Updated: Sep 22, 2019
You’ve just set up a great YouTube channel for your brand. You’ve been posting some truly engaging content and are even seeing a steady rise in your viewers. But with 300 hours of video content being uploaded on YouTube every minute, it can be really hard to get the attention you deserve. Even with great videos and consistency in uploading content, you still haven’t got the number of subscribers that can take your channel to the next level. This is where a YouTube contest can become a lifesaver.
Why YouTube contests are so effective
Here are a couple of important reasons why YouTube contests could be just what your channel needs right now.
UGC (User Generated Content)
Users have always trusted other users more than they trust brands. In an era where 84% of people trust social proof as much as a personal recommendation, video contests are a great way to build credibility. With a contest, you will get access to a whole lot of user-generated content that you can then publish on your channel. This will help you build that extra credibility, authenticity, and unique connection with the audience.
With the right YouTube contest, you can generate the kind of interest that can help your fledgling channel reach out to a much wider audience. A contest isn’t just about the creators who participate— it’s also about the friends and family who vote for them, their social networks that get exposed to your brand, and the bystanders who get sucked into the hype. A well-planned and executed YouTube contest can instantly give you access to a much wider audience.
Great contest ideas
Here are some of the greatest YouTube contest ideas of all time. Pick the one that suits your brand voice and contest goals.
YouTube Community contests
Building an individual YouTube channel with content to engage a wider audience can be difficult. However, by leveraging a community of YouTubers and allowing them to contribute to your channel for exposure and credit is a great way to reach a broader audience of subscribers. Gamers use this approach to great effect by getting Gamers to submit video clips to community channels which are then selected to create compilations using the best entries. An example of this is Prestige Clips (https://www.youtube.com/user/PrestigeClips) where they have managed to attract over 969M views, 4.6M subscribers and 600 videos. Of course when you have this many subscribers and views its far more compelling for YouTubers to submit to this type of community than poor old you if you are just trying to get to your first 500 subscribers. Therefore you need some more incentive to get YouTubers involved. This is where YouTube Contests can be a great way to reward people with prizes for the best entries. Winners could be based on popularity through views or votes or via your own judging panel.
Have you heard of the egg that beat Kylie Jenner to become the most-liked Instagram post of all time? The post was just a picture of an egg that asked people to like the post and make it the “most-liked” post of all time. Sure enough, the post now has over 53 million views. The YouTube dare contest works on the same principle. You challenge your viewers to get to a certain number of subscribers, in return for which you do a video or an action. Make sure you promise your viewers something interesting and exciting in exchange for their support but don’t make any promises you can’t keep.
Next YouTube video contest
If you already have a fairly avid and loyal user base, this is a no-brainer. Ask your viewers to pitch in ideas for your next video and give credit to the winner(s) of course. You can take things up a notch by giving a prize to the winner or even inviting them to be part of the video in some way.
Customer Advocacy Contest
This is a very simple yet effective type of contest. Ask users to submit a video talking about why they love your product or brand. You can create guidelines that encourage users to get as whacky and creative as they can. This not only generates buzz around your channel, but it also has the added advantage of giving you a whole lot of user-generated content to publish. Given that 68% of YouTube users have watched a YouTube video to help them make a purchase, this kind of authentic, UGC can go a long way.
Instructional video contests
One of the most common uses for YouTube is when you need instructions on how to do something. Where both video and text are available on the same page, 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service (Wyzowl, 2018).
These could be a video about putting together the desk they just purchased, making a cake or even how to clean a pool, so long as it is focused on how your service or product can be used. Having your customers impart their expertise on how to get the best out of your products can be extremely valuable for your prospective and existing customer base.
Tips for running a great YouTube contest
Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when you set up a YouTube contest.
Set the right goals and define success metrics
Define exactly what you want out of your contest using the SMART framework. This means making sure your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Since contest goals can range from building brand awareness to increasing sales, it’s important to know exactly what you’re going after. A good example of a SMART goal would be “I want my YouTube contest to help me increase my subscribers by 10% within 1 month of launching the contest.”
Similarly, pick the metrics you will use to track the success of this goal. A good analytics app will help you compare your performance to the original goal you started out with.
Pick the right prize
It’s really important to pick a prize that will be both relevant and exciting for your audience. Try to define your audience as sharply as you can and then think about what kind of contest prize would interest them. Your prize also has to be commensurate with the effort needed to create the entries. A simple giveaway, for instance, could have a less valuable prize vis-a-vis a customer advocacy contest. For example if you are running a Gaming Community Contest then think of prizes that gamers would value such as graphic cards, custom controllers or other high end gaming components.
Choose the right tool
If you’re running a live talent contest or a user-generated video contest, consider using a video platform. This will help you organize the entries, allow voting, monitor results and even export the list of participants with a link to their video. A video contest management platform like Launchpad6 will allow you to execute the contest efficiently and also allows you to link content directly to you YouTube Channel and also collect the original content separately.
A YouTube contest may be just what your channel needs to give it that extra boost. A well planned and executed contest can not only get you more subscribers, but it can also build brand awareness among a much wider audience.