Starting a dating website can be an exciting and rewarding experience. But like any new online business, there is a lot of hard work that goes into it.
There are many ways to promote a dating website, but not all methods are created equal. Some methods may bring in a lot of traffic but not result in many conversions (sign-ups). Others might not generate much traffic, but they can result in a higher conversion rate.
If you've just gotten into an online business, you might be confused with all the marketing advice you read about and hear on YouTube. Some of them are no longer relevant or old-fashioned and useless in 2023.
To help you get started, we've created this comprehensive guide on how to promote your dating website. We'll cover every possible method, from search engine optimization (SEO) and paid advertising to social media marketing and PR. By the end of this guide, you should have a good idea of which promotional strategies will work best for your dating website. Let's get started!
The first step to promoting your dating website is to define your niche. What kind of people are you targeting? Are they students and young professionals who are looking for a hookup or mature singles with children who are interested in a long-term relationship? You will need to determine who your target demographic is before you can start any marketing campaign.
There are dozens of dating niches, but in which one are you? In general, if you want to define the right marketing vision and plan promotional activities, you need to understand the common motivation of people who hang out on dating websites. Of course, motivation is usually a complex thing, and some will say they are not sure what they are looking for. However, here are the general categories of dating sites that you can find in 2023:
Some dating sites can be multipurpose; for example, Bumble can be used not only as a date finder but as a tool to meet new people in general. However, focusing on your main concept and being more specific first can help you to get your first audience easier. No one wants to register on "just one more dating website." Define your uniqueness and narrow down your audience, so you can easily deliver your message.
Once you have identified the target demographic and their main dating motivation, you can start thinking about where and how you can reach them online (and not only).
I will cover the main promotional methods you can keep in mind when determining the best marketing strategy.
If you googled marketing instruments for website promotion, you definitely came across Search engine optimization (SEO), Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and Social Media Marketing (SMM). These are the basic digital instruments that have become so vast and complex that they require deep knowledge and experience to be successfully implemented.
Additionally, as a dating startup, you may consider using PR campaigns, influencers, and social media to grab the attention of potential users. Later on, in this article, I'll give some examples of dating apps and websites that combine different promotional channels successfully.
But before you choose which channels you will spend your money on, let's dive into what they all mean, how they work, and what you can expect from each of them.
If you've never heard of it before, Search engine optimization (SEO) - is a set of techniques used to promote a website and make it visible in natural search results in Google or other search engines. In other words, if you are the owner of a dating site for sugar daddies and babies, and someone is looking for the best dating website in this niche on Google, you want the website to be at the top of the search results. The technics and methods you will use to achieve it calls search engine optimization.
Here are some key elements of SEO:
There is a myth that I want to dismantle right away: SEO is not something that you set up easily and forget. It's a process and hard work, and if you are not ready to dive deep into it, it's better to ask professionals to help you with some basics. For basics, I mean to make your website appear in search results for your brand name at least (yes, you still need to do some actions to make it work, it won't show up in Google by default).
In general, if you are not going to publish a lot of content on your website regularly, for example, run a blog and update it from time to time, there is no point in investing your efforts in SEO. If you are planning to have a landing page with some basic information about your project and its concept, your chances to outrank multipage websites are pretty low due to the poor amount of keywords.
But if you want to create something like a media source for your dating niche and add a lot of content, for example, writing love stories among your users or giving dating advice, you can still consider SEO as a powerful tool to bring traffic to your website.
Don't forget about online communities and aggregators! These can be a great source of traffic for your website and generate sign-ups. Consider joining popular dating forums, meetup groups, and other online dating sites related to your niche.
You might notice the articles in top Google search results with lists like "Best dating apps in 2023" or "Top dating websites for serious relationships". Depending on your niche and keywords, you may pick the most relevant lists and reach out to the authors with the request to be added to the article. Please, note that it most likely may not be for free, so be ready to pay a fee. The amount depends on the website and its traffic.
