5 Reasons Every Business Should Save Money By Crowdsourcing Their Design Projects

Spending hours in the boardroom with your colleagues trying to come up with the perfect promotional campaign for your company can be frustrating. Here are five reasons why you should put your campaign in the hands of fans and creatives and crowdsource your promotional campaigns.

Spending hours in the boardroom with your colleagues trying to come up with the perfect promotional campaign for your company can be frustrating. Here are five reasons why you should put your campaign in the hands of fans and creatives and crowdsource your promotional campaigns.

You’ve probably heard the term “crowdsourcing” before, but might not know exactly what it means. In short, the term crowdsourcing comes from a mix of the words “crowd” and “outsourcing”. Basically, when you crowdsource you are outsourcing from a crowd of people. You put a project on the table, as well as a reward. You have people submit their own interpretations of your project and you choose the one you like best. Creative crowdsourcing can be used for everything from rebranding your company to logo design, slogans and product names, contest ideas, viral videos, written content, photography, and more.

Not convinced yet? Check out these five great reasons why every company should be crowdsourcing their promotional campaigns. At the end of this post if you aren’t convinced that crowdsourcing is the ultimate alternative to hiring a pricey ad agency to do the work for you, then it’s your loss!

“Almost” Free Labor

If you’ve ever hired someone to do a design job for you and you weren’t happy with the results then you know how frustrating it can be when their invoice comes in the mail and you have to pay them, even though their design didn’t work for you. With crowdsourcing, the designers, writers, video editors, animators and other creatives do the grunt work for free. You only have to pay a freelancer if you decide to use their idea, graphic, video, slogan or other media.

With crowdsourcing you can also get great work for low prices. We aren’t saying you should offer a reward as low as $10 for a logo, or $50 for a 2-minute animated video. You should offer a reward that is high enough that it will entice freelancers to submit ideas and media to your crowdsourcing project. However, you can often get really great quality for a lower price because a lot of freelancers that submit to these types of projects are just starting out, trying to build their portfolio and gain experience, and won’t charge nearly as much as a professional design studio or ad agency.

Option, Options, Options!

One of the best things about crowdsourcing is that it gives you so many different options to choose from. Freelancers from all different walks of life and all different parts of the country, and even the world, will submit ideas and media to your project. This can result in hundreds of different, unique ideas. Some of them might be terrible ideas, but odds are you’ll find at least one needle in the haystack that shines like diamonds.

When you go to an ad agency or design firm they will also give you several ideas. However, the number of options will be far fewer and will come from the collective experience of the people working for the ad agency or design firm, meaning that you aren’t as likely to get as many totally different and unique options.

The Outsider’s View

One of the greatest things about crowdsourcing is that it takes you out of the equation. Sure, you provide basic instructions about what you’d like to accomplish in you campaign (or logo, slogan, or whichever type of media you are crowdsourcing). However, when it comes down to the nitty gritty of coming up with the idea and putting it all together, it’s completely up to the freelancer.

No offense to you and your coworkers, but sometimes distance is the best thing when it comes to creating a promotional campaign. You know your company and product like the back of your hand. You know what users are supposed to love about your product, what you suppose customers will be most attracted by. However, when you crowdsource and have people totally unconnected to your product do work for you then you may discover that they are looking at your product in a new and interesting way – one that you never even thought of because you are too immersed in your brand on a daily basis. Getting an outsider’s view through crowdsourcing can have amazing results.

Free Promotion

The way that you run your crowdsourcing campaign may not only result in an amazing promotional campaign, logo, website design, or slogan, but could also result in free promotion for your brand! For instance, let’s say that you want to launch a new viral video campaign. Instead of limiting the decision of the best crowdsourced video to yourself and your staff you could open it up in a competition. Narrow the submitted videos down to your favorite 3 (or 5 or 10, it’s up to you!) and ask your fans to vote on which video they like best.

How does this get you free promotion? All of the video creators that are picked for the final 3 will immediately post their videos to Facebook and Twitter, email all their friends and tell everyone they know to go out and vote for them! This not only gets people to watch your videos and tell you which they like best, but also spreads brand awareness. Yippee!

Discover New Talent

Finally, crowdsourcing is a great way to discover new talented individuals that you may like to work with in the future. If someone comes up with an idea for an amazing promotional campaign for your company, creates a great branded video that ends up going viral, makes a great logo or writes some amazing marketing content for you then you can work with them again in the future. Crowdsourcing can also be a great test when you are looking to build a design or marketing team for your company.

Image credit: Cooltown Studios