From now on, every time you consider the potential for an interactive initiative, you must ask what your audience will be asking:
What can I do with it?
Think back to the story of Green Eggs and Ham. You’re asking someone no try a new idea, and then use that information in a variety of online and offline settings that make the most sense to them.
Merely presenting information is no longer enough. Your audience needs a clear, convenient way to do something with it. Can they use it on a plane? On a train? In a house? With a mouse?
This isn’t over-simplifying: it’s clarity. Your content is best used someplace else. Rhyming makes it more fun. Where is your content best suited? What kinds of content are most used in that place? This will take some investigation, trial and error. The best part about this investigation process is the incredibly valuable surprises you learn along the way. Making your content clean and passable will create its own sidewalks to audiences you never knew existed.
The relationship between Sam and his nay-saying nemesis became stronger once they shared the meal. Green Eggs and Ham is the tie that binds them. There’s no difference between that experience and sharing new content with friends in Flixster, MySpace, or YouTube. It’s the power of discovery.
Helping people share makes their own relationships stronger. We call these social objects today. Regardless of what term we apply, people will continue to look for these opportunities to show something new to a friend or colleague and make a stronger relationship with that content.
Don’t be afraid to show people how to use your content. Give examples. Sam demonstrates every conceivable way to eat green eggs and ham. So should you. Demonstrate the ways that other similar people have used your content. Today we call this social proof. It helps a lot when you can see people like yourself taking specific actions.
FriendConnect and Facebook are both great tools to show your content in the context of friends: making the mental leap of doing something new feel a lot smaller. Letting people share what they find, and putting it in their own terms is the most powerful marketing you’ll never have to buy. Green Eggs and Ham is just one of the stories that have lasted for generations by demonstrating the most entertaining, memorable ways of doing just that.
Let's continue the conversation: please leave your thoughts in the comment section below, or on Twitter @mleis