You may even want to consider starting an affiliate program by promoting another company's product or service, and when a customer purchases from your link, you get paid. You can use an affiliate program.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is another great way to promote your dating website. Popular PPC platforms include Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and other contextual networks. With PPC, you pay a certain amount every time someone clicks on an ad for your website. This is great for targeting potential customers who are interested in your niche. Here are some examples of the pay-per-click ad that you consider for dating website promotion:
For example, you can promote your dating service to people who have already visited a couple of dating websites or are interested in dating in general. It calls Contextual Targeting - when Google matches ads with relevant websites from the Display Network based on the theme, keywords, general topics, visitor's recent browsing history and etc. If you want to show the ad to the person who've visited your website already, you need to set up Retargeting.
Geo-targeting is a great way to promote your dating website in specific areas. You can use Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and other contextual networks to promote your site in geographic areas that are relevant to you. You can also target ads based on the user's location, so they will be served ads tailored to their area. Geo-targeting can be a great way to reach potential customers who may not have found your website through other methods. Additionally, it allows you to keep costs down by only targeting specific locations where your services would be most successful. In addition, make sure that you track the results of any geo-targeted campaigns so that you can adjust your strategy as needed.
You can also use geo-targeting for email campaigns and other promotional activities such as giveaways or contests. This allows you to customize campaigns according to a specific region or city and ensure that you are reaching the right people. For example, if you're targeting users in a specific city, consider offering discounts or special offers that are only valid for people living in that area. Geo-targeting is a great way to promote your dating website in an effective and efficient way.
Social media here, social media there...We've been hearing about its importance for ten years now. However, sometimes business owners don't get the main idea of social platforms: you need to be social and engaging. There is no point in having an Instagram account if you are not going to keep it active. Posting just to post is also not going to make any difference as long as you are sharing "boring" stock images with couples and relationships.
The first thing that you need to do is choose the right social platforms based on the following criteria: 1) popularity among your audience 2) your resources, and ability to create engaging content for it on a daily basis. Sometimes it's better not to be present at all rather than have an almost empty account with 100 followers and the last post dated three years ago. If you started a project a while ago, sometimes users just want to check your social media to understand if you are still active. If your project is still alive, but it's not obvious according to your online presence, you need to change your social media strategy immediately.
To choose the right platform, you need to know the major statistics of each platform.
Reaching out to influencers can be a great way to promote your dating website. Look for influential people in your niche who have a large following and reach out to them about potentially collaborating. For example, you could offer them an affiliate commission for any new sign-ups or promote their content on your website. Additionally, consider running sponsored campaigns with influencers in order to reach even more potential customers.
Reaching out to influencers can be a great way to promote your dating website. However, if you really want to make it work and not just throw your money, there are some recommendations you need to follow.
2. Set up your goals and make a presentation of your company.
Communication and a precise explanation of your marketing goals will be very helpful for influencers to come up with great ideas. Start by introducing your brand and your concept and
put up some KPIs that will make sense regarding your marketing goals. Are you looking for more downloads, website traffic increases, or premium sign-ups? With discount codes that influencers can promote in their post, you can encourage viewers to take instant action and track the progress of your collaboration.
3. Identify the best social media platforms for collaboration with influencers
Only by keeping your target audience in mind you can decide the best social media channel for influencer collaboration. All platforms have their pros and cons, so let's have an overview of each of them.
Which influencers should you consider for collaboration?
First of all, it's all about your budget. The more subscribers you have, the more influencers will ask you to pay. But as I've mentioned before, what you need to consider is how this person's channel will match your brand. To raise awareness about your dating app or website, try to reach out to YouTubers whose content is about:
Regarding demographics, Instagram is a social platform for mainly Gen Zs and Millenials, with a slight drift towards females. The app became famous for its image content in the past, but now it demonstrates a clear shift to short videos. It's fair to say that Instagram has many types of content that can be created and sponsored. You can run well-targeted ad campaigns such as Sponsored Stories, Reels, and Posts.
