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Your In-Depth Guide to Digital Advertising

Updated: Jan 10

Not everyone can master digital advertising, especially now that most people are actively avoiding ads. For instance, over 33% of internet users in Australia use ad blockers. The reason? They just want a smooth, ad-free online experience.

Now, if you want to reach your audience, you need two things: creativity and innovation. Your ads must integrate smoothly into the user’s browsing experience — enhancing rather than interrupting it. So, let’s dive deeper and make your ads work.

What Is Digital Advertising?

Digital advertising is a form of marketing that uses the internet to deliver promotional messages to consumers. In other words, it’s all about promoting your brand online. Think catchy ads on Google, engaging social media posts, and tailored emails straight to inboxes.

But digital ads do more than just showcase your brand. They connect you with the right audience at the perfect moment. Plus, you get real-time feedback on how your ads are doing.

What’s more? Ignoring digital advertising is missing out on a huge Australian online audience — 25.31 million potential customers, to be specific. You just can’t afford to overlook its significance.

Difference Between Digital Advertising and Traditional Advertising

Still wondering about the difference between digital and traditional advertising? Digital advertising offers precision and interactivity, using online platforms to target specific demographics. It’s cost-effective, measurable, and fast-paced. Traditional advertising, in contrast, uses offline channels with broad targeting and limited interaction. It could be more costlier and more adaptable. 

Here’s a table to make the comparison clearer:


Digital Advertising

Traditional Advertising


Online platforms (websites, social media, emails, search engines)

Offline channels (telly, radio, print media, billboards)


Highly targeted based on user data (interests, behaviour, demographics)

Broad targeting based on general audience demographics


Interactive, allowing direct engagement with consumers (clicks, shares, comments)

Typically one-way communication


Highly measurable with detailed analytics (click-through rates, engagement, conversions)

Limited measurability (surveys, estimated viewership/readership)


Generally lower cost, scalable to different budgets

Often higher cost, less flexible budgets

Format and Creativity

Dynamic and versatile (videos, images, interactive content)

Static formats (print ads, telly/radio commercials)


Ads can be easily modified and personalised

Less flexibility in modification after publication


Global reach, accessible to a worldwide audience

Often limited to local or regional reach

Time to Market

Quick deployment and immediate visibility

Longer preparation and lead times


More environmentally friendly (paperless)

Uses physical materials (paper, billboards), potentially less eco-friendly

A Step-by-Step Guide to Digital Advertising

1. Set Clear Objectives

Digital advertising objectives vary based on the specific goals of a campaign. Each objective requires a different approach and set of strategies in digital advertising to be effective. Here are some examples of objectives you can set:

  • Brand Awareness: To increase the visibility and recognition of a brand. For example, a new startup might use display ads to introduce its brand to a wider audience.

  • Lead Generation: Aimed at gathering information from potential customers, like email sign-ups.

  • Traffic Increase: To drive more visitors to a website or a specific landing page.

  • Engagement: Boosting interactions with the audience through social media campaigns or interactive content.

  • Sales and Conversions: Directly focused on increasing sales, often through targeted and retargeted ads.

  • Customer Loyalty: To build and maintain long-term customer relationships, using strategies like email marketing campaigns offering exclusive deals.

2. Understand Your Audience

Understanding your audience is crucial for creating ads that resonate with them and achieving your campaign goals effectively. In digital advertising, this involves:

  1. Demographic Analysis: Identify age, gender, location, etc., to understand who your audience is.

  2. Interests and Preferences: Look at their interests, preferences, and habits.

  3. Online Behaviour: Track their online activity. Where do they hang out online? Are they scrolling through Instagram, searching on Google, or networking on LinkedIn? When are they active? What is their interaction with similar products or services like? Use market research and analytics to gather this information. 

  4. Feedback and Engagement: Listen to their feedback on social media and other channels.

  5. Persona Creation: Develop detailed customer personas to guide your ad targeting and content creation.

3. Choose the Right Platforms

Once you’ve set your goals and gotten to know your audience, the next step is to choose the best digital advertising platform for your campaign. Then, you will need to do the following:

  1. Evaluate Platform Strengths: Different platforms excel in different areas. Check out the table at the end of this article to help you understand each platform.

