The term “platform” returns a surprising number of definitions. In marketing, it can refer to social media, podcasting, video, web, and more. The traction channel “Existing Platforms” alludes to how startups can leverage traction by integrating with platforms that already have a massive following.
The short explanation of this channel is that startups should represent their business on these platforms to get their content in front of existing audiences and be able to identify their ideal audience with better precision. The following is already on the platform. Take advantage of that pool and explore integrations with platforms that make the most sense with your business. This article highlights the platforms your startup should consider leveraging marketing efforts on.
The History of Social Media Platforms
As of 2019, it is estimated that 3.5 billion people are online. When you compare that number to the total world population of 7.7 billion, it has quite an impact. Breaking that figure down more, studies have estimated that two-thirds of internet users are on social media. For those of us who can remember the early 2000s, the world first saw social media make its presence known in the form of MySpace. What started small in the early 2000s but rapidly grew created an explosion of new opportunities in marketing.
While MySpace paved the initial pathway of social media, it was the introduction of Facebook to the general population that sparked immense growth in this industry. Originally available only to college students, Facebook allowed users to connect via digital space and share content with one another in a new way. Today, Facebook is a must-have platform for businesses to advertise on. In 2019, there are a reported 6 million businesses that have their own Facebook business page. With 74% of Facebook users checking in daily, there are minimal cons to integrating with this platform.
Staying Ahead of the Competition
However, startups should consider the stage of a lifetime the existing platforms are in. To really gain traction, Businesses only marketing on Facebook will not succeed. The ones who identified and were first to adopt new platforms are the ones who see massive growth. Early adopters are those who are early users of new technologies, products/services, or platforms before the majority of the population catches on.
With this in mind, keep updated on growing platforms. The earlier your business integrates, the more you can stand out. Just keep in mind who your audience is and whether the platform makes the most sense. A business whose target market is restricted to an older demographic might not want to consider TikTok, a short-form mobile video sharing platform popular with a more tech-depended demographic.
Additional existing platforms to consider are app-focused. App stores like Apple and Android allow businesses access to an impressive pool of potential users. If your business has an app, consider the free strategy: feature a free version of your app to increase the number of users, then monetize those free users with in-app purchases or paid upgrade to a premium version. It’s important to get your app to appear somewhere on the charts, so push for users to share ratings of their experience.
Web or App Extensions
Another example of integrating with existing platforms is through web or app extensions. With web browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox, users can improve their browsing experience by downloading extensions. Usually free, these extensions create a direct portal to a business. Plus, they provide some kind of value to the user as a means of personalizing their browsing experience.
Grammarly is a free browser extension that analyzes in real-time your text to correct grammatical mistakes, provide clear messaging, and improve the quality of messages. It’s a built-in spell checker useful for all messages that are created within a web browser. Grammarly gains a lot from this extension. It receives access to the web browser’s existing audience, provides a useful feature, and drives users to its services, which include premium services.
Slack, a cloud-based instant messaging platform popular with organizations, features a similar type of method with its app extensions. Allowing for seamless integration with services such as Zoom, Google Drive and Obie, Slack has created an opportunity for businesses to tap into its existing user pool in a simple and easy way. An app extension with Slack is perfect for services that seek to make collaboration between teams easier.
With so many platforms existing to take advantage of, what are you waiting for? Take the time to research trending social media or brainstorm how to convert your services to a value-added tool. Finding the right platform can be time-consuming. But once tapped in, you won’t regret the time invested to continue gaining traction.
Check out this video to learn more about existing platforms.
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