Four Ways to Make Your Service Stand Out in a Marketplace

A marketplace listing that fails to identify your service's value clearly, succinctly, and that makes it hard for consumers to find more information undercuts the point of using a marketplace at all.

Putting your app or service in a marketplace is one step toward attracting attention from people who will use it. But a marketplace alone is not enough to guarantee that you connect with your target users.

Marketplaces are typically quite large, offering a dizzying number of choices. Even in a smaller marketplace – say, one with a few dozen different services – very few consumers will scan through each listing manually. They'll instead look for tags, or use a search function to try to find features that interest them. Even then, there is no guarantee that your solution will rise to the top of the results.

Making your service or app stand out in a marketplace requires careful planning and attention to some important details when you create your listing. Here's a rundown of the top four elements to consider to make your service stand out.

1. Describe the Function and Purpose Clearly

First of all, you want the value of your service to be readily apparent even to someone who only scans the description quickly. To do this, you must communicate the chief functionality of the solution clearly and succinctly. Ensure that the unique features of the service, and the value they provide, are easy for the reader to identify.

Consider a service that allows an application to authenticate users based on Active Directory. A description that reads "Connect to Active Directory" does a poor job of describing the service's functionality clearly. The phrase "Connecting to Active Directory” could mean different things and a developer scanning the description might be unsure whether the service joins a host to an AD domain, adds user accounts, or something else.

A better description would read "Use Active Directory to authenticate users." This makes the purpose of the service clear in just a few, succinct words.

2. Be Succinct

Using too much detail is a common pitfall that many may face when trying to describe the value of their service.. Many services do more than just one specific thing and it is tempting to try to describe them all.

The problem is that, in marketplaces, users are scanning through a lot of listings quickly. They will not read a long list of features or a multi-paragraph blurb about what your service does. They're instead going to read the first sentence and then (if you're lucky) scan the rest of the description for keywords.

Don't get wrapped up in trying to describe the functionality of your service in exhaustive detail. That's what documentation and tutorials are for. In the marketplace, you want to highlight the most valuable, unique features that you provide; just enough to draw users in, but not so much that they become overwhelmed, unsure what your main selling points are, or skip reading your description altogether.

3. Provide a Clear Path to Documentation and Tutorials

Of course, many users will want more information about how your service works. For them, your marketplace listing should include links to portals where they can find additional details in the form of service documentation or tutorials that walk through how the service works.

Don't count on users to look for that content themselves. In a marketplace where they are sorting through a long list of different options, they may not take the time to Google your documentation database or look for a tutorial of your service before they move onto the next listing. Make it clear from the listing itself where they can look for more information.

4. Highlight Integrations

Part of the reason why developers come to a marketplace, to begin with, is that they are looking for a selection of interrelated tools. They are building a multi-faceted application or platform, and they want to use a variety of different marketplace services to do it.

Making it clear which other services integrate with your service will help developers see at a glance how your offering fits within their broader agenda. Don't force them to open documentation pages to find out which integrations you support. Make it clear and obvious from right within the marketplace.

Conclusion

A marketplace listing that fails to identify your service's value clearly, succinctly, and that makes it hard for consumers to find more information undercuts the point of using a marketplace at all. Developers come to a marketplace because they want to be able to find the tools they need to scratch an itch (or multiple itches) quickly, without having to spend hours reading overly verbose descriptions or trying to piece through overwhelming detail in search of what matters to them.

Give developers a clear, concise understanding of your service's value from the get-go, and you'll stand out from the crowd.

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