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Video success #2: Core concept

In our second instalment of the Launchpad6 Video Success Series we discuss some ideas on how to maximise engagement with your contest and what motivates people to get involved. You can find the first instalment here.

How will your contest drive results?

Before you begin creating your contest you need to think about what your contest is trying to achieve for your business and how it will align to this goal. Once you understand your goals there are a bunch of things that need to be considered in order to maximize engagement to deliver the outcomes you’re looking for.

Is the content readily available or easily created?

Ease of content availability and/or creation are key factors in the success of video upload campaigns. The proliferation of smartphones and portable HD cameras such as GoPro has made it significantly easier to produce video at a moments notice. However, tapping into an area where people have already created content can really help boost submission volume.

One of the best ideas we’ve come across, and one that always brings results is a Cutest Baby competition. These campaigns are successful because they tapped into the bucket-load of content that proud parents are creating every day, and gives them an outlet to display and share this content with their friends and family.

Is the content itself interesting?

Statistics show that the average user watches more than 18 hours of online video per month. But even with so much video being consumed, users will not watch video unless it’s interesting. Consider whether the video uploaded to your contest is actually interesting to your target market, if it’s not, you need to change direction.

One of the cleverer campaigns we’ve run on Contestpad

is a Latte Art Contest by a large Coffee Roasting House. The content was compelling and their target market shared it frequently. This is resulted in our caffeinated-friends smashing goal for video views by a whopping 500%.

Is the content shareable?

People put a lot of thought into what they share online, and many consider the content they share a reflection of themselves. Consider these points and statistics from a New York Times study on sharing motivations:

Is the content entertaining or valuable? 94% of people say they carefully consider how the content they share will be useful to others. Is the content created as part of your contest entertaining or valuable to your target market?

What does sharing that content say about themselves? 68% of people consider what the content will say about them before they share it. Ask yourself what sharing a video from this contest would say about an individual? Does this fit with the self-image that members of your target market generally wish to portray?

Is there an element of narcissism?

Deep down, everyone has a talent or skill that they want to show off to the world. By creating a user-generated video campaign, centred on people’s abilities, you’re giving them an outlet to show this off to their families and friends. If you can tap into your audience’s narcissistic side, just a little, then the sharing of your content will be a natural progression.

Are you harnessing group mentalities or existing rivalries?

It is a trait of human nature to form groups with those of similar beliefs, interests and preferences and as a result, rivalries (hopefully friendly) often form between groups. Some of the most successful campaigns we’ve seen have worked because they harnessed group mentalities or existing rivalries, which provided extra incentive to win. Some examples include: Schools

One very successful campaign we saw pitted schools across the nation against each other in a fashion contest. The contestants then promoted their entry not just with their immediate friends and family, but also throughout their entire school, drawing thousands of views and votes to each individual entry.

Cities Another campaign we saw tapped into an existing rivalry between two cities, rallying people together as part of their ‘tribe’. This parochialism was a huge incentive for entrants to share their video and resulted in deeper engagement and increased reach for the brand.

Is there enough passion?

Not every brand can command Apple or Harley Davidson-levels of passion for their products, inspiring thousands of videos in the process. For the rest of us, it’s a much better bet to inspire passion around a campaign idea and piggyback your brand on to it. Try to come up with ideas that are fun and exciting but still relate to and promote your brand.

A great example of this was a campaign for a foreign exchange trading company that asked the question ‘What would you do if you made $1 million trading on our platform?’ This brilliant campaign tapped into something that everyone has dreamt about and put a spin on it that actively promoted their brand and product.

How do you inspire your audience to create entertaining content?

Most video content today is viewed purely because of its entertainment value. Cat videos draw audiences in their millions. The “Charlie bit my finger” video mentioned in the first article in this series is another example.

So how can you inspire your audience to create entertaining content that maximises the opportunity to go viral?

One idea is to inspire creativity by providing a plot for your audience to create their story upon. Call it chapter one and select the best and most entertaining creation. Then use chapter one to inspire your audience to create chapter 2. Before you know it you have created a crowd-sourced story that promotes your brand.

Make sure you provide incentive for the winners of each chapter. Another important aspect is don’t make the plot or brief too complicated. Provide just enough guardrails to ensure the content meets the objective of your contest but also provides room for personal creativity and diversity. Provide sample entries to inspire future participants and also set the expectations around the level of quality you are looking for in your entries. Remember entries don’t normally need to be of a high quality unless your contest is aimed at professionals. Most viral videos are anything but professional quality and often capture “in the moment” events.

No matter what you choose for your concept, if you consider these fundamentals along the way, you’ll have a much stronger chance of success. And of course, always be sure that your concept is focused on driving the right audience and objective for your brand or organisation.

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