So you want to run your own dating site? Or maybe you just started yours and want some tips on how to stay afloat? Well, this piece is for you. In the first place, running an online dating service is a smart investment to make. In fact, in 2017, more than 60 percent of internet users in the United States made use of one dating site or the other. This is to say that running your own online dating site might be a smart decision, after all.
What the above statistic shows is that you just have one factor for successfully running a dating website in your favor, i.e., a receptive audience. However, there are other factors you have to bear in mind. Successful dating sites understand this. In this piece, the focus will be on these successful dating sites. You will be learning the factors that have kept them relevant over the years.
Here are a few tips:
A Perfect Niche is Everything
For a product or service to thrive, it has to be unique in solving one problem. This is especially so if similar products or services already exist. Thus, identifying and filling a gap in the dating world should be your focus on running a dating site. For instance, Bumble is an app where only women can initiate a chat, Tinder was created with a laid-back casual look, and Hinge was created to encourage deep conversations. At the moment, there are even dating sites for gamers, where people connect over their love for CS:GO or Dota 2. In essence, find your niche.
Make Use of Influencers
One factor you have to bear in mind is that a huge chunk of those who use online dating apps are millennials. This also means that they are the ones that could be easily swayed with influencer marketing. Millennials are often not impressed by traditional marketing and advertising. In fact, research has shown that millennials (and Gen Zers) are more likely to trust the recommendations of an influencer over that of even traditional celebrities.
Influencer marketing creates a sense of sincerity and authenticity. Influencers on Instagram or Twitter have managed to cultivate some level of trust with their followers. Hence, their recommendations and endorsements are taken seriously. You can leverage this. One way to do this is by designing a campaign or collaborating with the influencer on a project. Be careful about the influencer you collaborate with on your project. Much in the same way the right influencer can be a game-changer for your brand, the wrong choice could also ruin you.
Keep Your Customers’ Satisfaction in Mind
It doesn’t matter what niche you want to go into; one thread is common across them all: people. When you are setting up the site and designing your algorithms, bear this in mind. Marketing is focused on fostering human-to-human interaction. Even more so, dating is a human-focused endeavor.
Your dating site will be helping bring two strangers together and have them embark on a journey to forever together (or not, but that’s hardly the point.) You should try as much as possible to humanize your site. Place yourself in the shoes of your customers. This would give you a fair idea of what they will be expecting from you. Furthermore, you can ask friends to run a check on your site. They can offer a fresh perspective and point out areas you may have missed.
Make Bold Offers
You may have heard that it is better to under-promise and over-deliver than the reverse. This is a solid piece of advice through and through. However, in the world of marketing, the bolder your offer is, the bigger your audience will be. People will be inclined to respond to you when they feel you have something new and exciting to offer. Thus, make sure that you make it clear what a prospective user will gain from sticking with you. Make the offers juicy and attractive. Of course, you should then strive to ensure that you deliver on your promise.
Personalize Your Offers
Personalized marketing yields the best dividends. This is because it tailors the benefits of your site, specifically to the need of the user.
The technology already makes it easy to obtain information about your users. More so, people who sign on to dating apps are more willing to give up such details as name, location, preferences, etc. This is because it is generally understood that such basic information is necessary for ease of use of the site. The responsibility is now yours. You have the duty to make use of the information provided by your users to enhance their experience.
Leverage on Virtual Dating
It is true that the means and methods explored in dating have drastically changed over the years. In fact, the existence of dating sites is a testament to that. Thus, your dating site has to acknowledge this too when contemplating marketing strategies. One area of such change is the focus on virtual dating, as opposed to physical meetings. Conversations, video calls, and even certain aspects of sex are being conducted using virtual space. This is a lesson that successful dating sites had to learn and are currently still employing. On your part, you should seek to incorporate virtual collaboration technologies into your website. What it is exactly that you decide to offer is entirely left to you. However, what you offer should have the ability to offer some semblance of virtual dating to your users.
The earlier point has informed you of the need to focus on just one area. That is that you should find a niche you are familiar with and comfortable with. While doing that, you can go further to establish diversity within your niche. The first point to note then is that diversity and being niche-specific are not mutually exclusive. In the process of solving a need within that niche, make sure that this solution spreads across different classes. This will make sure that your website is not restrictive. For instance, Bumble gives women the privilege of initiating a conversation. But it applies to women across all spectrums. Even more so, men are also allowed to make full use of the platform. You have to learn that millennials and Gen Zers are pretty diverse, with tastes that can be described as eclectic. Giving them the room to engage that will be a win for your site.
The beauty of your site will be lost if no one is made aware of it. This underscores the need for rigorous advertising. It falls to you to find a way to make your target audience aware of your services. There are different channels you can employ. These channels include some making use of traditional processes such as TV adverts and the likes. However, it would probably be more effective (at least in terms of cost) to engage other non-traditional means. In this category, you can have social media marketing, influencer marketing, email marketing, etc.
Use Videos to Drive up Awareness
Apart from advertising your website generally, you can further decide to leverage videos to ramp up awareness for your site. Video marketing works well too because of the demography that your site would most likely cater to is young people. 18 – to – 24-year-olds make recourse to video content for any of their questions. Thus, you can expect that when searching for a dating site, they would search for video content to satisfy their curiosity.
Marketing using video also gives you the room to explain what your site is about fully. Discussing the perks and benefits of using your service, as opposed to others, will be made easier with a video. In all, video marketing provides a seamless means to connect with prospective users.
Gather Feedback From Users
As any marketer worth their salt will tell you, feedback is king. It is only through what you gather from your users that you can hope to get better. Introspection and inner analysis are good. However, in some cases, you may not recognize errors except someone points them out to you. In this instance, your users are in the best position to help you out in that regard.
On your site, incorporate means to communicate with your users. Have them share their experiences using your site. Do not create any form of censorship. Have them tell you both the nice and the ‘not-so-nice’ aspects of using your site. You should value honesty if you are ever going to get ahead. You can also go a step further and incorporate this feedback into your advertising process. An example of this is what Bumble is doing with its internal generated reviews.
Venturing into the world of running a dating site can be exciting. Also, it can come with challenges that could get you burned if care is not taken. You have to understand that to stay ahead of the competition, you need to give your service an edge. Some of the best practices are activities that have been tested over and again. However, some of them are unique, and will thus be to the advantage of your website.
Never forget that it may get tough at some point. Resolving to go on regardless of the challenges will increase your chances of success.
Featured image credit: Unsplash.com
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