Crowdsource Your Next Blog Post: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Process
Do you know the importance of writing weekly or even daily blogs for your company but you’re out of interesting ideas? Do you want to let your customers and clients know that you’re interested in what they have to say? If you’re looking for new and interesting ways to engage your audience, consider crowdsourcing.
According to Forbes, 80 percent of crowdsourcing is done by small businesses and startups but 21% of crowdsourcing revenue comes from large enterprises. So, no matter the size of your business crowdsourcing is something you need to consider. Consider it an incredibly flexible and effective way to solve problems, add value, and bring specialized expertise to your organization. To get you started, follow our step-by-step process for crowdsourcing your next blog.
Step 1: Define Your Goal
Before you begin reaching out to your community to get feedback and insight, be mindful of what you’re trying to achieve. Are you looking to solve a problem that is evident within your audience? Do you want to increase client/customer engagement by getting them involved? Or are you looking to illustrate your expertise and connections with top industry personnel? Your goal will determine how you will use crowdsourcing.
Step 2: Choose Your Crowd Community
Based on the goal you previously defined, you need to determine who you will reach out to. If your goal is to engage your customers, then you’ll want to contact your client mailing list or share on social media. If your crowd community is industry experts, you’ll need a team of individuals to reach out to professionals for their opinion and feedback. Choose your crowd community carefully and remember that not every responder should be used within your blog.
Step 3: Create Your Questions and Topic
Successful crowdsourcing starts with an interesting topic and quality questions. If you present a simple or uninteresting question like, “What do you think of marketing?” you may not get the results you want. Instead, try to be specific and thoughtful in your approach to the questions and, based on your goal and topic, determine if it’s appropriate to ask every individual the same question or a set of questions around a single theme.
Step 4: Begin Your Crowdsourcing Outreach
Now, it’s time to start reaching out to your chosen community. There are multiple ways to do this, and each option offers something unique.
- Social Media: Using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social platforms to communicate is quick and easy. It can be especially effective for reaching out to clients and customers
- Email: If your company has an email list, use it. Send out an e-Blast to everyone on your list and encourage them to respond to a question via a simple Google form, email address, or another form of communication
- Comments: Your blog and social media comments are excellent opportunities for crowdsourcing. Pull client comments on past blogs or comments on your social media channels, and use those questions as a simple Q & A crowdsource. Or you can spend time responding to those comments and get additional feedback
- Surveys/Polls: An easy crowdsourcing opportunity is to create a survey or poll on your website, within your blog, or on social media that allows you to get anonymous feedback simply and quickly
- Run a Contest: An easy way to gather customer opinions or ideas is to host a contest online that asks participants to answer a question to receive an entry. Contests are an easy way to garner a large crowd community in a short amount of time
- Outreach: Sometimes crowdsourcing can take a little more work. In this case, you’ll need at least a single individual in your company who can search the web, competing blogs, and articles for contact information of individuals in your industry who would be of use to your goal and topic. Then, start the communication process with professional, polite, and instructive emails and phone calls
Step 5: Harvest Your Content
The final step is to harvest all of your amazing crowdsourcing content and transform it into a blog. Remember, you’re an editor when it comes to your crowdsourced content, not an author. Try not to modify the information you receive in any way that takes away from the original intent. And when writing your blog, make sure you tell a story and don’t just share a list of information. Go back to your goal and topic and then integrate your crowdsourced content in a way that creates a cohesive blog fulfilling your goal of engaging customers, illustrating expertise, or answering popular questions.
Crowdsourcing is a great way to garner new blog content while demonstrating that your company is not a one-trick-pony when it comes to creative content. By following the five steps outlined above, crowdsourcing your next blog should be simple and productive.