Video Contests

5 Video Contest Rules To Ensure A Successful Campaign

Video Contest RulesOnline video contests are a great way to connect with your following and receive valuable content for your business. We put our heads together and came up with 5 rules to make the process easier for your business – and most importantly, an experience you'll want to repeat! Know the guidelines for the platform you’re using to host your contest For example, if you're promoting your video contest on Facebook, this means you'll need to keep up with their most current guidelines. They change frequently, but it's worth keeping up so your business doesn't lose its page. You want to make sure that the contest language is legitimate so you don’t hit any snags that reflect poorly on your business. Requirements need to be concise There’s nothing worse than having confused, or angry participants. Make sure that you take the time to clearly spell out the rules and regulations for your contest. Go over and double-check the things that seem common sense. For example, if you don't want profanity in your video contest entries, make a note of it. Remember, when you're dealing with the public, you want to make sure all of your bases are covered. Don't expect everyone to understand what it is you're looking for without you spelling it out for them in a clear, concise manner. Don't advertise too soon Be careful not to advertise for your contest too soon. Anything over a month is dangerous - because entrants will most likely put their videos off, thinking they have enough time to do it later - and then end up never coming back to send in their submission. As a general rule of thumb, you should start rolling out details about a month in advance of your submission deadline. Start by posting about your contest and getting the word out. And as the deadline draws closer, pay attention to how many submissions you've been receiving and continue promoting accordingly - with more frequency towards the tail end of the contest. Keep video length short and sweet It’s always best to keep videos on the short side. You might be tempted to allow longer submissions, expecting to have great content that can be used in the future. In reality, longer videos tend to ramble or drag on. Even worse, you'll have minutes of fluff that won't be useful to your business. Enforce a reasonable time limit. Entrants should have enough time to state the information you've asked for, but too much time will invite the need for editing. And trust us, editing long-winded videos is never fun. Above all else, remember to have fun Ultimately, you're trying to drive engagement with followers and consumers. People love the competition and the feeling that comes with interacting with their favorite brands. By nailing down the guidelines and what it is you're looking for, you won't have to sweat the small stuff. Instead, you'll be able to enjoy connecting with your followers while receiving great content in the process.

Best Practices For Choosing Your Video Contest Prizes

Video Contest Prizes Let's talk video contest prizes. For your business, the best part of a contest is the exposure to your brand, and the connections you'll strengthen and build in the process. It's exciting to see your hard work and planning pay off when your following gets involved by creating an entry or sharing the video through social media. Entrants, on the other hand, will be focused entirely on the prize. As they should be! They've taken the time to enter the contest, using their creativity in an effort to get one step closer to the awesome prize you're offering.While it's important to have a great contest idea and know how to implement it, the prize is something that deserves careful consideration. The most obvious reason has to do with incentive. If you're going to ask people to use their time to participate, or share info about the contest through their social media accounts, you have to provide the incentive for them to do so. Many contests have flopped because the incentive just wasn't there. This, in turn, leads to low entry numbers, taking a lot of the energy and drive out of your marketing effort. So, what should the video contest prize be? Large cash prizes work well for big businesses. Cash appeals to a wide audience, any audience, really, but it's not always practical for a small business. Instead of stressing over giving away a huge cash prize - consider what would appeal most to your audience. Chances are, your following has stuck with you because of their interest in your product or business. If you want to create a bundle of prizes, featuring an incentive that will appear to a wider audience, you can always ask sponsors to provide a prize in exchange for promotion on your site. It's an excellent way to bulk up the prize without having to drain your funds. A few friendly tips:
  • Be sure to announce the winner. What's the fun of following or partaking in a contest if the winner is never announced? Plus, people like seeing themselves, or in this case, their submission, posted. It's a reward for the effort they put in, no matter how small, and whether it's on your website or social media accounts, congratulate the winner and showcase their entry. Other entrants and followers will enjoy seeing the outcome, and the positive attention will give them a good feeling about taking part in your future contests. It also shows that you follow through and participating in the future won't be a waste of their time and effort.
  • It should be obvious that you want to make good on the prize(s) you offer when your business runs a contest. But it's important, so it bears repeating: Follow through on what you promise.
  • Even if the contest isn't as successful as you wanted it to be, give out the prize.The temptation to scrap the contest and try again for a better turn-out isn't one you want to act on. Whether or not your contest yields the results you were shooting for, you still owe it to your entrants to deliver what you promised. That way, even if your contest wasn't a success, future entrants won't be hesitant to enter because of your past behavior or reluctance to give out the prize.
  • Every contest begins with a great idea and a lot of planning. The prize you choose as an incentive, and how you conduct yourself in regards to giving out the prize plays a critical role in the success of your contest. Instead of focusing solely on what your business can gain from a successful contest, make it worthwhile for prospective entrants and remember to put yourself in their shoes when you're selecting a prize.
What have you used for your video contest prizes in the past? Did it work well? Why or why not? Leave us some feedback in the comments section below.

