Platform Agnostic Is Still The Smartest Web Strategy

With the launch of Google+ pages for businesses I can tell many brands (and marketing professionals) had the same reaction: seriously, another channel to manage?

If you had that reaction too, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re doing online marketing wrong.

On the other hand, brands with a solid digital strategy and marketing professionals fluent in the web didn’t bat an eye. And not just because the savvy among us embrace change. Instead of worrying or getting flustered, we calmly integrated another social outpost into our workflow of content on the web.

Any of you reading this able to execute the above were in such a position because your approach to online marketing is to be platform agnostic. You don’t rely on any single network, search engine, ad campaign, email list or other organic (or even paid) asset for attention. Rather, smartly, the mix you rely on for awareness is distributed.

If, through the changing tides of user preference you continued to self-publish, you kept accruing equity. And that equity wasn’t denigrated through the creation of new platforms, rather your brand was made more valuable. Use new platforms to grow community, but don’t neglect your most valuable asset: an owned presence which plugs in to the rest of the web.

Independent publishers remain beacons of signal in a changing landscape, and the social web is still very much a problem in search of a solution. Publishers who are positioned as a solution and have an activated community continue to win in a world where no single network, web service or technology has a monopoly on attention.

The notion that every company is a media company remains an accurate mindset for how brands should be telling their story and building opt-in audiences. And if you pay attention to how the most successful media companies approach the web it’s simple: to focus opt-in at the source by integrating emerging platforms, using them as micro communities and ultimately leading back to a hub.

The future will continue to bring additional networks, ways of sharing content / connecting and new corporately owned and independent tools, channels and services. This shouldn’t worry you, it should excite you.

Your long-term path for digital success is simple: don’t be lured into banking all your equity in someone else’s platform. Continue to embrace a platform agnostic approach, and thrive.

image credit: Shutterstock