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    How to Promote a Marketplace Platform Before Launch

    For the best results, you need to be smart about launching your project, and websites are no exception. Among other things, it's better to get the target audience interested in your platform in advance so that users could look forward to its release.

    We're happy to share our own experience in this regard and describe key methods, which help marketplace owners invite customers during the development phase. By that, you won't have to wait long for real conversions to come afterward.

    Okay, now let’s properly discuss how to promote a marketplace before launch. And we’d like to start with the reasons to put in so much marketing effort before the resource goes online.

    Why Promote Your Business Before Its Launch?

    First, let's define what the site should be like in order to bring profit to its owner:

    • The resource has interesting and useful content;

    • You know how to convince the consumer of your uniqueness and prove to him you’re somehow different from other competitive offers;

    • The site is user-friendly and intuitive. To be precise, the user doesn’t have to take unnecessary steps to get what he wants, whether it be filling out an order or leaving feedback;

    • The UI/UX design meets modern trends.

    Let’s say, you've created a site and are sure it meets all the listed requirements. Of course, you expect profits, but users are in no hurry to visit a new web resource, they simply don't know about its existence. It takes a while to gain their loyalty.

    After analyzing the situation, you decide that it's time to promote your business. But how long would it take to make your resource popular and demanded?

    What determines the term for promoting new websites?

    • The niche of your project. Some niches need six months to reach the TOP, while others take at least a year;

    • Niche competition. The more competitors you have, the more difficult it’s to achieve popularity;

    • Marketing budget. As you can imagine, some of the activities require financial investments.

    So you should think of promotion ahead of time and market a marketplace wisely.

    What does pre-launch promotion provide you with?

    • the ability to get results faster (say, sales if your project is related to e-commerce);

    • a chance to find clients before launching the project;

    • testing your idea with end-users in advance;

    • increasing brand awareness on the web;

    • improving your competitiveness.

    The Best Ways to Promote a Marketplace Before Launch

    Okay, let’s finally see what pre-launch promotion options you have and discuss each one at length.

    how to promote a marketplace before launch

    Landing page

    It's hard to advertise a resource if it doesn't exist yet, do you agree? So while the site is still in development, create a preliminary landing page, thematically related to the future online platform.

    It would be a great start-up solution to help you promote your business before its launch.

    What should your landing page look like?

    Basically, the landing page should explain the gist of your project. Imagine that this is a kind of announcement of the to-be resource. So do your best to make it as interesting to your customer as possible.

    Communicate to your users all the main pros of your oncoming website. Describe the benefits they would get by using it, entice your customer, captivate him with your project! Earn his trust even before starting an online business.

    And, of course, bear the UI design in mind. It should be eye-catching and attention-grabbing.

    Still further, be sure to promise the client to keep him posted and inform him on the status of work on the project (by the by, this can be done with the help of email marketing, which we write about below when explaining how to promote a marketplace).

    Promote Your Business Before Its Launch
    A landing page would be a great solution if you’re going to start a crowdfunding campaign. Click here to learn more.

    Why is a landing page a good idea?

    • Increasing the age of the site, in other words, the time of its existence. The point is, the older the site, the better the search engines, including Google, treat it. Therefore, by buying a domain in advance and placing a landing page on it, you improve your relationship with search engines (figuratively speaking);

    • Collecting data on your consumers. You’ll find out what devices they use to enter your landing page, trace their behavior while they're still visiting it, and get other valuable information. Believe us, such data would come in handy in the future!

    • The opportunity to introduce the consumer to your product in advance. As we said above, you have a chance to explain the coolness of your project and describe the benefits your customers receive;

    • Feedback. The landing page would allow you to get feedback from users before you release and market a marketplace officially. This approach might help you understand if you're doing everything right and meet the user's expectations. You'll be able to come up with new worthwhile ideas and implement them at the very development stage. 

      • If you want to have a user’s feedback, leave a special form on the landing page and invite him to share his opinion about the future resource.

    • Collecting a database of useful contacts. We mean consumers potentially interested in your product. To get the user's contacts, supplement the feedback form that we mentioned in the list item above with another field asking a user to leave his email address or phone number. Explain such a request by your desire to remind the consumer about the imminent release of your website. A contact database can be useful for many reasons, including:

      • a general understanding of who your audience is;

      • posting in social networks and email newsletters;

      • searching for potential customers. You can offer the first 10 (or, say, 50) buyers a good discount and convince them to order your product soon after the site goes online. Of course, this applies to e-commerce platforms. If your resource isn’t engaged in sales, choose another way to entice the first users. 

    Increasing the age of the site
    Why not read our article with a lot of P2P website development tips? We share our own experience with you!

    Analyzing your competitors

    Before you start promoting a marketplace in social media and advertising it in other ways, we advise you to study your main competitors and analyze the marketing strategy of each, including:

    • How they attract customers;

    • The main sources of their traffic;

    • Online and offline platforms they use to communicate with their audience;

    • Their posts in social networks.

    Some of their marketing tactics might help you advertise your marketplace either. 