Facebook Video Contest App Guidelines - September 2013

Facebook Video Contest App GuidelinesIt's hard to keep up with Facebook guidelines these days. There seems to be a lot of overhaul lately, making it difficult for businesses to keep up. Luckily, Facebook has made it a goal to provide updates that make it easier to run contests. On August 27th, they updated their guidelines once again for running contests on your FB page. Let's go through these guidelines step-by-step to clear up any confusion. You can now run a contest on your timeline with or without an app. Your business can:
  • Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post
  • Collect entries by having users message the Page
  • Utilize likes in the voting process
This will make the entry and data collection processes much more streamlined, especially if your business utilizes an app. In addition to making data collection easier, apps also allow for a personalized experience where you can stylize the app to fit with your brand. An app will also store data securely and make it easier to manage entries. The alternative involves you scrambling to keep track of all the activity flying around your page. It's easy to lose track of important data that you'll want to keep track of and refer back to later. Pretty cool, right? Now that we've gone over the some of the good stuff, it's time to mention what you'll want to look out for. Here are a few things you'll want to avoid: It's still against the rules for a business to use likes as a means for contest entry. While it might sound like a drawback for you and your business, this is actually a good rule. Likes might seem great while you're running a contest and looking to increase your numbers and exposure. The truth is, people who like your page for a contest are probably not likely to remain engaged with your business or page.Your page cannot ask people to tag themselves in photos they aren't actually in. It looks like Facebook is afraid that content will suffer if people are randomly tagging themselves in order to win contests. If you think about it, it's a fair point. Even if you don't agree with the guidelines, you need to remember that your account can be removed at anytime if you decide to bend or break the rules. And that's not a chance you want to take! We'll keep you posted with future updates to the guidelines. Knowing Facebook, we won't have to wait too long for another one...

Halloween Video Contest Ideas: 2013 Edition

Halloween Video Contest IdeasHalloween is quickly approaching! Sugary sweets and creepy costumes aside - holidays are the perfect time for your business to boost engagement with your following and Halloween is no exception. Throughout the year you should be keeping your followers updated on what your business is up to. Chances are, they’re following your social media accounts and receiving your emails because they want to be kept in the loop. You can make important, lasting connections based on your daily social media engagement. Holidays are a great time to capitalize on the connections you’ve established by hosting a video contest. Here’s how you can get started:

Contest ideas

Since you’ll be looking to your following to vote for the best entries, you can really get creative with contest ideas. Now’s the time to think outside of the box. Ask for submissions that others will want to watch or share using their social media accounts. Whether it’s creepy or lighthearted, make sure it’s interesting enough to capture people’s attention. Silly pet costumes: Plenty of people dress up their pets and it can make for adorable or funny video. Ask your following to get their pets in the Halloween spirit by putting them in cute, creative costumes and see who comes out as top dog! Best group costume: There’s nothing better on Halloween than pulling off a great group costume. The possibilities are endless and if nothing else, it’s usually good for a laugh. Ask entrants to get together with their pals and create a short video where they speak and act in character. Favorite Halloween movie: From kid friendly classics such as The Nightmare Before Christmas to other, scarier classics like Nightmare On Elm Street, everyone has a favorite Halloween movie. Ask your followers to film themselves sharing their favorite line. You can give them the chance to test out their acting chops, and have others vote for their favorite performance.

A great prize

Like any contest, your followers will be more inclined to participate by filming themselves or casting votes if you have a great incentive for them to do so. Also, if you’re looking to introduce your business to a new audience, you have to offer something that will catch their attention and get them interested. Video contests give you the chance to make that introduction to consumers who might not have known too much about your business. Videos are easily shared and can reach family, friends, and other business peers. That’s why it’s so important to offer a prize that will really motivate people to get involved. You can offer a free trial of your product or service, or create a bundle that features a mix of prizes to pique interest. Make sure your prize has to do with your business. You can ask for some creative submissions to get people interested, but at the end of the day, you’re working to increase awareness about your business while pleasing your following. You don’t want to offer something that’s unrelated. Plus, your following is going to be looking for a prize that relates to your business. It’s why they follow you and why they want to get involved! Keep these tips in mind and you can have a relatively easy, successful Halloween video contest. Don't put it off, though. Get things rolling today and get your followers interested. Have you hosted a holiday themed video contest? Will you host one this Halloween? Let us know in the comment section!

