You won’t find many naysayers anymore on the value of content for brands. Any enterprise content marketing team understands the importance of it. However, that doesn’t mean all content delivers equal returns. One segment, crowdsourced content, provides significant credibility to your brand.
To gain this, you’ll need to understand what crowdsourced content is, how to use it, and why it matters, which we’ll cover in this post.
What Is Crowdsourced Content?
Crowdsourced content describes anything that brands create, including third-party opinions, responses, use cases, or figures. Crowdsourcing can include users or customers as well as subject matter experts that publish research and studies.
It offers a different angle in content marketing because it’s not based solely on internal propositions or statements. You are literally sourcing ideas and information from stakeholders. That’s why many see it as more reputable. As an enterprise team, you should include its purpose and function in your content strategy.
What Benefits Does Crowdsourced Content Deliver?
So, why bother with it? Will it make that much of a difference and drive website traffic or conversions? The simple answer is yes, but your content analytics will certainly paint a more vivid picture. What exactly can you expect to see?
- Earn trust faster: Crowdsourced content comes from users and experts. These people are often more trustworthy than the brand itself, so you’ll likely create a trusting bond with a visitor. You can determine if this is a result by looking at the metrics around how that category of content drove conversions.
- Keep your content calendar fresh and full: Ideation on your own can often hit barriers. Content from crowdsourcing enables you to publish more content for your audience.
- Improve engagement: Buyers consuming your content will either find it relevant or exit your site. This type of content could keep them on your site longer. Find out if it works by looking at data around pageviews, time on page, and bounce rate.
- Cultivate thought leadership: By introducing the findings of third parties and analyzing them for takeaways, your audience will recognize you have a pulse on the industry.
- Tell better stories: Storytelling in content marketing is critical to forming emotional responses. When the stories include the first-person perspective of real customers, it’s likely to resonate more.
- Build a loyal community: If customers or prospects become part of your content, they become invested. When they feel involved and see the outcomes of their involvement, you can build a community that respects and is loyal to your brand.
How Do You Crowdsource Content?
Now that you know the basics and the benefits, it’s time to define how to crowdsource content. There are many strategies to consider. The ones that you decide to implement will reflect your goals. So let’s dive in on how to do it with specific examples.
Use Surveys and Polls
Surveys and polls capture opinions. They can be anything from one quick question on a Twitter poll to a lengthy questionnaire. They both can add credibility to your content as data points that support specific topics or the veracity of your product. Plus, using surveys and polls gets respondents engaged and invested in finding out the outcome.
Here’s an example. If your audience is HR professionals and your product is software that supports engagement and minimizes turnover, it would be beneficial to launch a survey on employee engagement and turnover. You can ask specific questions about their company’s data on the subject along with their professional opinion.
You can then package that survey up into a report, where you share the findings and the indications of your results. Your audience would find it relevant, helpful, and credible.
If you’re looking to up engagement and prove your brand’s value to its users, giveaways can be great ways to execute this. Ask your customers and users to create short videos of how they use your product or why it makes their work or personal life easier.
After gathering content, you can narrow it down to a few meshed into one testimonial/use case video. Then, let your social media community vote on the best story. You can involve customers and prospects in a new and fun way that shows authentic takes from people that love your product.
Interview Experts in the Field
You can also create crowdsourced content by tapping into SMEs (subject matter experts) in the field. Creating content based on their responses and expertise can support thought leadership and reinforce trust. There are a few ways to do this.
First, you could do a traditional written article of the interview. Second, you could create a video with a panel of experts to discuss a hot topic in your industry. Third, you can start a podcast that has new expert guests every week talking about their experiences and what’s trending.
Connect with Engaged Users
Do you monitor your social media community? Are there profiles that often interact with your posts and seem to be champions for your brand? If so, these are people you need to know.
Reach out to them and ask if they want to contribute to your content. This could range from testimonials and case studies to guest posts. If this highly engaged user uses and derives great benefits from your products, they’ll likely be happy to share their story.
Dive Deep into Data
Another format of content within the crowdsourced bucket is white papers that are data-rich. White papers can be valuable assets when you have metric-minded buyers. A white paper is free from subjection. The content flows from research and facts to carry a perspective. It requires deep research that could take time, but the end product could be a powerful converter.
How Will Crowdsourced Content Impact Your Content Marketing?
Crowdsourcing content is one more category to manage in content planning. That can get complicated fast, but having the right workflows in place makes it more seamless. The best way to do this is to leverage technology like DivvyHQ, a platform designed by and for content marketers. See how it works today.