Start small, think big. This philosophy helped a great deal in establishing the success of companies like Coca Cola, Microsoft or Nike. These are now globally-recognized brands, and brand awareness is a cornerstone of any potent business.
Online dating is no exception. When we think of industrial brands, Match.com, eHarmony or OKCupid immediately spring to mind. Obviously they enjoyed timely appearance on the market and substantial investment support, but their brand recognition did not just explode on the scene one day.
In much the same way any new dating startup with big ambitions has the potential to repeat the successful trajectory. The ingredients are really here already – a powerful and affordable tool in SkaDate Dating Software, a driven idea of which niche to conquer, and several effective recommendations on building the Brand Awareness (we’ll get to that in a second). You’ll know it is time to get busy, when everything falls into place and becomes a clear business strategy.
There are plenty of sites out there offering advice on building brand recognition and awareness. Not everything, however, is applicable to online dating. Also, startups often have limited resources to dispose and cannot, say, book a Superbowl Spot. With this in mind I’ve selected a few relevant tips that can be truly helpful in the beginning.
Clarity is King
This one is a no-brainer, but is often overlooked online. Before getting into the wild there should be a clear internal understanding of the brand’s vision and values. These are not just some general concepts, but the backbone of the future growth. Sticking to the mission and using it while building a two-way communication with potential user-base is vital for the maintenance of any site’s credibility. And credibility is something hard to come-by on the web.
Creativity and Subtlety
As the front of a brand, a dating site must look accordingly. This means that the goals and values set in the mission must be apparent in the network’s visualization. However, it is important not to over-communicate the idea to the point of turning it into a sales pitch. Subtlety to an extent is always good. Remember that in the long run the brand is needed for recognition. Compare Match.com and Ashley Madison. With subtle touches (like casually mentioning finding love at the former or featuring a removed wedding ring at the latter) they both reinforce their core values and messages.
Also one of the basics that circles back to hitting it big. A successful brand will be as relevant in ten years as it is today. The underlying idea here is that given a choice users will prefer a brand that shows determination in sticking around for good. Here is an over-simplified example – are we sure yet that Edward Cullen will be a sure-fire sale for teenage girls in a decade? What if Stephenie Meyer will create a new icon for the new generation, and the Twilight brand will fade-out? A way to avoid this, but capitalize on the current craze will be to work around the general ‘Vampire’ concept. Because vampires, just like diamonds, are forever.
As a brand is created specifically for the audiences to recognize, it is only natural that a two-way communication is a must. Listening and talking back to members always emphasizes that clients come first for a network. This is vital for building a trustworthy and mutually respectful relationship.
Now we are talking practical. Google AdWords is a very useful tool for raising awareness around the web. It is true, that it will require spending some money, but with a careful strategy the monthly budget can be less than a price for a Deathly Hallows ticket. This ‘Daily Blog Tips’ article describes in detail how it can be done.
The easiest way to spread the word is by utilizing numerous social media platforms. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube etc. all allow for fast ways of connecting with precise audiences. The essential strategy here is to be innovative in coming up with the ways to drive traffic back to the home site. For instance, Viral Campaigns is one way to go. I will expand on the idea of using Social Media for marketing purposes in one of our future posts.
So the final question remains – why are brands so important? Isn’t the goal is just to bring more potential customers to a dating site with a smart advertising campaign? Ultimately, why spend time and money on something not really tangible, like the knowledge of prospective consumers?
Here is the thing – there are thousands of dating sites around, and the current online dating boom creates room for thousands more. The environment is prime for setting up quick cash-ins on the trend. However, if we go back to the ‘thinking big’ concept, and the aspiration is to build a continuously striving enterprise, it is important to set the new site apart from the bunch. It is vital to show members that it is unique, has a distinct idea behind, and a clear message to convey. After all, a brand is a personality of a service. And just like in online dating, a personality is one of the main deciding factors for choosing a perfect life partner.