Running a video competition is a super effective way to raise awareness about your brand, generate buzz around your product, and improve your social media performance.
As an established video software business, Viddyoze has helped a ton of other businesses create videos for social media contests. We’ve even run a few video competitions ourselves.
In this article, we’re going to show you how to organize and run a video contest for your business. It doesn’t matter if you sell sneakers or online courses – we can help you create online video contests that work for you.
Let’s do it.
What Is A Video Contest?
A video contest is a competition or giveaway where a brand asks entrants to create a piece of video content in order to be in with a chance of winning a prize.
Entrants post user-generated content (UGC) videos on social media, tagging the brand account directly or using a dedicated hashtag. The brand can either select a winner at random or judge the video content and select a winner on merit. A video contest can be run on practically any social media platform.
What Are The Benefits Of Video Contests?
People love a contest. In fact, on average 34% of new customers are gained through a contest. What’s more, Instagram accounts that hold contests grow their following rate 70% faster than brands that don’t.
And that’s just for starters. Other benefits of video contests include:
- Social algorithms prioritize video content in social media feeds – the more videos you have in your feed, the more people are likely to see your brand.
- Free promotion – contest entrants are creating video content for you, for nothing. Besides the prize, there’s practically no cost and you’re getting more brand awareness.
- More engagement – contests are a fun way to get people involved, making your brand more memorable and creating positive consumer sentiment.
For the benefits of video marketing in general, read Viddyoze’s expert guide.
How To Organize And Operate A Video Contest For Your Business
Running a contest for promotional purposes can be challenging if you’ve never done it before. To make things easier, we’ve broken the process down into 8 easy steps:
1. Choose A Competition Goal
The first thing you need to do is choose a goal for your video contest. Once you’ve figured that out, you can craft a competition to achieve those goals.
There are lots of things you can do with a video contest, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ve listed the four most common objectives:
- Increase brand awareness – video comps are a great way to spread the word about your business.
- Increase social media followers – as we’ve already mentioned, brands that use comps tend to win followers faster than those that don’t.
- Increase product sales – the more people who know about your brand, the more likely you are to get sales.
- Attract your ideal customer – contests can be fun and quirky, and this is a great way to appeal to your core customer values.
2. Choose A Prize
Quality prizes are what make video contests. They drum up greater interest and encourage entry. Your prize needs to create excitement; ideally, it should be related to your industry or niche.
A key thing to remember here: your prize will dictate what sort of audience your contest attracts.
With that in mind, it’s important to keep the prize relevant. Here’s an example of how two different prizes can attract different kinds of entrants. We’re using Ahrefs, an SEO software company, as an example here:
Prize 1 – Ahrefs offers a 12-month free subscription to its software. This is a great prize if Ahrefs is targeting SEO professionals or businesses interested in SEO.
Prize 2 – Ahrefs offers $10,000 USD. In this case, Ahrefs would likely attract a wider variety of entrants, many of which have little chance of ever converting into paying customers.
Of course, there are other ideas you can give out for prizes. Here are a few common options, other than subscriptions, free products, or cash:
- The winners get to help out with designing a creative element of the product, such as packaging.
- VIP tickets to an industry event.
- Exclusive training or coaching – this can be split into two prizes: an hour for first place and 30 minutes for second place.
- A meet-and-greet at your company’s HQ.
- The contest winner’s video gets to be played at a famous event (e.g., Superbowl halftime show).
It’s important to think about the second place too. If you promise swag for runners-up, you’ll likely get more entrants to submit content. Second-place prizes can be less impressive than first-place, as long as they’re still relevant to your target audience.
3. Determine Your Competition’s Rules
Next, the rules; these are the nuts and bolts of your competition: how it’s going to work in practice. The key to a good contest with a high entry rate is to keep things simple. The lower the barrier to entry is, themore people will take part in your video competition.
To give you some inspiration, here are the kind of rules we’ve used in the past when running a video contest.
- All content submitted should be unique and 100% original work.
- Submissions should respect the law, including trademark and copyright.
