What Online Dating can teach you about Digital Marketing

Hi. I’m Bernadine and I’m single.

Working as I do in Digital Strategy, one day I thought “hey, surely I can use the web to meet eligible members of Sydney’s male population, right?” Internet dating seemed like a great way to meet new people, enjoy myself and take a break from work. So I set up my profile and off I went.

Then I realised something. Internet dating wasn’t much of a break from work at all, it actually requires similar skills.  The basics of getting your digital marketing right are the same principles you need to find a date online.

So whether you’re looking to improve your brand’s digital presence or your online dating profile, here’s some tips to help.

1. Know your product and know your customer

While of course I’m quite the catch, I’m admittedly not to everyone’s taste. But I know that what people like about me is that I can be pretty funny, hence I’ve made my dating profile really quite silly.

Your brand is just the same – you can’t and don’t appeal to everyone. If you want to attract the people who will buy your products online, start by understanding what you have to offer and what your customers want. Then build your digital presence to attract those people.

2. Develop your own tone of voice

There are literally hundreds of single men in my ‘target’ demographic – and reading through profiles can get a little… well… samey.

I can’t tell you how much more enjoyable it is to read a dating profile that actually gives me a taster of the guy’s personality.

The web at large is really no different. There’s a lot of noise out there. The most successful brands online have a unique, recognisable tone of voice – their brand personality shines through the images and words they choose to present.

People respond to personality. Simple as that!

3. Be social

Sure, I could launch a website full of information about myself to try to find a date – with compelling copy, great photography and a simple way to get in touch. Heck, maybe that would even work, if I had budget and a good strategy to help people find it out there in a big wide internet world.

But there’s a saying: fish where the fish are. That’s why we sign up to digital services like social networks (our friends are already there) and dating sites (fellow singletons are already there).

That is also the key reason brands get involved in social media. Sure, your own business website is important, but almost half of Australians log into social media sites every day. Can the people find your brand in the space they already spend their time?

4. Keep content fresh

The Internet dating game is fast-moving and fickle, and dating sites need to keep people engaged by serving up new matches regularly. Put simply, you’re more likely to appear higher in the results page if you’re logging in regularly – and keeping your content up-to-date.

Changing your profile photo, adding new ones, answering questions, editing your profile – these activities show dating sites that you’re an active user, one that is ripe for the picking, so to speak.

The same is true for your website. Search engines prioritise websites using a number of factors, relevant content and recency included. So keep that content flowing!

5. Target your messages

A few days into my online dating experience, something started really bugging me. Messages from various online daters that say nothing but “hey”, “hi” or “hello.”

Give me something to work with, people!

Tell me this. What kind of message makes you click? A simple, impersonal blanket message that makes you feel like one of many? Or a comment or question about you and the stuff that you like that makes you feel like someone is interested in you, not just anyone?

The average person receives around 72 email messages every day. Make sure yours gives your customers a reason to click.

6. Create a consistent brand experience

These days everyone in digital talks about creating an integrated, seamless, frictionless brand experience. But what does that really mean?

For me, internet dating makes this tension really clear. You read a profile which is witty and full of personality, you exchange some fun and entertaining messages. You  think “this guy seems fun” and start to look forward to meeting him. Then, you meet in real life. He’s late, makes all the dating mistakes you can think of, the conversation drags and frankly, you can’t wait to get away. Certainly not the offline experience that meets the expectations set online.

Your customers don’t view their interactions with your brand through the filter of ‘online’ or ‘offline’ – so why do businesses?

So there you go, online dating is just digital Marketing 101. If you’ve want advice on how to get these basics in place in your business – or if you want to know how to take your digital to the next level, talk to us here at Zuni.

Or of course, if you just want to take me out on a date, try here.



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