Holiday Video Contest: 5 Simple Tips To Ensure A Successful Campaign

Holiday Video Contest With the holidays rapidly approaching, it's time to take a look at how you can make your upcoming holiday contest as user-friendly as possible. Holidays have always been a great time to step-up the involvement levels with your following, while introducing more people to your brand in the process. Simple entry: No one wants to go through complicated and cumbersome steps to enter your contest. The more steps you require, the less likely they are to see it through. Keep the entry process paired down as much as possible to avoid losing interest. Better yet, ask contestants to enter with something very specific – for example, recording a video that tells of their favorite holiday meal. There's no need to make the entry complicated, and as long as your entrants have a certain amount of direction and guidance, you'll get amazing results. Tag the contest: Whether it's Twitter or tumblr., tag the info surrounding the contest so people can follow and get in on the conversation. It's a great way for your audience to connect and promote conversation without too much interference on your part. Also, you want your followers to be able to easily track the buzz surrounding your contest so they can share updates and get their social media following on board with what you're doing. If you're not tagging or utilizing hashtags, you're not doing all you can to draw attention to the contest. Make the campaign easily accessible: Users should be able to connect with you on a variety of devices. Keep in mind that they'll be on-the-go throughout the holiday season. Make sure they can check-in and connect while they're out with friends - instead of limiting the interaction to when they're home. More than ever, it's important to keep up with the user demand for content anytime, anywhere. Liven up your content: Use visuals in addition to text to draw people in. If you usually rely on walls of text to get information across to your followers, try livening it up a bit with images. Images are easily shared across social media platforms and will engage your following better than if you stick with “more of the same”. Get your website and social media accounts in the holiday spirit: Go the extra mile and add holiday touches to your website. No need to go over-board. Remember, it's the little things, like adding a holiday banner or re-vamping your logo. You can also incorporate the contest into your holiday redecoration by asking your following for holiday-related images and video that can be displayed on your homepage. It's a great way to make them feel involved and they'll love seeing their content on your page. It doesn't take much to get your following in the holiday spirit. All it takes is a great idea! And with a little planning, you can keep your existing audience engaged and gain the opportunity of introducing your brand to an entirely new audience at the same time. What has your business done in the past to engage with your following during the holidays? Drop us a comment and let us know.

Holiday Video Contest Ideas That Will Engage Your Following

Holiday video contest ideas In case you're a little low on creativity, we have holiday video contest ideas that'll get you started. We already discussed how to run a successful video contest, but if you don't have an engaging idea - your efforts won't mean that much. Consider thinking outside the box. Keep your following in mind and the demographic you're aiming to engage when you start brainstorming ideas. Maybe you're looking for an idea that'll appeal to a wide audience, or maybe your business mostly attracts a younger crowd. Whatever the case, be sure to keep them in mind while you're planning. Here are some ideas to get you started! 1. Ugliest sweater Ugly holiday-themed articles of clothing are a go-to, popular holiday trend. People love dressing up, striking a goofy pose, and showing off ugly sweaters. In fact, it sounds silly, but people often prepare for ugly sweater parties by checking thrift shops or the local mall for an atrocious sweater that will top other party goers. For this idea, you can ask your following to take a quick video showing off the ugliest holiday sweater they can find. It's a silly, festive idea and it won't take a lot of time to capture the video and post their entry. You can also get everyone else in on the fun by asking them to vote for the ugliest sweater. 2. Favorite holiday jingle Sometimes it's that song that's constantly on repeat on all the radio stations once Thanksgiving hits. Or the jingle for a popular holiday ad. Whatever the case may be, ask entrants to submit a video where they sing their favorite jingle. Make sure you're clear on what you'd like to see in submissions. Are group submissions allowed? Can they use music to sing along to, or do they have to go solo? Anticipate questions like these ahead of time so you don't have to scramble to clear up any misconceptions. 3. Favorite holiday movie Whether it's Die Hard (it takes place around Christmas, it counts!) or an animated classic, you can have a lot of fun with this idea. Maybe entrants need to re-enact a famous scene, or pitch why their favorite holiday movie is the best. Like our other holiday ideas, this one can be adjusted. Don't be afraid to take an idea that might seem simple or generic and really build off of it to make it your own! 4. Best family holiday video Everyone has one of these. Whether it's of the dog grabbing what was supposed to be Thanksgiving dinner, or video that shows the littlest member of the family peeking out from beneath a mound of wrapping paper after gifts have been opened. This one is a fresh, wide open idea. You can go with "funniest" holiday video. These will encompass the oops moments that are prone to happen when family and friends get together. You can also go another route and ask for heartwarming holiday videos. This could include video of a service member returning home to their family for the holidays, or other special family moments that have been captured on video. Set up the criteria so it's clear what you're asking for. Best holiday video is a general starting point for a holiday video contest. From there, it's simply a matter of fleshing out what you're looking for in terms of entries. 5. Pet seasonal style This idea has the potential for a whole lot of cute! People love getting their pets involved in the holidays. There are pet Santa costumes, as well as reindeer and mistletoe attachments - the possibilities for pets during the holidays is endless. If you think your following would be up for the challenge, you could even specify that you're looking for the most creative homemade pet costume. That adds a whole new challenge to the contest, and could really get people motivated to compete and show off their skills! Whatever you decide to do for your holiday video contest, make sure it's engaging. You can always look to see what your competitors are doing for the holidays, but ultimately, you want to do something that's unique to the interests of your following and will make your business stand apart!

