- Understand the role digital media play in marketing.
- Identify the types of digital media.
What is Digital Media?
The next segment of this chapter will address social media, however, to have a firm understanding of what social media marketing is, you must first understand what digital media in general is so you can relate the two effectively.
Digital Media is simply a combination of technology and content.
Any tool or electronic device that is used to distribute information and communicate digitally to more people at once than we could with our own voice and body can be classified as digital media.
In the context of business and specifically marketing, the core relevance of today’s digital media, hinges on two key elements: interactivity and group formation.
- Interactivity: This has been made possible by the combination of computers, software, and networks. Unlike traditional or regular media, the digital media was developed to be bi-directional and interactive. Assuming I place an advert about a product or service in the newspaper or on radio, I will only be distributing information about the brand which makes mode of communication one-directional. However, if I place the same ad on a digital platform e.g. YouTube I am likely to have instant feedback from likes and comments thus making my communication mode bi-directional.
- Group Formation: Today’s digital media harnesses the power of complex software designs together with its networking features enabling users to form groups. Individuals can use these digital media to create social networks which becomes valuable markets for brand promotion.
Society and business are now able to take advantage of the benefits and capabilities related to interactivity and group formation offered by the power of digital media to effectively promote their agenda.
The Three Types of Digital Media
To gain understanding of the social media landscape, it’s important to be aware of the different forms of digital media. Digital media can be divided into three main categories:
This quick video The Difference Between Paid, Owned and Earned Media, provides an overview of the three types of media.
- PAID media, as the name suggests, is media that you pay for. The goal of this media is to drive traffic to your owned media.
- OWNED media, again as the name suggests, is media that you control. This refers to your website, social media channels, and any other place where you are directly responsible for the message.
- EARNED media, which is considered to be the best type of media. This is media that your fans or followers are generating on your behalf. It could be as simple as liking, sharing or retweeting a post, or as impactful as drafting a post about your brand using their own channels.