It’s important not to confuse crowdsourcing with crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding your project through donations from people – a large number of people.
Crowdsourcing does use lots of people, but to generate ideas, not funds.
An article at CBSNews.com, explains,
Despite the jargony name, crowdsourcing is a very real and important business idea. Definitions and terms vary, but the basic idea is to tap into the collective intelligence of the public at large to complete business-related tasks that a company would normally either perform itself or outsource to a third-party provider. Yet free labor is only a narrow part of crowdsourcing's appeal. More importantly, it enables managers to expand the size of their talent pool while also gaining deeper insight into what customers really want. (1)
For the content marketer in particular, the strategy is to use your blog and social media connections (other users on the social networks you use) to generate content marketing ideas and information for:
- Blog posts
- Lead magnets (offers)
- Opt-in processes
- Increasing visibility
- Building authority for your brand
- Creating connections
- Building relationships
You heard the saying, “Two heads are better than one,” right?
Well, this practice is putting it into action.
But, how do you go about using it?
Below are five ways to get it going. Some are free and some involve a bit of money.
1. Ask your readers.
Simply ask your readers for their input through a blog post. Request they put their input in ‘comments.’ And, don’t forget to share the post to your social networks.
You can also ask a direct question on your social networks. You’ll get responses and you’ll also boost your social engagement.
I’ve used this strategy on my blog. I’ve done it for a number of things, such as the best logo and the best book cover. People love giving their opinions and you get useful marketing information.
2. Use contests.
Contests are powerful. People always want to win a prize. Just let your readers know what you need and wait for responses. You might ask for a video or podcast testimonial or product review from your clients. The best one gets:
- A feature blog post that will be promoted to all your social networks
- A $10 dollar gift card to . . .
- Free access to one of your programs
- A free product
You get the idea. Come up with a prize that your audience will value and want.
3. Get a conversation going.
You might ask your audience to share a story, possibly a before and after story of how your service or product helped them.
Let them know their story will get visibility on your website and through social media marketing. You might also ‘take it up a notch’ and add a freebie.
Always have a WIIFM (what’s in it for me).
4. Create a survey.
Surveys are another powerful tool. Through questions, your readers will give you information on what they need or want AND on what they don’t want (just as important).
I’ve used surveys to gather information to use to better serve my audience. And, they work.
The information you gather can help you tweak your marketing strategies. You can also use the information to create blog posts, lead magnets, reports, and more.
5. Create a poll.
This is another great tool to gather needed information. I’ve used this tool also and it’s always proven to be helpful.
If you’d like to give it a shot, here are a few services you can check out:
Take advantage of the world at your fingertips, involve your audience. Crowdsourcing will help you do just that. Make it a part of your content marketing strategies.
References and Sources
MORE ON INBOUND MARKETING
Blogging – Does Anyone Read What You Write?
Tips on Becoming a Better Writer, a Better Marketer
10 Social Media Practices You Should Avoid
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