What is digital marketing? The 2019 Australian Business Guide.

3 May, 2019

27 mins read

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What is digital marketing?

“Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email and their websites to connect with current and prospective clients.” (HubSpot, 2018)

In non-digital marketer speak, anyway you advertise your business online or through technology is a form of digital marketing. According to statista.com, more than 58% of the world’s population had internet access in April 2019, so it’s easy to see why digital marketing is so popular and effective. But it still doesn’t answer what is digital marketing and why does your business need it—until now.

We’re going to run you through the top types of digital marketing every business should know about. You’ll even learn what to expect cost-wise and how to get started.

From the real experts Localsearch digital marketing service Australia

What are some examples of digital marketing?


Top benefits:

  • Display (even sell) your products and services 24/7.
  • Be found on search engines (if your search engine optimisation is effective).
  • Easily update your products, services and business information at any time.
  • Link to other digital marketing campaigns to boost your conversion potential.
  • Provide a platform for potential and existing customers to contact you on.
  • Prove your authority and expertise in your industry.
  • Generate leads through online booking or contact forms.

What type of businesses need a website and why?

A website should be the first thing every business gets when venturing into the online world. Not only is it an effective standalone product, it will be a crucial part of the success of your other digital marketing strategies too.

Your website will be online every single second of every single day. People will be able to view your products and services, learn more about your business, and if your website is optimised, contact you, make a booking or proceed with a sale. When your other digital marketing strategies are linked to your website (which they should be), they’ll rely on the quality of your website to get people to do what you want them to.

Learn more about designing an effective website in 2019.

Search Engine Optimisation

Top benefits:

  • Cost effective.
  • Increased brand awareness.
  • Improved traffic quality, resulting in higher conversation opportunities.
  • A competitive edge for smaller businesses, even against larger companies.
  • Improved user experience and security as a result of activities run (if performed).

What type of businesses need search engine optimisation and why?

Search engine optimisation (SEO for short) describes the method of making strategic improvements to your website and online presence to try and increase more organic (free) traffic to the site. It’s extremely important all websites are created to be ready for search engines, and have a consistent SEO strategy to keep up with Google, Bing and other platform updates.

As search engines regularly update their algorithms to provide the best and most relevant information to users, SEO is not a one-and-done deal, but the benefits are monumental for the success of your website. Without SEO (or paid ads), people won’t be able to easily find your site, and what’s the point of that? However, we should note that no one can guarantee you a specific result with SEO. If they do, you’ll want to report them, which we explain more in detail about in our article Scam Alert! Ombudsman Reports Dodgy SEO Agencies are on the Rise.

Learn more about how search engine optimisation works.

Google Search Engine Optimisation Localsearch

Search Engine Marketing

Top benefits:

  • Measure your exact return on investment.
  • Ads begin and stop as soon as you start and pause them.
  • Control who sees your ads and what, when and where they see them.
  • You have control over your budget and how much is invested.

What type of businesses need search engine marketing and why?

While SEO aims to increase organic traffic, search engine marketing (also known as SEM) used paid ads to drive people to a website. Through platforms like Google Ads, you can create an ad and then control who sees it, when they see it and where they see it, which is something you can’t guarantee with SEO.

Discover if your website needs SEO or SEM.

Social Media Marketing

Top benefits:

  • Put your ads in front of more people who wouldn’t normally see your posts.
  • Control what types of audience you’d like to see your ad (age, gender, interests, etc.).
  • Encourage people to visit your website (or a landing page), profile page or to contact you.
  • Track how many people see an ad, click on it and other insights.

What type of businesses need social media marketing and why?

People tend to think of social media marketing as the paid ads on Facebook, but it’s not the only platform available for advertising. Instagram and Messenger are also part of social media marketing, and more and more platforms are jumping on the bandwagon every year.

There are more than 2 billion active users across Facebook and Instagram, so chances are, whatever type of business you run, your customers will be there. However, due to Facebook and Instagram limiting how many people see a business’s organic posts, social media marketing is incredibly important for growing on either platform.

