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How To Run A Photo Contest The Simple Way

Last Updated on November 13, 2020 by Stacey Corrin

Are you looking for a fun way to engage your audience? Running a photo contest is a fabulous way to get people excited and boost your brand’s visibility.

In this step by step tutorial, we’ll show you how to run a photo contest on your WordPress site. It’s quick, easy and you’ll soon be reaping the rewards in no time at all.

Here’s a rundown of what we’re going to cover:

  1. Install The RafflePress Plugin
  2. Decide On Your Goal
  3. Pick a Prize
  4. Choose a Photo Type
  5. Set Up Your First Photo Contest
  6. Add Details of Your Photo Contest
  7. Customize the Design
  8. Adjust Your Contest Settings
  9. Publish Your Contest
  10. Promote Your Photo Contest

The digital world moves fast and there’s one type of media that’s often more ‘viral’ than others – photos.

Since the advent of smartphone sharing photos has become second nature and it only takes a couple of clicks. This is why photo contests can be a powerful marketing strategy.

Why Learn to Run a Photo Contest?

A photo contest will only cost the price of the prize but there are so many benefits.

Here are just a few reasons why learning to run a photo contest can be a great idea:

  • Boost visibility – Users creating and sharing content about your brand will boost visibility and raise awareness.
  • Grow your email list – People can gain extra competition entries by subscribing to your email list.
  • Grow your social media following – A growing social following will expose you to new followers, which in turn, will help you grow. Entrants can ‘refer a friend’ to gain even more entries. 
  • Attract new customers and leads – A growing audience will mean more leads and sales.
  • Increased website traffic – More visibility from the photo contest will translate to more website traffic.
  • Collect valuable user-generated content – Resharing this content is valuable. People trust other people more than they trust you as the brand. Having this content will help boost social proof.
  • Increase engagement – Your audience will be connecting with your brand and they will begin to trust you.
  • Build positive associations – Sharing lots of photos of happy customers is a great way to encourage your audience to feel good about your brand.

An easy way to successfully run a photo contest is to use the RafflePress plugin. It offers ready-made templates, viral sharing, one-click entry and so much more. There’s even a free version and Pro version too. 

Now you know the power of running a photo contest on your WordPress website, let’s set one up.

1. Install The RafflePress Plugin 

RafflePress is the best WordPress plugin for hosting a contest. The Pro version has lots of extra features such as viral sharing, email marketing integrations, and more, so make sure you check it out.

RafflePress the best plugin to run a photo contest

To begin, from your WordPress dashboard click on Plugins » Add New.

Then search for RafflePress and click Install Now, then Activate.

Install the RafflePress plugin

Alternatively, you can download the RafflePress plugin file from WordPress and upload it to your site. This guide has a great explanation for installing WordPress plugins if you need help.

RafflePress in the WordPress plugin respository

2. Decide on Your Goal

Before we move on with learning how to run a photo contest, you need to be clear about your contest objective. Are you trying to increase social engagement, reach a new audience, or something entirely different?

You must be clear about what you want to achieve, so you know which metrics to measure to see if your contest was successful.

3. Pick a Prize

Now let’s move on to the fun part. It can be tempting to offer a giveaway prize that you think will attract the highest number of people. But, it’s crucial to offer something that’s related to your brand. Otherwise, you’ll have lots of entries from people who couldn’t care less about your brand. They just want to win that shiny new iPad!

The main purpose of this contest will be to increase leads, sales, and customers. You want to avoid people who will unsubscribe/unfollow as soon as the contest is over. So choosing a prize that’s desirable to the RIGHT people is key.

Offering a voucher or gift certificate for your business can be great. These are appealing to all potential customers but are only attractive to people who are interested in your business.

Remember you don’t want as many entrants as possible, you want the RIGHT entrants.

4. Choose a Photo Type 

When figuring out how to run your contest, take some time to think about which type of photos you want people to submit? There are a few options you can consider which we’ll highlight next.

  • Anything that fits your niche – It could be something specific to your niche. For example, a food blogger could ask for pictures of their favorite cake. While products or services aren’t featured, you’ll be creating engagement.
  • Photos of your products being used – Asking people to share photos of your product in action is a wonderful way to get your audience sharing content. This promotes your products in an authentic way.
  • Creative use of your product – Creative or unusual photos of your product can really increase engagement and give people inspiration.

5. Set Up Your First Contest

RafflePress incorporates image submissions, which makes it super easy to run a photo contest. How about we learn how to do it.

Scroll down to the Actions option in your giveaway editor and select the Submit an Image action. Then you can do the following things:

  • Add instructions.
  • Allow daily entries.
  • Amend the number of entries per submission.
  • Make image submissions mandatory.
Submit an image action in RafflePress

As the host, you can view the submitted images via the Entries screen. When the contest closes you can either choose the winner or let RafflePress randomly draw one.

6. Add Details of Your Photo Contest

Changing up your contest details is pretty easy too!

To add the details of your contest click the Design box and add the title, description, and image (for Pro account holders) of your prize. Alter the timezone, then set the start and end dates of your contest. If you have more than one prize simply click the +Add Another Prize button.

You can also customize the entry options. Click the Actions tab, then make your selection, changing the titles and values of each option if you wish. 

Edit actions and entry options

7. Customize the Design

Your contest widget should match the design of your website. If it doesn’t, people might be reluctant to enter.

Customizing the design is easy with RafflePress. Simply click the Design tab and you can make changes to the fonts, button, background color, and layout. If you’re handy with CSS you can add your own custom CSS too.

RafflePress design options

8. Adjust Your Contest Settings

Every contest needs rules and RafflePress makes creating them seriously simple.

Click the Settings then select Giveaway Rules and click on the orange +Generate Rules button.

Enter the details of your contest and click the Generate Rules button.

Rules generated in RafflePress

A simple set of contest rules are then generated for you.

Basic contest rules generated in RafflePress

You can choose to display the contest winners, enable email verification, and much more.

When you’re finished click Save in the top right corner.

9. Publish Your Photo Contest

It’s time to publish your contest. To do so, there are the 3 following options:

  • Giveaway Landing Page – Create a landing page specifically for your contest.
  • WordPress Shortcode – Using the Classic WordPress editor you can use a shortcode to embed the contest.
  • RafflePress WordPress Block – Embed the contest in your post or page using a block in the editor.

To add your contest into a new page or post click on the + icon to locate the RafflePress widget.

Add a giveaway using the RafflePress block

Now select the contest you want to embed.

Select your contest from the drop down list

Then click the Publish button to embed the contest onto your site.

10. Promote Your Photo Contest

Now it’s time to maximize those entries. Share your contest in your emails, social media bios, social networks, email signature, and anywhere else you can think of reaching your audience.

To make things a little easier, here’s a list of great contest promotion ideas to get you going.

Remember, keep posting reminders until the contest closes. You could boost entries by sharing some of the photos you’ve received.

And that’s it!

You’ve now learned how to run a contest for photos and get more leads for your business. What are you waiting for? Download RafflePress today to start creating your first giveaway and reap the benefits of an engaged audience.

And if you want to learn about other types of contests, take a look at these tutorials:

We hope you found this article helpful. And if you did, check out our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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