What Are the Top Digital Channels for Business Leaders?

Canva’s 2023 Visual Economy Report lists the 10 digital channels and visual media that global business leaders prefer using to reach customers.

Data shows that business leaders are prioritizing digital channels and visual communication to reach customers.

Did you know that, according to Canva’s 2023 Visual Economy Report, people can only pay attention to a screen for a total of 47 seconds? It can be a challenge for online content to catch and hold people’s attention. For businesses in particular, attention-grabbing content is crucial in reaching customers, but how can this be achieved given the audience’s short attention spans? According to the 2023 Visual Economy Report, which surveyed 1,600 global business leaders, this is where digital channels and visual content come in. 

Data from the survey shows that 47% of global business leaders prefer using visual methods when presenting to a customer or client. Furthermore, 89% of those surveyed believe that utilizing visual communication helps customers stay engaged with materials presented to them by businesses. 

Given this information, it is no surprise that today’s global business leaders prioritize channels that are digital-first and visual in nature. This is reflected in the top 10 channels they prefer to use in order to reach both current and prospective customers. 

10 Digital Channels Preferred by Global Business Leaders

According to the 2023 Visual Economy Report, the 10 most preferred channels of global leaders are as follows:

Channel% of users% of non-users
Facebook66%34%
Instagram55%45%
YouTube videos53%47%
E-mail47%53%
LinkedIn45%55%
Phone calls36%64%
TikTok24%76%
Pinterest20%80%
Billboards19%81%
Broadcast TV commercials19%81%

Preference for Social Media Platforms 

Among the 10 preferred channels of global business leaders, six of them are social media or social networking platforms. The preference for these platforms is not a surprise, especially given that there are 5.07 billion social media users worldwide as of April 2024. 

According to the numbers shared by DataReportal, this number represents 62.6% of the world’s population. The data shows the wide reach of social media platforms, which global leaders will want to tap in order to grow their businesses. 

In fact, DataReportal notes that, among all the social media platforms, YouTube actually has the largest advertising audience. Ads on YouTube reach 2.5 billion users per month, which is greater than Facebook’s 2.24 billion. 

Facebook Still Reigns Supreme 

Despite YouTube having the largest advertising audience, most global business leaders still use Facebook the most to reach their intended audiences. In fact, 70% of the global leaders surveyed for the 2023 Visual Economy Report say that Facebook is their most-used app outside of work.

What explains this preference among global leaders? The Meta-owned social media platform has the third-highest number of active users. In addition to that, it has the greatest number of monthly active users at 3.05 billion. On its own, Facebook’s messaging app, Messenger, has an advertising reach of 1.01 billion. 

In the Philippines alone, Facebook has 86.75 million users as of early 2024. Its ad reach in the country increased by 6.5 million at the start of the year. This is an 8% increase from the number recorded in early 2023.  

Again, these numbers show the wide reach of Facebook, which business leaders will want to capitalize on to create brand awareness, increase sales, and even for customer service. The app’s heavy reliance on photo and video content also makes it an ideal tool for visual communication, which audiences today find more appealing and attention-grabbing than text or audio. 

Key Takeaways 

In a world of rapidly-changing technology and shorter attention spans, global business leaders prioritize channels that are digital-first and visual in nature. Numbers show that global leaders have a preference for social media platforms due to their wide reach and visual communication features. 

However, it is important to note that one size does not fit all when it comes to using social media to reach audiences. Not all platforms, whether traditional or digital, will prove to be effective for a particular business. It is, therefore, crucial for a business to determine which platforms are most ideal for their target market, taking into consideration the age, socioeconomic status, and other factors of its customers.

Businesses are encouraged to experiment with different platforms and different strategies in order to find the ones that are a better fit for their brand and audience. This will help businesses better strategize and execute plans for marketing, advertising, and even sales.