Editor's Note: This is a guest blog post from David Bratvold, founder of The Daily Crowdsource.
In effort to connect with customers and prospects and stay relevant, marketers focus heavily on the development and distribution of content across a broad array of social media channels to drive sales. However, while content marketing has proven very effective, creating fresh and compelling content on an ongoing basis is a huge undertaking, and as Jay Baer puts it, the opportunity costs are significant.
As a content marketer, what do you do when company resources and budget are stretched to the limit? Crowdsourcing, when done properly, can play a pivotal role in any company’s content marketing strategy and can significantly reduce the cost and time required to create quality content. Below are five reasons why crowdsourcing is a strategy to consider for creating fresh, targeted content, and subsequently, impacting the future of content marketing:
Crowdsourcing speeds up the content creation process
If you’ve ever been responsible for writing blog content, you’ve probably realized it can be difficult to find the time required to post regularly. Writer’s block, vacation, major deadlines, and other business emergencies often get in the way. Leveraging crowdsourcing platforms, like Mechanical Turk, to create content enable you to engage with thousands of online workers to rapidly produce orders of magnitude more material than you can produce yourself, leaving you time to focus on other priorities. Keep in mind, while crowdsourcing content can create significant efficiencies, perfecting the process requires iteration and consistent feedback to workers in order to ensure that their content meets your expectations.
Crowdsourcing gets your customers & potential customers involved
In addition to engaging online workforces, many platforms (including Mechanical Turk) enable you to invite your own crowd of customers and prospects to contribute as well. Inviting your community has advantages beyond the content they’re helping you create. Allowing your target audience to get involved is like handing out the microphone at a conference—people love to share their opinions. Customers and prospects contributing content and feedback not only provide valuable market insights—they tell you how to sell to them, helping you to refine your marketing strategy.
Crowdsourcing gets your target audience invested
Shining the spotlight on your customers and prospects can create a bond that’s difficult to break. By having ownership in the content development process, they are more invested in your product or service. Do you remember the last time you contributed to an important project? How many people did you tell? Everyone! Imagine you were invited to write guest post for Forbes, or have your video featured on America’s Funniest Home Videos, or audition for American Idol? You would tell everyone you know (to tell everyone they know) because you’d be invested.
Crowdsourcing offers you diversity and creative choice
Crowdsourcing can also offer an advantage to traditional production methods in that it can produce a wide variety of content, style, and quality from which you can choose. Imagine how your video would look if it was created by you or your internal team. The first video may look great, but over time, the scripting, filming, acting, and even editing could begin to take on a uniform appearance. Using a crowdsourced video production service, like Genius Rocket, can give you the flexibility to choose from 30 different scripts, written by different individuals from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds. When leveraged appropriately, the diversity in perspective provided by the crowd can be invaluable to the creative process.
Crowdsourcing drives the development of scalable processes
In order to engage a crowd of workers or your community in the process of creating content, developing an efficient workflow is a necessity when speed and quality are your priorities. One approach is to design a workflow that breaks the content development process into small, simple tasks, each performed by a different contributor. This process (sometimes referred to as “atomization”) is commonly used by Requesters on Mechanical Turk's platform and coupled with additional quality controls, can be extremely effective in driving efficiency and quality at scale.
For example, if you’re developing a process for creating blog posts, you may want to design a workflow that involves separate steps for writing, editing, and annotating content. Regardless of your strategy, successful crowdsourcing requires efficient workflow, and while your process may take some experimentation to perfect, the output is a scalable methodology for creating content that will enable you to produce quality content on an ongoing basis.
As you plan your content marketing strategy, consider augmenting your content creation strategy with crowdsourcing. Not only will crowdsourcing allow you to quickly create quality, creative content at scale, by soliciting input from customers and prospects in the process, you can engage and strengthen the bond you have with your community.
About David Bratvold
David Bratvold is the founder of Daily Crowdsource, an open-format website that aims to educate the public on the topic of crowdsourcing and a producer of Crowdopolis 2012, a major crowdsourcing conference teaching the future of crowdsourcing in advertising, technology, and content marketing scheduled this July 19. You can follow David on Twitter at @TDCrowdsource