Can you create a monthly rate of useful content during the week? Annual rate? Maybe you can give out more than 800 ideas in one brainstorming session? Or maybe your audience willingly creates useful content for your company?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, you are familiar and, most likely, are already using a crowdsourcing strategy. If you answered no, our article will introduce you to this difficult, but very effective tactic.
"The collective mind of the crowd"
As is the case with the definition of content marketing, the scope of the term “crowdsourcing” is rather blurred today. According to one of the largest resources of this subject DailyCrowdSource, crowdsourcing is the process of performing work by many artists without any contracts (in most cases, online). To make it clear, just give a couple of examples of popular crowdsourcing platforms:
- Advego.ru is an exchange where participants post their materials, sell and share information.
- Free-lance.ru is a platform where employers are looking for performers for permanent or remote work.
In both cases, the customer attracts a huge number of performers and selects the best offers for payment or the conclusion of a contract. That is how, on a competitive basis, most crowdsourcing platforms work.
How to use crowdsourcing in business
Crowdsourcing can be used to achieve a wide variety of goals: solving a specific problem, creating content, generating new ideas, conducting peer review, etc. At the same time, the competence of the people participating in the project does not matter much. Here are just a few examples of what can be done in this tactic:
- Invite users of your site to take part in a contest for the best idea. Promise the winner a good reward.
- Ask customers to provide feedback on your product or service. Give prizes to authors of the best or most creative ones.
- Ask customers to take a survey with questions to improve your service. Offer them something in return, such as a small discount or free expert content that costs money for everyone else.
Fortune 500 companies are actively using crowdsourcing activities. In 2010, the number of micro-tasks completed in this way increased by 496%. Since then, this figure has steadily increased and decreased, most likely, will not be for a long time.
What results can be achieved using crowdsourcing
At first glance, it may seem like crowdsourcing is too complicated to manage as part of your marketing campaign. But as soon as you understand the variety of types and forms that it can take, you will surely change your mind. With crowdsourcing you can:
- Strengthen the commitment of the audience. The contractor undertakes to perform the task, generates ideas, discusses them with friends, spreads information about the company and places the result obtained on your site on his behalf. Thus, he himself motivates himself for a quality result and becomes a supporter of your company. Crowdsourcing strategy involves the involvement of hundreds of similar artists.
- Improve current products and services. Information gathered through crowdsourcing can significantly improve your product and have a positive impact on the growth of the entire business.
- Increase the overall reputation of your company. Involving a huge number of people who are actively involved in a project, constantly discussing the activities of your company and your products creates a positive public response, and also attracts media attention to your activities.
Advantages and disadvantages of the strategy
- Crowdsourcing can be involved in any industry and business of any size.
- By seeking feedback from customers, you get very important information for the development of your business, product or service.
- You can choose the best ideas offered by a large number of people and not rely on the creativity of one person or one agency.
- By paying someone a one-time flat rate for their services, you seriously save your budget.
- This strategy helps you see for yourself how your customers think.
- It takes a lot of time to sift a huge amount of answers and suggestions from people who want to take part in your project.
- Crowdsourcing crowds out traditional forms of employment, thereby destroying jobs.
- It may be difficult to provide logistics and control. It depends on the size of the attracted group and the number of projects.
- There is a risk with respect to the ownership of the final product - all trademarks, copyrights and intellectual property must pass into the possession of the owner of the business or company.
What do experts say about crowdsourcing
“Continuous customer interaction is essential for any marketing campaign. Crowdsourcing is a great way to immerse your customer into your business. You constantly discuss how your product is used, how it is distributed, and some of your customers even participate in its creation and promotion. Thus, you get a very productive tool for developing and maintaining the commitment of your customers. "
"Crowdsourcing projects are extraordinarily attractive because they generate exceptional ideas, which then set in motion large-scale research."
"Many companies that now use crowdsourcing, in the recent past, used electronic ad sites to hire single outsourcers. These companies first used crowdsourcing to reduce costs. Then they consciously preferred crowdsourcing, in fact, increasing productivity and improving the quality of the work delegated."
How crowdsourcing is used in content management and b2b innovation
As in any marketing strategy, first of all you need to answer the questions "How does your brand position itself, what does it support, what is its mission?" And also “What is the target community worrying and thinking about?”. In the process of working with the audience and the project, you will constantly receive new data and adapt your strategy. Answers to these questions determine key goals and objectives for your company, as well as the way to interact with social media or online communities to achieve your business goals.
Here are a few large projects in which crowdsourcing was involved in content marketing strategy.
Intel Advertising Campaign
When Intel, positioning itself as an innovation leader, wanted to launch a new series of processors, it was decided to use crowdsourcing to find the best advertising campaign. To create hype and attract attention, she agreed to partner with Poptent.net, which was proud of its huge 30,000th community of video content creators.
Poptent posted an ad in which it was announced that the Intel company intends to buy at least 2 videos with a duration of 30 to 60 seconds. As a result, subscribers created more than 50 videos. Selected materials were posted on the company's internal blog, on YouTube, and on Facebook and Twitter pages. The company urged all users to vote and, in particular, their fans among the "techies" who are actively following the innovations in this field. During the reporting period, the blog collected 500 votes, and the general vote in the social. networks exceeded 40,000.
Campaign “Powering your home”
GE was one of the first technology brand companies to start using blogging, so no one was surprised when it involved a crowdsourcing strategy in its projects.
The “Power Your Home” campaign was the second part of the GE program on the “ecomagination” project - an experiment in innovation, where businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and students shared their best ideas in the field of conservation, management and use of energy in residential buildings. In total, about 70,000 people sent over 800 ideas and left more than 10,000 comments.
Community created by LocalMotors
Now let's talk about the coup in the global car market. The company LocalMotors, based in Arizona (USA), brought together a 30,000-strong community of designers, engineers, designers and other enthusiasts to develop, design and then sell vehicles. Their goal was to create with the help of crowdsourcing a new automobile design, to organize high-tech production and to implement the technologies of the new generation of the engineering industry in their products. They received sponsorship from BMW and Siemens, so this community has every chance to get an outstanding result. Here, by the way, their promo video:
How to satisfy a huge number of workers?
Crowdsourcing campaigns are not originally for the faint of heart. At first, it will seem to you that you are trying to control the uncontrollable. Over time, you become entrenched in this conviction. Either way, you must have 2 qualities in order to succeed - total commitment to your idea and courage.
The following tips will help you make this process as comfortable and efficient as possible:
Keep in touch with people. Most people who want to participate in such a project, like to give. Continuous contact with the audience ensures their ability to give and your ability to take. Make sure that you have a common place where the audience will be able to get together and communicate with you and with each other, whether it is an internal corporate network or a private Facebook page. It is imperative that they feel involved.
Listen up The main advantage of crowdsourcing is the ability to share ideas, but if the communication is not two-way, you can be sure that your audience will be able to convey this unpleasant fact to you.
Answer Always listen before answering. You cannot argue that you are listening to an audience if it does not feel heard. If someone has a great idea, encourage the contribution of that person. If a problem occurs, find the best way to solve it. Let people from your community understand that they are not a faceless mass for you.
Be honest. Hiding any information will arouse the anger of the crowd, whether it be the deletion of comments left by members of the community, or constantly delayed answers to current questions.
Empathize. Putting yourself in their place, you can see the situation from the perspective of your audience. This will allow you to communicate with them more clearly and favorably.
Crowdsourcing is not the most popular content marketing strategy. However, if you have enough courage to organize such a campaign, your marketing can reach a radically new level. Maybe the future successful development of your company is already maturing in the minds of your customers, and it remains only to get in touch with them and ask the right questions?