The link-in-bio marketplace has become very crowded over the last few years. This has also spawned innovation in the space – with platforms finding unique ways to add value on top of the regular ‘multiple links in one’ functionality. One of our latest Music Ally Focus podcast episodes, for example, explores how Amplify•lnk will leverage web3 technology within their features. Crowdmouth is an Austin-based startup that combines smart links with the power of word-of-mouth, and aims to fulfil the inherent need for artists to know who their biggest supporters are.
The team behind Crowdmouth has developed a creator-facing and a fan-facing app. On the creator app, which has a free and a Pro tier, artists can customise their Crowdmouth link by adding different URLs they’d like their fans to visit and share, alongside a Shop tab where they can showcase products which fans can buy or earn.
For example, artists might want to add their Spotify profile page, a music video, their Patreon account or other priority links. The way it works for fans is that when they visit the artist’s Crowdmouth link, they can click through to where the link is driving them – but there’s also a prominent share button and call-to-action which incentivises fans to share said link.
How does it work?
Once they hit that button, a unique link will be generated for them, which they can share through text, social media, email etc. For every unique friend who opens that link, fans will earn a point – with one point equalling a value of $1. These points can later be redeemed for rewards – which are specified by the artist, and available in the shop tab.
Being able to spend their points on rewards is designed to encourage fans to keep sharing. Aston Teague, co-founder and CEO of Crowdmouth, explains why the team developed the tool: “As an artist manager myself, every time we posted something on Facebook we would always see a good amount of shares but we didn’t know who these fans were, so we weren’t able to thank them. So, people are already willing to share and there’s 60k fans of my artist on Facebook – how do I get all 60k to share?”
Getting fans on board
In order to be able to earn these points, fans need to submit their email address, and they’ll receive an email from Crowdmouth thanking them for supporting the artist and directing them to download the fan app to redeem their points. While this of course adds an extra step to the fan journey, once the app is downloaded fans can earn and redeem points from all creators that use Crowdmouth.
Therefore, the app can essentially become a place for users to discover and support creators, as it will feature trending music artists, trending podcasters etc. – all based on associated sharing activity.
The app facilitates the most powerful part of the tool and represents a huge point of differentiation from other ‘share to earn points’ tools on the market – by signing up to the fan app to redeem their points, artists are now able to identify their top sharers within their creator app analytics. You’ll be able to see fan profiles including how many times they’ve clicked on an artist’s link and how many time they’ve shared it. You can even communicate directly with those fans (more on that below).
Top Fans and communication
The Top Fans feature adds a competitive level as well, as fans want the artist to see that they’re a top fan. Crowdmouth’s analytics include insights into total clicks and their growth / decline trend, the number of fans that have engaged with the artist on Crowdmouth, top links, click sources and more. Crowdmouth’s Pro tier also allows SMS communication with fans.
We have covered the growing trend of artists communicating with their fans via text messages, which tend to have a very high open rate compared to email. It’s great to see Crowdmouth incorporating such a feature into their offering, as incumbents such as Community or Subtext come with a minimum price tag not every artist team can justify.
There are a few additional features within the creator mobile and desktop app, besides customising links and receiving analytics. Artist teams can edit their artist’s profile with their name, photo and bio and they have a Feed page, which allows them to post bulletin messages to the artist’s fans and followers on Crowdmouth. This is an interesting feature, similar to messages within Bandsintown, and an incentive for artists to stay active on the app to keep having that interaction with fans.
On the Shop page, you can add products that fans are able to buy or earn with the points from their sharing activity. Artist teams are free to customise what they’d like to offer here, such as physical items or personal video messages for instance. The app is incredibly easy to use so you can get all of this up and running fairly quickly.
As an artist, you have templates for the type of products and rewards you can add to offer a video shoutout, a social tag or mention, a discount code, a physical item, a digital experience or a custom offer. Artists can even record video shoutouts in-app, with fans able to receive and download them from within Crowdmouth.
It’s a useful ability for artists to ‘monetise’ or leverage low-cost fan rewards such as shoutouts, without having to join a dedicated service such as Cameo.
Competitors and Price
Crowdmouth’s fan app provides some useful advantages for artist teams. With other link tools, the closest we get to capturing link visitors is usually via remarketing pixels (if the fan opts-in to being tracked), where we don’t know who the fans are, we can’t reach out directly to them, and we can only pay to reach them with advertising – rather than direct-to-fan communication tools. Crowdmouth, on the other hand, provides very specific fan data.
The “take an action / share to earn’ concept of Crowdmouth is similar to mechanics that tools like ToneDen and Audience Republic incorporate into their offering. However, while Audience Republic is a very advanced tool that’s not affordable for every artist team, ToneDen does not include the fan insights functionality. As such, Crowdmouth is a solution that artist teams can use to spread the word in a cost-efficient manner while nurturing the artist’s digital street team.
While launching campaigns and rewarding fans is completely free to use on Crowdmouth, the more advanced fan management tools are part of Crowdmouth Pro – which costs $14.99 per month. This includes the ability to identify top fans, exporting the fan data, messaging fans and 100 free sms messages to these fans per month.