A new innovation in the digital marketing sphere is the idea of using crowdsourcing to generate or test marketing ideas. Up until this process, marketing, digital marketing and traditional marketing had been a “one-way conversation,” according to The Huffington Post. Previously, the only contributor had been the firm, who would generate, test, and implement marketing schemes and campaigns according to internally sourced ideas. With the advent of the use of crowdsourcing for digital marketing, this can truly become a two-way street.
Benefits of Crowdsourcing
Benefits of using your audience for digital marketing ideas are: increased efficiency, increased efficacy, greater diversity of ideas, and customer involvement. For instance, greater diversity of ideas and the efficiency found with them save your firm time and money while exposing your team to ideas that could be more effective overall. Plus, involving your audience in company decisions is innovative branding and marketing in and of itself.
By definition, using crowdsourcing to generate ideas or receiving feedback for existing ideas speeds up the creation process. You are maximizing the existing resources you have by looking elsewhere to brainstorm ideas; existing resources can be used elsewhere on other important tasks. This saves your firm unquantifiable amounts of time and money.
Diversity of Ideas
Crowdsourcing naturally increases the diversity of the ideas your firm can work with. Specifically, you will be using your audience in your digital marketing tactics to collectively contribute to decisions regarding how you market to them. Since they have different experiences and backgrounds, your audience has a perspective that your firm is inherently unable to achieve. This results in different ideas and suggestions that your company can not offer.
Because your audience has an inherently dissimilar point of view from your firm and your employees, the different ideas they propose could be more effective as well. As they are intimately familiar with their roles as consumers, they might be better able to provide ideas and schemes they would be receptive to, allowing your digital marketing content to be more correctly targeted and allowing for more consumer relevant information.
Involve Your Customers
Finally, using crowdsourcing as part of your digital marketing strategy for brainstorming involves your customers in a way you couldn’t achieve otherwise. First, this makes your consumers feel less “distant” from you, as your firm becomes more relatable and real rather than corporate and remote. Your firm is showing that you truly care about your consumers. Plus, crowdsourcing can be fun!
Additionally, using your audience for idea generation can lead to direct investment on the part of the customers, and they will be more interested in seeing the process unfold from idea to product, which can inherently make your digital marketing more successful.
Methods of Crowdsourcing
After considering the notable benefits of using crowdsourcing in your firm’s digital marketing strategy, we can look at a few strategies for doing so. From using social media to poll your followers to gaining active participation from your audience to implementing market research, crowdsourcing can be implemented in a lot of ways.
Use Social Media
The most intuitive method of crowdsourcing is through the use of social media. Tried and true, this is the easiest way to access the most amount of people quickly and effortlessly. For instance, you can use polls on Twitter as an easy way of crowdsourcing from your audience. You can also run contests or community projects with provided incentives that bring your audience together while providing quality results for your firm to use.
Make Strategic Decisions
Your firm can use crowdsourcing to make monumental strategic decisions. Though some firms may shy from the weight of such decisions, encouraging your audience to play a role in the decision-making contest can allow your consumers a sense of ownership, contributing to a kind of community-building around your firm. This results in decreasing the distance between consumer and provider. An example of such a strategic decision would be crowdsourcing for company or product names. Firms like Naming Force can facilitate this.
Try Market Research
You can even crowdsource as part of market research. For example, Lays used market research to determine a new flavor for their chips. Your firm can use crowdsourcing as a method of generating feedback for old or new products. Thus, this becomes marketing in and of itself!
Determine Your Audience
Part of crowdsourcing for market research is determining your audience. After determining who is and who is not your audience, you can crowdsource differently with these different groups, which can lead to more effective marketing campaigns that better appeal to your target and not-target audiences. This is a vital part of any digital marketing strategy, and you can use crowdsourcing to make it less nebulous and more accurate.
The trend of crowdsourcing has taken our modern culture by storm. From fundraising platforms such as GoFundMe to designing logos using Google’s “Doodle 4 Google” annual contest for K-12 students, crowdsourcing is on the rise. Crowdsourcing is a proven concept — now it’s time to apply it to digital marketing.
This post is a guest post from Nick Rojas. Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. He has contributed articles to Visual.ly, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas, or you can reach him at [email protected].