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How to Do a Giveaway on YouTube (The Best Way)

Last Updated on December 4, 2020 by Stacey Corrin

Do you want to learn how to do a giveaway on YouTube? If your channel is growing slower than you’d like, then a contest could give you the boost in subscribers and views that you need.

But running a YouTube contest is no small task, and it’s hard knowing where to start when you’re still learning the ropes.

Luckily we know that YouTube contests can drive sales, leads, and engagement like crazy, which is why we’re showing you how to do a giveaway on YouTube the easiest way.

Now let’s dive into the top YouTube lottery tips below.

Step 1. Set SMART Goals for Your Giveaway

Create smart goals for your giveaway on YouTube

Before doing a giveaway on YouTube, it’s important to figure out what your goals are.

Do you want to get more channel subscribers? Are you collaborating with other YouTubers? Do you want to increase sales on a product?

Understanding your goals will influence how you set up, run, and promote your online video contest. Plus, they’ll make it easier to measure your success when it’s over and done with.

To make setting your video contest goals easier, follow the SMART goals strategy, which we’ll explain below:

  • Specific. Make a clear, specific decision on what you want to gain from doing a giveaway on YouTube. For example, more followers, subscribers, traffic, etc.
  • Measurable. How will you measure your results? Will you count the total gained followers, or will you use Google Analytics to track clicks?
  • Attainable. Can you realistically achieve your goals? The smaller the goal, the easier it is to achieve.
  • Relevant. Is it relevant to your audience? There’s no point running a giveaway for an iPad if your audience is mostly PC Gamers.
  • Timely. How long will your contest run for? Do you have a brand deadline to meet that affects how quickly it needs to be wrapped up? 

Dedicate plenty of time to set your goals. Having solid goals will make the following YouTube lottery tips easier.

Step 2. Understand YouTube Laws, Rules, and Regulations

Many YouTubers are so eager to grow their channels that they forget about the official YouTube rules and guidelines for running promotions. This is how giveaways work on YouTube and what you can and can’t do.

For example, the YouTube giveaway rules state that using copyrighted content can quickly see your video flagged or removed. In more serious cases, you can even see your videos de-monetized.

Let’s look at the policies YouTube has on running contests and promotions.

YouTube Contest Policies

YouTube contest policies

YouTube’s Contest Policies and Guidelines are all about how giveaways work on YouTube and are split into 2 sections. The YouTube giveaway rules in the first section to pay attention to are as follows:

  1. You must commit to and abide by YouTube’s Privacy Policy, YouTube Community Guidelines, and Terms of Service.
  2. Don’t infringe upon or encourage the copyright or 3rd party rights of users.
  3. It must be free to enter the giveaway. Make sure you check the lottery laws in your local jurisdiction.
  4. You and any 3rd party mustn’t manipulate metrics on the YouTube service, including numbers of views, YouTube likes, dislikes, or subscribers.
  5. Don’t suggest your contest is affiliated with or endorsed by YouTube without their consent.
  6. YouTube also require users to release YouTube from any liability related to your contest. You can do this by adding a notice in your official contest rules.
YouTube contest policies and youtube giveaway rules

The second section goes into more detail on the YouTube giveaway rules. Make sure you fully understand the following key points:

  1. Have concrete rules that say when an entry form is invalid and which discloses any sponsorships.
  2. Prizes must be awarded as outlined in your rules, and your contest should be conducted in line with them.
  3. You must make it clear that YouTube doesn’t sponsor your giveaway and isn’t liable for it.
  4. Make sure you link to a legally compliant privacy notice explaining how you’ll use the data you collect. 

These policies are just the tip of the iceberg. There are 2 further policies you should look into before you do a giveaway on YouTube, which we’ll look at next.

Note: The information we present here is not legal advice. It is for informational purposes, and we suggest you seek advice in your jurisdiction for running a contest legally.

