Crowd marketing with your own and other people's hands: we learn the basics

The material was prepared by Zhanna Tarakanova, content marketer referr.ru.


Crowd marketing is the process of interacting with the target audience on third-party Internet resources in order to attract attention to your product. It helps to create a positive image of the company, increase the reach of the audience and indirectly improves the reference profile.

Crowd marketing is literally “crowd marketing” in English.

Basic concepts

Some users confuse crowd marketing with spam. The opinion that crowd is a link for the sake of a link is completely wrong. The main focus of this type of promotion is the end result - attracting an audience, sales, brand awareness.

The main differences between crowd marketing and spam:

  • Help in solving the problem of man

Crowd marketing involves communication with the audience. Compared to regular spam, the priority is to focus on the opinion of people (experts or just amateurs), which is supported by a link or several links, among which is the mention of your site.

  • The possibility of sending to the sites of competitors

In some cases, in crowd marketing it is permissible to refer to the sites of competitors.

  • Manual placement

You must first join the conversation and interest users. Therefore, the desired effect can be achieved only when placed manually.

  • Promotion of only quality product

If your product or service is of poor quality, crowding will only kill it. After all, after clicking on the link, the user will be convinced that the recommended product does not correspond to what was said about it.

  • Selection of traffic sites

Leave reviews and comments should not be everywhere. Before you start placing a comment, you should check the theme of the site and the general activity of the discussions (no more than 30 days from the last message).

Examples

Below are examples of good crowd marketing in English-speaking forums.

Some people think that it is enough just to go to the forum and leave a link. This is not true. It is important that the comment corresponds to the topic of discussion. Otherwise, it will immediately become clear that the message is artificial.

Here are some good examples of bad crowd marketing:

To prevent this from happening, it is important that only specially trained people be engaged in writing reviews and placing them.

What problems does crowd marketing do?

Crowd is a tool on the verge of SEO and marketing. It goes beyond the SEO tool in its pure form, because with it you can attract additional traffic and increase sales, as well as increase brand awareness and audience loyalty.

SEO

From the point of view of SEO, crowd marketing allows solving 4 main tasks:

  • creating the dynamics of the link profile of the site: crowd-marketing involves placing anchor-free links that well complement classic rental links, increasing the effectiveness of the entire link mass;
  • getting targeted traffic: for placement of links, thematic sites with good attendance are selected, which contributes to a good influx of customers;
  • secure link promotion: after inputting search reference filters, the use of crowd links has become a necessity, since they serve as a preventive measure against sanctions. Compared to classic links, crowd links can be placed an unlimited number of times without fear of falling under "Minusinsk";
  • top search engine results: output to the top affects your site to be seen by more people.

Marketing

In addition to SEO promotion, crowd marketing also performs the main marketing tasks:

  • brand name crops: manual placement of links on relevant sites increases brand awareness, which leads new customers;
  • creating a positive key around the brand / site: if there are a large number of positive reviews about your product / service at different sites, it will help to create a positive atmosphere around the brand.

Brand reputation management

Through the use of SEO and marketing at the same time, you can manage your own brand reputation, namely:

  • work with negative: even if negative comments have already been left about your product, the situation can be remedied by posting positive feedback from other customers;
  • create informational crops: with their help, new people who may later become your customers will learn about you;
  • work against competitors: It is possible that your competitors are already using crowd marketing. To get more advantageous positions on their background, you should pick up sites where they have not yet managed to be placed, but it is also important to keep mentions even where there are already links to your competitors.

Who is not crowd marketing?

Below we have listed niches for which the use of crowd marketing is unprofitable from the point of view of return on investment in website promotion:

  • companies with a narrow focus (punch shop in Omsk, cleaning apartments in Kharkov);
  • offline business companies;
  • companies in which delivery is limited to a specific city or region;
  • companies specializing in complex products with a limited audience (turbine turbogenerator, servers for the internal network);
  • owners of irrelevant, non-informative sites: even if a person follows the link to the site, he is unlikely to want to stay there;
  • network marketing: with the help of crowd marketing it is impossible to promote a whole kind of activity, it helps to ensure the popularity of only something specific;
  • prohibited topics (adult, alcohol, weapons, medicine).

Crowd marketing venues

1. Forums

Forums are treasuries for crowd marketing. Here they share tips, discuss problems, make friends. To achieve maximum efficiency, you should choose the right forum that will be relevant to your product or service, as well as be able to join the conversation.

2. Comments

Comments are most often posted under articles, publications (media, info sites). As is the case with the forums, they should fit the topic and be as natural as possible.

3. Services question / answer

Also great for crowd marketing. The most popular now are "[email protected]", Toster.ru, etc. At such sites it is best to start a comment with a question. The maximum effect of promotion ensures the use of multiple profiles.

4. Review sites

Review sites are inherently very similar to a book of reviews and suggestions, only in electronic format. Many people, before buying something, want to first read the latest reviews about the product and go to similar sites. Crowd-marketing reviews show high efficiency when located in this place.

The most popular review sites can be found on the first page of the search results. As a rule, they cover all topics, but if you wish, you can search for a narrow focus. It is convenient to use an operator to display results on a specific site or domain. “Site:”, and to search for similar sites operator “Related:”.

Execution technology

Search operators

Usually an experienced link-builder has his own base of sites for placing links, but despite this, most of the time is spent searching for a topic that is suitable for placing a link. This is the most hated stage for many specialists, so we tried to simplify the task.

So, the main search teams:

  • by types of sites inurl: forum;
  • search for a keyword on one particular site online dating site: quora.com;
  • search for similar sites related: forumhouse.ru;

Monitoring systems

One of the important aspects of website promotion is the analysis of references in social networks and interaction with the audience.