- You reserve the right to disqualify all submitted entries.
- You reserve the right to use each submission for marketing purposes.
- Winners agree to have their names announced in a live video or be approached through DM.
- Specify location eligibility (i.e., people in the USA only).
- Specify age restrictions, if there are any.
Those were the entry rules, when it comes to a submission, things are slightly different. Here is what we recommend you put in place for each submission:
- Have multiple winners, or plenty of good runner-up prizes.
- Allow contestants to submit multiple entries (cap it at something sensible like 5 per person).
- Reward extra entries to contestants that share the competition announcement on social media.
- Reward extra entries to contestants that give friend referrals.
- Run the campaign across multiple social media platforms.
4. Lights, Camera, Action: UGC Video Concept
At this point, you’ll need to come up with your video contest concept. This is the kind of video you want entrants to submit.
Ultimately, this will depend on the goal of your contest, your industry niche, and the rules you’ve set for entrants. Depending on what you aim to achieve, you will run very different contests.
To get you started with competition concept ideas, we’re going to provide two examples of video contests that a gym could operate. However, both competitions have very different objectives.
Gym Video Contest 1: attract new social media followers
So in this example, let’s say the gym is looking for more social media followers.
To reach this goal, they could run a video contest asking contestants to make videos that show themselves carrying out a cardio or strength-training exercise routine that they learned whilst at the gym. The gym could even ask contestants to use their equipment. This example works particularly well for social media as it is a unique and creative idea that gets new people interested in engaging in a fun way.
An alternative submission idea could be to creatively film a selection of their favorite gym outfits to their workout playlist.
The reason this particular type of video submission has a huge chance of going viral is because it places no restrictions on who can enter the competition. The focus is on getting as many people involved as possible, which should be your number one priority when trying to grow your brand recognition and social media followers.
Gym Video Contest 2: attract new target customers
On the other hand, if the gym wanted to attract more customers rather than followers, the competition they run must have a different angle. In this scenario, the gym needs to feature its brand, facilities, and unique selling points within the competition to generate demand.
As an example, the gym could ask people to submit workout videos featuring equipment found exclusively at their locations. Alternatively, the gym could prompt its members to give a tour of their facilities and name 3 things that they enjoy most about it.
Each submission can be repurposed as a video ad to further the gym’s exposure on social media. Getting this type of UGC video into the newsfeeds of the gym members’ connections will provide a social proof endorsement that will encourage other people in the community to use the gym.
To give you inspiration on what you’d like contest participants to record, we’ve created this list of 36 marketing video ideas that you can use.
5. Create Your Hashtag
Creating your own hashtag gives your video contest an added boost when it comes to customer engagement. Done well, a bespoke hashtag makes it easier for entrants to submit videos to your compeition. It can also help make your social media campaign more memorable.
A hashtag can be anything you want it to be, but it’s best practice to include your brand name. You can also include the words “contest” or “comp” but this is not a deal breaker.
For example, if we were running a contest, we’d use something like the following:
Before you post anything, review your hashtag carefully for double entendre and unwanted puns (Speed Of Art found this out the hard way with #speedofart). It’s also a good idea to mark out new words using capital letters, as we have done above. It’s cleaner and cleaner for the users.
Not only are hashtags great for exposure, but they can help you track the success of your brand campaign, too. Some software, such as Sprout Social, allows you to track hashtag impressions. This kind of video metric is super valuable when you come to evaluate your contest once it’s finished.
6. Launching Your Competition
To launch your competition, use a combination of email, social posts, and paid advertising to generate awareness and encourage video submissions. The following is a basic promotion structure that can be used by any kind of business:
- Posting a series of organic teaser videos across social media to build anticipation for your competition announcement.
- Email your existing subscribers with the announcement; encourage them to tell their friends and family to enter, too.
- Use paid ads to broaden your social media reach, pushing the comp out to consumers outside your following.
If your marketing budget allows it, consider collaborating with an influencer in your niche to launch your video contest. Having someone respected in your niche participate in your video contest will provide it with extra credibility and will convince more people to participate.
