Need inspiration for your own content strategy? Take a look at what these dating websites are doing.
Is it fair to look towards dating sites for content marketing inspiration? They are selling love and sex, two things almost every human on the planet wants. They don’t have to try too hard. But, there are thousands of dating websites out there. Only a handful manage to stick around on users’ mobile phones. What’s the differentiator? Look closely, and you will find that successful dating apps differentiate on two fronts - design and content. And that’s where the lessons lie.
5 Dating Websites That Are Killing it at Content Marketing
It is important that you look at content and design together. A great blog will get you the attention. But a bad user experience will drive users away. Similarly, a great in-app experience will keep the users hooked. But a strong content marketing game will build loyalty, and also attract new users. Here are 5 dating websites that get the dance between content and design just right.
Arguably one of the most popular dating apps out there, Tinder upended online dating when it first arrived on the scene. The user experience of the app is very intuitive and straightforward. Right swipe if you like someone. Left swipe if you don’t. The dating app spawned an entirely new trend in mobile commerce called Tinderisation. The gamification of online dating is what works for Tinder. It also uses other design tools to grab users’ attention. The bright red notifications for new matches and unread messages. Cleverly worded push notifications to lure users back to the app.
On the content front, Tinder sticks to in-app creative strategies. For example, it's ‘Swipe Night’ event. The interactive in-app event lets users navigate through a storyline. Users’ choices decide how the story ends. And the ending decides who users match with. It is like watching a movie, except you are directing the movie. It immediately gives users nice prompts to carry a conversation with a new match.
Similarly, Tinder is bringing the good old-fashioned blind dating to the online dating world. The new feature allows users to chat with people before visiting their profiles. The dating app helps potential dates with fun prompts and quick games to get the conversation going. The emphasis is on conversation rather than pictures. It is almost like the Yahoo Messenger days of the yore, packaged in a mobile-friendly, millennial-friendly avatar. By moving users away from the ‘face-first’ approach, it is also encouraging them to stay longer on the app. The longer people stay on Tinder, the higher the engagement rate, which also means more chances of selling their premium add-on features.
Off the app, Tinder is focusing on influencers and YouTube to build an audience. For example, Bretman Rock doling out Tinder advice. Or TikTok sensation Sarah Jade Bleau teaching dance moves to football stars. The strategy could be to lure younger audiences to the dating app. As of 2020, users between the ages of 30 and 44 form the bulk of Tinder’s users.
Content marketing tips you can pick from Tinder
Simplify your user experience. Make it easy for people to engage with your brand online. You can even tailor the ‘swipe left, swipe right’ mechanism to your website experience. For instance, let users save items to their wishlist with a swipe.
Look to the olden days for content marketing inspiration. If your target audience is in the 30-45 age bracket, you can ride the nostalgia wave. And find a way to encourage user participation in your content strategy. User-generated content is the most obvious way to do it. But you need social media numbers to pull it off. An easier strategy is inviting participation in industry surveys. Keep them genuine. And analyze the findings in a report that you can publish on your blog. For example, if you run a freelance marketplace, you could survey users on average payouts according to job types.
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One of the earliest dating websites, OkCupid predates the swiping era. It has made some changes to its design to appeal to a millennial audience. But what hasn’t changed is content is still taking center stage. Unlike other popular dating apps, users can write long essays on their profiles. They can be as elaborate or as succinct as they want to be. And a lot of times, people have a lot to say about themselves. It can make for interesting reading. More importantly, it allows people to show who they really are.
Making a profile on OkCupid is a little more time-intensive than making one on Tinder. But then, OkCupid’s initial allure starts with people for whom values and interests are more important than looks. This brings us to OkCupid’s iconic question section.
Users can take a personality-style quiz that asks them for their likes and dislikes. Questions range from their sexual preferences to their stand on vaccination. The dating website then draws up matches based on mutual interests. Even if you aren’t getting a date through the app, answering these questions can be a fun way to kill time, and get to know yourself a little better. It ties in with OkCupid’s theme of letting people express themselves on the platform.
On the content front, OkCupid has taken a sex-positive approach, right from its early days. A quick look at their blog tells you that they are positioning themselves to be an inclusive dating website. It is one of the few dating websites to have separate options for polyamorous people. It was also one of the first dating websites that let users add their pronouns, appealing to the global LGBTQIA+ community. The content on the blog supports this positioning, from the #RighttoLove campaign to data-backed articles on cross-border love. The dating website appeals to progressive, left-leaning, sex-positive users.
A key feature of OkCupid’s content strategy is to use data to shine a light on dating preferences. Almost every other blog post is about a data-backed dating trend and what it means for users. In fact, the dating website’s love for data goes way back, to when big data wasn’t such a buzzword. And it has its own set of loyal fans.
Content marketing tips you can take from OkCupid
Data lies at the core of OKCupid’s content marketing strategy. Look closely, and you will find what really works for them:
- Quality content: They don’t post very regularly. But almost every post is worth a read. Strong headlines really pique your interest.
- Precise targeting: They know their audience. And their entire content marketing strategy is catering to that audience.
- Authenticity: Almost no blog post has a CTA. They are giving to the community without asking anything in return. That builds trust.
