Robert Kiyosaki, the writer of the famous book Rich Dad Poor Dad, wrote: “No one achieves great things by following the crowd.”
Seems like he didn’t foresee 2020 with its pandemic and emergence of new normals and new trends – one of which is Crowd Marketing.
Marketing for the crowd, with the crowd, to get clients out of the crowd.
Crowd marketing is a comparatively new term in the world of digital marketing and search engine optimization.
Though new, it is not something just discovered, nor difficult to adopt in your current digital marketing plan. In fact, crowd marketing has been around for at least a decade and a half but under different names and not unified under one term.
What is Crowd Marketing?
Let me give you a one-liner definition of crowd marketing and then break it down for even easier understanding.
Definition: Crowd marketing is an optimization strategy that involves connecting with potential users of your product or service in channels where a huge number (crowd) of your potential customers visit regularly.
From the above definition, we understand and deduce the following about crowd marketing :
- It is a part of off-page SEO and digital marketing.
- Crowd marketing is mostly organic marketing wherein you go and connect with potential users of your product/service.
- This means that crowd marketing can be done by someone from the team or, even better, with a team dedicated to solely implement and manage crowd marketing techniques.
- Since crowd marketing involves connection, social media platforms and forums are two of the best-suited platforms for reaching out to a larger audience.
- Crowd marketing involves reviews, recommendations, and comments from the users.
- It actively involves reputation management.
- Crowd marketing drives in results if one is consistent with it.
If I have to put it very simply, crowd marketing is engagement done all over the internet with a focus on social media groups and forums.
Why does crowd marketing work so well
I am always skeptical about SEO tactics since a lot of it is on algorithms, and they change fast and rapid. You need to be always on your toes, keeping an eye on the whims of Google. Trying out brand new SEO tactics are scary; if done wrong, your website can spiral down the page-rank to oblivion. Such a site may be difficult to recover.
With crowd marketing, you don’t have that fear.
Crowd marketing is an almost foolproof method of getting you increased website traffic, subsequent sales, better ranking, and eventually, increased revenue.
You might ask here why crowd marketing is not mainstream if it is so fruitful. There is only one impediment to getting results from crowd marketing, and that is inconsistency.
In the world of digital marketing, if there’s one thing that will bring you results, it is consistency in following your marketing strategy. Sure, be open to making changes, and add to and subtract, but stick to the majority of your digital marketing strategy if you want to gain sales and revenue out of it.
Crowd marketing is one such aspect of digital marketing that needs consistency. You can start getting results overnight, but it would be short-lived. You may get a sale in the first week of actively engaging in crowd marketing techniques. However, if you are not consistent, you would be limited to only that sale.
So, yeah, like motivation, crowd marketing to wears out, if not done regularly.
But if you are serious about taking your sales to new heights, crowd marketing is for you. Crowd marketing is for you if you.
- Don’t want to invest your hard-earned money in buying pricey SEO plans from SEO companies.
- We are looking for an affordable, single-focused digital marketing strategy that will bring in sales when done effectively.
- Have the time and the resources to engage in crowd marketing, or alternatively, have a VA to work on it.
How to “Crowd Market”?
We now come to the how-to of crowd marketing and the methods and ways of crowd marketing. This is going to be a detailed section interspersed with examples and real-life success stories. Keep reading.
It is first important to understand that crowd marketing is not one concept or even one optimization technique. Crowd marketing is a dynamic concept – this means that there are numerous ways of doing it. The cluster of techniques adopted comes under a single term named crowd marketing.
Some common broad sections of crowd marketing include :
- Content distribution
- Forum and blog commenting.
- Commenting on social media groups and conversations
- Submitting website to review sites
- Active participation in Q&A sites
Let’s check in on each broad section and see how best to work each to our advantage :
Content Distribution & Engagement
Suppose you have a blog section on your website. Most sites have. Do you update your blogs regularly? At least once a month?
If not, start doing so.
And don’t just stop at just updating your blog. Go ahead and publish the same content in Medium and LinkedIn. Create a short post on it, and submit it in your social media feed with the link to the content in the post. Put it on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Go a step ahead, search for blog sites where you can guest post. You can skip putting the newest one as your guest blog-post, and instead refurbish an old piece of writing by making small changes (making changes optional).
