Crowdsourcing Content: Closing the Gap Between Companies & Customers
As marketers, most of us are familiar with the term crowdsourcing, but many may still be asking themselves, “Is crowdsourcing right for my brand?”
While crowdsourced marketing may not be appropriate for all campaigns, the practice is growing in popularity among top brand advertisers as helps closes the gap between companies and customers, inviting anyone with creative insight or an imaginative idea to help build a brand and “own” a piece of a its messaging. "Feedback from real consumers is so valuable,” a Food and Beverage client once emphasized to us during their crowdsourcing campaign “we’re always on the lookout for an innovative approach to forming that relationship." Crowdsourcing simply provides a fresh and innovative way to do this.
But as an approach to solve more general problems, crowdsourcing is far from a new concept. Organizations have been openly soliciting ideas since the 17th century in order to break through creative challenges leveraging crowd input. For example, in 1714, the award-winning Marine Pocket Clock, a device that helped sailors accurately keep time at sea, was developed using the principles of crowdsourcing – almost like an 18th-century X-Prize of sorts.
Fast-forward to 2012, when, in just the last five years, advances in communication technology have fundamentally transformed the way people, and consequently companies and consumers, communicate with one another. Active listening and open collaboration are increasingly taking place of opportunities to broadcast messaging unilaterally to a passive audience. Passionate consumers now expect to be given a place at the table in choosing new directions for a brand’s identity. The gap between companies and consumers is now as narrow as it has ever been because of social media and networked communication and successful marketers are leaping on these opportunities to work more closely with their audiences to build better products and create better content.
Content is, after all, the fuel that drives marketing in a digital world. So it’s no surprise that marketers are turning to crowdsourcing not only to collect insights, but also to mitigate the cost of investment in a process that can be resource intensive – content creation.
Consider ASUS and Intel who crowdsourced incredible stories from around the globe using Zooppa’s platform in promotion of an incredible new series of laptops they had recently brought to market. After generating hundreds of stories told through compelling multi-media submissions, the teams at ASUS and Intel transformed the most incredible story into a short film. You can still view a collection of the stories on the campaign's microsite here. Here's the entry "Shapes in Motion Evolved" by Zoopper zka11.
Similarly, got milk? asked the crowd to breathe new life into its iconic campaign, asking participants to produce video around the campaign slogan, “it’s just not breakfast without milk.” The result was nearly 200 branded crowdsourced videos that the got milk? team planned to use online and in broadcast. Below was the top submission by Zoopper newbreend simply entitled, "Milk Man."
See other content crowdsourcing case studies here.
So long as marketers seek new channels of content and new way of producing that content to better engage consumers, crowdsourcing can continue to serve as an effective tactic in your marketing plan to influence consumers with content created and distributed by their peers.
When you integrate crowdsourcing tactics to build and market brands, the result can be a robust exchange of creative ideas, allowing anyone with a engaging concept to instantly connect, create, and communicate their visions in order to earn cash, recognition, or other awards for their contributions. This type of content adds a multi-dimensional persona for companies, enabling consumers to own a greater stake in companies and brands about which they are most passionate.
The crowdsourcing industry grew 355% in 2011 report the recent Crowd Census II. Learn how these crowdsourcing trends are impacting the marketing community by downloading Zooppa’s new Crowdsourcing Trends report.