Simple but Effective Crowdsourcing to Unclock Content
Many labels are interested in using crowdsourcing to unlock content. The idea is simple: Get fans to share and like until you reach a target threshold, then you unlock the content (video, album cover, i.e.). Many times music labels are looking for a complex, automated application that makes this happen – unfortunately that’s not the best approach. We build a lot of automated like-gating, share-gating and unlocking applications (our new album reveal application for Facebook is a perfect), but these center on unlocking content for an individual user based on that individual user’s action (not a group action), that’s were more complex, more expensive, automated application are ideal for. Crowdsourced unlocking, or unlocking content for a group of users based on the activity of the group, is a different beast altogether here is how and why:
- With individual unlocking, there is a immediate payoff for the individual (the content is unlocked), with crowdsourcing that payoff is delayed.
- The success/marketing benefit of individual unlocking is immediate as is the payoff. Crowdsourcing is a little more complicated. Because there is no immediate payoff, success is uncertain (for the individual and thus for marketer). The trick is to USE marketing to drive success (vs. the other way around), so with a crowdsourced application you need to constantly announce to fans when stages are unlocked and constantly encourage them that the goal is close at hand.
- The success of a crowdsourced campaign is hard to control! What happens if there isn’t enough fan participation. Do you leave the content locked or do you cheat? You’d be surprised how many “successful” crowdsourced unlocking campaigns are faked!
- Because crowdsourced campaigns are hard to control avoid any counters (or clocks) controlled by third-parties (such as Facebook likes, i.e.) or that are public. If you decide to need to fake it..you won’t be able to..(what part of 1M likes is now 10,000 likes ?!).
- When crowdsourcing, use fuzzy math/logic and/or non-public counters if you have to in order to give you added flexibility (“When shares + views + count + goodness knows what > 10,000, then we’ll unlock the video”)
- Get it over quickly. Its pointless to have a slow and unsuccessful campaign that crawls along. People want content now or quickly. If they don’t get it, they’ll move on to the next artist! No one is going to set up an alarm or reminder to come back every Thursday at 10am to check your promotion to see if its unlocked.
- People get tired! Tell them to do something once is okay, tell them to do it over and over and over again, is well, exhausting.
That said, this is the right way to do crowdsourced content unlocking promotion. This week we launch an simple but effective campaign for Tooth and Nail artist Becoming the Archetype (http://www.tweematic.com/archetype/).
We think our friends at Tooth and Nail have the right idea and here is why we liked this promotion:
- It’s fast and inexpensive! Little programming, little cost, fast turnaround, need I say more. True, its not rocket science, buy hey, it doesn’t always have to be.
- Its successful! Count criteria is very broad (likes, shares, tweets, pins, subscriptions to newsletter, i.e.) so success if almost certain. User’s don’t know how many newsletter subscriptions you received (the other counters are public/third-party however) – so you can declare success on your own time table.
- Conceptually – It’s simple! Two stages..that’s it. There first video was an intro and explanation, then 1k and 3k. No 10 step plan, no 10 week schedule, no do 20 different things in this this order!
- It markets itself. The videos start with a promo and explanation so anyone who visits (or shares) the page, knows what the deal is and how it works.
- It’s Cheap. I mentioned that before, but its worth mentioning again. We’re in the music industry and we know music industry budgets. Heck we all like the big budget, bells and whistles, lights and production type project that everyone raves about (think One Direction Kissing Booth, think Justin Bieber Under the Mistletoe)..but not every artist can afford it!