There are plenty of options for various budgets. However, promoting something as complex as a dating site through influencers can be difficult with only image content.
The best strategy for promoting your app on Instagram is to work with multiple micro-blog influencers simultaneously. You don't have to pay thousands of dollars for one story of a blogger with one million subscribers, who is hard to believe that is using your app.
Example of Collaboration
One of the best case studies I could find is the influencer marketing campaign of the dating app Tantan. It's an Indian dating app that position itself as a tool for finding a genuine connection in real life. The company's goal was to raise awareness and increase the number of verified female profiles before St.Valentine's.
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Tantan established the collaboration with 40 influencers, both male and female, on Instagram in TikTok. Female influencers made creative short videos showcasing the app's main features and attached #VDayOnTantan and #MyManOnTantan hashtags while guys were using #YourManOnTantan.
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30 Instagram and 10 TikTok influencers were posting about the app on a regular basis and got a 2.5 million overall reach across platforms, plus the organic content that were created organically in various platforms to support the trend.
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TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform, with 1 billion active users monthly. Despite the popular opinion that TikTok is the app for teens, only 32.5% are 10-19-year-olds. According to the location you target, the numbers can vary. The main difference from Instagram is that Tiktok is a more entertaining platform for watching funny and interesting videos.
Example of Collaboration with Influencers on TikTok:
To raise brand awareness, Hinge collaborated with several TikTok influencers using #hingepartner hashtag, which has received 119.1M views total since 2022. Without any call-to-actions like "Hey, download this amazing app", creators shared their experiences, opinion, and funny stories with the app. The company raised its number of downloads and decreased the cost per registration significantly.
Let's start with brief statistics. As the second most popular website on the planet after Google, YouTube attracts 1.7 billion unique users monthly. By November 2022, an astonishing 90% of all page views came from mobile and smartphone users globally. Desktop users were only 10.5% of the global traffic for the examined period. Unlike TikTok and Instagram, males are almost 54% of the YouTube population.
Examples of Collaboration
Here's the guy who is trying a Hily dating app and trying its features. The video has mainly positive comments and received more than 18k views.
As/Is is a YouTube channel for women that features topics like beauty, fashion, style, body positivity, women’s experiences, and lifestyle. They've created a video where different people try the League - a paid dating app for elite and successful people where you have to be accepted to sign up. In this video, they are asking the League's CEO about how the app work and how to be accepted. The participants are testing the advice and, in the end, waiting for the results: have they got in or not? A spoiler: 1 of 4 made it. Could you guess who?
Unlike Instagram and TikTok, Twitter is a platform where people discuss global events,
share the latest news, and follow world leaders for their statements and reactions. However, the number of so-called "heavy twitters" - users who check Twitter 6-7 times and post 3-4 times per week - has been declining since the pandemic began. In other words, 10% of users generate 90% of the content.
Opinion leaders can generate great engagement and brand awareness, as well as some website traffic. But what's more exciting is that discussions on Twitter can actually generate your domain ranking (DA) and improve your SEO ranking.
This platform is dominated by a male audience (61%) and can boast that 1/3 of the users are college-educated, with an annual income $75k, according to SproutSocial.
Another important factor that might be helpful for you as a dating entrepreneur is that Twitter's guidelines allow the usage of explicit material. So in case you are working with webcam models as your brand ambassadors, Twitter is a heaven platform for you.
Example of influencer collaboration on Twitter
A risky but award-winning Twitter campaign from Grindr (one of the most popular queer dating apps) reached millions of people after they decided to raise awareness about dating discrimination. They promoted the campaign through influential representatives from the most targeted communities and let them speak about their experiences too.
