Crowdsourcing Your Marketing Efforts

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Man with crowd behindCrowdsourcing is the term used when a business obtains needed services, ideas or content by engaging a large group of people other than employees or suppliers to contribute, especially in an online community. This method of achieving goals is highly suited to a marketing campaign and can be employed in your business.

Many examples of crowdsourcing can be found in a number of wide and varied contexts. In 2006 Planters Peanuts held an online contest asking its customers to develop the company’s logo and in 2001, using crowdsourcing principles,  Wikipedia was created as an online encyclopaedia that was built and maintained on the foundations of crowdsourcing ideals.

Now Easier But More Risky

Today, due to recent developments in web technologies, networking and the rise of social media, crowdsourcing is easier to implement and provides great returns if properly implemented. It has the power to empower customers as they are engaged and encouraged to interact with your brand. Crowdsourcing marketing can also be a means to generate content, propel marketing campaign virality, and offer market research that is cost-effective. 

If not implemented correctly, crowdsourcing marketing campaigns also pose considerable inherent risk. In order to be successful, crowdsourcing marketing campaigns need to be supported with the appropriate goals and processes. If this issue is not addressed, the cost to your brand's reputation can be high since you face the risk of losing control of the campaign to the masses.

Successfully Building a Crowdsourcing Campaign 

There are several factors you need to bear in mind on your way to building a successful crowdsourcing marketing campaign.

Firstly, you need to establish the purpose of the campaign. It is crucial for you as a marketer to identify the end game of the crowdsourcing campaign. You may be looking to expose your brand to your target audience through your interaction with them. You might be aiming to increase exposure for your brand through the target audience's shares with their network or you might be looking to create something of value from the interactions.

Secondly, you need to choose the method of crowdsourcing. The important thing to remember here is to find the best way to provide incentives for your target audience to participate in your campaign. If you choose a competition format, are you going to offer a prize or maybe recognition and prestige to the winner? Most often the prize does not have to be extravagant but the experience offered should be worth it for the target audience.

Thirdly and finally, you need to pick a medium. You need to decide on the platform through which the campaign will take place. Is it on your website, or maybe a social media platform life Facebook or Pinterest? You need to weigh in the pros and cons of using each medium. For example, deciding to use your website instead of a social media site may mean that you might have less exposure whilst retaining more control.

The Road To Success

There are many examples of successful crowdsourcing campaigns in various areas and not just in marketing but at the same time we will not be at a loss to find those that were a dismal failure. However,  like with everything else in life, there are certain guidelines and processes that if followed increase your odds of success. If you decide to start a crowdsourcing marketing campaign, I believe this article provides a starting point propelling you into taking the right steps in the direction of success.

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