Running a Successful YouTube Contest
You may be doing a lot as part of your YouTube marketing strategy with the goal of increasing the number of real YouTube subscribers you have, YouTube views, as well as boosting business growth. One way to achieve this goal is by hosting YouTube contests.
On YouTube, people may enter contests in several ways:
- By leaving a comment on your video
- By voting on your uploaded video content
- By posting a video using your company’s products and services
- By becoming YouTube subscribers of your channel
Why should you run a YouTube contest?
By running a YouTube contest, you’ll be able to:
Reach out to a wider audience
Entries for YouTube contests will boost engagement rates on your channel. People can comment and share details of the contest with others who will then be motivated to enter it themselves. This boosts channel engagement and helps you appear more easily in the search engine results, making it possible for you to reach out to a wider audience.
Boost traffic to your website and social media channels
Using YouTube contests, you’ll be able to direct traffic to your website or other social media channels. You can encourage your audience to follow your business on other social media platforms if they want to get more entries into your YouTube contest and stand a greater chance at winning.
Get access to user-generated content
By requiring people to enter your YouTube contest with user-generated content, you will get access to a lot of content that you can use later on. People trust user-generated content a lot more than they trust business marketing. With user-generated content, you can get more real YouTube subscribers and build trust and loyalty for your brand.
Besides these very important benefits, a contest can also help you show off the fun side of your brand and generate some hype around it. It’s a good way to build your brand’s personality while rewarding a committed audience.
Running a successful YouTube contest requires some careful planning. In the next section, we’ll take you through how you can plan and run a successful YouTube contest – from start to finish.
How to run a YouTube contest the right way
Set SMART goals
You can use YouTube contests to accomplish a variety of goals, so you need to be clear about exactly what your aim is. Make SMART goals. Be specific with what you want to achieve:
- More YouTube views, comments, and likes
- More YouTube subscribers
- More sales and conversions
- More website traffic
These goals must also be measurable so that you can track key performance indicators. You can measure contest success using YouTube Analytics, contest reporting tools, and Google Analytics.
While you should aim high, it’s necessary to maintain attainable goals, so be realistic about what you want to achieve. You also need to make your contest relevant to your audience and decide on a time frame for how long you will be running your contest.
Follow YouTube contest policies and guidelines
It’s important for you to follow YouTube’s contest policies and guidelines on your platform. There are some general requirements as well as official contest rules for YouTube that you can find here.
Specifically, it’s important that you pay attention to the following:
- Don’t violate copyrights or third party user rights.
- Your contest needs to be free to enter.
- You must clearly mention that your contest is not sponsored by YouTube.
- Manipulation of YouTube metrics relating to the number of YouTube subscribers, likes, YouTube views, or comments is not allowed.
Apart from the general requirements and official contest rules, you also need to pay attention to the following:
- YouTube Fake Engagement Policy – According to this, you can’t utilize content that links to 3rd party services that artificially boost channel metrics.
- YouTube Developer Policy – this policy is applicable if you’re using a 3rd party app for your promotion. According to this, API clients cannot offer incentives in any form, whether directly or indirectly, to users for their engagement with YouTube apps.
You also need to make sure you abide by all local laws when running a YouTube contest.
Pick a prize of value
You need to decide on the prize you’ll be giving away for your contest wisely. This should be something that your audience will find valuable and something that can encourage more participation. It should also be relevant to your brand and specific enough so that you know you’re inviting entries from those with the potential to be real YouTube subscribers. Giving away money as a prize will be exciting for anyone who comes across your content, even if they haven’t ever heard of your brand before. Pick a prize that is specific enough to invite entries from those who are genuinely interested in your particular field of work. This will make lead generation more successful and help you enter into long-lasting relationships with customers even after the contest ends.
Decide on contest type
Contests may be of different types, and you need to decide on your contest type based on what your goal is. You need to decide how participants will enter your YouTube contest. Participants can enter your contest in many ways. We’ve already mentioned the different ways to enter at the beginning of this article. You need to decide what exactly you want your participants to do and establish clear rules for contest entry.
You can even partner with another brand or collaborate for your contest. This will give you access to a much larger pool of YouTube subscribers and help you get more YouTube views for your videos. Combining prizes will also help increase the overall value of your contest, encouraging more people to enter it.
You must ensure clarity in your contest rules. Your audience should know:
- Who is eligible to enter the contest?
- Requirements for their video length
- Number of entries allowed per person
- Whether it’s a local or international contest
- How winners will be chosen and announced
- It’s also necessary for you to disclose any sponsorships in your contest
Decide where to run your contest
You can either run your contest on YouTube itself where you invite entries from participants who must follow the required steps or you can run the contest on your website. The 2nd option has many advantages:
- You can direct visitors to your e-commerce store
- Generate more traffic
- Receive detailed analytics
- Develop and maintain a branded landing page
- Increase brand awareness and consumer trust in your brand
Choose a contest hashtag
Creating a contest hashtag will allow you to track all content uploaded in relation to your contest and create some hype around it. With a contest hashtag, you can also encourage users to post their content and have such content easily available to you. Contest hashtags will make it easier for you to track the popularity of your contest and give you access to a pool of content.
Promote your YouTube contest
Promoting your contest is important to generate hype around it. This can be done in many ways:
- Make a general announcement video explaining everything about your contest and how people can enter it. Make sure you have a clear call to action.
- Cross-promote on other social media platforms. This will help you leverage followers from all platforms and direct their attention to your contest.
- Utilize cards on older videos that are generating a lot of traffic and let your viewers know of the contest you’re running.
- Inform your email list about the contest.
- Send updates about your contest even after it has already started. You can thank participants for entering and update them as the contest progresses to keep the excitement up.
Pick and announce winners
Choose a winner using an unbiased process like a random draw or number generator. You can also choose based on the number of votes or best video. Whatever the method is, this should’ve been decided at the time of planning your contest itself. You must also announce the winners of your contest creatively on all your social media platforms.
Measure the results from your YouTube contest
It’s important for you to review the results from your contest to see if you’ve managed to achieve the goals you set out to. Only when you track the key performance indicators you had decided upon will you be able to assess what worked and what didn’t. This will help you make your contests more effective in the future.
YouTube contests are a great way to reach out to a larger audience and boost the growth of your brand. The possibility of winning something is exciting and is likely to invite entries from multiple people. While running a successful contest requires some amount of planning, the return on investment makes it worth the effort.
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