Harness crowdsourcing to boost your video content

March 6, 2018
Turning to crowdsourcing user generated content is a great way to cost-effectively create authentic videos from your engaged communities. Often, time and money are the main reasons why video production is held back, but nowadays, most people hold a high quality phone and with the emergence of new technologies and social media platforms, the level of difficulty in producing, distributing, and promoting video has been significantly reduced. According to an interview with Olga Egorsheva, Co-Founder and CEO of Lobster, “Crowdsourced or UGC (user-generated content) video is growing, because brands want to be more natural and authentic to their customers.”

4 Benefits of Crowdsourcing User-Generated Content video

In an Adweek interview, Poptent (a social video marketing platform) president Neil Perry shared 4 major benefits of video crowdsourcing:
  • Variety – Clients can choose from a number of finished videos, ready for publishing, instead of just several.
  • Cost – For as low as one-seventh of the cost of a video made in the traditional manner, clients can choose and purchase from dozens of ideas and spots.
  • Quality – There’s bound to be serious talents from the platform’s community of filmmakers. You’re looking at a pool of film and art school graduates, amateurs, long-time hobbyists, and even Academy Award winners who have broadcast-quality portfolio and proven track record.
  • Fast Turnaround – Projects can be done in as fast as 72 hours or 30 days.
How does it work? Crowdsourcing video campaigns differ from traditional ad agencies in that they’re informally sourced and produced, and therefore cheaper, more creative, innovative, and agile. The setup is so informal that the project brief could be as short as a call-to-action or a tweet. The video crowdsourcing process can be broken down into three phases:
  • Ideation – The brand creates a short brief to send to their community and then they send in their ideas.
  • Pitch – Once an idea is chosen, it gets thrown back to the community, so they can send in their or interpretation of the idea, usually in the form of storyboards or video presentations.
  • Production – Sometimes there’s no need for production as the pitch is a finished video ready for publishing or distribution. There are also cases in which the client reshoots the video but retains the idea.

5 Crowdsourcing Best Practices

Hult Prize’s founder and CEO, Ahmad Ashkar, shared his guidelines on launching an engaging competition:
  • Define the Boundaries – Be clear about the types of solutions you’re seeking, as well as the success metrics. Avoid falling into the open-ended trap.
  • Identify a Specific and Bold Stretch Target – It’s basically setting the goal higher to inspire participants to think big.
  • Insist on Low Barriers to Entry – The point of the first phase is to encourage as many ideas from as many people as possible.
  • Encourage Teams and Networks – This is especially true for large-scale and highly complex projects that an individual can’t possibly tackle by himself, a.k.a. social problems.

2 Brands that Have Done Video Crowdsourcing Right

Amazing Day
Coldplays frontman, Chris Martin asked their Facebook fans to share what’s happening in their corner of the world for the band’s Amazing Day global film project. Thousands did and here’s the result: Why did it work? It’s pure global fellowship showcasing the diversity of Coldplay’s fans all over the world. The concept is also aligned with the band’s character and aim to be modern-day multicultural ambassadors. Chris Martin is following the footsteps of long-time artist/humanitarian, Bono, and has pledged to be Global Citizen festival’s live concert curator for the next 15 years.
Crash the Super Bowl Final 2016 
For a chance to win $1M and work with 300, Man of Steel, and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zach Snyder on a future DC project for Warner Brothers, 4,500 videos from 28 countries were submitted. Why did it work? Although in its final run, the campaign has produced nine other consumer-created ads for Doritos’ Superbowl spot. From quality and execution to actual results, they’re up there competing with top ad agencies. As for goals hit, these ads gave the winners a truly life-changing experience and the brand a relatable, friendly, and you-can’t-possibly-watch-superbowl-again-without-a-bag-of-doritos image. Here’s the grand winning ad:
In summary
If 85% of brands have done video crowdsourcing, why not you too? It’s popular not just because it’s trending, but because it’s actually effective. Aside from getting ideas straight from customers, fans, or the “people on the ground”, and therefore making the videos look and feel real and authentic:
  • It offers variety. By the thousands.
  • It’s one-seventh cheaper than traditionally produced ads.
  • It’s like a box of chocolates, you’ll never know what you’re going to get, but lucky you if it’s an actual Academy Award-winning filmmaker who’s already probably tired of the glitter and glamour of Hollywood…
  • Projects can be done in a span of two weeks to a month.
What makes for a successful crowdsourcing project?
  • Defined boundaries. The target and expectations must be clear. “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it” right?
  • Set the bar high. To attract out-of-the-box thinkers, your challenge must be odds defying.
  • Make it easy for people to join. A wise man once said, “The more, the many-er.”
  • Encourage teams and networks to participate. This is related to number two. If the project is highly complex and monumental, no one is expecting an individual, not even a super genius to solve it.

Interested in simple, fast and effective video? Shootsta can help

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