The wave of marketplaces platforms is hitting the ground hard and changing the way traditional businesses are being run. With customers becoming smarter and information becoming easier to access, success will not come easy. It is important to understand the essentials prior to creating your marketplace with content, credibility, conversion, community/customer. Let’s find out more about each of the 4 C’s.
Are you creating Content?
The wave of Content Marketing has hit businesses, many have embraced it, while others are still trying to figure it out. If you are not currently creating content, then you are behind the times. Whether it is creating blog posts or providing eBook downloads, some form of content must be produced. What industry is your marketplace in? Give your community insights and tips how they can solve their own issues. The best thing you can do with your content is to speak from your own experiences and sparking an emotional connection. This is key to building your community as they will slowly gain your trust with what you are posting, tweeting, sharing, and even reposting from others.
Are you establishing Credibility?
How exactly is that done you may ask? With our previous point, creating content is a great first step. Hiring competent writers and assembling the right team can boost your credibility with their hard work. Ensure everyone is on the same page with pricing, promotions, and all the facets of your business. One of the fastest ways to lose credibility is for your sales team to be offering two different prices on a product, leading to an angry customer. With proper training and management, that can all be avoided.
What about the clients you are working with? Get their feedback and if positive, put short excerpts on your home page. The more positive reviews new visitors see, the more likely they are to trust and work with your marketplace. If you are working with any big enterprise companies, be sure to add them in as well! The more big businesses you work with, the higher your credibility will stand within the community.
Are you landing Conversions?
Conversions vary depending on your marketplace goals and initiatives. What industry are you working in and what is your overall goal? Are you a community-based marketplace and looking to build subject matter experts or are you product driven and looking to sell items? Whichever route you are going, your end goal must be a conversion. How will your marketplace define a conversion? Let’s go over a few examples below.
- Sales team must close 30 new deals by the end of the month.
- Marketing team capturing 100 new emails and scheduling a call within the next week.
- 60 new customers to your database.
- Obtaining 15 new subject matter experts to join your marketplace.
- 5 new eBook downloads from your website.
However you define a conversion for you and your team, be sure to be set goals accordingly. Let your team know what you are working towards to give them an extra push. As human beings, we have been programmed to be very goal motivated and driven, so use that to your advantage to help move your team forward. Reward them with incentives for meeting your conversion goals to keep them happy. It can be as little as a bonus check or as big as a full paid vacation. As you define your goals, ensure they are obtainable and not just overworking your team to the point of wanting to quit. Find the balance of reaching your end target and keeping your employees happy as well.
Are you building a Community/ Customer base?
Let’s face it, customers are what keeps your marketplace in business. Without them, a revenue stream would not be coming in and would quickly be out of business. How exactly do you build a customer base? Let’s first start with your target market. Who are your ideal customers and look into some of their demographics to help with your marketing efforts. Once you have your target market in place, build your community. Go out and find those who are the best fits for your marketplace and establish a relationship. Unless you are a big company like Apple or Airbnb who dominate in their niche fields, the likeness they will come across your marketplace is very slim.
Fall Back Plan
Everyone has a plan A but what about plan B or even C? Having a fall back plan is very important to the success of your marketplace.
Not everyone will become a customer when they visit your site. Some may just be doing research, some may be a competitor keeping an eye out on you, while others may be looking for some value that you can provide them. Having heard of your marketplace before, they may want to see for themselves and find out what kind of knowledge you may be able to provide them. Do you have a blog that is providing thought leadership or FAQ’s to help them solve issues they may be having? These little details can make the difference to turning a visitor into a customer in the long run.
Are you posting on social media as well? While some may argue social media shouldn’t be a big part of your marketing strategy, but we strongly believe it does play a huge role especially when building a community. Who is a customer more likely to business with? Someone who has 10 followers or page likes compared to 10,000 with a community backed behind it? I’ll let you make the call on that one.
As you look to create your marketplace platform, be sure to check out the list of Platform Providers that can help you expedite the process. Here at Marketplace Platform, we like to go by the saying, “Content that is credible will lead to conversion which will lead to a customer (or community).” Happy reading!