Perhaps the biggest hurdle SEOs have is coming up with loads and loads of ideas for content. Nowadays, SEO and digital marketing is all about content. Without great content constantly spilling from your pages, your pages will not rank. So what happens if you have an inherently boring niche or industry? And what do you do after you’ve already churned out hundreds and hundreds of articles and content, and have subsequently squeezed out every last drop of creativity and ideas in your brain? That’s likely to happen given the nature of content marketing. The good news is, there are is a simple trick you can utilize in order to get a refresher. And that is: crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing is a general term for getting your audience to create content for you. Even if you don’t have a captured community from, there are other places you can still tap. Here are some places where you can get great crowdsourced content and content ideas:

– Your Facebook brand page
– Your Twitter
– Your LinkedIn (polls and groups)
– Your website forum
– Your email newsletter list
– QA sites like Quora and Yahoo Answers

The next question is how to activate your audience and make them actually want to create content. Your technique will vary depending on which platform or channel you reach out to, but the general principle will remain the same. Here are some helpful basic strategies for crowdsourcing content and content ideas:

1.) Create Polls

Creating polls is the easiest way to listen in on the opinions of your audience. Most social media platforms have built in poll features. You can find this in Facebook and most forums. This is great for choosing topics.

2.) Create Contests

People love contests because they get to have something back in return. Giving an incentive is always the way to go. This is a powerful way to mobilize people to actively contribute. Simple photo captioning contests are, in themselves, good content. But not only that, the ideas produced in the contest can be use for a long time.

3.) Ask Directly

There is nothing simpler. Just ask and you shall receive. Why don’t you ask your community what kind of content or topics they want to see in the future? Not only is this engaging, you also show that your brand is willing to listen. This is going to strengthen your relationship with your audience. You might even be surprised with their answers.

4.) Listen to Burgeoning Conversations

If you haven’t been listening to your audience’s conversations, then you are missing out a lot. Most of the time, there are brilliant comments in the comments section of every popular post. There might even be commenters who give so much information already that only a bit of fact checking is necessary to create that comment into content.

5.) Capture and Empower Community Influencers

Those people who actively comment in your blog posts, might be the best people to reach out to for new content. Or if you are, for example, formed of a community of already have active members, then it is a matter of looking at which people are the most active. Find these influencers and make them ambassadors of your brand by offering them special roles with the right compensation.