Using an Apple laptop and phone for digital marketing

Digital marketing – online targeting

by Angus Jones

As a small business, if you want to attract customers you have the option to run advertising.  If you sell cosmetics and you advertise in a local paper you advertise to 50% of the population who has no interest in your cosmetics.  Namely men.  In this guide, we will look at how we can use digital marketing to target only those customers who are potential buyers of your product or service.

Digital marketing, Online advertising, internet advertising is the use of the internet, mobile devices, social media, search engines, and other channels to reach consumers.
Digital advertising is a targeted, data-driven advertising strategy for reaching consumers in every stage of the buying journey from early consideration through to comparison and purchase.

WHY should I use digital advertising?

Australian’s use of the internet grows every year. Every night most Australians have a smartphone in their hand as they watch TV.

We advertise to let people know you exist, to show a benefit or to promote a compelling offer. Digital advertising has specific advantages:

  • Customers can be targeted based on location, age, sex, income, interests and past search behaviors
    • Targeting can be done to only the audience you are interested in and not the ones you are not.
  • Instant real-time result allows you to measure success
  • Messages can be targeted rather than one message suits all
  • Start or stop advertising instantly

Using our cosmetics example we can decide to advertise today to women aged 19 to 35 who have an interest in fashion.  We can immediately see how many in our target audience have been reached and how many clicked through to your website.  It is also possible to track how many of those people ended up buying a product on your e-commerce store.

WHAT are the different types of digital marketing?

Before you endeavor on a Digital media purchase we strongly suggest you build a marketing plan as discussed in our Marketing Guide. The types of digital marketing options include:

  • online advertising  
    • banner ads – an advertisement that appears on a web page
    • keywords – spending money so your business will appear on the first page of a browser (Google) search
    • retargeting – serving a digital advertisement to someone who has already searched for your product or similar. For example, you search Toyota and keep getting ads for Toyota
    • native – an ad that is a sponsored post rather than a hard sell ad
    • video – use of a video advertisement in a digital arena like YouTube
  • online streaming
    • Podcasts – placing advertising in a pre-recorded radio type program
    • Video on Demand – this could be catch-up TV or Foxtel where video advertising is allowed.
  • social media advertising – use social media as the platform to advertise
  • mobile app advertising – free apps survive by including advertising
  • email marketing – a direct mail piece like you would have traditionally received in your letterbox but via email

HOW do I go about doing digital marketing?

Unlike traditional forms of advertising like TV, radio, and newspapers, digital advertising is much easier for the everyday person to do versus having to use a specialised media buying business.

It can be as simple as entering your credit card details.

Assuming you have a plan including having marketing objectives, a definable target market, and a decision on marketing levers (see our Marketing Guide) you are almost ready to advertise.

It is important to have some creative content that will actually convey your message and resonate with a customer. You need to ensure there are a customer benefit and call to action.  That is, why should the customer be interested and how can they get in contact with you.  The final part is to make it visually appealing.  See our guide on Graphical design to see how to do this simply.

Not that these are the right solution for your circumstances, but the most popular means to deliver a digital advertisement is through Google or Facebook.  Both these organisations have tutorials, guides, tools, etc. to lead you through the process and pay with a credit card to start the advertising.




Whilst using digital marketing makes bold claims around specific targeting and measurement the reality is not always quite as accurate.  Errors do occur and you should always use actual sales improvement as a true measure of success.

While the internet is a powerful medium, you can benefit from using a mix of traditional advertising like direct mail, radio or outdoor and digital marketing to reach your target audience.

Digital advertising is bought in an auction environment.  The more buyers for the same digital assets drives prices up.

SUMMARY – better targeting of customers

Digital marketing or advertising uses the internet to target only those customers you specify.  It is possible to track those customers through to a sale which helps you determine if you should invest any further money in the same approach.  Digital advertising can be specific to your local area or enable you to reach a global audience. It is very data-driven and if used correctly is a very powerful marketing tool.

Other guides like this

1 comment

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More