Is Crowdsourcing the Future of Video Content?

In this post we’ll explain what are the main benefits of crowdsourced videos, as well as all the actors involved!

Marketing Team
Video Marketing Is Crowdsourcing the Future of Video Content?

Table of Contents

What is crowdsourcing?  

It’s something very simple, actually: it’s when a company solicits ideas, suggestions, feedback, and opinions from users. In this way, users become creators, marketers, spokespersons, and testimonials for the company. 

As long as there has been marketing, we have always had crowdsourcing. It was being done even before the internet existed, through interviews, tests, paper forms, or films—all tools that were not very precise, qualitatively speaking, and with a very limited reach, quantitatively speaking. 

Digital transformation has been a real turning point for crowdsourcing because the channels have multiplied, the reach has expanded exponentially, and—at the same time—the difficulties of implementing these types of campaigns have been drastically reduced. 

The goals, however, have remained the same. 

In this post, we will address the topic of crowdsourced videos, that is, videos made with the participation of customers and users (as well as employees), in crowdsourcing mode. 

There are many diverse types and formats of crowdsourced videos: from testimonial videos, to Question & Answer videos, to contests, to behind-the-scenes videos for showing how a company operates, its history, its values, and much more. We won’t dwell on the individual types, but we will aim to answer the question in the title: is Crowdsourcing the Future of Video Content? 

How will we do this? By dividing the post into two parts. 

In the first, we will isolate the 4 main benefits of using crowdsourced videos. In the second, we will focus on 4 macro-types of “actors” involved in crowdsourced videos: experts (so-called “KOLs”), influencers (especially micro-influencers), ordinary people and also a company’s employees and collaborators.

Crowdsourced videos – the 4 main benefits   A premise: Of course, there are more than just four benefits and advantages of crowdsourced videos

The benefits are directly related to the video tool itself, in terms of familiarity with the medium, effectiveness, and communicative clarity (you can find the most up-to-date statistics related to video marketing in this post on our blog). 

In this post, we have chosen to focus on 4 decisive themes that can be applied to all of the different types of crowdsourced videos

1. The creative process becomes faster and cheaper  

Let’s start with a basic element. Crowdsourcing is also outsourcing sure, with all the important and obvious differences involved. And what does this translate into? First, into saving time and money in the creative process. Why? 

Because it’s the users themselves who create content for the brand a great deal of content, and almost always for free. 

Beware, however: it’s true that the time needed for creation is reduced dramatically. However, a lot of energy and space must be devoted to other aspects, such as after-the-fact editing, conforming to certain technical and stylistic standards, scheduling, distribution, comment moderation, and analysis of results. Of course, this is when crowdsourced videos are distributed in a company’s channels. 

2. Cues and diversity of ideas multiply  

You may have the best team of creatives and marketers in the world, but even the best team can never have the of a “crowd” of hundreds or thousands. A striking proof of this? 

Among the companies that have most exploited the power of crowdsourcing in recent years we have Coca-Cola and Nike. Here, we’re talking about two brands that have stood out for the quality of their creative departments for decades. So is it enough to leave it to the crowd? 

No, absolutely not! Companies’ creative teams must pay close attention to two decisive phases of any crowdsourcing campaign: the before and the after

The before: it’s about providing the right inputs that are simple to grasp, very clear, consistent, engaging, and noncommittal. 

The after: as we’ve already mentioned, it’s about careful attention to post-production, distribution, and feedback of any kind. 

3. It ramps up engagement and leads to advocacy 

This is a decisive aspect and perhaps also the most intuitive. Putting users at the center of your video marketing campaigns is the best way to drive engagement. 

The reasons are very simple: the protagonists themselves become the first vehicle for spreading the brand’s messages, involving their friends and acquaintances, in a chain effect that develops exponentially, especially on social networks. It’s not just a matter of visibility and organic coverage. 

