With the success of peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms like Etsy, Fiverr and Airbnb, it’s clear that the gig economy is fueling an online marketplace model that can be applied to almost any industry or area of business. While there are many market strategy approaches a P2P startup can take, they can consume a small budget quickly. Traditional online ads now reach a smaller target audience thanks to users opting for Ad Blockers, but more content is being consumed than ever, which is why many marketplaces, such as eBay, Uber, and Airbnb have focused on P2P content marketing opportunities. Here are some key content marketing strategies you should consider to ensure that the P2P marketplace is both sustainable and scalable for your business in the long-run.
Focus On Your Product Niche
Narrowing your focus before you begin can really pay off. For example, new startups tend to focus more on offering a large product assortment and less on building a specific niche. However, research indicates that successful, well-established P2P startups began their journey with a specific target audience. This allowed them to showcase products that cater to the immediate, short-term needs of buyers rather than long-tail products that are purchased less often. Determine what your core content marketing focus is going to be, and stick with it.
Leverage Existing Channels
If you’re an early-stage venture, it’s not likely you’ll be able to compete with marketplace giants like Quikr or OLX in terms of reach, but that doesn’t mean you should underestimate the value of existing groups and communities on social media platforms. Those contacts can be a fertile ground to identify enthusiastic potential buyers and sellers through content marketing. Social networking platforms aren’t just for sharing selfies and chatting with friends: more than 450 million Facebook users visit Facebook groups that offer a venue for buying or selling items each month. Provide useful, informative content and people will do the sharing for you. Other social media channels can also be harnessed for P2P marketplace startups to leverage and grow their brand.
Attract Buyers First
The old adage “If you build it, and they will come,” might work for some types of businesses, but it doesn’t mesh well with the P2P marketplace. If your company expends significant effort into seeding sellers onto your platform, but have an absence of credible buyers, your efforts will have been in vain. Instead, find the buyers first and then bring on sellers to meet their needs. How do you attract buyers? Produce content that engages them and fulfills their needs.
Create An Ideal Persona
Knowing who your buyers or sellers are is an essential step in successful P2P content marketing, yet 44 percent of content marketers haven’t identified or documented theirs. A persona is a distillation of everything about your ideal customer. Who did you create your product for, and why? Why does your ideal customer need your product or service? Take the following into consideration:
- Motivation — Why are they interested in joining or purchasing from your marketplace? Did they click on a Google Ad, get a referral from a friend, or are they directly searching the market to make a purchase?
- Behavior – Find the patterns in what your potential customers are doing, from navigation on your website to social media and forums they may frequent.
- Demographics – Who is most likely to want to purchase your product or service? Getting specific can help you better target your market and not waste time, money and effort into creating content that appeals to a base that has no interest. Knowing who your buyer persona is can help you refine the marketing content you create to appeal to and reach your core potential base.
Engage With Your Audience
Get interactive on social media in order to engage with your target audience. An important part of your marketing strategy that will lead to marketplace success is how well you engage, and how good you are at conveying your brand philosophy. Social media is a great place to share relevant content, define your company culture, get personal, and let your accounts be a reflection of who you are and what you have to offer. Present quality, informative content, but make sure you accompany it with public interaction with followers, customers, or potential buyers. Post a link to your content and ask your audience to answer a question or give an opinion. Check your social media accounts daily and keep them up to date with replies and answers to questions. Post links to new content on your blog or site, and establish a presence as an active, friendly company.
Make It Relatable
Forget about shocking clickbait titles and headlines. Most people will move on within seconds if they don’t find what they were looking for, or don’t find anything interesting or engaging when scrolling through your site. As a content marketer, your main goal should be to make your content relevant and relatable. Create helpful, informative or entertaining content that brings your company’s voice to the table, keeps them engaged, and connects with your target audience on an emotional level.
In Order To Sell, Forget About Selling
When it comes to successful content marketing, it’s a great way to share knowledge and build relationships without constantly pitching products or services. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes a company can make regarding P2P content marketing is to treat it as another way to hardcore sell. Instead, successful content marketing will promote content that excites, empowers, and educates. It tells a story without selling, and it focuses on your audience’s needs rather than your business’s needs.
Create New Content
It is difficult to grow your audience, monetize your existing content or reach important influencers if you only update your company blog or site once every few months. When you provide regular content that your audience finds compelling, they’ll expect it and follow your site to get it. If you don’t provide new content they really have no reason to visit your site again. Develop your brand by producing content regularly. Keep your followers up to date on key events or local happenings as well as industry news and insights.
Identify trends and topics that people are interested in that are related to your business and which influencers and online outlets are getting the most traction. BuzzSumo is an analytics-driven tool that is useful in helping you determine what content will perform best for your demographic. By identifying the topics that garner the most attention, you can focus on producing content your audience wants, and eliminate time wasted on ineffective content creation.
Whether you’re a publisher needing to monetize your space better or a startup or a company that’s ready to start creating and curating a steady content stream to develop your brand recognition, focusing on specialized content marketing is essential to maintaining high standards and keeping your message and target audience in alignment.