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Inbound Marketing Blog

    5 Tips for Writing a Legendary Crowdsourcing Brief

    Posted by Isaiah Adams

    Inspiring Crowdsourcing Briefs

    Crowdsourcing communities are an effective way for small businesses to solve problems. It's estimated that around 44% of Fortune 500 companies have used co-creation for solutions, including Netflix, Starbucks, Gap and Toyota. It's a fact that the power and ingenuity of a crowd is much greater than the power of one peson.

    The crowdsourcing brief, a description of your project and brand, is the first contact creators on the crowdsourcing network will have with the problem you’re trying to solve. It’s important to make sure your brief is written in a way that will optimized chances of success. Here are some ways to maximize your potential for an outstanding crowdsourcing competition:

    Inspire the Crowd to Participate 

    Ask yourself, “Why should creatives take time to create a piece for my brand?”  The brief should make it clear why talented designers or developers should participate, and exactly what it is about your brand that’s meaningful to them. Begin with a short teaser, a powerful introduction that draws the creator in by telling them how your product relates to them. Once they have that connection, the next component of the crowdsourcing brief should state the main pain point you’re trying to solve. If the creatives have any personal connection to the product, they’ll be moved to help solve this problem with you.

    Challenge the Crowd to Reflect

    It’s important to have the creator think about how their solution to your problem would play out in their own life, as well as in the lives of your consumers. It's essential that your crowdsourcing brief include compelling language and tangible examples. Successfully creating a connection on a personal level will result in much more relevant and in-depth submissions. 

    Don’t Limit Creativity

    The guidelines of your brief should not have a narrowing effect on submissions by limiting creativity. Think about what your expected results are from running the crowdsourcing contest and structure your guidelines around that. For example, if you’re redesigning your product packaging and you simply want ideas around new form and functions for your package, clearly state in your brief that you’re not looking for new packaging design graphics. Make your guidelines clear and simple, but refrain from adding too many guidelines. Guidelines based on personal tastes and subjective information can limit creative results. A restrictive brief will lead to narrow results and can even limit participation.

    Use an Engaging Image

    Typically, the first thing that catches a creator’s eye on the crowdsourcing platform homepage is a familiar brand logo. Most often, creators participate for fame and not monetary rewards, so the opportunity to be recognized by a popular brand is huge motivation. If your brand logo doesn’t have global recognition, or if you simply don’t want your brief branded, you can still add an engaging image that draws creators in.

    Offer Incentives

    The easy road is to think about how long you expect to wait for a winning submission and to offer a significant financial reward.  However, you’ll see the best engagement when your incentives include some outside the box rewards. If you ask the crowdsourcing community to create a 30 second video ad and promise that the winning submission will be shown on MTV, you’ll most likely see a significant spike in engagement.  Simple rewards such as social media shout-outs on channels like Twitter and Facebook go a long way in motivating creatives to participate.

    When you’re designing the brief, the single most important factor is to make a human connection. Once you’ve created that bond, a creative's natural reaction is to help you solve your problem, and most importantly “their problem”. You’ll see a much higher engagement if you can get the creatives to see the problem as something real that they can fix.


    Image Credit: www.freedigitalphotos.net/RenjithKrishnan

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