Popular monitoring systems:

  • //www.google.com/alerts;
  • blogs.yandex.ru;
  • BuzzBundle;
  • talkwalker.com;
  • youscan.ru;
  • kribrum.ru;
  • mention.com;
  • socialmentions.com.

Crowd marketing strategies

As a tool, crowd marketing has been around for 4 years. During this time, it was possible to develop various strategies that helped many businesses and start-ups to develop. Introducing the best.

1. Classic crowd marketing

The principle of the classic crowd marketing:

  • search for fresh discussions;
  • register a new account or use an existing one;
  • upgrade account;
  • studying the problem of man;
  • writing a comment with a link.

In the process of work, you may encounter such difficulties as lack of traffic sites and the lack of fresh topics for discussion.

But if you do everything correctly, as a result you will get:

  • increase in the number of references;
  • positive dynamics of the reference profile;
  • site recognition.

2. Extraction of natural links

Getting natural links is the main task of a crowd marketer. But the fact is that to determine where the live link, and where not, is quite difficult. And this problem occurs not only in people, but also in search engines.

Most importantly, the link was relevant and did not cause suspicion of advertising.

The principle of operation, as well as the difficulties that you may encounter in the process, are the same as in the case of classic crowd marketing.

The main goal of this strategy is to create a dynamic link profile.

With the extraction of natural links you can:

  • dilute the reference profile;
  • give it a natural touch;
  • speed up site indexing;
  • increase visibility in search engines.

3. Promotion in the footsteps of competitors

The goal is to get links from pages that already have links to competitors.

The main difficulties you may encounter are:

  • the cyclical nature of the process: it will be necessary to analyze competitors all the time, since they are not standing still and also use new methods of advancement;
  • large time costs: the analysis takes a large amount of time, especially if your niche is popular;
  • the formation of detailed TZ performers.

The process is quite complicated, but it is fully justified by the final result - getting links from the most relevant domains, which affects the growth of positions and organic traffic.

These are just some of the popular strategies. In fact, there are many more.

Ways of implementation?

All types of promotion require time-consuming and certain financial investments by a specialist, head of the marketing department or business owner. But not always with the help of high costs you can save time. We recommend to allocate a few hours and determine for yourself the best way to work with crowd marketing.

Depending on the method of implementation chosen, the process of crowd marketing will differ significantly.

Let us consider in more detail the main ways of implementing a crowd marketing campaign.

Post by yourself

The most budget option is to post links yourself. This will allow you to achieve maximum involvement and complete control, but you should not count on an impressive result either. The maximum that can be achieved with independent work is to get dozens of natural links and a small increase in traffic. At the same time, no one is immune from errors.

This method is more suitable for small business owners, or individual experts and artisans, as it will help save up to 60% of the budget (not counting the cost of your time).

Freelance

It is quite difficult to implement the process of crowd marketing through freelancers, but this option is still possible. This can be done in two ways:

  • hire a regular freelancer who performs all types of work: the search is easy, but it’s worth being prepared that it will take a lot of time to sift and then train candidates;
  • Crowd-marketer freelancer: the probability of finding such a specialist, especially with an understanding of your niche, is very small.

Turning to a remote employee, it should be remembered that this type of cooperation involves only partnerships that are not supported by the contract. Not every employee will conscientiously study topics before starting work. Therefore, there is a risk of getting poor quality work or ordinary spam.

But there are pluses:

  • low cost services: compared to inhouse and outsourcing, the cost of freelancers is much lower. If you also manage to find a professional performer, then this will allow you to save a lot on the budget;
  • cooperation directly: All details of the work are discussed directly with the crowd-marketer, despite the fact that in specialized companies, communication takes place through a manager. This may not always be an advantage, as the manager can crystallize information and improve the process.

Outsourcing

Outsourcing is now very popular in the field of online promotion. Outsourcing crowd marketing gives you a guarantee of getting a competent specialist, saves you a lot of time and allows you to achieve great organizational mobility.

Compared to a freelancer, the services of an outsourcing company will cost more, but the result is usually much better. Experienced experts who deal with crowds on an ongoing basis, before starting work, carefully study the specifics and carry out an analysis, on the basis of which they decide whether crowd promotion will be effective in your case or not.

As a rule, outsourcing companies provide the following guarantees:

  • replacing deleted links;
  • the quality of the text;
  • iterative process adjustments;
  • landmark for long-term work.

Staff member

Now many managers are gradually moving away from the usual working process, preferring to him remote collaboration. But there are also a lot of adherents to create an internal department. If you decide to create a staff of crowd-marketers, you should remember that this entails additional costs (salaries, a timlid for control, as well as expenses for the administrative part).

Advantages of an inhouse:

  • maximum involvement: Of course, only the owner of the company can have 100% involvement, but an employee of the internal department definitely understands the company's work or services more than a specialist on a remote basis (this also depends heavily on the person and the task setting);
  • high level of control: owning an employee is always easier to manage than a freelancer. This is especially useful if you need to quickly solve a specific problem;

Example: a perfumery production company launches the campaign “Only this Friday, when you buy some brand X perfumes, the second ones are a gift!”. An employee in the office can quickly bring this information and have time to notify the campaign as many forums as possible. In the meantime, the information will reach the freelancer is a high probability that the special offer is already over.

The advantages of an inhouse are quite weighty, but we must not forget that it requires significant expenses:

  • office rent;
  • purchase of equipment;
  • payment of wages, sick leave, vacation pay.

Without taking these costs into account, it may seem that an inhouse is much more profitable and cheaper than other methods of implementation, but as soon as you take them into account, the totals change dramatically.

Each manager sees in his own way an ideal crowd-marketing team. For the most productive work, you should weigh all the pros and cons of each method of implementation and understand what is more profitable for you.

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