Simply distribute your content to all possible places. Look for new places, new bloggers who would happily take in your content for a do-follow link.
But don’t stop at the distribution either. Keep an eye on the comments that your content drives in. Actively respond to those comments.
In content distribution, the focus should be primarily on keeping content relevant, contextual, and informative.
Pro Tip: It is best to keep the content distribution noted down in a Google spreadsheet and keep a schedule of visiting all the websites/platforms it is distributed weekly.
Forum and Blog commenting.
This digital marketing tactic is an old one and has gained momentum with the arrival of crowd marketing.
The approach to this tactic is simple: find out blogs and forums in your niche. Go ahead and read the blog post or discussion thread. Comment appropriately, or better still, share your knowledge on the topic.
Let’s get this clear with the help of an example.
Suppose you are launching a software product for team chat and collaboration. Let’s say your SaaS (PaaS in this case – platform as a service) is an affordable alternative to Slack. You would then need to find blog posts and forum threads that discuss business chat and collaboration tools.
You can also look for where your competitors are mentioned and ask forum members to look at the product developed by you. You can even ask users to test out the beta version of your app, and in this way, create an email marketing list even before you are fully live with your PaaS.
It is wise to not do push marketing, sending out your links everywhere when you engage in forums or blog posts in a large comment thread. Share your knowledge, be a regular, get seen, and then pitch to the audience.
Pro Tip: Reddit is a great place to catch up with a lot of potential customers. My company got its first-ever client from Reddit, and we know it has huge potential.
Getting used to Reddit can take some time, but definitely worth the time invested in doing so.
Social media platforms are becoming more business-friendly and are a great place to register your visibility. Regular posting can put you in good standing. It shows you have a presence. Your posts can showcase your products or services.
However, it is your engagement in your social media sites that set a tone for what your business stands for and can get you good, loyal customers.
For example, Instagram is great for products. But just putting up images of your products will do no good. You need to find out who the potential customers of your product are. You would need to reach out to them. You can ask them to use your product, sending them samples (if possible) and asking them to write positive reviews about it.
Focused on social media marketing? This section might help you out.
For software or service as a product, LinkedIn is a great place to approach potential clients.
Social media commenting and engagement is not without cons. You need to find which platform is most suitable for your business type. There would be an initial trial and error method to find out in which social media platforms your presence and engagement need to be strong and what channels you can skip or remain mellow.
Submitting website to review sites
There are tons of review sites for every niche. Find out what are the review sites that cater to your services or products. Contact them and ask them to review the services or products you offer.
While not in the main-stream crowd marketing, you can also communicate and engage with good affiliate marketers who are willing to try out your product and offer honest reviews. A good affiliate commission along with a discount code for the end-customers can go a long way in winning clients regularly from the same affiliate source.
Heard about affiliate marketing but not sure what it is exactly? Check this out!
It is also important to share a good rapport with review sites. Most commission earning websites look for a great product that helps their customers. Therefore, it is important that you start your crowd marketing with a review and affiliate sites once your product is completely ready for the market.
Active participation in Q&A sites
Q&A sites like Quora are gaining great popularity due to active participation from a great many people from all walks of life. There are tons of meaningful (and stupid) questions posted every minute.
Q&A forums function as great platforms for connecting. You can respond to questions that are based on your industry and not just on your product.
For example, if you are in the food supplement business, you are a good authority to express your views on food hazards, the importance of supplements for various ages, and so on and so forth. People will listen to you because they will see that you have expertise in producing food supplements. They might be interested in buying your products or referring to your potential customers.
That’s all, folks. But wait…
Following the crowd has its demerits 🙁
You have to be politically correct in whatever you comment. You have to be religiously correct too. Or else you may strike up the wrath of the crowd. It is better not to have an opinion on anything other than your business specifics when you are crowd marketing for your business.
A single comment bordering on a heated issue, a snide remark or sarcastic comment, or something as simple as wrong timing or wrong usage of words can brand you as racist, communist, feminist, right-winged, left-winged, anti or pro. You can be labeled by the crowd as they perceive you.
So be careful of your engagement and comments.
Do you do crowd marketing of your services or products? Share with us your most fruitful crowd marketing technique. Let’s share and help businesses flourish.