How to Save Your Video Contest Before It Sinks
Branded video contests can be a powerful marketing tool, but all too often we see marketers and agencies approach it with a “set it and forget it” attitude. When this happens, the project lead may start to panic when, four weeks into an eight-week contest, no one has submitted anything!
The truth of the matter is that successful video contests require significant time and effort investments to plan and execute as well as experience in order to be able to gauge and meet expectations.
So, if you’ve already launched and are looking for ways to save your video contest from embarrassment or failure, follow these tips that we’ve put gathered from helping some of the world’s top brand and agencies navigate their video contest challenges.
1. Avoid Changing the Deadline – If your video contest is already live, avoid changing its terms and conditions at all costs. This especially includes reducing the value in the awards that you’re offering, but also the entry deadline.
Given the time investment that submitting to a video contest requires, chances are that a number of people have already started producing their entry. As much as you and your marketing team may want to extend your contest’s deadline, members of our videomaking community at Zooppa tell us that they appreciate deadlines and view extensions as unfair to those who may have already invested a significant amount of effort on their video. If you can, work within the terms and conditions you’ve already set forth in order to avoid irritating fans and thwarting participation.
2. Sweeten the Deal – Video contests are a great way to engage the most passionate segment of you customer base, but you may have misjudged what kind of award would motivate them to contribute. Consider surveying a few fans who you suspect may have been interested in participating in the video contest to get their feedback.
Product prizes and special awards can be great motivators, but – depending on the type of outcome you’re seeking from your video contest – a larger cash awards pool may attract more attention. Also consider fun or edgy prizes that could capture media coverage. Maybe a brand spokesman could record a personal greeting for the winner’s home answering machine?
3. Ask Yourself: Is Your Contest Really in Trouble? Entries to video contests are notoriously submitted last minute. In fact, Zooppa reports that up to 70% of submissions are regularly uploaded in the last 24-48 hours of a contest. But despite this, it’s not easy to sit around wondering where are all of your video submissions as the contest draws to a close.
Instead, consider what other metrics you can look at to judge how your contest is being received. How many visits has you contest website received? Are there materials that participants have to download in order to feature in their videos? How many?
If you’re reading this and have the luxury of thinking ahead, one suggestion is to add some sort of early indicator into your contest, whether it’s asking people to “Like” or “Accept” a video contest assignment early on or to opt-in to an email list to receive special contest instructions. These types of metrics will help you gauge initial interest and inform what additional outreach you might have to do to get the contest in front of more people.
4. Promote Like Crazy! – With the time you have remaining until you entry deadline, what kind of communications plan can you put together to optimize the reach and frequency of your video contest’s call to action? Make sure that you’ve taken advantage of all of your owned media, including email lists, highly-traffic websites and social properties. Track the amount of traffic from each channel and double down on the ones that are driving the most visits and, if you can measure it, conversions.
If you have additional resources, consider some of the paid advertising opportunities out there. Websites like OnlineVideoContests.com and VidOpp.com specialize in promoting video contest opportunities to videomaking audiences. At Zooppa, we’ve also found success in targeting search and banner ads on keywords and media that are most relevant to the contest’s participant audience.
5. Recruit Videomakers to Participate – It’s possible that your fan base may need a little inspiration to start producing films. It’s also possible that your customer base or audience may not have that many videomakers. Either way, in these cases, one nuclear option for you is to partner with an online videomaking community, like Zooppa, to ensure video submissions.
There’s a vibrant community of professional and semi-professional videomakers who submit to video contests in order to both build their portfolios of work and earn extra income. If you have the resources, these types of communities can have a tremendous impact on making sure your video contest produces the amazing results you’re seeking.
Consider yourself a visual learner? Check out this blog post on Zooppa's SlideShare channel:
Interested in learning more? Download, "10 tips for Running a Video Contest for Your Advertising."
[CC photo from PoweredRodrigo via Flickr]