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How to run online video contests

How to Run a Video Contest in WordPress Step-by-Step

Written By: author image Stacey Corrin
author image Stacey Corrin
Stacey has been writing about WordPress and digital marketing for over 10 years and on other topics for much longer. Alongside this, she's fascinated with web design, user experience, and SEO.
     Reviewed By: John Turner
reviewer image John Turner
John Turner is the co-founder of RafflePress. He has over 20+ years of business and development experience and his plugins have been downloaded over 25 million times.

With more and more businesses using video content to increase brand awareness across social media platforms, learning how to run a video contest makes a lot of sense.

Running an online video contest is a great way to gather user-generated content (UGC), grow your followers on social networks, and drive traffic to your website. And with UGC, you’ll have more high-quality content for your digital marketing campaigns to attract more potential customers.

This article will show you how to run a video contest online and embed it on your WordPress website.

TLDR – How to Run a Video Contest:

What Are Online Video Contests?

Online video contests are competitions held on the Internet in which participants submit videos to compete for a prize. The videos can be on any topic and can be created using various mediums, such as smartphones, cameras, or professional equipment.

The videos are usually judged by a panel of experts or by public voting. Prizes for winning videos can range from cash, merchandise, and gift cards to recognition and exposure in the industry.

You can learn how to run a video contest on almost any social media network, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and your business website.

Why Should You Run a Video Contest?

There are several reasons why a company or organization might want to run a video social media contest:

  • Increased brand awareness: A well-promoted video contest can generate buzz and attract a large number of participants, which can help increase brand awareness and reach a wider audience.
  • User-generated content: By having participants create videos related to your brand or product, you can gather a wealth of user-generated content that you can use for future marketing campaigns or on your website.
  • Engaging audience: Video contests are a fun and interactive way to engage with your audience and can encourage them to share their creations on social media, resulting in more viral reach and social media followers.
  • Cost-effective: Running an online video competition can be relatively inexpensive compared to traditional advertising methods and can provide a higher ROI. In fact, 90% of marketers say video marketing has given them a good ROI.
  • Targeted marketing: By choosing a specific theme or topic for the contest, you can target a specific demographic or interest group.
  • Build community: A successful video contest can help build a sense of community among participants and followers, which can lead to greater loyalty and advocacy for your brand.

How to Run a Video Contest in WordPress

Wondering how to do a video contest yourself? Follow the steps below to learn how to run a video contest in WordPress:

1. Set Clear Video Contest Goals

It’s hard to create an online contest without setting goals. Goals help you determine your success and measure the results after the contest is over.

For example, you might decide to run video contests to:

  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Increase your YouTube subscribers
  • Boost brand awareness
  • Build your podcast audience
  • Generate more sales
  • Collect video submissions for UGC
  • Grow your email list subscribers
  • Get more followers on social media
  • Create a buzz around a new product or service

Choose a goal that aligns with your business and marketing motivations. Once you have a plan, running your giveaway campaign is much easier, and you’ll get the results you need.

2. Survey Your Audience for Video Contest Ideas

Your audience plays a part in how you set up your video giveaway contest. If you don’t know what your audience wants, you can’t offer a giveaway prize or experience people can get excited about.

Before creating your video contest, reach out to your audience and ask them what type of prize they’d go wild over. eCommerce sites could send an email survey to recent customers, bloggers can create an online survey for filmmakers and add it to a blog post, and YouTubers can run a video poll.

Once you know what your audience likes, you can use that information to choose an excellent contest prize, which we’ll cover next.

Check out these top WooCommerce plugins for other tools to boost your eCommerce website.

3. Offer Video Contest Prizes People Want

As we just mentioned, contestants won’t make an effort to enter your giveaway if your prize isn’t desirable. So, if you want to run a successful video competition, choose a grand prize that attracts many people. Remember to use the ideas you collected from surveying your audience when picking an award.

Some of the most popular contest prize ideas include:

  • Free products or services
  • Discounts and coupons
  • Gift cards and gift certificates
  • Cash prizes
  • Prize bundles

Check out our complete list of contest prize ideas for more inspiration.

You’ll also want to ensure your prize is relevant to your target audience and brand. Silo Fit App offered a bundle of fitness goodies in this video contest example.

Fitness giveaway prize bundle

Choosing a prize you know your target audience will love helps you attract more contest entries from your ideal customers.