Interactions, with crowdsourced videos, also increase and become more spontaneous. And this is true both when users are ordinary people, when they are influencers (preferably not perceived as super-stars), and when they are employees or collaborators of a company. We’ll return to these four aspects in the second part of the post.

The end result? 

The path that begins with the surge in engagement can and should be crowned in a marked increase in loyalty and advocacy. In this way, individuals become the most important, most engaging, and most reliable ambassadors of a brand, product, or service. It’s a question of authenticity—the last point of this first part of the post, which we address below. 

4. It conveys a sense of authenticity  

Authenticity: this is the keyword that best indicates the secret of why crowdsourced videos are so effective. Indeed, in this type of campaign, it’s the people themselves who direct a brand’s communication. 

Either indirectly, by demonstrating their preferences, offering suggestions, sharing opinions, or feedback. Or directly, by putting themselves, their faces in the video.

A potential customer always tends to trust the voice of an actual customer more than the “official” voice of the brand. Because the individual person is always perceived as more disinterested and sincere. It is a common experience for all of us, if we think about it. And, indeed, it’s a matter of authenticity. 

Crowdsourced videos – the actors involved 

And now we come to the second part of the post. Without getting into too much detail, let’s look at the four types of actors that can be involved in crowdsourcing video creation, with their decisive differences. 

1. Key Opinion Leaders 

Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) are experts in their subject and field who have recognized professionalism and expertise. 

These are authoritative voices that are essential for communicating messages in an environment, especially online, that is often infested with fake news and misleading information that can backfire on players, especially for particularly sensitive sectors. In this case, the balance hangs more toward the side of authority, as opposed to the side of engagement and wide reach. 

Of course, the choice of Key Opinion Leaders depends on the type of message a brand wants to convey, and, even further upstream, on its type of business. 

2. Small influencers  

Influencer marketing is a solid trend. When applied to the world of video marketing, it proves to have excellent effectiveness and performance. 

However, if we’re talking about mega-influencers with millions of followers, we are off the topic of crowdsourcing because the dynamics are more like those of the old TV testimonials. 

However, one type of influencer that is very interesting for this topic is the micro or nano influencers. These are people with a more limited but extremely loyal following. Again, it’s a matter of perceived authenticity and sincerity. These are great channels to rely on for your crowdsourced video campaign


3. The strength of ordinary people  

Here we come to a central point that lies at the heart of the crowdsourcing theme. Indeed, with digital, individuals are increasingly at the center of all kinds of business. The goal of companies, as we have already pointed out, is to turn these people, these users, into the first and most credible testimonials of their brand and products. 

How do you engage them? Following the path of personalization. Today, it’s possible to easily and automatically create communications that are tailored to the characteristics of each individual recipient. 

It all starts with target audience knowledge, which has become as in-depth as ever, thanks to data analysis tools. 

Among personalized communications, videos play a major role. How to make them? By relying on platforms that specialize in personalized videos such as the one offered by Babelee

Personalized video is the perfect vehicle for trying to engage the people who make up your target audience, one by one. It is as valuable a tool as ever for gathering feedback and ideas of all kinds. It’s also valuable for stimulating the creation of original content by users themselves: for User Generated Content. 

4. The credibility of its employees  

The “Trust Barometer” research, conducted by Edelman, showed that employees are perceived as twice as credible as a CEO or executive when promoting their company: they are seen as more spontaneous and sincere, especially on social media (source: 

Similarly, Cisco notes that employees’ social posts generate an average of eight times more engagement than their employers’ posts. Because of the way social platform algorithms work, people are 16 times more likely to read a friend’s post about a brand than a post produced by the brand itself (source: 

This data is extremely telling and relevant, and they tell us that producing crowdsourced videos involving one’s employees and collaborators is, without a doubt, a winning idea. 
The bottom line: it all comes together.

The effectiveness of a video marketing campaign, in the digital age, is a matter of creative insights, data analysis, choice of platforms, timing, and distribution channels. But as always, and even more so, it’s a matter of people!

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