How To Promote A Video Contest: 5 Tips To Get Going In The Right Direction

How To Promote A Video Contest

Video contests are a great way to engage your followers - they keep people interested in what you’re up to while providing an opportunity to attract new leads. And with the right planning and organization, you can maximize the effectiveness of your contest.

But how do you promote a video contest, and where do you start? Try using these helpful tips to get going in the right direction...

1. Create a contest page with clear instructions

It might seem like a no-brainer, but a dedicated page can make or break your video contest. Also, make sure you provide your audience with clear and well-written instructions. Don't turn away potential submissions by creating difficult and complex instructions. By requiring your participants to jump through too many hoops, they’ll lose interest quickly.

2. Advertise the contest on your website

Yep, another no-brainer. But you’d be surprised how many businesses fail to tap into their most powerful channel – their website. You can draw in more participants by displaying a simple button or link at the top of each page on your website. Or better yet, display a static call-to-action banner (we recommend trying the Hello Bar). Don’t forget to leverage your blog as a potential channel, too.

3. Advertise the contest through your social media channels

Twitter and Facebook are perfect channels for getting the word out. Likes, shares, and re-tweets will help you reach more people. And with more people checking out your new initiative, more and more interest will be generated as a result.

4. Announce your contest at least 2 weeks in advance

There is always that temptation to give people too much time to enter your contest. After all, you would think that allowing more time would increase the number of people who get involved. In reality, promoting your contest more than 2 weeks in advance may actually harm your cause. Thinking they have enough time, a certain number of your contestants will never remember the opportunity and you'll wind up with a lower number of total entries.

5. Email your newsletter subscribers

Take the time to reach out to the people who have expressed interest in your business. The people who have already opted in to your email newsletter list are perfect candidates. You can generate interest by letting them know what you’re looking for (content, length, etc.) and what you're offering. Most importantly, remember to have fun! Of course it's meant to benefit your business - but you’ll only accomplish that if your also enjoying what you're doing. Make it an experience that you and your followers will want to repeat!

How To Run A Successful Online Video Contest

How To Run A Successful Online Video Contest Ask our customers and they'll tell you it's quite simple to launch a video contest. In fact, setting up your account and embedding the contest widget on your website or social media site takes less than 5 minutes. But running a successful online video contest is a different story. We've seen hundreds of video contest campaigns. Some succeed; others don't. Of those that do well, we've found a few things in common that contribute to getting great results. Let's be clear, though. Running a successful video contest depends on many, many variables. And although this won't give you insight into everything you'll need to do, it's certainly enough to get your initiative heading in the right direction: Be Clear & Concise Tweet Don't ask for too much, and keep instructions simple. By providing your audience with a simple and clear direction, you'll get more accurate video submissions in return. Simplify Prizes & Giveaways Tweet Confuse 'em and lose 'em. Some video contests offer dozens of prizes. Not a good idea. Choose approximately 3 prizes that are clearly defined and easy to understand. Remember, incentives mean everything when you're trying to get your audience to participate. Be Smart With Campaign Deadlines Tweet Don't give your audience too much time. By creating a contest where submissions aren't due for 90 days, there's no sense of urgency. And making the deadline in 48 hours may not give your audience enough time to get creative. Most successful contests run anywhere from as short as 1 week to as long as 30 days. Share The Opportunity To Participate Tweet Any decent video contest platform should provide you with the name and email address of your participants. Shortly after someone participates, send them an email and ask them to share the contest across their networks. This way, their connections have the opportunity to vote for the video - and as an added bonus, you'll most likely receive more submissions to boot. Be Social When Announcing The Contest Winner(s) Tweet Stretch your content as far as possible. You can start by publishing a blog entry that announces the winners and streams their video contest entries. Share this new blog page on all your social networks and maximize your exposure. If you're already using Bravo, be sure to check out our video contest best practices guide in the Support Center. And if you haven't signed up yet, don't forget to take advantage of our 30-day free trial. Best of luck with out there - now go capture some great video!