YouTube Fake Engagement Policy

YouTube’s fake engagement policy is a recent addition to their guidelines but shouldn’t be overlooked. It deals with channel owners unnaturally boosting their metrics and engaging in unlawful activity, as you can see in the quote below:

“YouTube doesn’t allow anything that artificially increases the number of views, likes, comments, or other metric either through the use of automatic systems or by serving up videos to unsuspecting viewers.”

What this means for you is that if you use a contest plugin like RafflePress to do a giveaway on YouTube, you must not use it to ask viewers to subscribe, comment, like, or view your video.

For this reason, RafflePress lets you ask users to visit a channel rather than subscribe to it.

YouTube visit a channel action for RafflePress

YouTube Developer Policy

The YouTube developer policy is another important policy to look at if you’re using a 3rd party giveaway tool like RafflePress’ WordPress plugin.

What this means is any app you use for your giveaway should comply with the following:

“API Clients must not offer or provide incentives, rewards, or other compensation to users for engaging with YouTube Applications (directly or indirectly) by performing actions like viewing content, liking content, sharing content, subscribing to channels, adding comments.”

It goes on to state that:

“For example, API Clients must not offer features or services that trade video views for a fee or that trade video views in return for other YouTube-related or non-YouTube-related actions.”

And this is why RafflePress offers verification methods to help you identify entries so you can choose the winner in a completely fair way.

Once you’ve gone over the YouTube giveaway policy, you can move on to picking an awesome prize.

Step 3. Choose an Excellent Prize

Choose a prize for your youtube giveaway

This is the fun part of any contest but don’t get too carried away.

You need to make sure the prize you choose is one that people actually want. An undesired prize won’t result in the levels of engagement you need to grow your channel.

Brand channels with a large following and sizeable budget can likely afford to shell out on more valuable prizes like:

  • All expenses paid vacations
  • Large cash prizes
  • Tickets to special events

Smaller brands might consider offering desirable products or gift vouchers of a substantial amount.

But if your channel is on the smaller side and you don’t really have the budget to spend on expensive prizes, you can offer up these winning ideas:

  • Shoutouts to the winner/s in a video
  • Include the winner’s name in video credits
  • One of your own products or your channel’s merchandise
  • A bundle of inexpensive items
  • A 1-on-1 question and answer session

Whatever the gift, make sure you know your target audience and what they’d enjoy winning. Check out these contest prize ideas for even more inspiration.

Step 4. Pick a YouTube Giveaway Type

There are many video contest types to choose from when you do a giveaway on YouTube. But what you opt for depends on your desired goal. 

Pick a youtube giveaway type

Let’s look at what contest types are available for your giveaway:

  • Sweepstakes. This type of contest offers multiple ways for people to enter. It might be hard to check everyone’s entries on YouTube alone, but with the RafflePress WordPress plugin’s help, you can automate this by tracking each user’s actions.
  • Partner collaborations. Here you can collaborate with a brand or another YouTuber so you can tap into each other’s audience. Just make sure the ways to enter your contest results in genuine engagement.
  • User-generated content. Get your audience involved by asking them to reply to your video with a video of their own. Or, you can get them to upload a photo using RafflePress’s Submit an Image Action.
  • Video voting. Give your followers the power to decide by having them vote on a video submission. You can use this in conjunction with the previous point and use the Polls and Surveys Action to help them choose.

A Note on Comment to Win Contests

You might be tempted to ask entrants to comment on your YouTube video to enter a contest. Let’s face it; it’s the easiest way to get up and running.

But there are some drawbacks to running a simple comment-to-win type of giveaway.

Comment to win contest on YouTube

First of all, giveaways tend to generate a lot of interest with hundreds of potential entries. So sifting through all of those comments will take a lot of time.

Not only will you need to count up all the comments you’ll also have to comb through the entries to ensure the following:

  • Comments are not duplicated (someone commenting more than once).
  • They include the correct answer (if you asked people to answer a question).
  • Comments don’t include information that violates YouTube’s rules.
  • They comply with your own rules and guidelines.

As you can see, this is a lot of work to do without any help. That’s why using RafflePress, the best giveaway plugin for WordPress is the best way to do a giveaway on YouTube.

