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

Last Updated on November 13, 2020 by Stacey Corrin

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

Online video contests are excellent for gathering user-generated content (UGC), growing your social media followers, and driving traffic to your website. And with UGC, you’ll have more content for your marketing campaigns to attract more potential customers.

In this article, we’ll show you how to host an online video contest and embed it on your WordPress website.

Ready to get started?

1. Set Clear Goals for Your Video Contest

It’s hard to create an online contest without setting goals. Goals help you determine the success of your contest 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 goal, running a successful online video contest 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 contest. If you don’t know what your audience wants, you can’t offer a giveaway prize or experience they’ll 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.

If you’re looking for other tools to boost your eCommerce website, check out these top WooCommerce plugins.

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 a prize.

Some of the most popular contest prize ideas include:

  • Free products or services
  • 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 as their giveaway prize 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 or film festival
  • Put a call out for makeup tutorials
  • Request the best unboxing videos
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.

5. Create Clear Video Contest Guidelines

Another important 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 online video contest 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 Anticipation Before Launching Your Contest

Before launching your creative video competition, you need to build anticipation in your followers. Generating a buzz for your giveaway gets people excited, 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 when launch day arrives, you can go a step further by turning your online video contest into a huge event. 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. This can prompt entrants to get more creative and competitive with their entries and improve the quality of the UGC you gather.

8. And 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 contest app for hosting your video contest 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, and so on.

Click Actions to choose your raffle entry methods

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 wider network of friends.

Related: How to Get More Likes on YouTube

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

As tempting as it sounds, you can’t sit and wait for people to enter your online video contest. Instead, you should promote 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

You should begin promoting your video contest weeks before it goes live to get plenty of traffic and entries from the day you launch.

Check out our article on more contest promotion ideas to make your giveaway go 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’s not always easy finding 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 you choose 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 plenty of 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. That way, you can save precious time and give the winner the good news as quickly as possible.

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 Choose Winners Now.

pick a giveaway winner

The winner is highlighted 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

Once the winner of your online video contest is chosen, make sure you 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 your 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 let’s not forget about all the fantastic content people sent 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’ll be able to 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, and much more. 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 run a YouTube contest?

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

How do I accept a video submission?

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

Are YouTube raffles legal?

YouTube raffles are perfectly legal, providing you follow their guidelines. The rules state that you shouldn’t infringe upon or encourage the copyright or 3rd party rights of users. Your giveaway should also be free to enter. Make sure you check the lottery laws in your local area.

That’s it!

Now that you know how to host a successful online video contest, go ahead and get started! Running online video contests not only delights your target audience, but benefits your business with more targeted traffic, increased brand awareness, and tons of engagement.

So what are you waiting for?

Get started with RafflePress today!

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  1. Emmanuel Patrick Oyare says:

    Can the contest run for like two to three days on my YouTube channel.

    1. Francis says:


      No, it is not possible. Here is the article on how you can publish your giveaway/contest: https://rafflepress.com/docs/publishing/

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