This is a guest post by Jeff Barrett.
Lately, I have been reading in the blogosphere that "content is king." I don't disagree but let's dig a little deeper. If you are running a short campaign then the content has to be jaw-dropping and unmistakable. You have a short window and you are going to need to immediately grab attention.
If you are running a longer contest or developing a brand then it is important to be consistent. Make sure an audience can expect the same content at specific times or dates. This is how you build a steady and engaged following. Your following will become the crowd that drives your success.
We live in a 24 hour news cycle. This means that conventional media sources are always looking for content. It also means there is a lot of competition. Create a story that deserves coverage and give each source a different angle to ensure more coverage. It was the strategy we used for The Grand Rapids LipDub. With all due respect to the movie Dodgeball, I believe this was a "true underdog story." Everyone likes an underdog and we made a small town relatable to the entire world.
If it requires more than two steps, people will not do it. Maybe it is because we have short attention spans. More likely it is because there are so many options that are easy to use. You have to be as easy to engage with as the latest craze. Your crowdsourcing campaign needs to be as natural as Pinterest, as social as Spotify and as shareable as Flipboard. Ease-of-use will break through most objections and get people to at least attempt engaging with your brand.
Don’t leave creative content to chance. Don’t hope it will spread and receive millions of views. Know it will. This confidence comes from promoting a campaign before it even starts. We establish a network of influencers to promote the campaign weeks before it begins. The influencers receive content first, perpetuating their status as influencers. Viewers engage because they trust the referral of someone they follow and trust them to promote great content.
Building a trusted network is both the most important and hardest part. Developing a network takes time. It's a lot of introductions and relationship building. Yet, there is always a shortcut. None of us are separated by more than six degrees of separation. Crowdsourcing is that shortcut.