RafflePress giveaway for YouTube

RafflePress makes it super easy to run a YouTube giveaway by keeping all of the information for your contest in one place on your WordPress website.

You can create a giveaway widget or landing page in minutes and include all the ways to enter right within that widget.

Click Actions to choose your raffle entry methods

Unlike other giveaway apps and plugins, RafflePress has bonus actions that are verified using API where possible.

This means higher quality subscribers and engagement that can result in genuine growth for your channel.

viral refer a friend giveaway

With this in mind, you’re ready to start your giveaway…

Yet, there are still a few things you need to do, and one of those is setting up your own rules and guidelines.

Step 5. Define Your Giveaway Rules and Guidelines

As discussed earlier, YouTube contest rules tend to be skipped over and not given much thought.

We totally get that you’re eager to get your contest live but having a complete set of rules in place not only protects you from any legalities but also protects your audience from any misunderstandings.

So first off, we suggest checking the rules on lotteries and promotions for your country.

Choose your rules and guidelines for a giveaway on YouTube

In the USA, for example, your giveaways by law should be no purchase necessary. This means it’s against the law to require a purchase to enter a contest.

Whereas in the UK, you need to make sure your contest doesn’t cross the boundary of becoming a lottery, which charitable causes can only run.

If you’re in any doubt, seek legal advice to ensure you’re on the right side of the law.

When you’ve got that sorted, put together the rest of your contest information, such as:

  • Eligibility. Who can enter your contest?
  • Location. Is it an international giveaway, or is it US entries only?
  • Entries. How many times can a single person enter, or will you allow daily entries?
  • Submissions. How long should video submissions be? What should be included in an image submission?
  • Timing. What are the start and end times/dates for the giveaway?
  • Winners. How are the winners chosen, and where will they be announced?

Now you need to decide what disclaimers you should include alongside your contest to disclose additional information.

Add a YouTube and FTC Release

We mentioned earlier that the YouTube rules and guidelines require you to disclose that your competitions aren’t associated with YouTube in any way.

To do this, you can include a simple release like the one below:

In no way is this giveaway endorsed, associated with, sponsored by, or administered by YouTube or any social media platform it’s promoted on.

Similarly, you need to disclose any 3rd party sponsorships. Here are some ideas on how you can phrase your disclosure:

Disclaimer: This video is sponsored by [Company].
Disclaimer: Some of the products featured in this video were provided by [Company].
Disclaimer: The prize for this contest is sponsored and provided by [Company].

RafflePress makes it easy to add your rules right in your giveaway widget. If you edit your giveaway, click the Settings tab, and click Giveaway Rules, you can use the YouTube giveaway rules template to generate a set of simple guidelines.

youtube giveaway rules template

Our giveaway rules template also lets you edit the generated rules so you can insert your own disclaimers.

When you have your terms and conditions ironed out, you can move on to publishing your giveaway.

Step 6. Publish Your YouTube Giveaway

There are a few ways to publish your YouTube giveaway. But today, we’ll focus on the 2 easiest methods so you can get up and running as quickly as possible.

Run a Giveaway on YouTube

When you do a giveaway on YouTube, publishing it right there on the platform is likely the first thing that springs to mind. 

RafflePress makes it even easier to do this by letting you set your contest up on a landing page directly on your website. So all you need to do is include the contest URL in your video description.

To learn how to do this, first grab yourself a copy of RafflePress here.

Get Started with RafflePress Today

Then download and install the plugin to your WordPress website. For help installing WordPress plugins, follow these instructions.

Next, create an online giveaway by following this step-by-step guide, then click Design from the contest editor sidebar.

Now scroll down to the Page Background heading. Here you customize the color of the landing page background.

And if you prefer, you can also upload an image to use as the background. If you’re happy with your changes, click Save.

Landing page background image

When you’re ready to publish your contest, head to Settings » General.

Under the Page Permalink heading, enter the URL parameters you’d like your landing page to have and click Save.

