What is digital advertising and why is it important?

Digital advertising (or online advertising) is a type of advertising where you market your business online through various platforms and channels.

This type of marketing provides an alternative to more traditional advertising, such as direct mail, newspaper and magazine, radio and television, and billboard ads.

There are several reasons that digital marketing may be used by both small and large businesses. These include:

  • Lead generation
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Increasing sales
  • Customer retention – i.e. encouraging repeat rather than one-off sales

There are estimated to be more than 4.5 billion active internet users worldwide, which explains why so many businesses are focusing their marketing dollars on digital ads.

If you’re not already using digital marketing to promote your product or service, that’s a huge potential customer base you could be missing out on. The good news is that it’s not too late to get started!

What are the different types of digital marketing?

Under the digital marketing umbrella, there are a few different ad types that you may use to engage your audience. Some of the main ones include: 

Search engine marketing

Search engine marketing is a type of digital marketing strategy that focuses on improving your website’s ranking in search engine results pages, so that your site shows up as one of the first results for relevant keywords.

There are two main types of search engine marketing: search engine optimisation and paid (or pay per click) advertising.

The first, search engine optimisation, focuses on generating organic (or unpaid) traffic.

There are a few ways in which this can be done. One way is to undertake SEO-optimised content marketing (for example, by publishing high-quality blog posts that contain relevant keywords).

The second type, paid advertising, is where you pay for your website to appear at the top of relevant search engine results. In search results, websites that have paid for this type of advertising will be denoted with the word “Ad” next to their name.

With this type of ad campaign, you will be charged based on the number of clicks you receive, hence why paid advertising is also known as pay per click advertising.

Social media advertising

Social media advertising refers to any marketing that takes place on social media.

Examples of platforms that you might use for this type of advertising include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, and LinkedIn.

Anyone can post on social media for free. A lot of unpaid social media marketing also exists.

Strategies that you might use to increase your reach and engagement and grow your following include creating high-quality and engaging content, using appropriate hashtags, and maintaining a regular posting schedule.

With that being said, a number of paid advertising options also exist, many of which also operate on a pay per click basis.

For example, most social media sites will provide you with the option to “sponsor” or “boost” a post. Essentially, what this means is that you are paying for your post to be displayed to certain demographics or types of users.

Influencer marketing is another type of paid social media advertising. This involves paying an “influencer” (that is, somebody in your niche who has a large number of followers and high engagement rate) to post about your product.

Display ads

Display advertising is much like the digital version of newspaper or magazine advertising.

This type of advertising involves creating visual advertisements. These are then displayed as either banner or sidebar ads on websites that are similar to yours, which share your target audience. These other websites may be known as “affiliates”.

Email marketing

Email marketing is when you send promotional emails to customers on your email list – that is, those customers who have subscribed or signed up to receive marketing emails from you.

What are the advantages of digital marketing? 

There are a huge number of benefits to digital marketing. Here are three of the big ones:

1. It can be easily and accurately targeted to reach your target audience 

With more traditional forms of advertising (such as billboard, radio, TV, or newspaper and magazine ads), there is usually no guarantee that you will reach your target audience.

This is because these ads will be displayed indiscriminately to all types of people, regardless of whether or not they are likely to be interested in your business.

By comparison, with digital advertising, you can target your online ads to ensure they are reaching those people who are likely to be interested in what your business has to offer.

By the same token, you can target your ads to current or potential customers at every stage of their sales journey (also sometimes referred to as the “buying funnel”).

Depending on your business’s goals and objectives, you might choose to focus on introducing customers to your brand, converting clicks to sales, or encouraging people who already use your business to become repeat customers.

2. You can see how well your ad campaign is working in real-time

A lot of the time, traditional marketing techniques provide you with little to no information about how well your advertisements are performing. For example, you might take out a full-page ad in your local newspaper, but it can be hard to tell how many people actually saw or acted on it.

With digital advertising, you are able to monitor how well your ads are performing in real-time – for example, how many people have clicked on your ads, and how many of those clicks have converted to sales.

