Marketing is a mystery. Some people crack the right codes and some don’t. Nischal Shetty, CEO of Crowdfire, cracked some magical codes to make marketing easy and accessible to those who don’t have a designated marketing team working for their product.
Like they say, marketing can be as complicated as you want it to be, but, when there is automagical tool like Crowdfire to take care of your marketing woes, life becomes slightly better. MarkUp in conversation with the man behind this idea.
How and why did you come up with the idea of Crowdfire?
Back in 2008, I was struggling to drive traffic to my blog, and realised that there were many more people like me who were facing similar problems. I created Crowdfire to solve this problem, and coded the app in about 4 days.
Tell us about Crowdfire’s DNA and features. How does it work?
Crowdfire is a DIY social media management platform that helps over 15 million users grow online. But, now we are pivoting to building an AI-powered marketing assistant for self-employed individuals like indie artists, bloggers, freelancers, e-sellers, cafe owners, and etc., and will take care of their marketing while they focus on their work. We’ve released it in Beta. We’re also adding more platform integrations like Facebook, YouTube, SoundCloud, Shopify, Etsy, and etc. to the app so that none of our users miss out on their growth.
What impact do you intend to bring about in the industry?
Our target audience consists of self-employed individuals – and there are about 100 million of them – who are good at what they do, but not familiar with the concept of marketing. As a result, many of them lose out because of this. At Crowdfire, we have made it our mission to ensure that these people are never at a disadvantage due to lack of knowledge of marketing, and can pursue what they love!
Tell us about your competition, and what do you do to set yourself apart?
There are marketing automation platforms like Marketo, Pardot by Salesforce, and etc. that help enterprises with marketing and sales. Our target audience constitutes people who don’t have a marketing team, unlike the audience of these products. Crowdfire is AI-powered and you don’t need to be a marketer to use it! It will plan and do the marketing for you automatically.
How does social media content vary in different platforms?
It varies greatly. For instance, you get only 140 characters to convey your message on Twitter, and you can add up to one or two (unique) hashtags. On Instagram, it is safe to add five to seven hashtags without appearing as spam. On Facebook, where descriptive posts work the best, it’s a good practice to avoid hashtags.
Can you put some light on current marketing trends and how do you use them for Crowdfire?
We have our own marketing strategy and we swear by it. It’s called ‘ETC’, which stands for ‘Ego, Temptation, Curiosity’ and has helped us acquire 15 million users with $0 marketing spend!
Ego: We used ego-gratification as a way of marketing. For example, we developed this feature called ‘Tweet my stats’ in Crowdfire since we had our users’ data. Every time they logged in, they would see a tweet box with a preloaded text showing their stats, and a link to the app. Surprisingly, a lot of people started tweeting it out because it soothed their ego and they wanted to share it with the world. It helped us attract more users too
Temptation: Incentivizing your product is cheaper and more effective than paid marketing. We offered our users to tweet their stats in order to unlock new features. Not only did the temptation to use new features made them tweet it out, but this tactic also helped us find more users.
Curiosity: Curiosity helps you in customer retention and keeps them coming back to the product. For example, we started sending out mobile notifications to our users about their stats – like – ‘10 people followed you today’. They would have to log on to the app to find out who. It worked wonders.
What are your future plans with Crowdfire?
The plan is to build a highly efficient marketing assistant for the 100 million individuals who are struggling with marketing their business.
How did you get your first 1000 users?
We got our big break when Michael Arrington wrote about us on TechCrunch. We basically acquired our early users through PR and media coverage.
What social media channels did you employ to get more registrations on your app?
We primarily use Twitter and Instagram to reach out to our target audience, acquire users, and build a community out of them.