4 Examples of Crowd Marketing
Crowd marketing connects brand representatives with vast numbers of potential users of your product or service in places they regularly visit to drive further action. Though a relatively new term, the concept isn’t new at all. In fact, you’ve been experiencing it for years. Consider a longtime favorite, the always popular Girl Scout Cookies.
Besides the word-of-mouth tales of cookies only available at a specific time of year, you’ve no doubt seen the adorable Girl Scouts outside grocery or retail stores selling their products where there are people likely to buy them. Let’s be honest; it works every single time to keep up the customer momentum, whether they have already purchased ten boxes this year or not. This practice started in the 1930s with the Girl Scouts displaying their cookies for sale in the windows of the gas and electric company where everyone had to go to pay their utility bills.
The concept is the same in the digital age, except marketers implement it where large, virtual audiences exist online, leveraging social media, SEO, influencer marketing, forums, and customer reviews, comments, and recommendations to promote a brand.
Elements of Crowd Marketing
A crowd marketing strategy can involve many aspects, from content distribution to commenting on forums, social media groups, and Q&A sites to submitting reviews on websites and more. Each of these steps reinforces your brand as an authority, industry leader, a trusted voice, and more importantly, it keeps your brand top of mind for the consumer. The organic outreach from crowd marketing among a smaller, targeted audience increases your credibility while building a loyal and engaged following. By adopting a combination of the following crowd marketing techniques, business owners and marketers can harness the power of customer momentum to promote their products and services.
1. Radio Influencer Outreach
Radio influencers can connect with a large, established, loyal audience. That following allows them to recommend your products, services, or promotions directly to an engaged group that overlaps with your target audience. Using a radio influencer is highly effective for local businesses, where the personalities are heard on-air, seen at events, and followed on social media. This approach provides multiple ways to reach the same audience, increasing the likelihood that people will visit your site, search for your products, and ultimately improves your web health.
2. Develop and Distribute Content
Developing high-quality, engaging content, such as blogs, videos, or podcasts, provides valuable educational, entertaining, or instructional information to your existing and potential customers. It further establishes your authority and credibility, especially when shared through social media, email marketing, or guest blogging. A common example of a business using content to establish themselves as an authority is an HVAC service company that posts blogs on their site about:
- How to troubleshoot problems with a home heating or cooling system
- What to do to keep it running more efficiently
- What type of seasonal maintenance done at specific times extends your product life
By providing easily accessible information to help save time or money, they nurture and build loyalty among their customers and newfound followers.
3. Online Audience Engagement
A business with an active online presence is more credible, accessible, and engaged, helping customers feel confident, cared for, and valued. It speaks well of your company when you answer posted questions, thank your customers for positive reviews, or immediately respond to negative ones with an apology and an offer to resolve the problem. Communicating with your customer is critical for your brand reputation and increasing customer confidence and loyalty. When done on online forums and social media, it allows you to gain insight into what your customers like, don’t like, and what they want in the future.
4. Encourage Customer Reviews and Recommendations
Encouraging customers to leave reviews and recommend your products shows consumers that you are genuinely concerned about their satisfaction. When you actively seek feedback, your existing customers feel more connected to your brand, and new customers view you as more credible.
One example is a client who was so pleased with her experience with Ashley Leavitt Photography that she left a detailed, positive review from her first shoot. A year later, she updated it with an even more detailed, positive review that included examples of the photographer’s pictures of her family. It not only gave tangible proof of the quality of the product but showed that the photographer provided a fun, personalized experience and a consistently superior product.
Following the Crowd Can Result in a Highly Effective Marketing Strategy
Crowd marketing may increase recognition and popularity as its efficacy as a digital marketing strategy grows, but it is far from a new concept. While the original crowd marketers depended upon reaching the largest number of people in places they frequented, often in person, the digital age has simplified and supercharged crowd marketing. It increases the reach and effectiveness of any campaign by connecting with huge virtual crowds of people, such as a popular radio influencer’s audience, social media followers, or through forums, Q&A, or reviews from customers who’ve done business with you. The effects of crowd marketing gain traction quickly when adopted as part of a fully integrated online approach.
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