Increasingly, Fortune 500 companies are embracing enterprise crowdsourcing in a big way. For example, when Lays wants to find a new flavor for its brand potato chips, it doesn’t turn to food scientists to mix flavorings. It turns to its Facebook followers for their “Do Us a Flavor” campaign — and offers $1 million reward for the best idea. Although this is an extreme example, the approach taken by Lays is one that content marketers can learn from.

Most companies have the ability and network to leverage crowdsourcing for content curation. This is an excellent strategy to gather content ideas for your company’s blog that are not only original but relevant to your customers. Blogging is a powerful tool that will help you become a trusted resource in your niche, and ultimately attract more prospects to your website. Some other positives of this tactic include brand engagement, product development, and overall reputation.

Here are 4 examples on how you can crowdsource blog content ideas:

  1. Leverage comments – With every piece of content you publish, it is important to encourage prospects to comment and share their input. Some ways to encourage this engagement are asking questions at the end of a blog article or sharing the blog with a relevant LinkedIn group. Make sure to monitor the comments and go back with responses and follow-up questions. You may be inspired to write a follow up post or walk away with a new point of view based on what someone has to share.
  2. Ask for feedback with surveys and polls – There are two main advantages of using survey tools and plug-ins for feedback from your customers. One is that you are creating another way for people to engage with your content and the second reason is you are also gathering useful data in the process. Ask your customers for their feedback about your product(s), customer service, and overall experience.
  3. Work with industry influencers – Working with industry influencers and leveraging their expertise is a great way to amplify your content strategy. Try to solicit the opinions and ideas of analysts and thought leaders via publications, LinkedIn, or through business relationships. When compiling tips or advice for a blog post, wouldn’t it be great to create a multi-contributor post with new perspectives for readers? Try sending an email asking thought leaders to contribute to an idea or question within 1 – 2 sentences, they may be more likely to respond, especially if they understand that their contribution will receive attribution.
  4. Take full advantage of social media – Social media is an extremely effective network for crowdsourcing content ideas. This tactic gets your target audience invested and with popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the opportunities for engagement are endless. For instance, you could start a contest on Facebook to gain insights about your product or join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your industry.

As you can see, there are lots of ways that crowdsourcing your blog content can make your job easier – not to mention more effective. A recent blog article by the Social Media Examiner points out, “The better you can match a consumer’s needs, the more likely they will be to buy from you. The better you can engage them and show that you listen to their needs, the more likely they’ll become loyal customers.”

Crowdsourcing is a content generation tactic worth exploring because any company can turn to their customers and prospects for continued relevancy in their industry and/or on-going development.

Have you tried crowdsourcing before? Where did you see the most success?