Media refers to the type of medium we acquire information and knowledge from. It has always been a part of society in disseminating any necessary message to a targeted audience. And in this digital age where the Internet dominates most communication channels, many types of online media sprouted to suffice the demand for it.
Many businesses have since utilized different online media to market their brands to keep up with the demand for more digital and online means of communication. After all, lack of innovation may cause them to lose customers.
The three classifications of media
Before the prominence of online media, there are two other media that used to dominate the communication channels. Today, these three make up the communication channels on information dissemination.
This is the medium of communication by print. It includes disseminating information through newspapers, magazines, books, banners, billboards, flyers, brochures, business cards, and more.
The broadcast media refers to the dissemination of digital content like videos, audios, photos, and written content through broadcast channels. This mainly refers to the use of TV, radio, movies, and more offline digital channels.
The Internet is the lifeblood of online media. It is when content is shared through online platforms in the form of audio, video, and text. They can be shared in different channels that we’ll shed light on later in this article.
The digital content shared in online media
Here’s a list of digital content shared across various types of online media:
- User-generated content
- Digital events
- Blog articles
- Product reviews
- Online games
- Chrome extension
- Live videos and chats
- Guest posts
- Social media posts
- Music videos
- Online PDFs
- QR codes
Types of online media
Here are the different types of online media that are mainly used for advertising, marketing, and social networking.
1. Social networking sites
Social media, most commonly known as social networking sites, are the most popular online media being used in our everyday lives. In fact, there are over 3.6 billion social media users globally. According to Fincyte, social media is widely used today for advertising and marketing businesses through various strategies and content. But its primary purpose is to connect people across the globe.
Today’s most popular social networking sites include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and TikTok. You can almost get most types of content by merely being an account user for these social media.
2. Online forums
Online forums are online communities that encourage knowledge-sharing of users with common interests. It is where people can comment, react, debate on, and discuss a particular subject. The most common online forums are Reddit, Quora, and Digg, but you can find many online discussions on social media platforms like on Facebook groups.
Online forums are regarded as the best one of the best platforms to seek support and assistance from. It’s where most enthusiasts for all topics flock to educate others and openly discuss specific topics.
A podcast is a series of audios that solely focus on a particular theme or subject. It’s a platform that allows the sharing of knowledge via audio. You don’t have to read or use your eyes to get the information; you just need to plug in your earphones or turn your speakers up to listen to the content.
Most podcasts today are released from blog sites of people with authority to talk about specific topics. But there are some on-the-go platforms to get your daily dose of podcasts like Spotify, where you can browse through a library of podcasts varying from one topic to another.
4. Media sharing networks
Media sharing networks are different from social networking sites. While these two are commonly mistaken as the same, they vary in their purpose. A social networking site aims to connect people, whereas a media sharing network aims to share media.
Today, most social networks are primarily used for media sharing as well. As part of the innovative efforts to keep on-trend, they add features like augmented reality, live video, TV, and more. Some of these social networks that also use media sharing include Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and TikTok.
Media sharing networks are valuable for brands and businesses looking to bolster their marketing. Digital marketers use these networks for brand awareness, lead generation, audience engagement, and growth.
5. Content curation networks
Content curation networks allow people to discover, save and share contemporary and trending multimedia. Typically, these are networks that focus on creativity. The best example is Pinterest, where users can easily search for ideas, pin them on their boards, and share them across other socials.
This kind of network is highly visual, requiring users to post content that is striking and compelling enough to be pinned. It’s an excellent platform to create brand awareness and encourage audience engagement.
6. Blogging and publishing networks
These networks are typically used for content marketing. Their primary purpose is publishing content either on their website or a third-party site. This is to build awareness, engage the audience, direct site traffic, generate leads, and retain customers. This kind of site provides bloggers or brands with the necessary tools to push content.
The most popular blogging sites include WordPress and Blogger. There are also microblogging sites like Tumblr and Twitter. Also, there are interactive social publishing platforms like Medium where users can contribute their own blog.
Email is a pretty powerful tool used for communication. It’s a timeless platform that continues to prove its effectiveness in both networking and marketing. In fact, email marketing is considered to be one of the most successful digital marketing strategies.
Whether you are using email for personal use or work purposes, it’s something you check out multiple times a day. That’s why it is a popular online media that boasts guaranteed success when the right email marketing strategies are implemented.
8. Consumer review networks
This online media’s primary purpose is to share information about particular brands, products, services, restaurants, travel destinations, and more. It allows users to leave reviews and opinions about their firsthand experiences on the said brand. Some popular sites like this include Zomato, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.
This kind of network is highly valuable since reviews are what potential buyers see. If they see a positive review, they are more likely to buy from the brand. Whereas, if most of the reviews are negative, chances are, it might negatively impact potential buyers’ impression, causing them to steer clear of the brand.
These are the most common types of online media that house various digital content for consumer consumption. If you want to dive deeper on how you can fully utilize these online media in your business marketing, here are two courses to help you master a few of them:
Online vs traditional media
Let’s dive deeper into the difference between online and traditional media. Both provide essential advantages today, but how do these compare in terms of advertising effectiveness? Here are some points you need to know:
For cost-effectiveness, online media appears to be much cheaper than traditional media, especially for TV. If you’re going to release some ads on TV, you’ll need to shell out a relatively big amount. As compared to doing this on social media, a little money will go a long way in giving advertisements more exposure.
Online media are data-driven. They are easy to track and monitor, which is good for businesses and website owners. You can use different data analytics tools to see the effectiveness of marketing strategies. As compared to traditional media, data is not that accurate since mostly they rely on surveys.
Both traditional and online media have the ability to impact consumer trust. While most still believe in the superiority of traditional media exposure, online media is definitely there to build a brand’s reputation too. Online media presence establishes consumer trust when strategies are done right and content is credible.
Engaging with traditional media is tricky and almost impossible. The audience cannot really give feedback to a TV program unless they write or call the program itself. Print may allow you to engage to some extent, like answering crossword puzzles in newspapers. Clearly, social media wins in this aspect. Social media is an engagement powerhouse. The audience has the ability to engage in real-time, which is powerful in influencing them to do an intended action.
You probably know more people who use social media instead of TV for news. That is because social media has become accessible and convenient to use. You can digest content whenever you want to and the reach has exponential possibilities.
It’s easy to provide feedback when using online media. It’s real-time and two-way, making everything fast and seamless.
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