  2. Consider Your Budget: Some platforms offer more cost-effective options suitable for your budget. Familiarise yourself with the cost of digital advertising.

  3. Test and Measure: Start with small campaigns to test the waters. Measure the performance and tweak your strategy accordingly. Learn about the different digital advertising metrics.

4. Create Engaging Content

Now that you’ve settled with a digital ad platform, it’s time to create engaging content for your target audience. Here are a few ways you can do this.

  • Craft Compelling Content: Use storytelling, humour, or emotional appeal to create a connection. Each ad should resonate with your audience’s values or needs.

  • Stay Brand-Relevant: Ensure your content aligns with your brand identity and campaign goals. Consistency reinforces brand recognition.

  • Use High-Quality Visuals: Incorporate eye-catching images or videos. These should grab attention and be memorable.

  • Experiment with Formats: Test various ad formats (e.g., carousel ads, video ads, static images) to see which performs best with your audience.

  • Calls-to-Action: Include clear, persuasive CTAs guiding users on what to do next (e.g., 'Shop Now', 'Learn More').

5. Launch and Monitor Campaigns

Effective monitoring and adjustment are key to a successful digital advertising campaign. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Set Up Your Campaign: Choose the right digital platform based on your audience research. Configure targeting options like demographics, interests, and behaviours.

  2. Implement Tracking: Set up tracking tools such as Google Analytics to monitor campaign performance.

  3. Launch the Campaign: Once everything is set, launch your campaign.

  4. Monitor Performance: Regularly check key metrics like click-through rates, engagement rates, and conversion rates.

  5. Analyse and Adjust: Based on the performance data, make adjustments to improve your campaign. This could involve tweaking ad copy, visuals, or targeting options.

  6. Report and Evaluate: Create regular reports to evaluate the campaign's success against your initial objectives.

6. Optimise Continuously

Continual optimisation ensures your digital advertising remains effective and relevant, maximising ROI over time. To continuously optimise your digital advertising campaigns, consider the following:

  • Analyse Data Regularly: Regularly review your campaign data to identify what's working and what isn't.

  • A/B Testing: Test different elements of your ads, such as headlines, images, and call-to-actions, to see which versions perform better.

  • Adjust Targeting: Fine-tune your audience targeting based on performance data and insights.

  • Refine Content: Update and improve your ad content based on feedback and performance metrics.

  • Budget Allocation: Reallocate your budget to the most effective campaigns and platforms.

  • Stay Updated: Keep up with the latest trends and platform updates to maintain campaign effectiveness.

Types of Digital Advertising

Digital advertising offers a diverse landscape, from Google ads that appear just as you think of something, to social media ads that grab your attention in your feed. Each type of digital advertising has unique ways to connect and communicate with people online.

1. Display Ads

These ads are the billboards of the digital world. They're placed on websites, drawing attention with vibrant images and interactive elements. They're great for making a brand noticeable. However, the challenge lies in not becoming just part of the background noise on a webpage. The key is to blend creativity with strategic placement to catch the right eye.

2. Social Media Ads

Customised for each user's social media habits, these ads pop up in feeds, stories, and as promoted posts. They're all about engaging directly with the audience through familiar social channels. The trick is to balance personalisation and targeting without crossing the line into being intrusive.

3. Video Ads

Video ads bring stories to life, engaging audiences with dynamic content. They can appear anywhere, from YouTube videos to social media platforms. The challenge is in creating content that captures attention quickly and effectively before viewers can skip it.

4. Native Advertising

These ads are masters of disguise, blending seamlessly with the platform's content. They offer a less intrusive form of advertising, designed to engage readers with content that doesn't feel like a traditional ad. The art lies in maintaining transparency and trustworthiness.

5. Email Marketing

Email marketing brings a personal touch, delivering content right to the user's inbox. It's a direct line to your audience, but it requires striking the right balance between informative and promotional content to avoid being marked as spam.

6. Mobile Advertising

These ads are tailored for the on-the-go audience, making use of mobile-specific features like location services. The challenge is designing for smaller screens and a more distracted audience.