4. Create a Fun Video Contest Theme

Creating a theme for your campaign is another way to increase participation. Having a contest theme makes taking part more exciting and gives entrants the sense of being involved in something worthwhile.

Here are some fun video contest themes for inspiration:

  • Launch a video challenge similar to the Ice Bucket Challenge
  • Ask entrants to send in their best lip-syncing videos
  • Get participants to film a TikTok dance sequence
  • Have people design a trailer for your product, short film, or film festival
  • Put a call out for makeup tutorials
  • How an online video editing competition
  • Request the best unboxing videos using your branded hashtag
  • Launch online music video contests
Fun online video contests theme

With a video app in their hands, you’ll be surprised how creative people can be and how popular a fun video contest can get.

Check out these video contest ideas for inspiration.

5. Create Clear Video Contest Guidelines

Another critical step is setting out your video contest rules and regulations. Will people have to submit a video for a chance to win, or will they have to share the contest on social media to enter?

Ensure you cover all the necessary details in your contest guidelines by using the following checklist: 

  1. Eligibility Requirements: Clearly explain who can and cannot participate. This can be influenced by age, residency status, or even the number of entries allowed per person.
  2. Entry Methods: Specify how participants can enter their submissions. This may involve uploading a video to a particular platform, tagging your brand in a social media post, or any other established method.
  3. Submission Formats: Outline exactly what form the submissions should take. This could involve video length, format (such as MP4, AVI, MOV), resolution, other technical requirements, and any content preferences or restrictions.
  4. Judging Criteria: State the factors that will influence the selection of winners. These might include creativity, originality, and alignment with the contest theme, among other things.

By defining these elements distinctly and succinctly, you’ll be able to create an efficient framework for your online video contest that will lead to better participation and outcomes.

Expert Tip: Ensure you follow the rules and regulations in your country during your video contest. We recommend speaking to a reputable lawyer to avoid legal issues, especially if your contest involves minors.

Before you hit “launch” on your awesome video contest, it’s crucial to make sure you’re playing by the rules. Legal requirements can vary depending on where you’re located and the nature of your contest.

Here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • Official Rules: Always have a clear and comprehensive set of rules that outline eligibility, entry methods, judging criteria, prize details, and any restrictions. Make these rules easily accessible to all participants. (see above)
  • Compliance with Local Laws: Familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations governing contests and promotions in your region or country. This might include age restrictions, registration requirements, or specific disclosures you need to make.
  • Prize Fulfillment: Be transparent about how and when prizes will be awarded. Ensure you have a plan in place to deliver prizes promptly and according to the terms you’ve outlined.
  • Data Protection: If you’re collecting personal information from participants, be sure to follow data protection laws like GDPR (if applicable). Obtain consent for data collection and clearly state how you’ll use the information.

Expert Tip: When in doubt, consult with a legal professional to ensure your contest complies with all relevant laws and regulations. This can save you from potential headaches down the road.

Addressing these legal considerations upfront can protect your brand’s reputation and ensure a smooth, enjoyable experience for everyone involved in your video contest.

7. Build a Buzz Before Launching a Video Contest

Before launching your video competition, you need to build anticipation in your followers. Generating a buzz for your giveaway gets people excited and eager to enter and makes it more likely you’ll attract more entries when the contest is live.

The best way to build anticipation is to release a series of teaser updates on your online video platform of choice. Here’s a timeline you can use for inspiration:

  • 7 days before launch: Mention your contest in your regular video slot.
  • 5 days before launch: Create a video dedicated to talking about your contest.
  • Every day until launch: Finish your videos with a call to check out your giveaway announcement video when it launches.
online video contests coming soon

You can also share your prelaunch announcements on your other social media channels to encourage maximum participation when you publish your contest.

8. Turn Entering Your Video Contest Into an Event

Earlier, we discussed creating a theme for your giveaway, but you can go further by turning your online video contest into a colossal event when launch day arrives. Doing so can drive more entries while promoting your contest to people who aren’t aware of it.

Besides broadcasting your giveaway on all your social media channels, you can use apps like TrustPulse to display popups on your site whenever someone enters your giveaway. When other users see those notifications, it encourages them to follow suit, boosting your entries.

Another way to make your viral video contest an exciting event is to host a live stream showcasing people’s examples as you collect video submissions. That can prompt entrants to get more creative and competitive with their entries and improve the quality of the UGC you gather.