3. It can be tailored to any ad budget

A lot of more traditional advertising mediums (such as billboard, radio, TV, or newspaper and magazine ads) come with a hefty price tag, and can blow the budgets of many smaller businesses.

By contrast, digital advertising is an accessible marketing option for any business, no matter how large or small their budget. With this type of advertising, you can choose how much or how little you want to spend, and develop a marketing strategy that works for your budget.

What does the digital marketing process look like?

At Tomedia, we specialise in developing digital marketing strategies that get you the best bang for your buck. No matter how much or how little you’re looking to spend, we’ll help you maximise your results for the lowest possible spend.

Here’s what the digital marketing process looks like at Tomedia:

1. Initial consultation

During our initial meeting with you, we’ll start by talking about your current digital marketing strategy. For example, are you completely new to this type of advertising, or do you do some kind of digital marketing at present? If so, what types of digital marketing do you currently use, and what kinds of results are you achieving? Are there any you’d like to improve upon?

We’ll also talk about what your goals are for your digital marketing campaign. For example, are you wanting to attract new customers, increase sales, improve your customer loyalty rates, or something else?

We’ll also look at your target audience – who are they, and are you wanting to target your ads by location, age group, or location to ensure you’re reaching them?

Then, we’ll provide you with a bit of a rundown of the different digital marketing techniques available – including search engine marketing, social media advertising, display ads, and email marketing – and how each one might work for your business.

At this point, we’ll also ask you about your preferences – for example, are there are any techniques in particular that you’d prefer to try, or any that you’d prefer not to use?

Finally, we’ll talk about your budget, and how much you’re wanting to spend. We will always work with this budget in mind, and find the best way for you to get maximum value for your money.

2. Strategy development

After that initial meeting, we’ll go away and start building your digital marketing strategy based on your goals, preferences, and requirements.

We’ll put together a plan, which will detail our recommendations for the digital marketing strategies and ad platforms you should be using. We’ll also prepare a timeline for implementation.

We’ll then ask for your feedback on this, and make any adjustments required.

3. Asset creation

Once you’ve approved our strategy, we’ll get started creating any assets that will be needed to execute your digital ad campaigns. The assets that we create will depend on the type of digital marketing strategy you have chosen. 

Sometimes, these assets will be more visual. For a display ad campaign, for example, these assets might include banner and sidebar ads, whereas for social media marketing, these assets will be your posts and captions.

Other times, these assets will be text-based. For search engine marketing, for instance, your assets might be SEO-optimised blog posts, and metatags (or meta descriptions) for your website.

We’ll always come back to you for your feedback on these assets before implementation. At this stage, you’ll have the opportunity to give your feedback, and we’ll make any changes needed until you’re 100% happy.

4. Implementation

Once your assets are all ready to go, it’s time to start implementing your digital marketing strategy.

Following the agreed-upon strategy plan, we’ll set your ads up on the relevant platforms with your goals and target customers in mind.

Then, it’s time to launch!

5. Post-launch

Once your digital marketing strategy has launched, we’ll continue monitoring it to see how well it’s performing over time. This part of the process is ongoing, and will be repeated by us every month to ensure that we are achieving the best possible results for your campaign.

Each month, we’ll prepare a detailed report for you. This will outline things like how many views or clicks your ads are getting, how many of these are converting to sales, and how your ad budget is being spent.

In this report, we’ll also identify any shortcomings (for example, if a certain technique or part of the campaign is not performing as well as we expected), and put together a list of recommendations for improvements. We’ll ask for your feedback and thoughts on this as well.

If you agree, we’ll implement these changes to refine your digital marketing strategy, optimise the performance of your campaigns, and enable continuous improvement moving forward.

Get started

Digital marketing is just one of the things that we assist our clients with at Tomedia. Whether you’re a large or small business, we can help you to develop a targeted digital marketing strategy that is guaranteed to convert clicks to sales.

To find out more about how we can optimise your business’s digital marketing strategy, get in touch with us today at [email protected] or 0419 697 016.