7. Retargeting/Remarketing

Retargeting brings back users who have shown interest in your brand. It's a powerful tool to remind and re-engage, but it requires a delicate approach to avoid seeming too pushy.

8. Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

PPC is all about immediate visibility. It's a direct approach to driving traffic, where you pay for actual clicks, making it a measurable and adjustable form of advertising.

Choosing the Right Digital Ad Platform


Best For

Target Audience

Key Features

Google Ads

Search-based advertising

Broad, all ages

Keyword targeting, high intent


Demographic targeting

All ages, especially 18-50

Detailed demographics, high engagement


Visual content, younger audience

Mostly under 40

High engagement, story ads, visual appeal


B2B, professional services

Professionals, B2B audience

Networking, industry targeting

X (Twitter)

Trend-based, real-time content

Broad, especially younger adults

Quick engagement, hashtag targeting


Video content, broad reach

All ages

High engagement, video ads, wide reach

This table provides a basic guide, but it's important to dive deeper into each platform's specifics to tailor your choice to your specific business needs and campaign goals.

Cost of Digital Advertising

When planning your budget for digital advertising, it’s a good idea to allocate about 7-12% of your total revenue to marketing, focusing mainly on digital channels. Start with a smaller budget to test the waters, then adjust it based on the performance and return on investment (ROI) you're getting. 

Keep in mind who you want to reach, your campaign goals, and which platforms to use for the best results. JRNY Digital offers a clear and comprehensive pricing plan, covering everything from managing your campaigns to developing your website and training your team, all at a fixed monthly rate without any hidden fees. This makes it easier for businesses like you to know exactly what you’re paying for. 

Check out JRNY Digital's Pricing Page for more details on our pricing structure and to see how it fits into your budgeting plans.

How to Engage Your Audience Using Digital Advertising

If your digital ads aren't hitting the mark, here's a bit of insight based on what's happening in the ad scene:

1. Connect With What Your Audience Cares About

Your ads need to really speak to what your audience is into. Remember how Telstra's ad connected with our love for sports? That's the kind of relatability you want.

2. Tone Matters

Take a cue from the mixed reactions to the Westpac ad. The way you present your ad – whether it's funny, serious, or something else – needs to be spot-on for your audience.

3. Keep Up with the Times

The ad world here is always changing. From big company mergers to the rise of cool indie agencies, make sure your ads aren't stuck in the past.

4. Make it a Good Experience

Ads today need to be short, sweet, and to the point. If they're too long or miss the mark, people just won't be keen.

5. Authenticity is Key

Folks these days value real-deal ads. If your ad comes off as fake or tries too hard, it might turn people off.

Digital Advertising Metrics

Digital advertising metrics are the tools you use to check how well your ads are doing. They help you figure out what's working and what isn't, so you can make your ads even better. 

Understanding these metrics is vital if you want to get the most out of your digital ads. Let's get into the different types and see how they help measure your ad success.

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): Shows how many clicked your ad—a great way to measure appeal.

  • Cost Per Click (CPC): What each click costs you. Crucial for budgeting and understanding the cost-effectiveness of your campaign.

  • Conversion Rate: Tracks who clicked and then acted, like buying or subscribing.

  • Cost Per Conversion: Averages out what each conversion costs. Essential for ROI insights.

  • Impressions: Counts how often your ad's seen, click or no click.

  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS):  Calculates earnings per advertising dollar. Measures campaign effectiveness.

  • Engagement Rate: Especially for social media, gauges interaction levels.

  • Bounce Rate: Shows if visitors leave quickly from your landing page.

  • View-Through Rate: For video ads, tracks viewing completion.

  • Quality Score: Google Ads' rating on your keywords and ad quality, impacting cost and placement.

Integration with Other Digital Marketing Channels

Digital advertising works best when integrated with other marketing channels, including:

  • Email Marketing: Use insights from your digital ads to segment and personalise email campaigns.

  • Social Media Ads: Complement organic social media efforts with paid ads for broader reach.

  • SEO and PPC: Align SEO efforts with PPC campaigns to ensure a cohesive online presence.

  • Content Marketing: Use insights from content marketing to inform ad content and vice versa.

