We often hear people say "I want to be the next Airbnb" but is that even possible? Well of course it is, with the right product and business model. You may not be completely satisfied with where your marketplace is currently, but it is better to launch now than wait until it is perfected. Who knows when “perfection” will happen as there will be that inner self wanting more and more. So how do I get new users or customers to my marketplace? Here are 4 tips to help get started and make a splash in your industry.
Does your marketplace have a content strategy? This is key for SEO purposes and being found via google searches. The best thing for your company is to be listed number one on the first page. How exactly can you get there? I can tell you it won't happen overnight. While hiring an SEO expert would be ideal, there are a few things you and your marketing team can do in order to help. Not every marketplace has the budget to hire experts, so why not just cover the basics with your team.
One of your top priorities should be to create a blog and push content on a regular basis. This will help get you on google searches if each page is properly optimized. Using keywords in your blog title and within your writing a best practice that can easily be implemented. Don’t start stuffing keywords all over the page as search engines are smarter than that and will rank your pages lower.
How about free knowledge? Are you offering resources such as white papers, webinars, or e-books? These are great ways to get users to visit your content as they will leave with some value. Even if they don’t join or buy from your marketplace, they will definitely return if they have downloaded any of your resources.
Related: How To Improve Marketplace SEO
2. Email Marketing
Do you have an email list built? How are you capturing them? This is where your content helps kick in. With your content offers, you will be giving away free knowledge in exchange for email addresses. As you start to gain more and more, be sure to have strategy in place to keep them from unsubscribing. Provide knowledgeable articles, tips, or promotional offers but be sure not to come off too spammy.
Once you have built a sizable list, don't become too comfortable. Continue to stick with your strategy and don't become discouraged if you find people unsubscribing. That will happen. The important thing is you learn why and try to minimize it moving forward. One person may find your email relevant today but may no longer need you next month.
3. Brand Awareness
How will someone figure out what your marketplace is all about? Create a buzz by speaking at events, constructing contest giveaways, and being active in the community. Stay up-to-date with events going on in your area and if you feel you would be a perfect fit, find out how you can join. While it may come at a hefty price, it can be very beneficial in the long run. It’s hard to put a price on new connections and potential customers. Nothing is stronger than having that human connection and making a strong first impression.
Another great way to build your brand is to have company “swag”. Get your team sweaters, backpacks, t shirts, and coffee mugs with your company logo. Encourage your team to wear the products to work and even outside of work. This will help advertise your brand for a very low cost. If you want to go even further, send your clients t shirt when they join your marketplace as a token of appreciation. This small gesture can go a long way.
4. Social Media
Who doesn't have social media in today's world? Well if you don't, then you need to catch up with the times. It's okay if you don't have any personal accounts but for business it’s a must. A great place to start is with Linkedin, Facebook, and Google +. These 3 are great to make connections within your industry and help create a buzz around your brand. Optimize each profile with a link to your website and basic information such as email, phone number, and even address if applicable.
Now you may be wondering what about Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram? These have become very popular within the millennial generations but simply may not be for every marketplace. Take us at Near Me for example. We currently do not find a need for Snapchat or Instagram as we can not necessarily share what we do behind the scenes. Now if you are selling merchandise such as sports equipment or clothing, then these more visual platforms would be ideal.
Build your marketplace will take lots of hard work and dedication. Be patient with your efforts and if you put enough work in, your results will follow. If you have any questions regarding your marketplace or possibly looking to create one, leave a comment below!