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If you’re looking for how to scale a marketplace, you’ve come to the right place.
Below, you’ll find a 2022 guide to scaling a marketplace. We’ll explain what scaling is, break down various marketplace growth strategies, share tips for B2B and B2C marketplaces and more. Ready? Let’s begin.
What does it mean to scale a marketplace?
Let’s start with the basics and define what scaling means. Scaling a business means that you are growing without increasing resources. The idea of scaling has become much more relevant in recent years because of technology and its natural ability to scale more simply than a traditional brick and mortar store.
For marketplaces, scalability describes the company’s ability to expand (like attracting more vendors and customers or producing more sales) without being limited by its structure. Scalability often depends on how the marketplace was designed and its flexibility to welcome business changes.
So, why is scaling important?
Scaling is important because it yields higher profits and enables even faster growth. Another reason is to remain competitive with other marketplaces that may be scaling alongside you.
Another common question: When should you begin scaling your marketplace?
You should begin scaling a marketplace once you’ve validated your place in the market and feel the potential of growing. To scale, you’ll need to try various marketplace growth strategies. That’s next.
Marketplace growth strategies
There are many different growth strategies you can use to scale your marketplace. To sum them all up, there are two general types. First, there are paid strategies or those that require a marketing budget. Second, there are organic strategies or those that are free.
Let’s take a closer look at the most popular methods of scaling a marketplace. Then, you can decide which marketplace growth strategies you’d like to try first.
1. Paid Ads
One of the fastest ways to drive traffic to any new brand is via paid ads. These can be in the form of Google Ads, social media ads, banner ads and more. All paid ads require a budget but thankfully you can find success for just a few dollars per day.
As you begin, be sure to test different ad placements, copy, and designs. Once you reveal your highest producing ads, invest more money behind those.
A free way that many online brands scale is by SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO is the process of making your website better for search engines. The better SEO your site has, the higher the site will rank in searches driving more traffic to your site organically.
SEO can be done by content marketing (more on that strategy soon), updating website copy and meta descriptions plus updating the site with new content regularly—like writing a blog. The downside is that SEO takes a long time to produce results. It may also require hiring an SEO expert to audit your site for better results.
3. Social Media
Social media is a key pillar in building brand awareness. By engaging with potential marketplace users and generating excitement about your brand, social media helps you to build an online community.
To be successful on social media, focus on just one or two platforms. Meanwhile, be sure to engage with other accounts daily in addition to posting your own content consistently.
4. Email Marketing
Another smart way to scale a marketplace (or any business) is by old fashioned email marketing. This growth strategy promises the highest ROI of all marketing channels at $42 back for every dollar spent.
Make a serious effort to capture email addresses through your website or social media. Simple, automated email campaigns can continue to generate sales long after they are launched.
5. Content Marketing
If you’re wondering how to collect email addresses, content marketing is one way to do it. By offering a content resource, aka a freebie, people will happily hand over their email to receive it.
If it makes sense for your marketplace niche, design an eBook, write a case study, or offer a coupon. Content marketing can be as creative as you wish! It is designed to attract more traffic to your site and maybe capture an email address along the way.
6. Public Relations & Partnerships
Has your marketplace done anything newsworthy? Don’t sit on it, share it! Public relations are a great way to increase your visibility and build brand awareness within the community. Consider hosting a charity promotion on your marketplace and contacting media sources about it.
Likewise, you could partner with another like-minded brand or industry influencer to gain exposure to their network and following. Influencer marketing has proven to become a great way to boost your traffic and sales.
What strategy is best for me to scale?
The growth strategies you choose all depend on your unique goals. For example, paid ads may produce the quickest results, but profitability may suffer until you can finesse your ad campaigns. Meanwhile, a free strategy like SEO takes a long time to work.
Our advice? Focus on just one or two strategies at a time. That way, you can more easily track your successes and cut your losses if one doesn’t work well for you.
Once you find a solid strategy or two, pour more effort into that. Do more of what’s working for you to scale.
How do you scale a B2C marketplace?
A B2C marketplace has endless opportunities to scale because it involves so many different end-users. To attract both sellers and buyers, you must cast a wide net to reach them both.
Online marketplace strategies for scaling a B2C platform include those that create a lot of traction and get in front of more eyeballs, like:
- Engaging on social media, like Instagram
- Investing in paid ads
- Joining online communities
- Hosting events online or offline
- Partnering with other brands and/or influencers
- Building brand awareness overall
How do you scale a B2B marketplace?
Since a B2B marketplace connects businesses, it involves a more niche approach. This can be a good thing since you have a clearer idea of who exactly you are attracting so you can target your scaling approach.
To scale a B2B marketplace, growth strategies are more direct, like:
- Using more focused social platforms, like LinkedIn
- Strengthening SEO to address unique search keywords
- Engaging in online communities related to your niche
- Getting referred via word of mouth marketing
- Creating content marketing materials specific to your prospects
Over to you!
There you have it. Now you have some actionable strategies for how to scale a marketplace in 2022.
In the end, scaling your marketplace will take testing various growth strategies. But, once you uncover your most successful methods, you can scale those efforts and grow your marketplace!
Looking to build and design a marketplace that’s easy to scale? Try Kreezalid for free!