Crowdsourcing Content

Tapping into your fans creativity can help make your show more interesting and engaging. But it isn’t easy. We share 8 ways to level up your next Crowdsourcing effort.

crowd·sourc·ing.  /ˈkroudˌsôrsiNG/

the practice of obtaining information or input into a task or project by enlisting the services of a large number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the internet.

Crowdsourcing has become a powerful business tool now now that people are connected quickly and easily through the internet and social media. Businesses have tapped into its power to solve problems, seek innovation, gather opinions and data.

It also has the benefit of introducing unique perspectives and thoughts into the process, which can lead to more interesting and unexpected results.

Crowdsourcing can be a powerful tool in sports marketing and game entertainment. Teams are asking fans to contribute ideas and content to help enhance videos, drive new ideas and source a wide range of entertainment. This user generated content (UGC) has a number of powerful benefits.

In the game entertainment world the crowd is your fans. What you are sourcing may be photos, videos, feedback, tips and direction.

Here is an example of a successful use of crowdsourcing from the Milwaukee Bucks and social media platform Greenfly.

 The NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks did something special for superstar Giannis Antentokoumpo’s birthday, collecting birthday messages for him from fans through Greenfly. They received over 100 unique responses that they edited into a surprise birthday video, which earned over a million views on social media and was re-shared by Giannis himself.

    • Over 1,000,000 views of a single video created by the Bucks, derived from UGC
    • Activated a player birthday in a more authentic and engaging way
    • The video was endorsed by the athlete and re-shared to his social channels
    • Deepened the relationship between fans, team, and the player

Asking and receiving usable content from fans takes a focused approach and follow-up, but as you can see the results can be helpful if not spectacular.

While tapping into the birthday of the NBA MVP (2 million followers) on the Bucks social media (1.6 million followers) while using a team of social advisors can boost your results we wanted to look at some solutions anyone can tap into to boost your results.

Successful engagement take a consistent effort, clear instructions and a payoff for your followers. While having a huge following obviously helps, it is the strength of your connection to fans that will drive the rewards.

Our examples are taken from crowdsourcing and social media contests, which often utilize the same techniques.

Here are eight tips on how to level up your crowd sourcing efforts.

8 C’s of Crowd Sourcing

    1. Clarity – Be crystal clear on what you want
    2. Creativity – Prime the creative pump
    3. Consistency – Repeat the message.
    4. Converse – Engage in an ongoing conversation
    5. Corral – Find them where they are
    6. Collaborate – Get others in on your action.
    7. Cajole – Reward your source
    8. Ceaseless – Don’t stop


When you make the ask, make it clear. Tell fans (or better yet show fans) exactly what you want. Be brief and concise in your request.

Your crowdsourcing experience will be most productive if you clearly define your goals and provide details of your project to the crowd. (Volusion)

Want a photo of your pet?  Be sure you cover HOW fans get these masterpieces to you….

  • How do fans submit it?
  • Is it portrait or landscape?
  • Who is in the photo?
  • How will it be used?

The more you can show and explain what you want the easier it will be for fans to share your vision and send something useful.

If this is a reoccurring request, you can even share a sample of the finished product. Let fans see what stands out and how you are using the photos…which makes the process more clear for fans.

Here the Threshers are clear they seek photos of First Responders for the video board and that submissions are due by 9/8.


When you post your request be as creative as you are asking your fans to be.  After clearly telling them how to do it, you should them what success looks like.

If you asked for a landscape photo you and your family matching a photo of your team in a funny pose, then SHOW your staff doing exactly what you want.  Fans are much more likely to participate when they can SEE what you mean and you take the additional step as being as creative as you are asking them to be.

This works both ways.

If what you need for your “PET CAM” is just any photo of a fan with their dog, then show a simple photo of a fan with their dog.  This unposed shot is probably something fans may already have on their phone. In setting the bar low, you green light fans to send in something basic, rather than asking them to create an elaborate photo shoot.  It is less intimidating and more likely to generate a quick reply.

If you need something fancy, show that and help them get the creative juices flowing.

Either way, the creativity starts with you.

After watching the video below it is easy to understand what the team seeks with their crowdsourced pet photos.

We spoke with Admirals Director of Entertainment Heather Wojciechowski-DeCaire on a recent Plus Huddle and she shared how the Admiral used crowdsourcing to gather photos for their Virtual Pet cam.

Heather noted that future cams will be better now that fans have seen the use, and they can also recycle effective photos and ones that got a positive reaction.

They have since refined the idea and built on its success.  Here is an example of their updated pet photo engagement.


The marketing rule of 7’s states that a potential customer must see a message at least 7 times before they’ll be provoked to take an action.

Applying that rule means this crowdsourcing request is not a one time ask.

Make a content plan and remind fans repeatedly (with clarity and examples). Schedule a handful or more requests, along with the cutoff date for submission and objective details.

Here the Griffins just share the same message asking for submission, reinforcing the ask.

This consistent effort is not only a reminder, but awareness that fans may read your posts intermittently or at time they don’t have time to create and respond.


Think of crowdsourcing as a conversation, not billboard.  You need to be engaged with the messages and responses.

Be sure to like, RT, and comment on all submissions.  Fans love that interplay and a simple RT of a submission that works for you, helps guide other fans to success.  Your reactions shape future submissions.

In crowdsourcing, there is a tendency to hang back and watch the results roll in. However, this strategy can be unhelpful. You’ll make the most of your results if you actively participate in your crowdsourcing project. Many times, people who are unhappy with their crowdsourcing results did not adequately participate and guide the direction of the project.

Crowdsourcing is like growing a garden – the diligent gardener will weed and water daily to cultivate the best yield. A less attentive gardener may find himself with a garden overgrown with weeds. (Volusion)

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