How to Easily Set Up Your Next Crowdsourcing Campaign

BY GINA SPARROW | 4 min read

Ready to dive into the deep blue sea of crowdsourcing but not quite ready to lose the floaties? 

Questions like "What is the difference between crowdsourcing vs. crowdfunding?or "How do you run a successful crowdsourcing competition?can make anyone feel uneasy about the process. When considering launching a new crowdsourcing campaign, knowledge is power. We have answered those questions and provided tangible tips for creating and promoting your crowdsourcing campaign. 

Click that button to get in touch if you want to skip the confusion and host your innovation challenge with ease. 


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Keep your finger on the pulse of Crowdsourcing


The hardest part is knowing where to start, so let this guide clarify how to promote creativity and innovation while running a successful crowdsourcing campaign. 

Crowdsourcing vs. Crowdfunding 

A key question to ask yourself before you start any crowdfunding campaign or innovation competition is: what type of crowdsourcing am I going to use for my business? 


Crowdsourcing refers to garnering new solutions and insights and typically includes an incentive of some kind, whereas crowdfunding is the process of requesting monetary investment from the crowd. 


If you want to increase innovation in your product line by asking a large group of participants to innovate or what they’d like to see your business bring to market, that is crowdsourcing. If you have a product you are confident about but need funding from the crowd to bring it to market, you need a crowdfunding campaign. 


Step 1: Set Clear Goals 

The first step to any successful crowdsourcing campaign is setting clear goals on what you want to achieve and the timeline for when it should be completed. If you are crowdsourcing for innovation, what exactly does it entail? What types of ideas do you need? Who are you asking? And you’ll want to be sure to iron out intellectual property considerations. What are those goals if you are crowdfunding by asking a large group of individuals to invest? How much money do you want to raise each round? Once you have answers to those key questions, you can start preparing your crowdsourcing exercise.  


Step 2: Don’t Forget the Rewards or Incentives! 

People need a reason to share ideas with companies. Often, the reason is a sincere wish for a product or company to succeed. Providing a reward for your innovation competition is key. If you are crowdsourcing ideas for a new package design, you can offer recognition for the winning design team and prize money. 


Incentives to participate in crowdsourcing and crowdfunding may also include access to prestigious opportunities or people of influence, a first crack at the final product, awards of recognition, or even bragging rights—you’d be amazed at how far a badge or sticker can go. Star solvers often report their greatest motivators to make an impact, contribute to their community, or meet new people as their inspiration to participate. You don’t need to let a limited budget stand in the way of incentivizing the crowd to answer your call for action. 


Step 3: Determine the Timeline 

Once you know what you want from your crowdsourcing competition or crowdfunding round, you must determine a timeline to achieve that goal. This can be tricky. Setting a shorter timeline conveys confidence in your ability to raise funds quickly; however, you may not reach that goal, which can damper the entire exercise. It is essential to strike a balance between creating urgency so investors or participants are motivated to interact while giving your crowdsourcing contest time to succeed. Typically, successful crowdsourcing projects run between 30 and 90 days.  


Step 4: Get the Word Out

Once you have determined the goals and timeline, you need to get the word out. It’s time to engage your email list. You can also share your challenge on social media. Before actively crowdsourcing ideas or requesting funds, consider creating a fun tagline or a few branded hashtags to promote your crowdsourcing challenge. If you know any social media influencers, you can also leverage those partnerships. 


Another idea? Host it on HeroX. We bring visibility and give you everything you need to have a successful innovation challenge that floods your company with cutting-edge solutions. 


Another great promotional tool for crowdsourcing and crowdfunding is making a campaign video. A well-made video that explains the campaign and conveys why someone should participate or invest is gold. You can share the video on your own social media platforms and in groups or forums that share a vested interest in your crowdsourcing project’s subject matter. 


Here are a few tips for a successful promotional video: 

  • Make sure the video is clear and concise. You want to avoid any lapses or boring parts that will make the viewer fast-forward or exit the video. 
  • The video should be entertaining. In a world of short attention spans and TikTok, you want your crowdsourcing video to be engaging. Consider hiring a professional agency to produce some strong video content for you. Fiverr and Upwork also have affordable gig work talent for content creation, and AI Content Generators are fast becoming an option too. 
  • Be clear about what you’re asking. Are you asking for collaborative problem-solving or financial investment? Make your ask clear; if the viewer doesn’t know what you’re requesting, they can’t help.
  • Tell your story. Ensure you include the organization's name, background, and why people should care about (and participate in) your crowdsourcing effort. 
  • Explain why you need their ideas. Like when you ask for money, crowdsourcing innovation also requires an explanation. Elaborate on your plans and why you are relying on group problem-solving to disrupt change. 


Step 5: Keep Up the Energy to Generate Innovation

Once you’ve officially launched your campaign, you need to keep the energy going throughout the process. Engaging with your crowd, reminding them how their problem-solving innovation will aid the company or the greater good, and sharing supplemental resources or success stories can breathe new life and ideas into any crowdsourcing effort.  


During this maintenance phase, it is also essential to provide information on the progress via bi-weekly goal updates. 


Key takeaway: Crowdsourcing is an excellent tool to promote collaborative problem-solving and generate new ideas for your organization. Successful crowdsourcing competitions are not pipe dreams; they are relatively simple if you follow the easy steps above. Securing the right crowdsourcing plan, promoting the campaign, and keeping your crowd in the loop will practically guarantee a positive result. 


Want help getting your crowdsourcing innovation challenge up and running? Get in touch right here. We’ll walk you through the process to make hosting your challenge easy. 



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