If you’re wondering why bother with social media if you need to run paid ads, remember you’re investing in more people seeing information about your business. And if your ads are created correctly, they’ll be incredibly beneficial for your business.

Read about the latest Facebook advertising news.

Social Media Management

Top benefits:

  • Build trust in your brand through more authentic connection with customers.
  • Receive recommendations (Facebook’s version of online reviews).
  • Be contacted and answer questions easily through comments and private messages.
  • Humanise your brand through relatable content.
  • Develop authority and trust in your business through non-sales related content (free information, behind-the-scenes content, etc.).
  • Run ads (see above), partner with influencers and other brands and spread the word about your business.
  • Find out more about what your target demographic likes.

What type of businesses need social media management and why?

It’s not a question of if your business needs social media, but what platform will be best for connecting with your customer demographic. Social media management is all about being relatable and humanising your business, ensuring your give value to your customers and audience so they’ll be more likely to give to you.

Find out what social media platform is best for growing your business.

Instagram marketing Localsearch

Direct Marketing (Email & SMS Marketing)

Top benefits:

  • Increased effectiveness as a result of targeting people who are already interested in your business.
  • Use information about your customers you already have for remarketing.
  • Improve your customer loyalty by encouraging repeat business.
  • Measure exactly how many people see and interact with your messages and who opts out of receiving further information from you.
  • Provide more information about other products and services people may not know you provide.

What type of businesses need direct marketing and why?

Direct marketing is ideal for businesses needing to increase repeat business (and who doesn’t want that). This requires you to be using a customer relationship management system (CRM) to have their information to start with, or have a subscriber list, such as one to a newsletter or blog.

Like social media management, email and SMS marketing should be about giving to your customers or subscribers. Whether you’re giving them information, news, your latest blogs or an offer or discount, it will help build customer loyalty.

Learn more about SMS laws in Australia.

Review Management

Top benefits:

  • Limit negative reviews.
  • Increase positive reviews, meaning increased trust.
  • Less risk of losing people reading negative reviews.
  • Increase chances of people doing business with you due to positive reviews.
  • Attract high-quality applicants when hiring.

What type of businesses need review management and why?

Without a doubt, every single business in the world should be employing some type of review management process. The easiest solution is using review management software, as you can import a list of your recent customers and a message is sent to them asking them to rate your business. If they rate you either 1, 2 or 3 stars, they are provided with a feedback form to see how you can resolve their issue, while 4 and 5 star raters are presented with links for them to leave you a review.

The above method helps to catch unhappy customers before they review you and encourage more people to give you positive feedback online. With stats showing 84% of people trust a review as much as they do a friend or family member, it’s a big deal to get on top of your online reputation. Plus, when you have a job to fill, quality applicants looking for a reputable company to progress their skills will be more likely to apply.

Facebook recommendations

Content Marketing

Top benefits:

  • If optimised correctly, be found more on search engines.
  • Again, if optimised correctly, improve your website’s total SEO.
  • Have content for direct marketing and social media strategies.
  • Low cost (depending on what type you use).
  • Increase your brand authority by providing useful information.
  • Provide more information about your products and services in a non-sales environment.
  • Improve your authority in your industry.

What type of businesses need content marketing and why?

They say content is king, and for good reason. Every business can benefit from some type of content marketing, although ensure the method you choose is relevant for your target demographic. For example, the average plumber wouldn’t benefit from a podcast, but a blog would help them with their SEO. On the other hand, a large gym chain may benefit from a podcast and a blog, but writing case studies may not be the best use of their time.

But why is content marketing good for businesses? If you think of Google like the ocean, your website is a big fish while every piece of content you create is a little fish. While your goal is to catch the big fish, when you’re hungry, the little fish will do the job. AKA the more pieces of content you have online, the more people who will find your business.

