16 Ways To Crowdsource Your Way To Success

crowdsourcingCrowdsourcing, or soliciting ideas from communities, audiences, or large groups of people, is the boat I feel many marketers are on the dock watching pass by. In a world where the noise is deafening, it’s becoming more and more valuable — and strategic — to throw on your sailor suit and set sail on calmer seas where you allow the user to set the course.

When you crowdsource, you’re already successful by opening yourself up to:

By building and trusting in your audiences, you can crowdsource amazing content people WANT to read by constantly asking what they want. Then all you have to do is give the people what they want!

16 Ways To Crowdsource Your Way To Success

Crowdsource …

  1. Photos from clients successfully using your products
  2. Blog topics from your social audiences
  3. Ideas for your next contest or giveaway
  4. Most valued/wanted coupons
  5. Strategies for new pricing
  6. Experiences that your customers want repeated
  7. And even those experiences they don’t want repeated (LEARN from this!)
  8. Charitable giving
  9. Customer testimonials using creative platforms and channels, like a Vine video
  10. When/why/how they came across your brand (Market & Pipeline research)
  11. Polls & Surveys for better product placement
  12. A/B test ads (which do THEY — your audience — prefer?)
  13. Your next topic for a bootcamp or webinar
  14. Influencers: Then decide how they can be commissioned to better help your brand
  15. Keyword mining: Ask what words come to mind when thinking of your brand, company, products, etc.
  16. Pain points as they relate to your brand

While there are many ways to use crowdsourcing to gain a better understanding of:

  • Your business
  • Your brand
  • Your audience
  • Your would-be customers’ wants and needs

there are still some drawbacks to consider.

Where Crowdsourcing Gets Tricky

Chaos can ensue when we invite the world to “weigh in” on our business. It can also create:

  • Zero participation
    • Make sure you know what crowdsourcing ideas are most relevant to your business needs
    • Ensure your audience or community is invested enough in your brand to implement crowdsourcing
  • A data dump
    • Sift through “status quo” ideas to find the diamond in the rough
  • Lack of processes
    • Know who is in charge of gathering the data, communicating the thank you and value of that data to the crowd, and then implementing the results
  • Diluted messaging
    • You can’t please everyone, so you’ll have to pick a view point and stick firmly with it

I hardly think the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to using your most valuable asset (your communities) to enhance the mission of your brand.

What do you think?

See you in the social sphere!

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

Brooke Ballard
Like many of you, Chief Digital Strategist and Founder of B Squared Media, Brooke Ballard, has seen a fundamental shift in business due to social media. How do businesses take advantage of this? Where do they start? Is social media for everyone? In-the-trenches online media experience helps B Squared Media answer these questions for companies seeking to formulate successful social strategies. Using tactics developed in her yearlong honors thesis study, Brooke helps bright and innovative entities develop social strategies around content, community, conversation, collaboration, and conversion. Simply put: Think Conversation, Not Campaign.™ Click here to subscribe to my mailing list
Brooke Ballard


  1. Rick G. says

    Cool article and great source of information Brooke! But wouldn't you agree that that is still way too much effort for the modern age? Did you check out Echo it? It's a platform that is designed to be a focal point for all crowdsourcing, market research and consumer engagement… My boss talked about it today, he had a presentation with them since the website should be up soon. I'm really excited to see how it will functiion- I'd like to see you write about that. Cheers!

    • b2brookeballard says

      Hi, Rick! Thanks for weighing in. Yes, there are MANY platforms you can use to help with crowdsourcing, but I always like to start with my own testing. It's to hard to put the outcome of something into someone else's hands when you don't fully understand it yourself. Tools for crowdsourcing may very well be another post for another day!

    • b2brookeballard says

      Hi, jmi, thanks! I will definitely be sure to check out the links you've included. I appreciate you sharing the info!

  2. Diane D says

    I enjoyed this article as I have only recently become aware of crowdfunding and crowdfunding sites. So Crowdsourcing draws a larger circle, so much more than only funding. Fascinating – an opportunity for gaining input, content, strategies from your audience and target market. Thank you.

    • b2brookeballard says

      Hi Diane! I'm glad you found the article helpful. I practice crowdsourcing weekly on our Facebook page. It's a good way to see what our audience is thinking of, and how we can better market to them based on their thoughts. It can also help with business and marketing decisions, or market research. It's a powerful tool that I feel more people need to start taking advantage of – and I hope you do too! :-)

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