What marketing channels are driving most results for customer acquisiotion of a marketplace?

(Tomas Kolafa) #1

:wave:, my name is Tomas Kolafa - part of www.rvezy.com RV Marketplace in Canada :canada:.

We are currently at late startup / early growth stage looking to significantly scale our customer acquisition in 2018.

Our challenge is picking the right battle by selecting the right marketing channels - due to limited resource and team capacity.

From a marketplace pespective, which channels did you focus on to drive predictable and low cost results ?

Appreciate any insights you can share.


(Shan Mahmood) #2

Hey Tomas,

Great question, allow me to give you the digital marketing perspective. What I can tell you is that as a late startup there are a couple things you want to think about. The short answer is paid search and Facebook, but it’s more complicated than that.

Paid Search (Google AdWords and Bing Ads) provides the most on recognizable brands

  • How recognizable is your brand?
  1. Branded keywords in Paid Search will always provide the best ROI, but how many people are searching for rvezy? I’d first start with branded keywords in paid search, but you may not get the much volume. This will build as you begin to build your brand. It costs money to make money, so you have to use a smart advertising strategy to get that going.

  2. Using non-brand keywords can get expensive so you have to make sure the keywords you’re advertising relate to your ad, and subsequently, relate to your landing page to keep costs as low as possible. Fortunately, if you advertise on the keyword “rent rv”, “rv for rent”, etc. then your costs should be lower than anything not so relatable (i.e., rent transportation, rent bus, etc.)

  3. Paid Search is great because you can literally find what people are searching for and thus target those people by targeting those search queries.

  4. I wouldn’t recommend doing paid search ads on your own. People like myself are hired into these professions because we’re experts. I’ve heard horror stories of small companies (such as a law firm) who would try advertising themselves but essentially burned money doing so.

  5. There seems to be a lot of competition in your space, so I expect that to negatively affect your costs for advertising on non-brand keywords in paid search.

  6. There are also retargeting options here when you build out your account.

Paid Social (mostly Facebook, but you can consider Twitter too)

  1. Paid social tends to be expensive, but you have the option of various forms of targeting. Using Facebook’s third-party targeting (targeting demographics based on user profiles and behavior) can get expensive because you’re casting a wide net. The more relevant the audience you’re targeting (determined by the behavior of the user with your ad), the cheaper the ad will be.

  2. To alleviate initial heavy costs, your best bet is to start with retargeting and lookalike audiences. You can target users who have been to your page but have not yet converted (I assume you know this already because you have pixels implemented onto your page). You can also upload e-mails to either retarget these people, or you can create lookalike audiences off of them (or the facebook users who have been to your site), which takes the e-mails or users who have been to your page, associates their behavior with people who have similar hobbies, interests, profiles (there’s an algorithm Facebook creates) and sends them the ad.

Display and YouTube

  1. The short answer to this is that Display and YouTube generally work much better for brand building than for driving immediate return on your ads. These two forms of digital advertising are also very expensive and should not be your first consideration.


  1. It seems as though you’re already somewhat SEO optimized. You have strong internal linking and meta data tags implemented on your site, which is helpful.

That’s the semi-long answer to your question. There’s so much more to it then the above stated, which I can’t really write about in a single post, but hope it will give you some rationale of the top two digital marketing channels. The other channel I might recommend are e-mails, but I am not an expert on the subject matter. Best of luck, reach out with any questions. Good luck.

(Tomas Kolafa) #3

Hey Shan,

Thanks for detailed reply!

We do outsource our paid acquistion to an agency which is effective.

Do you have a blog/website Shan?

Btw: Do you have experience with building referal systems?


(Shan Mahmood) #4

My apologies for the late response. As I sit on a plane boarding for Colombia only now noticing your reply because I’m stuck on a plane, I can tell you I’m not too familiar with building referral systems. Hopefully you’ve attained an answer for that by now.

As for a website/blog, I do not have one. I might consider starting g one, however.

(Joey Barker) #5

Online marketplace being a straight Ecommerce platform? If so, the answer is quite easy…

  1. Email Marketing - by FAR the highest return on investment as a last-touch sales channel… just ask Amazon, Target, Best Buy and Walmart

  2. PPC via Paid Social, Paid Search - perfect for online marketing funnels and even more so for any type of “tripwire” sales offer, paid media offers a quick win for low-involvement impulse buying or lead generation via email capture and further selling down the customer journey

  3. Facebook Ads (a more specific elaboration of #2 above) - all the benefits of paid media impulse marketing with unlimited targeting capability and the benefits of using more visual elements in the mix, like video or highly engaging imagery… they also have lead capture ads now as well, which I’ve found to be quite effective

  4. SEO - when you say “online marketplace” we presume you mean Ecommerce… and you CANNOT win the straight online store Ecommerce game (at least not cost-effectively) without winning in search results - Organically!

  5. Affiliate Marketing - You have buyers, friends and buyers with friends? Incentivize your audience, use networks, find advocates and offer good returns using an easy-to-setup affiliate marketing program