The reason I enjoy crowdsourcing so much is because it’s about solving some of the world’s toughest challenges.
One of the most famous applications of this concept is how Burt Rutan and his team at Scaled Composites launched SpaceShip One into orbit to win the $10 million Ansari X Prize. The aim was to build and launch a spacecraft with three people into space twice in two weeks.
So if an online community can help build and launch a rocket, couldn’t it also solve your content marketing challenges?
Crowdsourcing doesn’t just focus on solving problems in the fastest, cheapest way possible. Done right, it drills through the heart of complexity to find the absolute most effective solution.
Imagine a traditional scenario of putting out an RFQ for a new web video or commercial. You interview a handful of agencies, find the one that promises you the right metrics, pay your $200,000 and watch your video air on TV or the web. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t.
Now, here’s the same scenario going through a crowdsourced production company like GeniusRocket, for example. You tell your community the goals you’re trying to achieve and then dozens, maybe hundreds, of workers provide their insights and ideas. Multiple finished products are delivered in steps along the way, for probably $50,000.
While the obvious difference between these processes is cost, that’s not the part that excites me. You are going to get a radically more effective product because literally crowds of engaged people are getting involved, providing feedback, and producing finished content for you.
Think about that difference. Would you rather produce a video that you (or an agency) envisioned? Or would you rather create a video that your target audience told you they wanted and then produced with passion and creative energy? I’ve found that it is quite amazing to see the results you get when you engage your audience during the development of a video, book, blog article, or nearly any form of content.
The irony is that results are generally not only better, but it can be easier to roll out, too. In the case study of Audio-Technica, they received more than 30 unique crowd-sourced concepts before they produced this sharable piece (Note: you will go deaf):
(Click here if you can’t see this crowd-sourced video)
GeniusRocket’s President Peter LaMotte sums it up well: “It used to be that crowdsourcing was only an alternative for production – a great way to get affordable productions. What’s happening now is companies are merging crowdsourcing with traditional processes. There’s a creative director, validation models to make sure we have input prior to production, and TV & online distribution services.”
Although LaMotte speaks specifically towards video production, the exact same attributes apply to blog creation, book development, or any other forms of content marketing (Want to let the crowd translate your blog? You can!).
What opportunities do you see for crowd-sourcing marketing content?