Optimising Digital Advertising Campaigns

Optimising digital advertising campaigns involves refining and improving your online ad strategies for better performance and results. Key steps in this process include:

  • A/B Testing: Regularly test different versions of your ads to see what works best.

  • Analytics: Use tools like Google Analytics to track performance and make data-driven decisions.

  • Customer Feedback: Listen to customer feedback to understand their needs and preferences.

Challenges and Solutions in Digital Advertising

From ad fatigue to technical complexities, digital advertising presents various challenges.

1. Ad Fatigue

Consumers often get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of ads, leading to disinterest.

Solution: Rotate ads and use fresh, engaging content to maintain interest.

2. Privacy Concerns

Balancing data collection for targeted advertising with privacy concerns is a delicate task.

Solution: Be transparent about data usage and prioritise user consent.

3. Rapidly Changing Landscape

Keeping up with evolving technologies and trends requires constant vigilance and adaptability.

Solution: Stay informed about industry trends and adapt strategies accordingly.

4. Competition

The digital space is highly competitive, making it hard to stand out.

Solution: Differentiate your brand with unique selling points and creative campaigns.

5. Ad Blockers

The widespread use of ad blockers can limit the reach of digital campaigns.

Solution: Focus on non-intrusive, valuable ad content to engage users.

6. ROI Measurement

Accurately measuring the return on investment and impact of digital ads can be challenging.

Solution: Utilise analytics tools to track performance and adjust strategies.

7. Platform Dependence

Dependence on platforms like Google and Facebook can pose risks if these platforms change their policies or algorithms.

Solution: Diversify advertising platforms to reduce risk.

8. Content Saturation

The internet is flooded with content, making it difficult to capture and retain consumer attention.

Solution: Develop high-quality, relevant content that stands out.

9. Technical Complexity

The technical aspects of digital advertising, like SEO and SEM, can be complex and time-consuming to manage.

Solution: Invest in training or outsource to specialists for complex tasks.

10. Budgeting

Allocating the right budget for effective digital advertising requires strategic planning and insights.

Solution: Regularly review ad spending and performance to optimise budget allocation.

DIY vs. Outsourcing Digital Advertising

Deciding whether to handle digital advertising yourself or get some outside help is a big call. It's like choosing between learning a new skill or getting someone who already knows the ropes. 

If you go DIY, you'll have more control and get to learn heaps. But, getting the pros to do it can save you time and might get you better results, as they know all the tricks.

Ultimately, it boils down to what you're comfortable with and what you want to achieve with your ads.

Why Outsource Digital Advertising Professionals

Hiring professionals for digital advertising can be a wise decision. These experts keep up with current trends and have the skills to create campaigns that really hit the mark. They can handle your email marketing and make sure your online content is search-engine friendly, targeting the right audience. This can save you time and make your campaigns more effective and efficient. 

Remember, digital advertising is a dynamic tool in the online world. It helps you reach a wide audience, customise messages, and get instant feedback. Whether you manage it yourself or outsource, staying current and adaptable is crucial. With the digital landscape constantly evolving, keeping up with the latest strategies is key to success. JRNY Digital can help you navigate this landscape with a strategic approach that combines data, creativity, and integration with other digital marketing channels.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start with digital advertising?

Begin by identifying your target audience and goals. Choose the right platforms that align with your audience's preferences.

What's the difference between SEO and SEM?

SEO focuses on organic search results, while SEM involves paid advertising on search engines.

Can small businesses benefit from digital advertising?

Absolutely. Digital advertising offers cost-effective ways for small businesses to reach a wider audience.

How do I measure the success of my digital ads?

Track metrics like Click-Through Rate (CTR), Conversion Rate, and Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

What's the best platform for digital advertising?

It varies based on your business and target audience. Platforms like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn are popular choices.

Is digital advertising expensive?

Costs can vary. It's scalable and can be tailored to fit different budgets.

How does targeting work in digital advertising?

Targeting uses user data like interests, behaviour, and demographics to reach specific audiences.

What are the latest trends in digital advertising?

Trends include personalised advertising, video content, and mobile-first strategies.

How important is mobile advertising?

Very important, as a growing number of users access the internet via mobile devices.


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