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Crowdsourcing Contests

June 7th, 2010 by | 2 Comments

photo by Donncha @ InPhotos.org

It is no secret that getting your “tribe,” as Seth Godin calls it, involved in your marketing and strategy is a good idea. In fact some of the most successful campaigns on the internet are crowdsourced. Look at Pepsi Refresh and what they are doing to get people both engaged with their brand think about making the world a better place.

Other companies have taken to having their users create videos, share photos, get branded tattoos, write stories, Tweet or post comments.

One big campaign did it all a few years back. When Sea World launched Mantis, they enlisted social media and crowdsourcing to talk about the excitement that was surrounding the launch of a new roller coaster in the Orlando area park. They had fans post photos with “rays,” find shamu and perform other tasks that would grant them early entrance to ride the coaster.

Now we are not all as big as Sea World or Pepsi, but there are still ways to get your own tribe involved. By doing so you are doing a number of things to your audience.

  • You are getting them into a role where they think they are a part of something cool, and bigger than they are
  • You are generating “social proof” that people actually like your stuff
  • You are creating brand advocates – people that will tell other people what they did and that they love your brand

There are 2 recent campaigns I worked on that give some small business metrics to using crowdsourcing contests to help promote and draw awareness to your brand.

The Nurse Story

The first crowdsourced contest was during National Nurses Week for HealthCareerWeb.com. In the contest we had nurses share their story on why they became a nurse on the Health Career Web Facebook page. We drove traffic in 2 major ways. The first was via the internal mailing list of job seekers and nurses that were already in our system. The second was targeted Facebook ads. We created ads that were geared towards nurses on profiles where people indicated that they were nurses.

The prize in this situation were 5 $25 Starbucks gift cards.

The results were great. There were some amazing and heartfelt stories that people shared. See the screenshot below.

The WordPress Theme

We are in the middle of a big music marketing launch right now for a WordPress Theme that was created for musicians. To kick off the promotion we held a contest to give away 2 of the themes – one via Twitter and one via blog comments.

On the blog we have 50+ comments, that were all great stories of why they could use WordPress to impact their music business. On Twitter there were over 100 Tweets with our hashtag as entries to the contest.

The result here is that we can now use those comments as social proof that musicians did indeed want a WordPress theme and needed some more education on how they can use the platform in their careers.

Overall, these 2 contests did not have thousands of comments or get us a million new Twitter followers. What it did was engage our current user base and get them excited about the things we are up to. They didn’t cost a whole lot and were planned over a few days.

How do you think you can implement crowdsourcing contests into your marketing mix?

Greg Rollett is a Rock Star Internet Marketer from Orlando, FL. He blogs about Lifestyle Design and Online Marketing.


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