Learn about digital platforms and how they can help you boost your business
Discover the advantages of digital platforms and how to implement them.
Digital platforms are underpinning and driving new ways of thinking about (and maintaining) human relationships – whether they’re social, educational, or commercial, to name a few.
Technology, especially when applied to the development of companies and people, can favor expressive and scalable gains.
In this context, in which tools are available and the possibilities are endless, there’s only one way to seize opportunities: by understanding the concepts, analyzing the scenarios, and investing in an idea. Digital platforms can be exactly what your business needs for a spectacular turnaround.
After reading this post, you’ll understand a little more about the subject and will have more confidence to invest in your project. The idea is to detail the concept and explain it in practice, highlighting the advantages of these resources.
Shall we get started? Good reading!
What are digital platforms?
You’re probably already familiar with digital platforms, even if you haven’t stopped to think about them. This kind of technology is ingrained in our daily lives and – even if we don’t realize it – it often makes our days much easier and more productive.
Every time you request an Uber ride, for example, you’re accessing a digital platform. Every time you book an Airbnb, you’re booking your accommodation through a digital platform. You’ve probably already bought something on Amazon before, right? And you guessed! Amazon is also a digital platform.
Conceptually, digital platforms are tech-based business models. Their mission is to connect interests and people, and promote valuable interactions between those involved.
It’s easy to see this in practice: a driver wants to work, and you need to get from point A to point B. All Uber had to do was to bring the two of you together in order to create an incredible formula for success, valuing the well-known relationship between supply and demand.
For some time now, digital platforms have been the shortest path to great business performance. With the rise of technologies, such as cloud computing and big data (which involves the organization and analysis of a huge amount of data), the need to invest in technology has gained momentum.
This movement, which is still ongoing, is also known as digital transformation.
Therefore, in practice, digital platforms act as online facilitators of relationships that already take place offline, but which are now largely driven and boosted by digital mechanisms.
What are the types of digital platforms?
We live in a world that blends the real and the virtual. Nowadays, we no longer think of creating businesses that cannot be managed in these two environments.
As a result, there are many different types of digital platforms, each of which meets the different needs of its users within different contexts. This allows products and services to be made available digitally.
In this sense, especially for marketing purposes, one can find platforms for web hosting, collaborative project management, email marketing, social media management, marketing automation, sales control, content distribution, sales, etc.
Below, we’ll comment on a few types of digital platforms, learn what their features are, and in which contexts they apply.
1. Social media management
Social networks are the stars of the digital world. Although social networks were initially focused on interactions between people, over time, they have evolved and have become increasingly adapted for the promotion of various businesses.
With this evolution, the need emerged for social media management tools that contribute to optimize the work of professionals responsible for social media channels.
In other words, these tools help manage social networks, since this work has become essential for companies.
The production of content for audiences, and the creative and attractive strategies, need to be thought out and developed by marketing teams and professionals, but the operational service can be performed automatically by these tools.
These platforms usually have the possibility of integrating with social media – such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn – and perform certain automated actions, including scheduling posts, demonstrating network performance data, reporting, integration, organization of the publication calendar, among others.
An example of this type of platform is MLabs, a paid tool that offers all of the services mentioned above in order to facilitate the work of social media managers.
2. Marketing Automation
As you may already know, the execution of a digital marketing strategy contains several processes. And for the entire journey – which involves attraction, lead capture, nurturing, and sales – to happen efficiently, it’s critical that this procedure be as automated as possible.
To this end, marketing automation tools help organize, facilitate, and scale this operation, using technology to help design and track the entire customer journey in an automated manner.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is part of a business’ overall marketing, sales, and relationship process.
It also involves an activity that should be automated, especially when it comes to a nurturing flow, in which several emails are sent, following a logical sequence and usually obeying certain predefined criteria.
Even though we have access to other means of communication, such as direct messaging and social media, email is still widely used by companies, and generates good results.
For this reason, numerous digital platforms provide the feature of blasting and scheduling marketing emails.
Klickpages is an example of a digital platform that offers this type of automated email marketing service. It also facilitates other tasks involved in executing digital marketing strategies.
Some of these features are the creation of segmented email marketing campaigns, lead classification, landing page creation, and pop-up form creation.
4. Project and team management
Another type of tool that makes all the difference in the organization and execution of any strategy, are project and team management platforms.
Regardless of the size of your team, or even if you work alone, these platforms provide great support for strategic planning and task execution.
Every professional needs a space, preferably digital, to keep their tasks and ideas organized, consider the size of a project, and divide obligations between people and deadlines.
These tools are essential for good development and process agility. A few examples of these platforms are Trello, Asana, Monday, and Microsoft Project, which are available in free and paid versions.
