There are two essential rules to follow when marketing your startup marketplace. Firstly, a great marketplace is worthless if it isn’t marketed out to the masses. Secondly, no matter how great your marketing strategy, no one would visit a crappy marketplace.
In this chapter, you will learn the basics of marketing your marketplace. Defining your audience, finding your voice and determining what you really need to measure are all critical to the success of your marketing plan. Once you’ve successfully mastered these, only then will you be able to proceed and look at the some of the marketing tips and tricks for your marketplace.
A Growth Hacker mentality can help you supercharge your marketplace (Photo credit: FreePik)
A growth hacker’s true goal is growth. When you start a new marketplace, it is wise to adopt a growth hacker mentality when it comes to marketing. The basis of a marketplace lies in having a large user base, thus, growth is absolutely crucial at the launch phase, making a growth hacker a very useful person to have. The growth hacker refers to someone who is clever and innovative, looking for imaginative ways to achieve the growth that they desire.
Utilise the changing face of products
With the internet, traditional ideas of a product have been changed drastically. Digital products, such as Amazon, eBay or Etsy, are intangible, existing only in the virtual world of your computer or smartphone. As such, these digital products are able to do one thing that their physical counterparts cannot: digital products can play a part in its own adoption.
For example, when you buy something on Amazon, you can share it with your friends online, boosting its reach. With physical products, you could probably tell your friends that you had a good experience using it, but it does not self-market. Growth hackers understand this potential self-marketability of digital products, utilising it to help your marketplace grow exponentially.
Understand the changing ways of distribution
Just as highways were built as a “shortcut” for cars, the internet has also built a “digital highway” for online users. Growth hackers have the uncanny ability to understand how people flow online, using that to market your marketplace. We will explore some of these methods (such as SEO, advertising and social media marketing) in the next part.
The online infrastructure creates endless opportunities for distribution, and the growth hacker is someone who will take advantage of these opportunities to secure growth for your marketplace.
Preparing for your marketing campaign
Stop. Before you get started with chasing after leads on all available marketing channels, it is important to first think about what you want to achieve from your marketing efforts.
The SMART goal-setting method is most commonly attributed to Peter Drucker (Image Source).
In order to succeed in marketing, you need a strong roadmap of all your goals, digital or otherwise. This enables you to track progress and make adjustments based on changing trends. One good way to go about setting goals would be to adopt the “SMART” strategy. Most importantly, your goals must be measurable and relevant for your target market. With these goals, you would be able to then go on and craft specific strategies targeted to tackle each goal, setting your marketplace up for success.
After you have developed your marketing goals, the next step would be to position your efforts. Back in chapter 19, you identified your target audience and how to acquire them. If you try to talk to everyone, often, you’d find that no one is listening. It is crucial to narrow down your audience as much as possible.
For example, if you are starting a marketplace for dating, your target market could be single men aged 25–50. However, a single male at 25 would have different ideas and views than ones who are in their 50s. Position your messages to target different audiences with different tactics and you’ll find yourself getting a stronger engagement rate.
Finding your voice
Once you have angled your messages at the right audiences, you can develop your voice. When you’re first starting out, it is good practice to reach out to every customer personally, understanding them in order to win them over. The key to a good communication strategy is your voice, the tone which you use to connect with your audience. It could be authoritative, informative, witty or fun, but most importantly, it has to be authentic.
Connect with your audience on an emotional level, get into the heads of the people you want to win. As a little cheat sheet, look at what your competitors have adopted. It could help you form your own unique voice! Most importantly, once you have developed your voice, it is imperative that you keep it consistent. Regardless of platform or medium, keep the customer experience the same.
Call to action
Now that you know how to adopt a growth hacker mentality, you are ready to start your marketing campaign. The first thing on your checklist would be to develop a tantalising call-to-action (CTA) that is eye-catching, coupled with a clear value proposition and captivating copywriting.
Use concise, jargon-free phrases that are actionable – using action verbs such as call, download, register, simple words that are clear and concise so that the audience knows what to do when they see your CTA.
Offer something in exchange
In order to persuade someone to click on your CTA, it is effective to offer up something in exchange, such as an e-book or a product demo. Make sure that your audience sees the value of what they can get to entice them to click.
Test your CTA
Ultimately, the best way to determine what works for your audience is through testing. Conduct A/B tests on your CTA and see which one converts best.
Before you begin your marketing campaign, there are many factors to consider and develop. Starting off, identify your goals, target audience and how you are going to market to them. This will help you create more targeted messages for the right people.
Adopting a growth hacker mentality will help supercharge your marketplace’s growth. Lastly, your first task would be to develop a convincing call-to-action that will drive conversions for your marketplace.
Now that you’re all prepared to start your marketing campaign, let’s take a look at viral marketing and three different marketing channels you can use.