9. Make Your Video Contest Social

Let’s not forget the power of social media in making your competition successful. Besides having your audience submit video content to enter your giveaway, it’s also worth adding entry methods like sharing the giveaway on social media to make your contest accessible.

RafflePress is the best video contest app because you can give users multiple ways to enter. Those actions will also help you reach the goals you initially set.

For instance, you can allow users to receive 1 contest entry for submitting a video, a 2nd contest entry for visiting your YouTube Channel, a 3rd entry for sharing your contest on social media, etc.

Click Actions to choose your raffle entry methods

You can also use the “view a YouTube video/post” action to embed a video directly inside your giveaway widget. That way, users can complete the entry without leaving your site but still generate views for your channel.

how to run a video contest in WordPress using RafflePress

The majority of people will take all the actions they can because it gives them more chances to win. And in doing so, they’re promoting your giveaway to their network of friends.

The pricing for RafflePress starts from $39.50 per year; however, you can try the limited free version for a test run first.

RafflePress vs Alternative Contest Tools

Here’s a quick overview of how RafflePress compares to other video contest tools

RafflePressAlternatives
FocusWordPressBroader platforms
PriceFree & paidMostly Paid
Ease of UseBeginner-friendlyLearning curve
EntriesSocial & websiteFewer options
Landing PagePaid plansRequire separate tool
VideoWatch video/visit channelSimilar video features
WordPressDeep integrationLimited or separate plugin

10. Add Your Video Contest to a Giveaway Landing Page

When you’re ready to publish your contest, the best place to do so is on a dedicated giveaway landing page.

If you were to host your giveaway on video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, it would be easy for entrants to get distracted by other content. It would also be harder to track entries, making it difficult to pick a winner.

Host a giveaway or contest promotion idea

A giveaway landing page is a web page created specifically for your contest, linked to your main website. Creating one removes the distractions that prevent people from entering and makes it easier for contest builders like RafflePress to track entries all in one place.

Then, when you begin promoting your contest, which we’ll talk about next, all you need is to share the landing page’s URL. A giveaway landing page also helps with automation since it allows easy integration of an entry form.

11. Promote Your Video Contest on Social Media

You can’t sit and wait for people to enter your video contest, as tempting as it sounds. Instead, it would help if you promoted it to spread the word and secure more entries. An excellent contest marketing strategy helps your contest go viral so you can grow your audience and get tons of new leads.

There are plenty of ways to promote your video contest, but the easiest way is to share it on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and ask people to tag a friend in the comments to raise awareness.

Promoting an online video contest on Twitter

You can also promote your contest with the following methods:

  • Add a link to your website’s homepage
  • Display a social media feed on your site dedicated to your giveaway posts
  • Create an email newsletter with your top email marketing platform
  • Add a popup to your site using OptinMonster
  • Share your giveaway in a Facebook Group

It would help if you began promoting your video contest weeks before it goes live to get plenty of traffic and entries the day you launch. Remember to track your key metrics to understand what’s working and where to adjust your strategy.

Check out our article on more contest promotion ideas to make your giveaway viral.

12. Submit Your Giveaway to Contest Promotion Websites

Contest promotion websites are sites dedicated to listing current contests, giveaways, and competitions for people to enter. Adding your online video contest to these websites is a great way to promote your new giveaway and increase the number of people entering.

There are even platforms dedicated to video giveaways.

online video contest website

It isn’t always easy to find legitimate sites that let you submit a giveaway. Luckily, we put together a massive list of the best online sweepstakes websites here to help you out.

Before submitting your contest, make sure the site accepts listings from your country, as some are limited to specific locations.

13. Make Choosing a Video Contest Winner Super-Simple

When you build your video contest, think about how you’ll choose the winner. There are many ways to pick a winner, some straightforward and some more complicated.

The best way to choose a winner is to keep things simple by randomly drawing a winner from all video entries. You can save precious time and give the winner the good news quickly.

RafflePress makes it easy to choose a contest winner. When your giveaway ends, head to RafflePress » Giveaways and click the Needs Winners link on the right.

choose winner

Then, you can see who entered your contest and how many entries each person has. To choose a winner randomly, click the Pick Winner button, select your options, and click the Choose Winners Now button.

pick a giveaway winner

RafflePress highlights the winner instantly, and you can easily click to email them and tell them the good news!

email the winner

You can also use the RafflePress Surveys and Polls entry option to get followers to vote for the best entry and offer a small prize for taking part. You can read more about using RafflePress Surveys and Polls in the documentation.

