How to Create a Crowdsourced Video
January 5, 2022
If you’re looking for a creative video idea for your business, look no further! We know just the type of video you can make — a crowdsourced video.
The crowdsourced video format has nearly infinite use cases, and it’s great if you’re working with a small budget. Want to showcase your company culture? What about go behind the scenes of your latest video series? Crowdsourced videos can do just that!
In this post, we’ll show you a few examples of crowdsourced videos we’ve created at Wistia and give you a production process breakdown for making one come to life. Get inspired to start creating a crowdsourced video for your own business!
What better way to showcase your company culture than to ask the actual folks you work with to be in your video? Crowdsourcing works particularly well if your company is made up of more than a handful of people — more people equals more footage.
Let’s look at a video we created for Wistia’s recruiting team to show potential new hires that despite working from home during the pandemic, our company culture is still alive and well.
This type of video adds a ton of authenticity to your brand. It’s also the opposite of boring because it’s not predictable. When our Head of Production, Chris Lavigne, sourced these clips, he didn’t know what he was going to receive back. He was pleasantly surprised to peel back the curtains, see people’s workspaces, and hear more about his coworkers.
Get folks at your company to send in clips that showcase their authentic selves for your next culture-focused video!
Crowdsourced videos are also a great way to get your team involved, whether they’re in-person or remote.
At Wistia, we created our first animated series, Gear Squad vs Dr. Boring, and wanted to share a peek behind the scenes of what the production process looked like. Our production partner was 100% remote, so Chris crowdsourced this video by asking all of the creators involved to tell him a little bit about the production process in a self-recorded video. By doing so, he was able to put this video together. Check it out!
You get the idea here. These are unscripted videos. With crowdsourced videos, you don’t know exactly what you’re going to get, but that’s the beauty of it! Many people are interested in seeing authentic and honest perspectives, so why not give a crowdsourced video a try?
Breaking down the production process
In this last example, we made this crowdsourced video to support the launch of Wistia’s podcasting feature. We wanted to show the faces behind the team that worked hard to bring our product feature to life. See the video for yourself!
Now, it’s time to break down how we created the video from start to finish so you can replicate our process for creating a crowdsourced video.
1. Start with a script
First off, Chris started with a script. Chris had a rough idea of what he wanted the video to look like. When you go to script your video, think about these things: If you were to write the words that come out of people’s mouths, what would you want them to say? What’s the best-case scenario?
For instance, we asked folks to include their name and what their contribution was to the project. Chris also asked folks to give him a little sign-off such as a “thank you” or “bye.”
If you think about what you want the video to look and sound like, you can put together a checklist of things you want your crowdsourced participants to touch on in their video.
2. Give folks an example of what you’re looking for
After you’ve got an idea for a script, it’s time to send out your request for video footage via email or Slack message. One thing Chris does is include a mock-up of exactly what he’s looking for. Here’s the video he sent in his email request to our team.
Here’s another example of a mock-up Chris sent to the creators of Gear Squad vs. Dr. Boring.
In your request, it’s important to let folks know they can have as many takes as they’d like. Encourage people to open up, and let them know the video will be edited. It helps take the pressure off knowing every single word they say isn’t going to end up in the final video. However, there’s space for “ums” and “ahs” because it shows the authentic human self.
After folks see an example video, it disarms them because it doesn’t seem so difficult to record themselves. You can also include resources that teach people how to look their best using a webcam. In fact, we know a video you can send them!
It doesn’t hurt to go the extra mile to encourage people to look and sound their best to get a great shot, even though they’re going to shoot from a webcam or a smartphone.
3. Provide clear instructions for sending in footage
Finally, in your email, provide folks with clear instructions for sending in their footage. We like to use Dropbox and include a Dropbox file request link for people to drag and drop their files. Then we get an email letting us know we received their video!
In your email, it’s also mission-critical to give folks a deadline. People have a million other responsibilities, so it’s good to include a timeline. However, don’t make your deadline too far out! And, don’t be ashamed to send a follow-up email. People want to be included in these types of videos, and sometimes they need to be reminded.
4. Edit it all together
Once you have a solid assortment of clips from your coworkers, most of the hard work is already over. The final step is just putting the puzzle pieces together to form one final video that feels authentic and personal.
Doesn’t it sound easy as pie to make a crowdsourced video? We sure think so! You can picture this video format being a welcome aboard video when somebody signs up for your product or submits their email for your mailing list. Create a crowdsourced video if you want to invite people to a webinar. Or, a crowdsourced video could introduce your team and help folks put faces to names — the list goes on and on.
With COVID, crowdsourcing has been a great tool in our production toolbox, a way for us to keep making videos, and a way to keep humanizing our brand at Wistia. We hope that you consider making a crowdsourced video for one of your next videos!