Do you understand digital media?

Monday 9th, February 2015

by Dave Thomas

Art & Digital Manager

For those of you who aren’t teenagers and who don’t work in a related industry, the big, wide world of digital media can be a pretty confusing and sometimes scary place. All these new terms and trends, the countless new apps, the different social media platforms… argh!

There’s our cue. Below, we explain some of the more common digital media terms you’ll be sure to hear around advertising circles, possibly even your next campaign planning session.

Digital media is the all-encompassing term, referring to all content that is primarily delivered over the internet. This can be text or messages, audio, video or images. In short, it’s everything on our iMacs, iPhones, iPads… or one of those Android things. When it comes to advertising, digital media specifically refers to advertising on those devices that needs to be booked, through one of the many available channels.

But let’s get more specific.

Display Advertising

Sounds obvious enough, and it is. Display Advertising is the grand-daddy of all advertising, and one of the go-to’s in any digital campaign. It packs great value if you’re pushing for overall coverage, and done right can be highly tracked, optimised and adjusted as the campaign goes on.

Generally speaking the ads are static graphics, but can also be animated by the use of Flash. We’ve been able to push our clients to think outside the box with their ads, including pulling dynamic data from your own website, online store or Facebook page.


Retargeting is the next level of display advertising. Have you ever been to a website, and then seconds / hours / days later, see an ad for the very pair of shoes you were convincing yourself you didn’t need. Congratulations, you’ve just been retargeted.

As a website owner, you have the ability to show a display ad to any visitor based on what pages they have viewed. More creative campaigns combine dynamic Flash ads with retargeting to customise the experience even more.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM covers two major categories, optimisation (SEO) and advertising. Whilst SEO is primarily focused on improvements to your own site, search engine advertising is completely independent of your site. The two largest search engines on the internet are Google & Bing (by Microsoft), each with their respective advertising platforms Google AdWords & BingAds. In terms of sheer numbers, Google processes over 2 billion searches in Australia every year – how many of them were for your products and services?

SEM campaigns are built around keywords (or groups of keywords), and have the distinct advantage of targeting potential customers, while they are in the process of looking for your products and services.

We recommend SEM to almost every client, as campaigns can be setup with budgets as small as $1000 / month, and there really is no upper limit.

Social media advertising

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube – the big four. No doubt you’ve come across at least one of these today, and if you’re anything like me probably all four.

The common trait all these social media platforms have is the ability to target their huge user databases by demographics. Facebook has over 13million Australian users, LinkedIn – 3.9m, and Twitter – 2.7m. YouTube now boasts 13m monthly visitors, and are showing the largest growth in this category.

A relatively affordable form of digital media, social media advertising is a great channel to supplement your display, retargeting or SEM campaign – on any budget.

So no matter your industry, product, service, target audience, or strategy – in today’s digital age, digital media is a must. The only limit to your digital campaign is your creativity.