14. Engage with Contestants After the Winner Announcement

Your video contest doesn’t have to end when the prizes are handed out. In fact, the period after your contest is a golden opportunity to nurture relationships with your participants and get even more mileage out of the awesome content they created.

Online video contest winner announcement post

Here are some ideas to keep the engagement going:

  • Showcase the Stars: Feature the winning video (and maybe some runners-up) on your website, blog, social media channels, and even in email newsletters. This will give the winners some well-deserved spotlight and remind everyone how awesome your contest was.
  • Community Building: Create a dedicated space (like a Facebook group, online forum, or hashtag) where participants can connect, share their videos, and continue the conversation around your contest theme. This fosters a sense of community and keeps your brand top-of-mind.
  • Exclusive Perks: Offer exclusive discounts, early access to new products, or special content to contest participants. This shows your appreciation for their involvement and incentivizes them to stick around.
  • Repurpose the Content: With permission, repurpose the user-generated videos in future marketing campaigns, social media posts, or even website content. This not only saves you time and resources but also adds authenticity and social proof to your marketing efforts.

Remember, the relationships you build during and after your video contest can be just as valuable as the contest itself. By continuing to engage with participants, you’re fostering a loyal community that will eagerly anticipate your next exciting campaign.

15. Turn Your Video Contest Into Future Content

After your contest ends, don’t overlook the wealth of creative submissions from your participants. With proper permissions, you might repurpose these pieces as engaging content for your business. This strategy boosts your traffic, followers, and leads. 

User-generated content has multiple benefits. It reflects your customer’s views, leading to better engagement. Current consumers trust their peers more than brand advertisements. Plus, using this content helps diversify your brand’s visual impact without breaking the bank.

So, how can you repurpose this content across various platforms? 

You can recycle this user-generated content in several ways. 

  • Showcase the winning video on your social media or your website’s homepage.
  • Extract snippets or images from videos and feature them in emails or blog posts.

Doing so not only makes your content updates more vibrant but also gives them a personal touch that’s likely to entice your audience.

16. Track Your Video Contest Results to Make Improvements

When your contest is over, you’ve picked a winner and figured out how to use the UGC you gathered; our last tip is to analyze your results. Then, you can run an online video contest that’s even more successful next time.

The easiest way to get the information you need to optimize your contests is to use MonsterInsights, the best WordPress Google Analytics plugin.

MonserInsights makes it easy to track visits to your contest landing page, traffic to your entire website, website activity, etc. Plus, you can see MonsterInsights’ reports right from within your WordPress dashboard.

MonsterInsights overview report

By reviewing your website data with MonsterInsights, you can learn which strategies sent the most traffic to your giveaway page and use that data to improve your next giveaway.

You can even use MonsterInsight’s real-time stats to monitor your site traffic during your contest. Then, you can make adjustments as you go.

How to Run a Video Contest FAQs

How do I collect a video submission?

You can ask users to upload their video submissions to an online video hosting site like YouTube. Then, they can post the video link in your RafflePress giveaway widget.

What are the best platforms for hosting an online video contest?

Popular platforms for hosting video contests include YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. You can also use contest-specific platforms like RafflePress, which can help you create and manage your contest with ease.

How long should a video competition run?

The duration of a competition can vary depending on your goals and resources. A typical contest might last two weeks to a few months. When determining the contest timeline, consider factors like the time needed for promotion, participant engagement, and judging.

How do I start a TikTok contest?

If you’re running a video contest on TikTok, you can use RafflePress to create it with actions requiring users to watch a video, follow you on TikTok, and more.

How do I run a YouTube contest?

You can follow the steps above to run a YouTube contest with RafflePress’s powerful video contest templates.

That’s it!

Now that you know how to run a video contest, get started! Running one delights your target audience and benefits your business with more targeted traffic, increased brand awareness, and engagement.

You might also find the following giveaway guides helpful:

Don’t forget to follow us on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook for more great tips to grow your business if you liked this article.

author avatar
Stacey Corrin Writer
Stacey has been writing about WordPress and digital marketing for over 10 years and on other topics for much longer. Alongside this, she's fascinated with web design, user experience, and SEO.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that we believe will add value to our readers.

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