When deciding how to approach a digital marketing campaign, people naturally wonder what are the three most popular forms of digital communication. “Most popular,” because they want to be where the consumers are, using what they are using, and “three” because it’s a nice, clean easy number. Not too few to miss opportunities and not too many to cause distraction.
When it comes to digital communication, there certainly are many ways to connect, thus there are plenty of opportunities for distraction. Loosely defined, digital communication applies to any electronic exchange of information, from talking on a cell phone to email, texts, Facetime, or Skype-type video chatting. So, which three modes of digital communication should marketers and brand managers focus their attention on? Are there any that are absolutely indispensable? Yes. Definitely.
Of all the various different forms of digital communication, the three that are most popular are generally considered to be, in no particular order: texts, social media, and video chat.
By now, an entire generation of consumers has come of age primarily communicating via text. While their older siblings, and certainly their parents, remember talking on their phones and dial-up internet, today’s younger adults have spent their lives communicating via text. They prefer it in huge numbers, and they’re not alone. A growing number of older adults prefer text, because, to them, it feels less immediate and less intrusive than a phone call.
Nearly everyone is connected to some form of social media. Whether they live their entire lives on Instagram or Facebook, engage in ongoing arguments on Twitter, or invest hours listening to video podcasts on YouTube, social media is the next thing to omnipresent in the lives of most Western consumers, as well as a growing number in massive markets across Asia and Africa. Nearly everyone’s smartphone has multiple social apps within a single click, and the apps are set up to offer a plethora of message connection opportunities.
Whether it’s Facetime, Zoom, Skype, or any of the other popular video chat apps, making voice-only phone calls is fast becoming a thing of the last decade, if not the last century. Video chat is more intimate, offering a closer connection, than texting or talking on the phone. As this becomes easier and more convenient, marketers should determine more and better ways to leverage this technology for their ongoing marketing efforts. Some examples could include video demonstrations, reviews, unboxing, real-time product trials, and live Q&As with influencers.
Now, here’s a caveat: technology is always changing, always advancing, and what’s popular today may be all but invisible next year, if not next week. The lesson? This is a moving target. Take nothing for granted.