Public address system, a form of digital marketing

Difference between digital marketing and online marketing + easy examples

Difference between digital marketing and online marketing + easy examples

The difference between digital marketing and online marketing is simple, one is a subset of the other. So today, I’m going to explain to you what each term means. And why you shouldn’t use the two interchangeably. 

As coronavirus sweeps across nations, causing quarantine, lockdown, and social distancing, many businesses have realized the need to market their products or services using the internet.

If you are a businessman, you surely can’t exempt yourself. 

But you might asking, what is the difference between digital marketing and online marketing?

And which one is best for your business.

So today, I’m going to explain the differences. And how you can effectively promote your business online (especially in these hard times)

What Is Digital Marketing? 

Digital Marketing is the use of electronic devices to market a product or service. It could include the use of the internet or otherwise. 

For example

A herbal medicine seller that uses a public address system to market her products could be said to be doing digital marketing. 

Another example that is quite modern is a marketer who uses a desktop computer connected to the internet to market an insurance company through social media. 

In both cases, an electronic device is being used to promote a product or service. 

Digital marketing can be grouped into two main categories: 

  • Offline
  • Online

Offline marketing

This refers to the use of electronic devices to promote a product or service without the use of the internet. 

Offline marketing has been in existence since the invention of radio in the 1990s. 

According to, the first commercial broadcast, a radio program supported by on air advertisement aired on 2nd November, 1920.

Later in this post, we’ll talk about the different types of offline marketing. 

But for now, let’s move on.

Online marketing

It is simply the use of electronic devices to market products or services using the internet. 

The key term to note here is ‘the internet’, otherwise referred to as online. 

Differences Between Digital Marketing And Online Marketing 

The main difference between digital marketing and online marketing is that, digital marketing could either be online or offline, whereas online marketing primarily uses the internet.

However, internet usage has become so much a part of our everyday life. And now, literally every strategy takes into consideration some aspect of internet usage. 

In fact, the old age radio which is the father of offline digital marketing, now uses the internet as its fuel for maximised results. To the point that, it’s now so easy for anyone to start building an online career today, even without needing any special skill. 

For this reason, most people prefer to use the generic term “digital” even when they mean “online”. That way, their strategy could include radio, TV or Phone advertisement without any explanations.  

With that being said, let’s look at the common types of offline  and online marketing. 

Types Of Offline Marketing 

Basically, offline marketing can be categorized into four main types. 

These are;

– Radio e.g. show sponsoring 

– Television (TV) e.g. TV commercial 

– Phone e.g. text message

– Enhanced offline marketing. e.g. electronic billboard 

Types of online marketing 

Online marketing is changing at the speed of light (super fast). This has resulted in the evolution of different types and forms.

Let’s take a look at the six main types. 

Search Engine Optimization 

Search engine optimization, a type of online marketing
Search engine optimization

Simply put, it is the modifications you do to a website to ensure that it ranks high on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), and drives organic traffic to the website. 

Social Media Marketing

This refers to the use of social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram to promote a product or service.

Social media is a modern effectve online marketing tool.
Examples of social

There are hundreds of social media sites out on the internet at the moment. But the nature of your business determines which one is best for you. 

This post best explains how to choose the best social media site for your business in Ghana. 

Email Marketing

Email marketing, an effective type of online marketing

Email marketing is the strategic collection and use of emails to send marketing content about a product or service to a target audience. Although not the newest, it is one of the most effective means of product or service communication to specific individuals.

Affiliate Marketing

Here, a website promotes the services or product of another business for a commission on sales made. 

Content Marketing

Content Marketing is another form of digital marketing
Content marketing

This refers to the development of strategic content in specific formats across various networks to reach specific target audiences. The content format could include blogs, videos, infographics, etc. 

Paid advertisement

Here, you pay an advertising agency to display your ad on search engines or popular websites so that each time someone clicks on your ad, you pay for the click.

An example of paid advertisement is Google Ads.

Google ads is an example of padi ads
Google ads

With Google Ads, your website is displayed on top of Google search for specific keywords and each time someone clicks on an ad to your website, you pay Google for the click. 

Which One Is Best For Your Business? 

There is no direct answer to this question. But of course, online marketing surely is the BEST option in today’s internet world. 

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to choose the best agency for your business, and a detailed explanation of the various digital marketing types. 


Today, you have learned the differences between digital and online marketing. 

And the different types of online and offline marketing. 

It is important to remember that marketing is a fast evolving industry. So if you are building a career in marketing, or looking for a solution to your business, you need to keep your eyes open for the changes in trends. And at least, make online marketing an integral part of your strategy. 

It’s your turn now. 

What new thing did you learn today? Share in the comment section below. 

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