7. Announcing A Winner
When it comes to announcing a winner, you have two options: select one at random, or choose one based on the content. Given this is a video contest, we’d recommend the latter.
The first-place announcement needs to be a big deal. In the build-up to it, make regular posts on your social channels reminding entrants of the time and date of the announcement. You could even do a daily countdown in your Instagram/Facebook stories.
For added impact, use a live stream. That way, you can introduce your short-list of finalists, and play their videos for your audience – think of it as your very own mini-Oscars. If you don’t want to go down the live route, make an announcement video to be shared on the date.
Once you’ve announced the winner, contact them by email to explain how they can redeem their prize. As a nice touch, ask the victor to make a mini video once they’ve received their first-place prize. If you are confident you will want this done for marketing purposes, you will need to add that the victor will be expected to make a video upon winning and that you have the right to use this for marketing purposes as a rule to your competition.
8. Measure Your Contest’s Success And ROI
Once everything’s said and done, it’s time to calculate the results of your content using video metrics. This is when you work out of it was a success or not, something your management team will be very keen to find out.
The good news about comps is that they’re pretty easy to monitor. Once you’ve reviewed and counted the submissions, and awarded first place, it’s just a case of counting up a few other metrics.
Here’s what we track once our YouTube video contests have ended:
- Total number of videos submitted (assuming some applicants submitted more than one video).
- Total number of applicants.
- New subscribers/followers to social accounts.
- New customers (you can use a time-series analysis to figure this out).
- ROI – this is the total cost of the competition (including prizes) vs the revenue you generated.
- Positive PR from the campaign in the press or on social channels.
Whether the competition was a success or not really depends on your goals. If the ROI presents a healthy return or your other goals analytics look good, it may be worth running another contest in the future.
How To Make Effective Supporting Videos For Your Contest
Although most of the video submissions for your contest will be made by the people entering, it helps to create promo videos of your own, too. You can use these videos to get the word out and support your competition as it happens.
With Viddyoze, our easy-to-use video-making software allows you to make any kind of video in a matter of minutes. Whether you want to make video ads, product promos, or video tutorials to promote your competition, it’s simple with Viddyoze.
Start creating videos for your contest right now FOR FREE.
For a limited time only, Viddyoze is offering a 7-day free trial for our product. Sign up, and you’ll be able to access our video creation software. You can make as many videos as you want; if you cancel before the trial ends, you won’t be charged a thing.
Redeem your free trial by following this link. See what you can do with the power of video, absolutely free. What have you got to lose?
Examples Of Successful Video Contests
Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical
Remember Ratatouille, the hit Disney movie about a rat who loves to cook? Of course, you do. But maybe you didn’t know about the musical version. Well, check out this video for an awesome example of original content.
During the lockdown, a group of TikTokers joined forces to make a musical version of the film, with all proceeds going towards theatres struggling to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The video became a viral hit on YouTube and encouraged people to submit their own attempts. If you’re tempted to try something similar, be sure to get permission from the original owner (in this case, Disney) before you distribute any video content.
Doritos “Crash The Super Bowl” Contest
Possibly the most successful video contest of all time, Doritos “Crash The Super Bowl” campaign encouraged people to make their own Super Bowl Ads. The winning video submission was actually aired during the game.
As you can imagine, millions of people entered this comp, giving Doritos tons of free content and exposure in the process. Check out one of the winners in the YouTube video above.
The beauty of this campaign is that anyone can enter. The theme is so open-ended, people can submit pretty much anything they want – this can make some awesome content for your to distribute. Just remember to get permission first!
Final Thoughts On UGC Video Comps
Now you know how to run a contest, the next step is to make your own. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business with a handful of followers or a large established corporation. As we’ve explained, the great thing about contests is that anyone can run one.
It’s a super fun way to engage your target audience and promote your brand to the general public. All you need is an idea, some great prizes, and promo content.
Remember, we’re running a 7-day free trial for Viddyoze right now. That means you can create tons of epic marketing videos for free!