Just the other day I was strolling online and exploring new music when I saw this special button on ‘Myspace’ website which said ‘Bring this band to your city’. If you haven’t seen it yet do check it out. It rose my level of curiosity because at one time I had this concept in mind but saw it in implementation now. I don’t know how extensively Myspace people are making use of it, I doubt they are even using it. It just seems like another fancy item on their artist page. However if any other website tries to adopt this concept they can leverage it’s hidden power and can probably make it viral and how they can do this, I’m gonna explain in this blog post.
The general idea behind this concept is to find which band is in demand and in which region. If enough people hit this button Myspace could then arrange a show of that artist in that particular region and inform interested people who hit the button earlier and bring in decent crowd and ultimately create revenue for themselves and the artist. Though it’s a long process and there are too many variables there is still a way to make it work.
For anything to become viral in online world I believe two things are pivotal
1. How well they are marketing the content
You can’t really mess around with luck but you can with the marketing part.
Say a new website comes in town and their content largely focus on music and music related events in a particular geographic region. Now they introduce this button on their artist’s page just like Myspace, using which people can express their desire to bring a particular band to their city. Now say they did get enough people who showed interest in bringing a particular artist in town, does it really mean those people gonna show up on venues when the show would be organized. Moreover there is no way to actually see how many of them did really attend the event.
A simple solution to this is by asking people to pay a small token amount when they hit the button. This might seem a little repelling at first but it can prove to be really fruitful if presented to the users in the right manner. Lets analyze how it can be useful and what all can be done:
1. If a person really pays the token amount which could be as small as Rs. 50 to Rs. 100 it means he is serious about going to the show of that artist and there is high probability that the person will actually attend the show later on.
2. You can get real data of how many people are really interested and are not just clicking the button for fun. The dropout rate of these people would be very less later on unless there is some other disruptive thing which might displease them.
3. If this amount would be made completely refundable at any point of time whenever the user wants, it will give them a freedom as well as full control over their money even after they pay you.
4. If enough people click on the button in the given time frame of your campaign you can have a good amount of initial capital which you can then use to bring in the artist for the show.
5. If you have a threshold number in mind of say 500 (variable) people then you can show a status bar displaying how many people have already paid the token amount and how many spots are still left to reach the threshold. This will encourage cult music fans to bring in their friends to fill the spot and reach the threshold and will further make your campaign viral. It will also project a transparent image in front of fans about the whole campaign.
6. Not to mention but make this initial token amount adjustable against the ticket cost of the show.
7. You can further incentivize people if they bring in 5 more people by giving them 10% (variable) discount on the ticket price later on. But announce this prominently in the beginning of your campaign itself to add the viral quotient. You can always adjust the ticket pricing later on depending on the discount you are giving.
8. You need to keep a check on spamming as people will try to do that. Some people might make multiple accounts and drop out later when they get the discount. But as long as you are getting the token amount you still have an upper hand and you can safely presume to a certain extent that you are going in the right direction.
And there are many different schemes that you can add to this. This is a basic idea of what you can do with this concept. Now the success of this campaign will rely on how you promote and among whom you promote this concept.
If you have a good user base who loves your service this campaign can go a long way in building unbreakable trust with them and pulling in their friends. You can start by talking to people among your friend circle about this concept and check their enthusiasm level. You can then start taking feedback from your online users and see if they would be really interested. You can then completely roll out this campaign, promote it extensively in your target market and through all the channels possible.
If you do get the threshold number of people that’s only half the battle won. After this organizing the show, bringing in the artist, giving people a nice experience of the whole show will complete your whole campaign. If you did this, satisfied a majority of your users who attended the event and made it a smooth and hassle free experience for them, I bet they will stick with you for a long long time. Not to mention the word of mouth publicity you gonna get.
A crucial component that will come into play here would be the ticket prices. If you pulled off half the campaign nicely and then introduced your tickets at a high price it will increase the drop off rate tremendously. When experimenting with this concept for the first time I would suggest you to keep profit margin low and priority should be to give people a nice experience so that next time when you start a similar campaign people will come to you without a second thought. From the second time on wards you can start milking the cow while still maintaining the quality. You will learn enough when you will execute it for the first time that you will know how to do it the next time.
This is basically a crowd funding model and it is nothing new but how you execute this idea will make you stand apart among your niche users. This is a very focused niche concept so it’s hard to generalize it but if you wear you creative hat you can probable come up with something for a different niche and use it there.
I would love to see if somebody applies this and make it viral. If you are planning to do this and need any help or suggestion, drop me a note. Would love to hear your opinion about it.