In the media and ad industry, there are many buzzwords. The most common you’ll hear today are social media marketing and branding. Often both can be commonly mistaken to be the same thing, but they are not. The terms are used interchangeably sometimes.

Both branding and social media marketing tactics are powerful tools to use and can give your product a way to stand out. The difference between the terms and what they both do is what we seek to explore in this article. You need a brand to comprehend the competition and stand out from them. Your marketing helps to demonstrate your unique selling points to your audience. 

What is branding?

Your brand identity is your name as a business. It highlights what your business stands for and who you are to your audience. The correct brand identity marketing helps with brand reputation management that your customer can resonate with.

Branding lends the company a personality that can speak for them. It gives the company the right set of attributes that the company will show their audience and what they do. Brands build themselves into easily recognizable traits that allow them to appeal to their customers in a unique way. It makes their business into more than just another faceless entity.

What is social media marketing?

Marketing is what forms all forms of interaction with the customer. In this case, social media branding strategy is used to form a story and some interaction with the customer. It also helps with targeted advertising to find and reach a specific type of customer.

It also includes understanding what the audience wants and developing deeper ways of understanding the different types of audience. Unlike branding, social media marketing techniques are very tactical and can be easily measured.

Where do the two meet?

Integrated branding and social media play a vital role in reaching and engaging customers. Getting the information to your customer is crucial and that’s when brand and marketing meet. You can term them as different faces of the overall strategy for any product or company.

The marketing should incorporate branding into it in order for you to keep customers coming back and keep them loyal. It shows the company in a certain light and builds off the information that is gained by marketing.

On the other side of the coin, marketing allows you to build a rapport with your audience and introduce them to your branded theme. While interconnected, online brand promotion and social media engagement are distinct elements of a comprehensive strategy that work together to create a powerful impact.

Recommended Read: The unseen ROI of branding

The difference

When it comes to branding vs social media marketing, there are both parallels and differences. To be precise, branding is strategic, whereas marketing is tactical. And if you’re thinking, aren’t they the same things, we will say, no, they aren’t. 

In marketing, the brand is presented in a certain way and that contributes to the brand persona. However, depending on the marketing and brand awareness campaigns, brand loyalty will remain in customer’s minds. 

This is where brand and social media marketing take different paths. 

If you say marketing is tactical, this means that it deals with getting its payload of information delivered. It doesn’t try to shape the customer’s loyalty to the product or company. What it does is, it delivers a message and convinces the customers of its benefits.

Whereas with digital branding strategies, you try to give the customer a long-term view. By positioning the brand strategically, you can eventually call upon the customer’s loyalty to the brand in order to close a sale. But with this, you are required to deliver to the customer, once you have their loyalty. It’s important to cultivate a good brand image that the customer associates with for your brand. 

Can they function as sole entities?

Branding can, but marketing can’t. Marketing is needed, however, marketing by itself can’t develop an audience for your message. Branding the product is important and that is what your audience is more interested in. The message your brand conveys is important.

Using your marketing to increase your brand recall but its best not to forget what they stand for. The difference is important to define both terms and find out how you plan on accomplishing each.

There are many companies that are skilled in creating content for both marketing and branding exercises. If you need to develop your brand professionally, this is the direction you need to head towards. 

We Think North

We Think North

This piece was collaboratively written by multiple members of the We Think North team, bringing you perspectives from across the branding, marketing, content and tech verticals.

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