Did you hear about the story of how Rob Thomas, creator of the TV series Veronica Mars, was able to fund production of a Veronica Mars movie with Kickstarter? He raised over $2 million dollars in less than 12 hours and finished with a grand total of $5,702,153 which is stunning. The movie came out in 2014 (and was awesome, if I do say so myself. I’m a big fan.)
That’s all to say how using a large online community to complete tasks is doable in today’s online and social world. You can do everything from raising money for a charity or movie, sharing information (Wikipedia), or churn through large chunks of data (SETI).
Crowdsourcing can help you complete a vast array of tasks, but is it possible to crowdsource your content marketing?
Well, if you’re doing any of the following, you’re already doing it.
Get inspired by your commenters
Hopefully, your content is already generating comments. From the retweets you’re getting with Twitter, or comments on your corporate blog, all of this can inspire your next round of content. Take a look at what people are talking about or sharing, and then brainstorm new ideas from them.
No need to fly down to Las Vegas for a quickie wedding for this one. It simply means that you’ve got to engage your audience in a dialogue. Your content should already encourage them to comment and talk about things, but how about asking them straight out for their opinion? Create surveys and polls on your site and see what’s most interesting to them. There are a ton of free online survey tools you can use to solicit their input, like SurveyMonkey. Take this information and then create useful content for them.
Curate your content
Content curation is a term that gets thrown around a lot in content marketing, but it’s a crucial part of any marketing strategy. It simply means that you’re reading and sharing content created by others. Your audience will learn that you only share the best and most useful content, which increases your trust quotient. Sharing content by thought leaders and influencers will increase that trust even more.
Get involved with industry leaders
Just like curating content creates trust with your audience, networking with the people whose content you’re sharing can also create trust with the industry thought leaders. Build the relationship with them through contact with them, and if you ask, they might just share your content with their followers, or even agree to a guest post on your blog. Nurture the relationship and see where it takes you.
You may not have thought of crowdsourcing your content, but chances are you were already doing it. You just didn’t know it. What other ways can you use your audience to help you generate content? What’s been successful for you? Hit the comments and share your strategies.