An open-mic content mindset can help companies tremendously.
First, let me back up and define “open-mic.”
Typically, an open-mic night is a sampling of different acts in one night. Each comic gets 5-10 minutes. And clubs often (thought not always) don’t pay open-mic participants. That can be good or bad depending on many factors. The point – to give comics exposure, build audiences for clubs, and allow clubs to preview talent.
I started out in comedy right after college. I threw myself into open-mic nights. That’s the best way to start in stand-up, really. Just do it. Open-mic nights benefit clubs and comics. First, these events allow clubs to discover and nurture local talent. Secondly, it exposes talent and clubs to new audiences (many of whom are friends of the comics who are featured and some will come back as repeat club customers). Finally, it allows audiences to experience variety in comedy content. Moreover, it allows comics to grow their fan bases and to network with each other. That community is critical because it creates engagement with the club.
It’s a bonus that the comics come from different backgrounds because audiences will experience a variety of voices and points of view in content. Consequently, an open-mic approach can result in a variety of great content that benefits audiences, companies and community content-creators.
A Spotlight on Your Best Content Creators Builds Community
This approach enables a company to scale and to generate content that gets shared because it’s created by fans. That’s the beauty of earned media. And, after all, the brand is owned and elevated by the community of users, not by the company. A company’s best storytellers usually live outside of marketing and outside of the corporate walls.
As a result, it’s one of the smartest ways a company can generate content that kicks boring to the curb. It also strengthens customer communities and connections with customer influencers.
A Few Ways to Create Open-Mic Content
Here are a few ways to start:
1. Let your community create and share content using your products and services (GoPro, Adobe) or at facilitated events where you bring community members together (Tough Mudder, Harley Davidson, Mini Cooper/BMW). Provide community areas on your site where fans can upload content. Adobe, for example, created a site for artists to highlight the art created by its user base. It’s a great example of community storytelling that highlights the talents of the Adobe user community.
2. Create contests that allow customers (and employees) to share their stories and product ideas (a great example is Lay’s).
3. Publish customer content in the blog. Invite customers (not just influencers) to guest direct your podcasts and live-streams on occasion.
4. Co-create content with your audience. For example, create a story and ask your audience to finish it. Vincenzo Landino and I co-created a piece of content after I was interviewed on his Brand Boost podcast.
5. Outsource advertorial, commercials, even non-commercial content (Doritos)
6. Feature customer videos (videos they create – not your marketing department) in your marketing.
How do you create open-mic content?
Let me know in the comments below.