Now, you don’t have to go the ‘no CTA’ route. CTAs are there to goad visitors to action. But focusing on long-form, quality content has its long-term benefits. You can also use OkCupid as an inspiration to understand your audience a lot better. Instead of simply focusing on dating tips and relationship advice, OkCupid has gone granular. They have understood who their audience really is and the kind of content they resonate with.
Replicate that in your content marketing strategy. Let’s say you are a SaaS company. Analyze your customer base and see the kind of businesses that are using your services. Who is leading these businesses? What are their demographics? What do they stand for ideologically and politically? Dig deep and understand them as people. At the end of the day, content marketing is about reaching out to people. When you understand who you are reaching out to, you can speak in a language they will resonate with.
Aisle is an India-founded dating website that treads the middle path between online dating and online matrimony. As of 2020, Aisle has a 3.4 million strong user base that’s spread across the globe. What immediately stands out about the dating website - clear, concise messaging that sets it apart from other dating platforms. Aisle is catering to people who are serious about finding love and want to get off the dating apps.
They highlight success stories on their blog to build trust with new and existing users. Think of these stories as long-form testimonials. By featuring real people, complete with pictures, they are also building an authentic brand image were helping people find love matters to them.
Signing up for the dating website is a little tedious, though. You have to fill up an extensive questionnaire, complete with links to your social media handles. Aisle verifies your identity before your account is activated on the dating website. By making the sign-up process a little more time-intensive than the rest, Aisle is ensuring that the ‘unserious’ ones don’t flood the platform. It is catering to its target audience and ensuring a good user experience.
Content marketing tips you can take from Aisle
Like OkCupid, Aisle has zeroed in on its target audience. Since the sign-up process is time-intensive, it needs that extra push to convince new users. And that’s where success stories come in. The strategy can be replicated for businesses selling high-value services or products. Let’s say you are a business selling annual data analytics subscriptions to other businesses. Instead of relying on static testimonials on your landing page, invest in case studies and whitepapers.
Publish client success stories on your blog. Push these out in your email newsletters. Include actionable insights at the end of each piece. You could also publish these actionable insights as infographics on your social media handles. Anything that’s visually attractive and byte-sized can work really well for social media.
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An elite dating website, eHarmony is one of the earliest dating websites out there. It caters to serious singles out there who are looking to date, much like Aisle. 38% of its 15 million-strong user base falls in the 35-54 age bracket. A quick glance at their blog tells you that eHarmony takes a very traditional approach to dating. And that makes sense, given their older demographic.
You have to fill out an extensive personality questionnaire when signing up on the dating website. And it is expensive. Their basic plan starts at $19.95 per month and goes up to $59.95 per month. There is a free tier, but it isn’t much you can do in the free tier.
Most of their content marketing strategy hinges on dating advice for cis-gendered, heterosexual people. Much like Aisle, it also has success stories on its blog from real people who have found love on the dating website.
The homepage of the dating website builds trust with numbers. According to the platform, someone finds love on it every 14 minutes. And there is an almost equal distribution of men and women on the dating platform.
Content marketing tips you can take from eHarmony
Cater to your audience. Analyze your user base and find the language they will resonate with. eHarmony takes a very serious, conventional approach to its content marketing. The tone of their articles is the polar opposite of that of OkCupid’s. In fact, the two dating websites are at opposite ends of the dating spectrum. eHarmony does not even entertain LGBTQIA+ people. A side-by-side study of the two dating websites can give you cues on how to mold your content strategy to your target audience.
A direct competitor of eHarmony, Match.com is one of the most popular dating websites in the US. It boasts a 21 million strong user base, mostly spread around the 25-54 age bracket. Unlike most other dating platforms on this list, Match.com does not rely on regular blog posts or in-app content strategies. Instead, it focuses on authority building by way of its yearly ‘Singles in America’ survey.
The dating website surveys 5,000 singles each year and publishes its findings in the form of infographics and long-form content. Respected publications look forward to this annual survey. In fact, in 2015, the ‘Clooney Effect’ article took the internet by storm. The 2015 survey finding was picked up and analyzed by The Atlantic, among others.
A feature of Match.com’s survey findings is catchy phrases. The dating website’s latest survey coined the term ‘The Grown-Up Glow Up.’ It is to summarize the trend of people resetting their sexual and romantic preferences post the COVID-19 pandemic. The phrase is picked up by Toronto Sun, Toronto’s tabloid newspaper.
Content marketing tips you can take from Match.com
Genuine surveys that unearth trends are a great way to build authority. These surveys get picked up by journalists and content creators worldwide. You build backlinks, which is great for your SEO. More importantly, respected names cite your brand name when quoting the survey, thereby helping you reach a wider audience.
Another key takeaway - coin unique terms that can captivate internet readers. These can also work as trending hashtags on social media, further helping you with brand awareness.
Key Content Marketing Takeaways from Dating Websites
Your audience lies at the heart of your content marketing strategy. Understand what makes them tick. Adapt to their language. Push content that resonates with them. And focus on quality rather than quantity. It might not give you quick rewards. But do it consistently, and you will start to establish your brand value.
Speaking of value, give your audience something valuable. It could be an experience, like Tinder’s ‘Swipe Night’, or interesting information, such as OkCupid’s data blog. Surveys, whitepapers, and case studies are all excellent ways to share valuable information with your target audience.
Break up this information into easily digestible infographics for your social media. Catchy, unique phrases are also a great way to up your chances of trending on social media.
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