5. CRM – customer relationship management
CRM is an acronym for customer relationship management. CRM actually assists in the marketing automation mentioned above.
CRM systems allow contacts to be segmented based on their information. Through this segmentation, you can perform email flows for interaction with leads and customers, in an automated and personalized manner.
This organizes your communication with your contact base, allows your messages to reach the right people at the right time, and makes your strategy more efficient.
Chatbots are smart robots that interact with people in an automated and personalized manner, just like emails. However, unlike emails, they work instantaneously, by means of direct messages.
Chatbots are typically integrated into websites and applications, in communication menus via chat, or in messaging social media platforms, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, and SMS.
This feature is widely used and tends to deliver good results, as chat environments are very familiar to people due to their ease of use. This means that conversations through these same messaging channels are well accepted, even if they’re mediated by a conversational robot.
7. Digital content management and distribution
There are also digital content management and distribution platforms. These platforms aim to host and market digital materials, such as online courses, e-books, and tools.
These products are consumed exclusively online, i.e., they aren’t physical items that need to be delivered to the buyer’s home, so they need the help of a platform to be distributed.
These platforms are becoming more prominent in people’s daily lives, as increasingly more people enter the digital market and more digital content is created to be sold.
In addition, info products are a very practical solution that can be consumed from anywhere, at any time. This business model is currently very popular.
Hotmart, for example, is a complete platform that seeks to transform these content creators into entrepreneurs by providing useful tools for content management, showcasing products, sales, results tracking, integration with other digital platforms, and more.
What are the advantages of using a digital platform?
The benefits generated by adopting digital platforms are numerous – and bring about intense business transformation within the very first months. Remember that in an online world, responses are fast, so corporate reactions need to be fast too.
The first advantage is directly associated with market demands. Today, consumers have gone digital and online shopping keeps growing. In the third quarter of 2021, e-commerce sales in the US generated an estimated $204.6 billion in sales.
Thus, a digital platform is a passport to enter this land of opportunities (and profits).
Moreover, considering the operationalization of an online business, the benefits of the technological structure are also quite attractive. Digital platforms allow the following:
- win over new clients and/or users, investing in the visibility of the brand and thus, reaching a larger audience that is potentially more interested in what you have to offer;
- reduce costs by having tools that automate the process and allow the boosting of routines;
- optimize resources, allowing leaner and more efficient management from complete and secure platforms;
- boost revenues, considering that the online expansion of the business maximizes the reach of the offer and ensures that more people have access to it, increasing sales volume and the profit generated.
Implementing a digital platform in your business
By now, you’ve learned that a digital platform may be precisely what your business needs to grow and prosper, right? Now, the next step is to implement a strategy.
At this stage, it’s important that you take certain precautions. You need to be focused for things to run as smoothly as possible, as certain mistakes are highly detrimental.
It’s also worth remembering that the initial effort is important, but it’s not enough. A digital business is similar to a physical company, with the difference being that the dynamism of the web requires much more effort and action than traditional brick-and-mortar businesses.
It’s essential that you’re always engaged with your product, your customers, and your expansion plans.
Here are a few precious tips for you to start using a digital platform and enter this new world of opportunities.
1. Establish a commercial and technical base
A digital business, although linked to the dynamics of the web, also demands consistent and effective management. Digital platforms are important resources for operational turnabout, and for them to perform well, they need to be supported by cohesive strategies.
The technical and commercial areas are indispensable and need to go hand in hand, guided by the same objective. Just as sales techniques are key to attract and convert customers, the proper operation of the platform ensures that users have a great buying experience – and will buy again in the future.
2. Align internal teams
Your communication flow must be a priority in your business routines. In the digital environment, everything happens at hyper speed, so your team must be prepared to meet the requirements of a demanding consumer.
Therefore, team alignment is essential. Make sure everyone is aware of the unique features and the value proposition that you and your product intend to deliver.
3. Work with offers
Shopping has been completely revamped with the rise of digital platforms and web resources. It is now possible to compare suppliers, prices, and advantages with a single click, comparing companies from different parts of the world on a single screen.
That’s why formatting attractive offers deserves your attention.
Make deliberate efforts to make your product stand out and don’t skimp on the unique features – it can be an exclusive feature, a limited edition bonus, or an incredible discount for purchases made during a given period. It’s worth diversifying, investing, and testing!
Shall we get started?
After everything that you’ve read and learned about digital platforms, we’re sure that you’ve already got some ideas. But, make sure you bring those ideas to life!
The online world is indeed an incredible universe of opportunities – and you, your business, and your products cannot miss the chance to take advantage of it.
If this article has inspired you and made you see new possibilities with digital platforms, great! It’s time to take action! Take a moment to learn how to choose the ideal market niche for your first digital product.