Dark Side of Digital Communication

The nerdy Blog for Sustainable Long-Term Communication in Online Business

The 8 types of digital communication. How a long-term communication strategy works in online business

Maybe you've noticed it too. When it comes to digital communication - whether in marketing or when it comes to the easiest way to interact with customers, there are people who find it child's play and people who (although they do a lot for it) never really seem to get the hang of it. No matter which type of person you are. This blog article or rather this 10-part series should help you to be cool with it and make better use of your communicative strengths - especially in the long-term strategic sense. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Life is too short for bad ways of digital communication. ๐Ÿ˜‹ And welcome to the dark side of long-term digital communication.

Here is an overview of the topics covered in this article:

  • Why your communication is not a standard model
  • The 8 archetypes of digital communication
  • Why online communication hasn't been the same since 2023 after the end of the coronavirus hype
The 8 Types of Digital Communication 1

Why your communication is not a standard model

Of course, it is always easy to say do A and then B happens and then simply do C to achieve effect D. But anyone who has spent any amount of time thinking about how communication works will sooner or later realize that it is a miracle THAT it works. ๐Ÿ˜…

Regardless of whether you are completely new to this topic of digital communication or have already tried everything you can think of to connect with other people: There is no one right recipe for the cake of successful communication. (I know, some people here and there may teach this differently. ๐Ÿ˜‹ But I think it's easier for you if you understand exactly where the levers for successful communication actually lie than blindly trusting a universal step-by-step guide. But more on this in more depth in a moment. ๐Ÿ˜˜)

The problem that most digital communication guides or strategies ignore is that communication consists of countless variables that are constantly changing. These include the technical components (such as algorithms, social media platforms or hardware), but also economic components (such as the general situation on the market or competitors) and human components (such as the media usage behavior of customers or recipients). Anyone who still believes that digital communication always works in the same way if you just get the algorithm right or always give potential customers what they want will sooner or later reach their limits.

And perhaps you've already noticed that right now - we're in the fall of 2023 - the messages and content you read and see on social media, while still appearing in abundance, are somehow always the same. Depending on how intensively you have already engaged with it, you may even be able to recognize the classic standard pattern of some posts and advertisements:

  • Step 1: Attract attention and interest.
  • Step 2: Address the problem and create a need.
  • Step 3: Give a short proof of concept.
  • Step 4: Invite the audience to buy from you.

No matter how you look at it. That's really all there is to it. And yes, there are people and offers for whom this concept works perfectly. And there are also people who use it, but for whom this type of content or advertising does not come to life.

And that is precisely the problem. When it comes to your communication strategy, it's always about how you fill it with real life. - Without being a copycat. Without being one of many options for your customers.

Why do we still stick to this or similar methods? Quite simply. Because they seem simple and are easy to implement. Because they don't take you into the depths. In other words, to understand your customers better. Or to think about what really sets you apart from the other providers on the market.

Schemes are not unique. Schemes are things that have worked for someone and were new at some point, but - by the time you adopt them - may already be outdated.

What I would like you to understand at this point in the article is that we are living in a time that has never developed as fast as it is doing right now. And we are still a long way from reaching our top speed. In fact, quite the opposite. What we currently perceive as digitalization is more like what the printing press was in the 16th century for today's media era.

It is therefore all the more important that you know your communicative basis and take on the courage to be as clear and undisguised as well as determined with your message in order to enter into communicative interaction with other people in your own way and thus into a deeper connection, which until yesterday was only a bizarre rarity or even oddity. But this is exactly where the journey will take you. To communicative long-term strategies that cannot be broken down into a standard model - and that can't be copied.

Schemes in online marketing are not unique. Schemes are things that have worked for someone and were new at some point but by the time you adopt them may already be outdated. 1

The 8 archetypes of digital communication

Give 100 people the same text message to read and you will get - depending on the time of day - well over 1,000 different interpretations of what it could mean.

Each of us perceives messages in our own way and sends them with our own very personal mix of intentions. You may have heard of the four sides of a message or Friedemann Schulz von Thun's four-ear model. It is one of the most popular communication models - although it is often regarded as too superficial by scientists. Nevertheless, there is a wonderful pragmatism inherent in this model, which explains in such a wonderfully simple way how lucky we are that we understand each other at all, from everyday life to highly strategic marketing communication.

On this basis and based on over 15 years of work in digital communication and content production, I have translated the essentials and your levers in online communication into the 8 Digital Communication Archetypes, which you will get to know in the course of this 10-part article series.

