Hot topic: Think of digital marketing like online dating

From first impressions to making the first move, you’ll be surprised how many similarities there are between dating and digital marketing!

KingSt Advertising  & Marketing Digital Executive Hannah McLean breaks down the metaphor to explain how to effectively use digital marketing for your business.  

It’s true. No matter how much we don’t want to believe it, not every single person will want to go out or start a relationship with you. Like dating, not every single person will want to try out or commit to your brand.

Despite this, with the recent boom in digital, the opportunity to reach more potential customers (or lovers) has been amplified. Approximately 4.95 billion people use the internet, with more than 323 million adults using online dating apps worldwide. 

So, what do the likes of Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge (the list goes on) have in common with digital marketing? It is their ability to increase discovery, create perceptions and build relationships with people that you may never have had the chance to connect with through traditional ways.

Having a marketing mindset at the core, we wanted to share the parallels between online dating and digital marketing to provide insight on how you, or your brand, can effectively capture this opportunity as more and more people gravitate towards online platforms. 

Awareness & Exposure

First things first. You’ll never get a match if you aren’t present on the platform in the first place. And yes, we know, there are still the traditional forms of dating. But the reality is that the chances that you’ll one day wake up and randomly bump into your dream person in the middle of the street, hold eye contact and begin a forever love story is incredibly slim.

With so many people now using online platforms, you would severely limit your exposure to potential partners simply by not being present. The same goes for marketing. If your business is not online, you will be limiting your reach and missing the opportunity to be seen by a pool of high-quality leads.  

First impressions

So, you’ve got your online dating account set up online, or, in the business sense, you may be pushing out some digital paid ads for your brand.

For both instances, you’ll aim to stand out from your competition and cut through the noise to get the user to stop and notice you. Seven seconds is all it takes for someone to make a first impression, and with only 6% of people looking at advertising for more than one second, it’s crucial that you can communicate your value in just a snippet of time. We recommend using attention-grabbing, high-quality images, suitable language, and a value-added piece of copy to share what you are all about.

While first impressions are everything, setting clear expectations is just as important. This is not the time to give clickbait, false promises or misleading information in an attempt to attract leads. The consequences of not being able to meet the expectations you set in front of your audience can have a detrimental impact on your brand. Put simply, don’t be a catfish.

Background research

We’ve all done it. The sneaky online stalk to see who someone really is and what they’re all about. So, when someone matches with you or someone discovers your brand, there’s no denying that they will likely be going straight to the internet and to their friends to learn everything they can about you.

Researching your values, analysing how you behave and engage with others, and discovering how other people perceive you, are all common areas people look into for both dating and brand consideration. To make the most of this investigative interest, you should not only be focusing your brand efforts on your website, but you should also be using your social media channels to post valuable content and engage with your audience.

This is also the time to re-look at your online reviews and how you respond to negative ones. How a brand or person behaves online is often a turning point in whether the individual will remain interested. To another extent, having no web presence or few posts on your social accounts is also a deterrent to some – because, let’s be honest, would you ever trust a Josh Smith from the ‘naki who only has one image from five years ago?


Digital marketing and dating

Making the first move

Focusing on the pull strategy approach, you want your lead/match to make the first move. Our best advice? Build trust.

Often it will take more than one interaction before trust is established and an action can be confidently made. Therefore, you need to continually engage with your audience/match by listening to their wants and needs rather than solely focusing on yourself.

Keep track (or first-party data more like) of their behaviour and preferences so that you can improve your interactions and share value in a way that benefits their needs. Making it more about them and less about you will help you refine your sales funnel by establishing a more genuine interest in your brand.

Digital strategies we would recommend to achieve this include the likes of customer match targeting, eDMs and dynamic remarketing ads. Once trust has been built up over time, you’ll also want to ensure that you create a seamless journey towards allowing the individual to make the final move. Avoid mixed signals (or the ‘play hard to get’ mentality) by prioritising website response speeds, relevant information, and appropriate call to action (CTA) buttons to help subconsciously guide the individual to act. 

Are they the one?

Now that the date was a success, it’s time for the dreaded ‘how soon is too soon?’ follow up message.

As digital marketers, we are constantly overthinking the frequency in which we should follow-up and touch base with customers. However, it is important to continue communicating with consumers to remain top of mind and to continue to provide personalised future offerings (or dates) that align with their preferences.

While there’s no need to completely bombard your customers with ongoing messages, they may begin to look elsewhere if you don’t touch base with them enough. Unfortunately, users may not always want to return after a date or first-time experience with a brand, and that’s ok. With first-party data, use emails and remarketing tactics to continue to nurture these prospects until it is the right time for them to act again. 

While maybe it’s just because we work in marketing that we can find these similarities between attracting quality customers and finding a decent date, there’s no denying that the digital landscape has been used for the better of the two. Whether it’s marketing yourself or marketing your brand, digital is a great option to expand your reach, be discovered, build relationships and have the opportunity to grow sales. 

Unfortunately, our client offerings have not yet expanded to provide online dating strategy and execution – however, we do have a pool of tailored services for your business in brand marketing.

Have a browse of our social channels, learn about our team, sing out for a chat, and let us get to know you over a coffee. You never know where this relationship may go.

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