In partnership with @Grindr I’m taking a stand against sexual racism and the many forms of discrimination lingering within our community. It’s time to do better. #KindrGrindr #TheVixen (Link to full video in bio) #ad pic.twitter.com/FAK5CpPUNq— The Vixen (@TheVixensworld) September 18, 2018
Facebook remains one of the most used social media worldwide. Unlike any other social media platform, it's very popular among 35-44 age group. FB allows a brand to express itself in many ways by posting images, embedded links, long-read texts, stories, and short videos. As users can easily navigate from Facebook to your website, this social media is also useful for generating traffic and conversions to your dating site.
Example of influencer collaboration on Facebook
Match.com is one of the pioneer dating websites where 81% of users are 30+ years old, that's why Facebook was the right platform to distribute the video. They collaborated with the popular comedian actress Rebel Wilson in a podcast format and then shared it on their social media.
More babies in your feed. 🙄We get it. But if you're maaaaybeee thinking about babies, well not now, but one day, Match is #1 in babies made. Check out more episodes at www.letsmakelove.com #Letsmakelovepod #matchxrebel #MatchPosted by Match on Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Encouraging user-generated content on your dating website is a great way to promote it. Ask customers to submit reviews and ratings of your services, share stories about their experiences, or post pictures from their dates. Allowing users to interact with each other on your site can create an online community where people feel more engaged and likely to recommend your website to their friends and family. Additionally, it encourages potential customers to join as they will feel more connected to the community.
Unconsciously or consciously, people are highly influenced by society; their behavior, in many cases, is motivated by the desire to be socially accepted. People, especially young, love to keep up with trends and try something that is gaining popularity. That's how you can leverage that by encouraging users to post content on social media and refer to your business.
As I've said before, you can start by reaching out to the influencers and micro-bloggers who can start a buzz about a "new dating app." It can be Reels or TikToks explaining and showing a unique feature or advice-sharing content. To motivate users to spread the word about your dating app, offer them perks or discounts for memberships and credits.
One of the successful examples of a user-generated content strategy is the dating app Meete. The app concept is simple: men pay for every message they send to the girls, and the girls get a cut for each message they receive. After some time, they can cash out real money. Basically, Meete achieved a successful win-win situation for both sides by rewarding men with female attention and women with cash. The app gained popularity among young women on TikTok who started using Meete as a "side hustle" to earn easy money.
Public relations (PR) campaigns can also help promote your dating website. Try reaching out to digital lifestyle, business, niche magazines, bloggers, and other media sources popular among your target group and offer them free trials or exclusive offers. You can also promote your website through press releases, interviews, and other PR activities.
PR can help you earn natural links and increase the trust level of your website in the eye of search engines.
Email marketing is an effective way to promote your dating website and attract new users. Create content that is relevant to your target audience and send it out in email blasts on a regular basis. Additionally, consider using automation tools such as MailChimp or ConstantContact in order to easily keep track of who has received the emails and measure the success of your campaigns. Additionally, consider using email to promote special offers or discounts, which can be a great way to draw in new users.
Using multiple promotional methods is the best way to promote a dating website. Take advantage of SEO, PPC, PR campaigns, social media marketing, email campaigns, and more. Additionally, consider geo-targeting ads to target potential customers who live in specific areas. Also make sure that you collect user feedback so you can continually improve the experience on your website.
Once you have launched a promotional campaign for your dating website, it's important to track the results so you know what is working and what isn't. Tools such as Google Analytics can help you track how much traffic your website is getting, where it's coming from, and how long users are staying on each page. This information can be used to tweak your campaigns in order to make them more effective.
Promoting your dating website can be challenging, but with the right strategies, it doesn't have to be difficult. Take advantage of SEO, PPC, PR campaigns, social media marketing, email campaigns, geo-targeting ads, and more to promote your site effectively. Additionally, make sure that you track the results of any promotional activities, so you can adjust your strategy as needed for maximum success. With these tips, you'll be able to promote your dating website with ease. Good luck!
Alexa is a sure-handed digital marketing person who helps small and middle-size businesses to grow online. She believes that a well-thought SEO strategy, smart targeting, and communication strategy could skyrocket any business.