Now when you visit the URL you chose for the landing page, you’ll see your contest ready and waiting for entrants.

Host a giveaway or contest promotion idea

All you need to do now is add it to your video description on YouTube.

But what if you’d rather run your YouTube giveaway on your website? We’ll look at how to do that next.

Run a Contest on Your Website

To do a giveaway on YouTube by publishing it to your website or blog, it’s as simple as adding the RafflePress widget into a new post or page. Let’s see how to publish one in a blog post.

First, go to Posts » Add New from your WordPress dashboard. Give your post a name and enter the written content that will go along with the giveaway.

Then click the plus icon to add a new content block.

Add a new content block

Type RafflePress into the search box to bring up the RafflePress content block and click it to add it to your post.

RafflePress content block in WordPress

Now choose your YouTube giveaway from the dropdown box.

Choose your rafflepress giveaway from the dropdown list

And Voila! Your giveaway is automatically inserted into your blog post.

Insert the giveaway into your blog post

Now publish the post, add it to your YouTube description, and start promoting it.

Step 7. Promote Your Giveaway on YouTube

When learning how to do a giveaway on YouTube, it’s all too easy to forget about how you’re going to promote it.

But don’t worry. We’ve got that covered too.

First off, using RafflePress to run your giveaway is a smart choice because it has viral sharing built right into the WordPress plugin

Alongside the standard entry actions are the viral refer-a-friend action that encourages natural viral sharing and earns users extra entries.

Run a viral giveaway with social media sharing

But to bolster those awesome efforts, you can also take some of the following promotional steps:

  • Announcement video. Record and post a video on YouTube announcing your giveaway, the prize, and how people can enter. Make sure you include a powerful call to action to create a sense of urgency.
  • Older videos. If you have older videos that generate a good deal of traffic, use YouTube cards to promote your giveaway. Just remember to remove them when it’s over.
  • Social media. Promote your contest across your other social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and more to maximize the reach and engagement.
  • Email list. Your email list might not know about the contest, so share it with them too. They’re much more likely to enter since they’ve already taken action to subscribe to your list.

And to get the most out of your contest, consider posting regular update videos to YouTube. This will keep people engaged and eager to find out the results.

For even more contest promotion ideas, see this article packed full of inspiration.

Step 8. Announce The Winner and Analyze Your Results

With the YouTube contest over, you now need to wrap things up.

Start by announcing the winner in a new video, so people know for sure that it isn’t running anymore. You can even include details on how many people entered and other results, which we’ll show you how to measure soon.

Check out this guide to learn how to pick a winner of a giveaway easily.

When you’ve contacted the winner to deliver the good news, turn your attention to measuring your contest results.

If you recall, this is one of the smart goals you set. It’s how you’ll know if the contest was a success and show you areas where you can improve.

Review your goals and see how well your results aligned with them.

To do this, you can look into your YouTube video analytics and record how many new views, likes, and new subscribers you gained.

YouTube analytics overview

But if your goals involved increasing sales of a product, you can track and measure this by using MonterInsights for Google Analytics to check visits to your website and products.

Monster Insights analytics

To set up Google Analytics eCommerce tracking, check out this guide.

And that’s it! Congratulations!

You now know how to do a giveaway on YouTube. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and launch your own so you can drive sales, leads, and even more engagement for your channel.

And while you’re at it, why not take a look at how to get more subscribers on YouTube with these easy hacks.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our own YouTube Channel. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter for more helpful guides and tutorials.


  1. Jeff says:

    If you are doing a giveaway to get YouTube subscribers but are not going to publish the giveaway on YouTube, are you subject to the YouTube giveaway rules? Specifically I would like people to click a YT subscribe button on my giveaway page on my blog in order to enter.

    1. Stacey Corrin says:

      Hi Jeff,

      You’re likely subject to YouTube’s rules because you’re still asking people to subscribe to your channel. However, since we’re not lawyers, we suggest checking YouTube’s terms of service for specific details or consult a lawyer.

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