crowdsource content

Engaging your experts

The Edelman Trust Barometer recently reported that 57% of people admit to worrying about the media they use being “contaminated with untrustworthy information.”

The same Edelman trust barometer also found it’s an organisation’s technical experts we trust most. 68% of the senior management interviewed rated this source type to be ‘very credible’ or ‘extremely credible.’

We know that when you are able to tap into the rich expertise within your business you can provide material of real value and quickly become a trusted advisor.

So how do you engage with your experts? They are extremely busy people with important day jobs and you are asking them to do even more.

There is of course no one size fits all solution to engaging your experts. However, here are some tried and tested principles you might consider:

Celebrate and advocate

Make sure that your expert’s input is known throughout the business and beyond.

Encourage SMEs to share any content that they have been involved in on their own social media – LinkedIn etc. Help them build up their own thought leadership profile.

Demonstrate that participation is strategically beneficial for them both internally and externally.


What you are asking for is really valuable so it’s important to demonstrate that you recognise this.

Incentives can go a long way to encourage participation. “Contributor of the month/quarter” awards for example. An Ipad is an often used but none the less effective prize.

Smaller regular incentives such as gift cards, snack or beverage delivery, or company branded materials can all show appreciation of their time and knowledge and increase the chances of involvement.

Keep it simple

Be sure to keep communications straightforward when working with your experts.

They’re experts in their particular fields – not necessarily the experts in yours.

Avoid using industry-specific jargon as much as possible and be sure to include them in conversations around feedback and decision making related to their contributions.

Most importantly – make them feel heard. Validate suggestions from your experts via peer reviews and encourage ownership of their input.

Every business is different and in many ways that’s the whole point. It’s your insights, your ideas, your stories generated by your team. We built oogsta for exactly this reason. To enable you to unlock the particular knowledge in your network so you can produce relevant, targeted, trusted content that engages prospects and clients, results in greater demand generation and helps to drive your sales process.

Use cases

Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s how some of our clients do it…

Use case 1engaging senior buyers in the world’s largest consumer businesses.

This client’s EDRs are constantly in need of original stories to tell clients and prospects. Their marketers use oogsta to gather insights and inspiration from their delivery teams (their experts). They track and communicate the effectiveness of these campaigns at their weekly sales meetings. The marketing team then reward the experts who have contributed to these campaigns. They also utilise the oogsta leaderboards to track and reward ongoing contributions. This is very important as you cannot just reward experts on the success of the final content. It is essential to reward overall contributions in order to ensure continuous engagement.

Use case 2engaging international technology communities to further the industry

This leading global organisation is dedicated to furthering the technology industries that it serves with international communities based in the US, UK, APAC and Benelux and a range of technology communities made up of experts in their field. Community leaders use oogsta to connect and engage volunteer community experts in multiple initiatives. Leaderboards are used to monitor and encourage engagement and enable each community to easily demonstrate their contribution. Experts can view their contribution against their peers and gain recognition. There has been a 38% uplift in overall engagement since implementing oogsta.

Use case 3Sourcing thought leadership level insights to build audience and drive inbound leads

In a crowded cybersecurity market its vitally important that this vendor stands out as a thought leader. Marketing had the challenge of working with a globally distributed workforce. oogsta enables this company to engage internal and external experts in multiple time zones. Content contribution was implemented as part of each expert’s monthly KPIs and leaderboards are reviewed as part of the monthly company KPIs. The marketing team implemented a ‘content journey’ that demonstrates the outcomes of insight provided: understanding the impact contributions have on company growth has increased overall engagement significantly.

In summary

There’s no magic formula for engaging your experts but if you:

  • Make it as easy as possible to participate and collaborate
  • Celebrate and reward great ideas and insights
  • Demonstrate that you value you their time and effort

I guarantee you will generate more contributions and produce more trusted, targeted content. Continuously.

Book a demo and see how oogsta can help you.

oogsta blog

The value of giving people a voice

“The value of giving people a voice” / “How to set up a laser autoguidance system with a mallet and a spirit level!”

My Dad left school at the age of 14 to become a tractor mechanic. For over 40 years he met farmers and farm managers in all weathers and in all situations. He became friends with many of them. He knew when things were going well, he knew when times were difficult. He knew what equipment they needed most and what equipment they dreamed of owning and the impact that would make on their business. He helped them out at all times of the day and night. He enabled them to get harvests in on time and jobs done. They trusted him.

Towards the end of his career he had to go to on a training course at the head office/factory of the manufacturer he worked for. The course subject: “Installing laser autoguidance systems on tractors and harvesters”.

On the afternoon of the first day the course leader set up break out groups to establish what experience the mechanics already had of installing said equipment and the issues they had faced.

A spirit level and a mallet

Most spoke of their experiences in vague terms, some complained of not having the right tools to do the job. My Dad, not one to speak up in social situations and twice the age of most of these more academically educated mechanics, remained quiet until the course leader asked him directly if he had experience of installing the equipment and if so which of the many expensive factory supplied tools he had found most useful. His response – “a spirit level and a mallet”. After the laughter died down he explained that he wasn’t joking or being un-co-operative and exactly why and how he had found this worked best in many different conditions.

