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How to run online video contests

How to Host a Successful Online Video Contest (15 Expert Tips)

With more and more businesses using video content to increase brand awareness, hosting viral online video contests makes a lot of sense.

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

This article will show you how to host video contests online and embed them on your WordPress website.

What Are Online Video Contests?

Online video contests are competitions held on the internet where 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.

Sites like Tongal, for example, use video contests to help studios and brands find talent from around the world.

You can 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 an online video 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.
  • Cost-effective: Running an online video contest can be relatively inexpensive compared to traditional advertising methods and can provide a higher 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 Do You Do an Online Video Contest?

Wondering how to do a video contest yourself? Follow the steps below to run a successful video contest online:

1. Set Clear Goals for Your Video Contest

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

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

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

2. Survey Your Audience for Ideas

Your audience plays a part in how you set up your online video 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 Fantastic 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 online video contest, 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 Contest Theme

Creating a theme for your online video contest 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 submit a 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 Tik Tok dance sequence
  • Have people design a trailer for your product, short film, or film festival
  • Put a call out for makeup tutorials
  • 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 online 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?

Once you’ve figured that out, here are some other details you should include in your video contest online rules:

  • What are the eligibility requirements for entering your digital video contest?
  • Is your contest limited to people over a certain age?
  • Is the location of your contest limited?
  • How can people enter your giveaway (entry form, sharing, etc.)?
  • Can people enter more than once?
  • How will you draw a contest winner?
  • Will there be more than one winner?

When creating your entry methods, ensure they align with your business goals. For example, if your goal is to grow your YouTube subscribers, visiting your channel or watching a video should be a requirement to enter.

6. Build a Buzz Before Launching Your Video Contest Online

Before launching your creative 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.

7. Turn Entering Your Giveaway 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 entires.

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.

8. Make Your Online Video Contests Social

Let’s not forget the power of social media in making your online video contest 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 for hosting online video contests 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.

Watch a youtube video 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.

9. Host Your Contest on 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’s easy for entrants to get distracted by other content. It also makes it 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.

10. Promote Your Contest on Social Media

You can’t sit and wait for people to enter your online 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.

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

11. 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 online video contest 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.

12. Make Choosing a 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.

13. Promote the Winner on Your Social Platforms

After choosing the winner of your online video contest, promote the winner on your website and social media channels. Doing so will give your site another burst of traffic and encourage users to participate in future contests.

Online video contest winner announcement post

Here are several ways to follow up with contest entrants while promoting your winner:

  • Announce the winner and prize on all your social media accounts
  • Display the winner on your RafflePress contest widget
  • Send an email announcing the winner, thanking everyone who entered, and inviting them to join your next contest
  • Record a video revealing the results of your contest

14. Turn Your Contest Into Future Content

Now that your contest is over don’t forget about all the fantastic content people send when participating. With the owner’s permission, you can use those submissions to create more awesome content for your business to increase your traffic, followers, and leads.

Here are some examples of how you can use UGC:

  • Create a playlist of your favorite video submissions on YouTube
  • Display reviews on your website to boost social proof
  • Use submissions to highlight product features on your website
  • Share submissions on social media as use-cases

Using UGC submitted via your online video contest can help solidify your brand image, giving you a competitive edge over your competition.

15. Track Your 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.

Online Video Contests FAQ

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 online 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 an online video contest run?

The duration of an online video contest can vary depending on your goals and resources. A typical contest might last anywhere from two weeks to a few months. Consider factors like the time needed for promotion, participant engagement, and judging when determining the contest timeline.

How do I start a TikTok contest?

If you’re running an online 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 host a successful online video contest, get started! Running online video contests delights your target audience and benefits your business with more targeted traffic, increased brand awareness, and engagement.

So what are you waiting for?

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