This article is about a highly interesting promotion method called crowd marketing. Literally, “crowd” means “any large number of persons”. Therefore, this term can be defined as follows:
Crowd Marketing is a promotion technique, which provides for a complex of events aimed at increasing sales of a particular product, based on recommendations that occur as a result of a the website or brand (TM) promotion on the internet.
In effect, crowd marketing includes short, someone may even call them implicit, recommendations of useful resources that are actually commercial in their nature by “respected users”, so-called experts.
What is Crowd Marketing For?
One of the major goals of crowd marketing is to manage recommendations and feedback from internet users so that as a result they would lead to increase of sales. Besides, crowd marketing can affect the brand image and also increase the website traffic and its positions in search results, notably in Google.
It shall be noted that using typical “pepper bombing” of media and posting on Facebook won’t help you achieve similar results – it is simply impossible, because information shall be delivered to “proper set of ears” and in a proper way. This is the main difference between crowd marketing and traditional SEO, SMM, PR, etc., as it is initially aimed at those users willing to buy your particular product. They just need a little push towards the sale, and the best way to do so is to provide them with an expert opinion and a link to your website, or by showing your product “to full advantage”.
How does Crowd Marketing Work?
Crowd marketing works as follows
1. A Company that aims to increase sales of a particular product (such as a roof paint, for example) registers several accounts in social media and on competent websites related to the segment. Such actions shall take into account the region, where sales are planned.
2. Using these accounts, the company or its representatives act as experts by providing practical and useful advice on abovementioned platforms. At that, an expert advertises a product covertly. In other words, he or she doesn’t say “buy this or that”, as the discussion isn’t initially focused on “fast-talking” someone into buying the product, but rather suggests or recommends to try or to learn more about this or that material, slightly pushing the user towards the selection process or studying the issue in more detail, which should lead to predicting consequences. Recommendations shall be published on a website, from which sales will take place directly. As a result, if everything is done correctly and if recommendations are useful and justified, users will do what’s expected from them and act in accordance with the designed scenario: publish links on other sources, which guarantees reposts.
3. As a result, user will see the same pages with the required content supported by the opinion of the respected expert. As a result, image will grow fast. And user facing the problem will know where to find a solution; in our case it’s the website that does not only answers the questions, but also sells roof paint.
Crowd marketing: STEP BY STEP
Lets review this process using a specific example, and go through the crowd marketing process step by step:
1. First of all, we need to know the ropes about our target audience:
- geographic principles – region of residence, regional market structure, market dynamics in the segment;
- demographic characteristics – gender, family status, familu structure and life cycle, level of income and occupation;
- behavioral characteristics – loyalty to a product, motivation factors, information level about a product and overall satisfaction with products;
- psychographic principles – life style, social status, personality type.
2. Draft the map of questions:
- How to choose roof paint?
- What paint to use for a roof?
- How to paint a roof?
- How durable is roof paint?
- How to prepare a roof for painting?
3. “Cleanup” of the website:
- create detailed descriptions of products and services provided;
- add high-quality photos and, preferably, videos representing the product;
- make sure prices are up-to-date;
- add quality certificates, licenses, and other materials that may affect the image.
An example of good design of the product page:
4. Tracking keyword queries among those specified in the map of questions.
To solve this task, one shall use a number of tools:
Google. Search websites and forums for reviews and questions regarding the promoted product;
- Google Alerts andTalkwalker. Systems to receive notifications about new questions or reviews;
- Disqus. A tool to track comments regarding the promoted product in blogs.
Kribrum. Monitoring of social media and forums;
- Tagboard, LiveTweet, Tweetdeck. Monitoring of Twitter social network;
- Facebook, Google Plus, VK.com, Twitter. Means of communications with potential customers;
- Google Analytics. . Analysis of referals to the product website as well as customer behavior on the website.
Depending on specific goals and queries, list of tools can be amended or updated with necessary services and applications, or you might want to shorten it by deleting those irrelevant instead. For example, if you don’t plan to communicate with clients via Twitter, you can turn off monitoring of that network.
5. Assisting your target audience in finding answers to their questions.
There are a number of tools, so-called services, to do so as well:
These are the services people use to find answers to their questions, so why skip the opportunity to help them find a product or service they need?
6. Quotation and recommendation of your brand.
7. Follow-up on your work.
Here you shall pay special attention to the following characteristics:
- number of brand mentions and references to it;
- number of link click-throughs and their quality;
- traffic growth for selected queries.
Crowd marketing is based on communication, i.e. you don’t actually sell anything, and the resulting sale is rather a consequence of your work. People are tired of conventional advertisement and you need to earn their trust, receive a good feedback to your expert opinions. Your goal is to ram home a point to a person, a crowd that you and your product are the best, last and only option. And only after that you’ll be able to sell something and even multiply your sales.