Not only that, but content helps to establish your business’s expertise, authority and trust (known as EAT), which is great for SEO and for users looking for a business like yours.

Types of Content Marketing:


A blog is a function hosted on your website, which allows you to post online articles on the topics of your choice. What you’re reading right now is our own digital marketing blog. By blogging, you’re showing your authority on a topic, while increasing your number of chances to be found on search engines. For this reason, learning how to blog in accordance to best practices has become a large part of SEO. This is why we include a specific number of blogs in each of our SEO packages.


Your mind most likely went straight to YouTube, but don’t limit your imagination there. Even short, mobile-recorded videos on your Instagram or Facebook stories or feeds can be great for business. According to DreamGrow, 68% of people prefer watching video to solve a problem or find information, while 57% said video gives them more confidence to buy. If that’s not initiative to get rolling, we don’t know what is!

Case Studies

Case studies are the perfect opportunity to show exactly how one (or a group) of your customers or clients benefitted from your product and/or service. A case study outlines the problem you solved in depth as well as provide the specifics around your solution. For example, our case study on Whybirds International’s digital marketing explains how we saved them more than $30,000 a year and increase their quality leads in just 30 days.

Writing case studies is normally called for when pitching to clients, customers or for awards, but are a great addition to your website. They show potential customers the proof behind the pudding for your products and services.


A podcast is an audio file uploaded to an online listening platform, like Spotify or iTunes, for people to download and listen to. There are no boundaries to what a podcast can be. It could be yourself discussing the latest news of your industry people would be interested to know, or it could be a panel of industry professionals providing advice or commentary on matters.

The ATP Science podcasts are the perfect example of how to grow your business using audio.

Online Listings

Top benefits:

  • Boost your SEO strategy with a quality listing.
  • Receive reviews if the platform allows for them.
  • An additional place to be found on Google.
  • Be found through the online listing’s search functions.

What type of businesses need online listings and why?

All businesses should claim or create a listing on the top online directories in Australia. These are known as backlinks, which can positively impact your website’s SEO, as well as provide an additional place for your business to be found online. Most of the top platforms will allow you to create a free business profile, which (again depending on the platform) will allow you to add basic information and receive reviews.

At Localsearch, we have a number of affordable packages to upgrade your business profile. These upgrades will help you optimise your business profile further to encourage browsers to give you a call, email or request a quote. Find out more information about Localsearch Online Packages here.

Is digital marketing expensive?

While digital marketing can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be. Your investment into your website, SEO, SEM, direct marketing, content creation or social media should give you some type of return. This could be increased trust in your brand, more sales or simply more people knowing about your business.

How much does digital marketing cost? It depends on what you’re investing in and how much return you want. Like any investment, you want to do your research. For example, a free website may save you money now, but to get it actually growing your business will cost you a lot more as you’ll need to put more into SEO and SEM to pull the weight.

It may also be tempting to try and do your own digital marketing. While many are successful at doing so, effective digital marketing takes up a lot of time, and if not done correctly, money. Using a full-service digital marketing service in Australia, like Localsearch, will help you get the results you need, while not having to worry about the stress, time or over spending.

Explore Localsearch Digital Marketing Service packages here:

I want digital marketing! What do I do next?

Before you get excited and start setting up listings, social media pages, websites, Google Ads accounts and the like, you need to create a plan. You want to establish how much you have to invest in total, where you’d like to improve your online presence and the results you’d like to achieve. Then, you’ll need to learn the best practices for each of your preferred digital marketing methods, how to create optimised accounts, how to monitor and assess insights and more.

Or, you could contact Localsearch Digital Marketing Service. During a one-on-one, no-obligation consultation (where we come to you), we’ll walk you through all your options, offer our expert advice and see where we can help you grow your business, while lowering your overall spend. Contact us now to book in a time with your local specialist. If you’ve still got questions about ‘what is digital marketing?’ we’d be happy to answer those too.

Feature image source: Elio Santos on Unsplash.

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