by Mielle Sullivan, Janus Networks

Run a user generated content contest in which the winner wins a trip to Hawaii
Show people where the sweet stuff is and they will come to it in swarms and they will tell all their swarming friends and they will talk talk talk about it. What is the sweet stuff? Anything really fun, anything worth fantasizing about, anything worth taking a risk for, or taking time out of their busy day for. If you can cause people to associate your, product, website or company with anything fun and exciting it will get attention. Remember the “Island Caretaker” job offered by the Queensland Tourism Board? It generated so much attention that the ensuing traffic shut down the site’s servers multiple times; tens of thousands of video applications were received and dozens of high profile articles were written.

Host an UNconference

We’ve all been conferences that were too expensive, long and predictable. So the next time there is a big industry conference in your city, rent out a small room near the conference and hold an UNconference. The idea is that the attendees will come up with topics and then discuss and present on the topics right there. You can focus on a specific problem in your field, or leave it more open. Do: invite as many people in your field as possible, invite the press, encourage collaboration, provide snacks, print up fun t-shirts. Don’t: charge admission.

Make a viral video

Hire a good video artist/director. Make it funny. Make it short. Be upfront about who you are and what you are promoting. Make sure it is tagged well and easy to find. Involver has a variety of social media video promotion tools for a large range of budgets.

Hold a Raffle

This isn’t a way to get money, but rather to get information about your target or encourage them to engage with a product. It is similar to the user generated content contest, but instead of creating content users interact with a site, fill out a survey or use a product. This idea works great when you have a new feature to promote as it points users straight towards engagement. The Dubai Government used a raffle to promote use of its new eGovernment portal to conduct payments and credit card companies and Discover Card is currently running a sweepstakes for users that switch to paperless statements. Both promotions encourage users to interact in new way with services they are use.

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