For the rest of the week the course leader found himself asking my Dad for his insights and knowledge on a range of topics and on the Friday as they were packing up to go home the course leader asked if he would consider helping out on future courses. Over the next few years, up until his retirement, my Dad would go back 4 or 5 times a year to be an assistant course leader. They were some of the most fulfilled moments of his working life.

A trusted advisor and a subject matter expert

The course leader had uncovered in an easily overlooked person and quite by chance, what we from the warmth of our home offices would describe as both a Trusted Advisor and a Subject Matter Expert. I would never have dared describe him as such to his face for fear of a violent and X-rated verbal response!

In any organisation it isn’t always the loudest voices or the heads of departments that hold all the knowledge or can provide the greatest insights. In businesses of every size, giving people a voice and uncovering your real experts is difficult to achieve but when you do, it has massive value in terms of commercial opportunities, knowledge management and personal development. We created oogsta to enable businesses to:

  • connect with their subject matter experts
  • unlock the knowledge of their networks
  • crowdsource insights on client’s pain points
  • learn how to better develop new product offerings
  • harvest the inspiration and raw materials to enable new and better ways to connect with clients and prospects

Peer reviews

Of course, not every response will be as “useful” as “a spirit level and a mallet” so we enable your contributors to peer review all insights gathered. We also enable you to see which contributors receive the most endorsements from their peers. This has real business benefits in terms of identifying which topics and opportunities you can pursue with confidence. Equally important from a knowledge and talent management perspective you can see and celebrate who your subject matter experts truly are, not just in terms of the quantity of contributions but in terms of the quality of their insights.

Authentic and original

My Dad wasn’t articulate, but he was authentic and very original and so were the insights he provided. We know that nearly 60% of C-suite audiences consider the content they currently receive as not being fit for purpose. They don’t believe it, they don’t trust it. By extension they don’t trust the businesses delivering that content. However, if you provide authentic, original content consistently you can engage with C-suite audiences and quickly establish trusted advisor status, driving sustained business growth.

Harvesting insights

And finally… I used to think that I had not followed in my Dad’s footsteps in any way. However, I co-founded a business that “harvests” insights and inspiration and the very name of our business; oogsta is derived from the Dutch word for harvest – oogst. Ok it’s a tenuous connection but it’s a connection all the same.s


Storytelling: How to maximise customer value and drive engagement through stories

In a recent study across hundreds of brands in dozens of categories, Harvard Business Review found that the most effective way to maximise customer value is to move beyond customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level – tapping into their fundamental motivations and demonstrating an understanding of their needs through targeted insights and unspoken emotional motivators.

Most companies spend their time and budgets mapping customer experience and tracking customer activity across physical stores, call centres, e-commerce sites, and social media, gathering mountains of data from their own surveys, customer tracking systems, loyalty programs, and third-party providers. Their stated goal being “to improve customer satisfaction at each step of the customer journey”. However, overall customer satisfaction is often already high, and anyway it is seldom a competitive differentiator in and of itself.

B2B buyers are twice as likely to consider a business if they feel an emotional connection to it*.

Telling your business’s unique story consistently in an authentic manner will help audiences connect with your brand and make them care about what it stands for on a much deeper emotional level. This is the importance of storytelling in marketing.

Sharing your brand’s narrative is immensely powerful in a number of other ways; authentic stories can empower business leaders under pressure, secure a brand’s place in the market, or help frame the products and services they offer. To quote Fast Company: “Without a compelling story, our product, idea, or brand, is dead on arrival.”

To make this happen it is essential that your story is original, authentic and sustainable. The most authentic, original characters in your story are always going to be your people. Your colleagues on the front lines will always have the best material, but often don’t know who to share it with or how. Crowdsourcing ideas and inspiration from an engaged and enabled workforce can ensure that your story is able to live, grow and succeed.

People have always told stories, and their effects on individuals are remarkable. Stories affect our physiology, shifting us into mind-sets of empathy, trust, or focus. They’re psychologically powerful, helping us to understand complex concepts. Fundamentally, great stories can change behaviours.

So how do you shape and then deliver against your brand story in a consistent manner?

The four key essential elements for developing successful marketing storytelling techniques:

Know your stuff.
Whether told through an experience, a game, or the spoken word, people react to stories they understand. Understanding depends on simplicity. Simplicity arises from complete knowledge of your subject matter, your audience, and your goals. Your own people hold the key to this, tap into their knowledge continuously to capture insights and inspiration and fuel your storytelling.

Listen to your audience.
Know your audience inside and out. Understand what they already know, what they want to know, and how they’d like to be told. Understand and remain up to date with their pain points. Whatever the final medium, tell a story that is informed, relevant, and that resonates with users, listeners, or viewers.

Trust people to take ownership.
The brands that connect best with people are those that take a step back and let their people do the inputting and the talking, enabling them to shape the story and be advocates for the business.

Listen. Make it personal.
Storytelling isn’t just another target-led business tool. It’s a connection between people. It’s important to understand why people love stories and to listen to our audiences both internally and externally as we inform, provoke, entertain and engage them with them on a more personal level.

oogsta helps ambitious businesses engage their audiences by crowdsourcing ideas and insights in order to better tell their story and drive business success.

* Gartner and Google 2019