Marketers are often like jugglers at the circus. They always have one too many objects in their hands while attempting to attract the attention of the crowd.
Often, marketers have their hands full with new digital technologies that come and go. Many wonder, “How do you know which are worthy of your time?”
Selecting and marketing on the right digital platform is a critical decision. If you pick the wrong one, you might not effectively connect with your customers and waste valuable resources.
In this post, we’ll take a look at four common digital platforms that you need to learn and understand. Before we begin, let’s define digital platforms and understand the benefits associated with them.
The power of digital platforms
Digital platforms are electronic environments where software, app, or web-based programming helps users with their end goals like interacting with their customers, collecting data, or sharing their mission and vision for their company.
Businesses use digital platforms and other digital tools for automation, machine learning, and direct interfacing with customers. Basically, digital platforms are like the new town square. They can be places where people hang out, run errands, learn, or conduct business.
Some popular types of digital platforms include social media platforms, email platforms, web-based platforms, streaming platforms, mobile platforms, and more.
Most digital platforms have these common components:
- HTML-based code: Scripts that form together in a code-base to create the digital environment
- Application program interfaces (APIs): Ability to connect the platform to multiple systems
- Algorithms: Code that determines which content to show the end user
- Cloud computing infrastructure: Storage found on the web rather than on your device
- User experience elements: Digital components that impact the way people interact with the platform
Using digital platforms
When you market online, you want to be sure you’re targeting the same platform as your target audience. The right digital platform can save your employees time and drive awareness, sales and new customers to your brand.
As a marketer or business person, you need a platform strategy for each digital platform. For example, you might attempt to reach customers on social media platforms with targeted content and 1:1 interactions. However, on your website, you’ll likely focus on high-level messaging.
Depending on your business model, it might make sense for you to focus on one digital platform over another.
4 types of essential digital platforms
Digital platforms are all around us — you’re interacting with one right now as you read this. (Unless, of course, you printed out this article. If that’s the case, we salute commitment for reading it later at your leisure.)
With digital technologies constantly evolving, it is important to stay up-to-date on the way users interact with each platform and which ones they prefer.
There are so many different types of platforms that make up the platform ecosystem. Below, we’ve highlighted the top four digital platforms you should focus on using immediately:
1. Social media platforms
One of the most common types of digital platforms is social media platforms. These platforms give businesses an opportunity to showcase a product or service through engaging content on a channel.
Some of the competitive advantages of social media platforms for business is that they are free, easy-to-use, and popular. More than 4.8 billion people around the world use a social media platform. Why wouldn’t your business want to have the chance to reach them where they are?
Popular social media platforms include:
Each platform has its own unique digital world where people can interact with one another, build digital businesses, and share their message with their communities.
Once fans interact with the content on the platform, marketers can learn more about their prospective customers and assemble a framework of their persona.
Try out each platform to understand where your customers hang out and what sort of content is popular. Then, you can narrow your scope and double down on the specific social media platform that seems best for you.
2. Email platforms
Traditional letter-writing stepped aside to make way for electronic mail, or email. Popular email service providers include Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and more.
If you’re like me, a large portion of the emails you get each day are from large companies like Airbnb, Apple, Amazon and Uber. How do they send such well-designed and polished email campaigns at such a fast rate?
Companies use an email marketing platform to make fully customized, HTML-designed emails to send to their subscribers. These email platforms typically offer a streamlined customer experience via an intuitive drag-and-drop builder.
With an email marketing platform, marketers can send their audience concise copy, attention-grabbing images, and maybe a GIF or two in just a few clicks. Once the email is built, marketers can select a segment of their audience to receive their campaign.
This is valuable, because email is a lucrative channel to reach your customers. For every $1 that a company invests in email marketing, it generates an average of $42.
3. Web-based platforms
Web-based platforms, like websites, search engines, and cloud-based apps and software, are another type of popular digital platforms.
There are more than 1.6 billion web pages online today. Many people see the value of having a place online where users can showcase and share indexed content to large numbers of people at once. Savvy marketers and content creators are trying to capitalize on their attention.
With so many people online, you would be foolish to not have a thoughtfully designed website for your business. Your website is often your customers’ first impression of your brand.
There are many different open-source templates and codebases to help you create a site. In addition, platforms like Webflow, SquareSpace and GoDaddy can provide a foundation to help you get started.
4. Streaming platforms
It’s never been easier to watch and consume engaging content. Digital streaming platforms have brought us more accessible movies, addicting TV shows, funny video clips, iconic songs, memorable radio shows, and more readily available for consumers.
Two types of streaming platforms are streaming video and streaming audio. Examples of streaming video platforms include free hosting providers such as YouTube and Vimeo as well as for-profit broadcast and content entities such as Netflix, Hulu, and others. Streaming audio platforms include iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Deezer, and Stitcher.
The streaming audio space is a growing industry that all businesses should consider when looking at their potential partnerships and marketing strategy. There are plenty of audio advertising opportunities like radio spots that can get your brand in front of captive listeners, encouraging them to convert into passionate customers.
Make your online voice heard
Digital platforms are essential for businesses to grow and cultivate in order to effectively get their message out to relevant customers.
Four of the most common digital platforms include social media platforms, email platforms, online platforms, and streaming platforms. Marketers should analyze their business needs and learn more about the benefits of each platform before enacting their digital strategy.
By investing your time and resources in the right platform, you can drive meaningful revenue for your business and acquire customers more efficiently.
Make a splash on a streaming platform today by learning more about radio advertising and how it can help your business.