    Existing online & offline platforms

    You can use the time of website development not only to promote your business but also to look for potential customers. Let’s say, why not attract users of other platforms (and we don't mean competitive resources!)? 

    Shortly put, properly analyze your target audience and determine their preferences and habits. Then ask yourself the following questions:

    • What sites are your consumers most likely to visit (besides your type of resource)? Maybe they can be found in certain FB groups or on some thematic forums? For example, Airbnb managed to find its first customers on Craigslist;

    • What offline events would your consumers attend? Probably, you should visit them too, what do you think? So did one of the founders of Tinder: to be precise, she helped organize all kinds of fun activities for the students. She advertised her application there and made a list of potential users at the same time.

    Okay, enough about finding clients. Let's discuss how to promote a marketplace.

    Social Media Marketing

    You've probably heard of SMM, which means promoting your digital project in social media networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. 

    SMM activities involve:

    • Collection of information on the target audience. We suggest that you visit the groups your consumer is a member of and take a deeper look at the topics, which interest him. The main goal is to find out the problems and expectations of your audience. You can use this information to write your own competitive content and create advertising campaigns;

    • Communication with people in thematic groups. Also, we don't think it would hurt to chat with representatives of your target audience and tell them about your project. Thus, you beat two birds with one stone: on the one hand, you promote your business, on the other hand, you get a chance to see whether the user likes your idea at all;

    • Creating your own page on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (etc.) for subsequent communication with your target audience;

    • Advertising in social networks, which is the last but not least item on our list.

    The main advantages of promoting a marketplace in social media (surely, not only a marketplace but any other resource as well) include:

    • large audience coverage;

    • the high virality of the project;

    • unobtrusive advertising method;

    • the opportunity to make friends with your consumer.

    Social Media Marketing
    Do you want to know how to create online marketplaces? We're ready to describe the main tips and tricks!

    Email marketing

    This way of promotion involves sending emails to users who consented to receive your e-letters. 

    Actually, email marketing is a great way to keep in touch with your audience. The main thing is that you have a large contact base, otherwise, the idea is pointless. But we’ve already discussed it, remember?

    Email options:

    • Regular cross-mailings to various partner bases;

    • Periodic newsletters to interested users;

    • Triggered mailings (they’re usually timed to coincide with a specific event, whether it be your website going online or pre-holiday sales).

    How does it work?

    • You collect contacts (a good way is through the appropriate form on the landing page, as we suggested you do earlier);

    • In the second step, you segment your audience and identify people potentially interested in your newsletters;

    • You’re now starting to make regular emails. And if everything goes as you intended, people are likely to read your letters and respond to them in the way you want.

    BTW!

    The task of email marketing is, surely, the possibility to market a marketplace successfully. And if you don't want your idea to fail, consider the following points:

    • Use the right approach to collecting a contact base. You may be tempted to buy a ready-made database, of course, but keep in mind that you run the risk of getting irrelevant contacts. Simply put, you’ll start sending emails to people who are completely uninterested in your project;

    • Give the right to choose. The Unsubscribe button should be clearly visible to the letter recipient. Otherwise, a user would mark your e-letter as spam, and you won't get the desired effect anyway;

    • Don’t overdo it. By making too much effort to promote a marketplace before launch, you'll only achieve the opposite goal and annoy users. So you need to stick to the golden mean. In other words, it’s unwise to send 3-4 letters a day. A more effective strategy would be about 2 emails per week. Also, add illustrations to your emails to make the content better understood by the user.

    Use the right approach to collecting a contact base
    What is the killer feature of your marketplace? Let's discuss the issue properly!

    Video content

    Also, don't neglect the benefits of video content. Believe us, this is going to be a wise move and one of the long-sighted steps in promoting your marketplace.

    The thing is, according to statistics, the video demand is growing. The explanation for such popularity is simple: many people prefer to watch a short video instead of reading the text. So you should also think about presenting your business using video content.

    But how to promote a marketplace with video and achieve the desired result? You just need to adhere to a few simple rules:

    • Information is best remembered in the first minute of watching a video. So the beginning should be the most informative; 

    • Don't bore users with overly long and dead-alive videos. Be dynamic and concise;

    • Take the opportunity to describe your project in an exciting way to the user. Make him get delighted with it;

    • If there is voiceover work, be sure to add subtitles, because not everyone has the possibility to watch the video with sound on.

    Where to use ready-made videos? Here are some popular options:

    • YouTube channel;

    • your social networks;

    • your landing page (and later a finished website).

    Mobile-First Approach

    It's not about the opportunity to promote your business before its launch, but, rather, about an important farseeing step to ensure your future success.

    The fact is that, according to the Mobile-First Index ranking rule introduced at the end of 2018, sites with a mobile version have an advantage in getting positions in the TOP 10. Consider this when creating your own resource.

    By the way, your landing page should also be adapted for mobile devices.

    Summary

    Now you know how to start a pre-launch marketing campaign. And let's hope you're ready to apply our tips in practice to promote your eCommerce store or marketplace (or whatever resource you have in mind).

    Mobile-First Approach
    Still looking for developers to build your platform? We are happy to offer our professional services!

     

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