Here is an overview of the 8 communication archetypes:

  • The Buddha
  • The Guardian Angel
  • The Team Leader
  • The Idol
  • The General
  • The Activist
  • The Fixer
  • The Stagediver

Important for you at this point: Each of us carries parts of all 8 archetypes within us, whereby each archetype in turn represents a spectrum that ranges from its best variant (with full access to communicative potential) to its shadow variant (with many open doors and previously untapped opportunities).

As you can see, communication is easy to say, but in its depth it is an individual spectrum that you can access in different ways depending on the occasion and situation.

If you like, you can take the free Online Type Test right here and find out which digital communication archetype is the dominant one for you and is at the forefront. ๐Ÿ˜Š

The digital communication archetypes are not about a new labelling system

What is important for me to say at this point: Even if you end up as โ€œThe Idolโ€ in the test, this does not mean that - if you are โ€œThe Idolโ€ - there is only strategy XY for you or that you are not suitable for method ABC. Because this dogmatism is precisely the reason why you have the impression that your communication is not working, for example, and why followers are not becoming customers.

With this Archetype SPECTRUM, my only concern is to give you a tool with which you can give yourself the โ€œokayโ€ that your way of getting in touch with people digitally and establishing a deeper connection is the coolest way ever for you. No alternatives and easy for you. (Which doesn't necessarily mean that it's as easy for everyone as it is for you. ๐Ÿ˜‹ But this okay is exactly what we're talking about here. The okay for your strength. ๐Ÿ’–)

Your initiative, your perspective and your drive are needed. The time of standards - that was yesterday.

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Why online communication hasn't been the same since 2023 after the end of the coronavirus hype

I have already hinted at it in a few places in this article. But especially if you've never looked at communication in this depth before, I'll summarize the most important points for you here and take the opportunity to add a few more details. ๐Ÿ˜Š

There is a reason - or rather several reasons - why online communication strategies no longer work in the way we are used to. The most important reason of all: The behavior of media users has changed.

During Corona, we were all sitting at home on our sofa and were grateful for any distraction from ourselves. That was the hype of e-learning programs, online coaching and digital business models. Everything was possible and could be sold to men and women. Great revenues: No problem.

However, 2020 is now just a memory for us. Social media detox is a huge topic, the content on certain topics is always the same, even if the providers are different. In other words: a quote here, a challenge there, a webinar elsewhere. - The audience knows the tricks (funnels, advertising slogans & freebie opt-ins) and knows that many of these tricks are highly toxic and the products behind them are loveless cash machines. (At least in terms of intention. ๐Ÿ™ƒ)

The result: suddenly - and also thanks to a lot of education in the media - media users, a.k.a. customers, have become more selective. - However, most online marketing strategists and experts refuse to actually acknowledge this.

As I said, it's the autumn of 2023 and a lot of money is being pushed into the market for digital ads and technical and strategic optimization. In some cases, marketing is becoming even more aggressive and even more pain points are being pushed until the bubble can no longer help itself and the product collapses like a soap bubble.

As I said, it's the autumn of 2023 and a lot of money is being pushed into the market for digital ads and technical and strategic optimization. In some cases, marketing is becoming even more aggressive and even more pain points are being pushed until the bubble can no longer help itself and the product collapses like a soap bubble.

But what it needs: Basically just the realization that the intensive media users of 2020, 2021 and 2022 have reached a certain level of awareness, have learned to value their attention as a valuable asset - and sometimes say โ€œF๐Ÿ’–ck off!โ€ when unimaginative standard bullsh๐ŸŒธt is sold to them as the holy grail.

That - yes, exactly that - is digital evolution in the online market and in online communication.

With this in mind. We'll continue in a week's time with the next article and deeper insights into the first digital communication archetype.

Welcome to the dark side of digital communication. ๐Ÿดโ€โ˜ ๏ธ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿš€

Lovely greeings,

Platti ๐Ÿ˜‰โœจ

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Platti Lorenz
Platti Lorenz
Hey! I'm Platti and I support entrepreneurs and business founders in building sustainable long-term communication for their online business. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿš€ My focus here is primarily on the strategic and communicative basics. This is because many online entrepreneurs start with tools and marketing methods that are not yet suitable for their current level of business (e.g. new business, digital market development or community building). (I know, the market still teaches this somewhat differently until yesterday. ๐Ÿ˜…) Instead, there is often a lack of simple basics that save time, money, energy and, above all, nerves and lead much more easily to regular sales via the digital business. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’– That's why I would like to close this gap with my blog "Dark Side of Digital Communication" and my work as a coach & consultant for long-term digital communication. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿดโ€โ˜ ๏ธ๐Ÿ”ฎ
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