digital Marketing and Advertising

As one embarks on their digital marketing journey, it’s imperative to be well-versed in the industry’s jargon. For newcomers and enthusiasts alike, understanding these foundational terms can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your strategies, ensuring clear communication with colleagues, clients, and service providers. Dive into our comprehensive list of essential digital marketing and advertising terms that every novice should have in their toolkit, setting the stage for more advanced exploration and success in the digital realm.

Digital Marketing: The use of digital channels, platforms, and technologies to promote a product, service, or brand to a targeted audience.

Digital Advertising: A subset of digital marketing focused on promoting products, services, or brands via paid channels, such as pay-per-click ads or sponsored posts.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization): The practice of optimizing a website or content to rank higher in search engine results, increasing visibility and organic traffic.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing): Using paid advertising to increase website visibility in search engine results pages. This often includes PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click): An advertising model where advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked, rather than earning those clicks organically.

CPC (Cost Per Click): The amount paid by an advertiser for a single click on their sponsored search ad.

CPM (Cost Per Mille/Thousand): The price of 1,000 advertisement impressions on a webpage.

CTR (Click-Through Rate): The ratio of users who click on a specific link to the total number of users who view a page, email, or advertisement.

Content Marketing: The creation and sharing of content (articles, videos, infographics, etc.) to attract, inform, and engage a target audience.

Affiliate Marketing: A performance-based advertising model where businesses reward external partners (affiliates) for generating traffic or sales through the affiliate’s marketing efforts.

Conversion Rate: The percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase.

Landing Page: A specific web page designed for a particular marketing campaign, where a visitor “lands” after clicking on a link in an email or ad.

Retargeting/Remarketing: Online advertising strategies that target users who have previously interacted with a brand or website, reminding them to return or take action.

Social Media Marketing: Using social media platforms (like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to promote products, services, or content.

Influencer Marketing: Leveraging individuals with influence in a particular industry or social media platform to promote products or services.

Intent-Based Advertising: Intent-based marketing uses individual online behavior data to deliver targeted advertising at the time when buyers are most likely to purchase, within the right context.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator): Specific metrics used to measure and evaluate the success of a particular activity or campaign in achieving its objectives.

ROI (Return on Investment): A measure of the profitability of a campaign, calculated as the net profit from the campaign divided by its costs.

Lead Generation: The process of attracting potential customers and collecting information from them (like their names and email addresses) to be used in future marketing campaigns.

Programmatic Advertising: Automated buying and selling of online ad space using algorithms.

Analytics: The systematic computational analysis of data or statistics to understand and measure campaign performance.

User Experience (UX): The overall experience a user has with a product, website, or app in terms of usability, accessibility, and efficiency.

User Interface (UI): The space where interactions between humans and machines occur, especially as it relates to the design of websites or apps.

Email Marketing: Using email to promote products, services, or content to a list of subscribers or potential customers.

Native Advertising: Ads that match the look, feel, and function of the content of the media on which they appear, but are labeled as “sponsored.”

Bounce Rate: The percentage of website visitors who leave after viewing just one page.

guided journey map for digital marketing and advertising

Feeling inspired to delve deeper into digital marketing specialization?

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