Advertising vs. Marketing: What's the Difference?

If you’re running your own business, I don’t have to tell you the importance of making every last dollar count. There are times when money is tight, and if you can cut corners, you will. When budgeting, entrepreneurs tend to place advertising and marketing last in order of importance, but they’re essential for the growth of your business. In order to use your money effectively, you need to understand how both of them work. There’s a lot of overlap between advertising and marketing, which makes them easy to confuse. 

So what’s the difference?

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Advertising is impersonal. When a sponsor pays for a persuasive message to be received publicly, that’s advertising. Think of a billboard. Anyone who passes it could potentially receive the sponsor’s message. When you walk by a billboard, you probably don't feel like the sponsors are trying to address you in particular.

Marketing is personal. It’s the strategy behind creating messages that resonate with individuals. It’s tailoring your content so that your desired demographic will be drawn to the messages you’re emitting. It’s not enough to plaster an image on a billboard and expect that your message will be received. Who will see your message? What are you saying about your business? Why should people care? These are just some of the things that need to be considered before you put out your message—which is why companies that can afford to advertise on billboards have Marketing departments.

As an entrepreneur, Facebook is one of your most powerful tools. When you post to your Facebook business page, you must do two things:

  1. Make sure your posts reflect your brand image
  2. Make sure your posts are interesting to your demographic

That is marketing.

Advertising comes into play when you pay for particular content to be seen (ie. sponsored posts or boosting). Your advertising will draw traffic to your page and, ideally, create new customers. Because advertising is a facet of marketing, in order to promote your business effectively, you have to use a combination of both.

No more cutting corners!

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