Video Contest Landing Page Best Practices

Video contest landing page If you've never used a video contest landing page, or haven't had much success using one, it's time to get you up to speed! In terms of your contest, the landing page can be used for your following to submit an entry or get the word out about the contest, with the use of social media. Traditionally, landing pages are proven powerhouses in turning leads into conversions. The key is knowing how to create one that will appeal to visitors and keep them from clicking away. The same is true when you're creating a landing page for your video contest. If you're unsure about how to set up a landing page and achieve the best results, we have plenty of tips for you.

Keep your focus clear

There is nothing worse than sending your visitors to a page that lacks focus and clarity. Before you launch your landing page, you'll need to sit down with your team and plot out exactly what needs to be on the page. This includes what needs to be stated and how you want to state it. Pay close attention to the language you're using and make sure it's concise and accessible for your average visitor. It sounds like a no-brainer but it's easily the most important aspect of your page. Without a clear call to action, you risk sending away visitors who are expressing interest in your brand. Avoid any confusion by being unclear or delivering a muddled message.

Further brand messaging

Color scheme and typography might not be high on your list on priorities, but you should design your landing page so it flows smoothly with your other pages. Make aesthetic choices that show a clear connection to your brand. Also, take your time when choosing your layout. It might seem like a trivial decision, but visitors pay attention to formatting. Get rid of visual clutter and put emphasis on what's important. It's not enough to provide the information and have visitors follow thought. Make sure your visuals serve to guide them through the process instead of detracting from it.

Showcase value

Now is the time to reveal the value that comes with your visitors providing you with their information. As a general rule, visitors get scared off by being asked to provide too much info. Don't ask for more than you need. Make the process quick and easy. Nothing turns visitors off faster than having to fill our multiple pages of info. Keep in mind that, at this point, the value needs to exceed your visitors discomfort with providing their info. If the incentive isn't great enough, they'll click elsewhere.

Privacy assurance

Put visitors at ease by including links to a privacy statement. Many visitors fear that providing you with their email will result in a constant slew of messages. If they're entering their info, there's already an element of trust that has been established. Further that trust by including a statement, such as. "We'll never sell your email address" or a similar message promising not to abuse the information they're giving you. If they trust your brand, the reassurance will go a long way in easing fears.

Abandon complacency

Never get comfortable. Sound daunting? It isn't as bad as you might think. It really boils down to constantly evaluating and re-evaluating your landing page. Don't be afraid to throw out what doesn't work. And don't be afraid to challenge what does work by keeping your eye on the data and seeing if it can be tweaked or improved upon. The worst thing your brand can do is get complacent and stop paying attention to the results your landing page is yielding. If you've never attempted a landing page or haven't gotten the results you'd like, it's time to try again. It's all a matter of planning and careful thought. Take the time to sit down with your team and see what a landing page can do for your contest. The results will be well worth it!

Video Contest Press Release Template

Video Contest Press Release Template Press releases have become a staple of public relations. They date all the way back to the 1900's when the Pennsylvania Railroad needed to reach journalists ahead of unfavorable reports about a train wreck. Today, they can be used to avoid unfavorable press. Since then, businesses have started using press releases as a way to submit information to a media source about something noteworthy or of interest that's taking place. Writing a press release is an excellent way to guarantee exposure for your video contest. There isn't one specific formula for writing a press release, but there are several elements that should be included. We've come up with a sample template, broken down into sections so we can go over what you'll want to cover.

1. Headline

The headline is where you grab attention and provide contact information, which will be referenced again, later. All contact information should be up-to-date and provide entrants, or anyone who's looking to get in contact with you, several means to get in touch. Notice where it says: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, at the top of the headline. If you plan on providing the press release before you want the information issued, keep in mind that journalists are under no obligation to hold the release until the time you specified. The only way they will is if a non-disclosure agreement is signed. Otherwise they have every right to issue it ahead of when the specified date. Here's an example headline: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Estee Public Relations Coordinator Bravo Video 555 S. Randall Road Suite 206 St. Charles, IL 60174 (866) 377-2927

2. Summary

Beneath the headline, you will have a summary, where you summarize what you'll explain in more detail later in the press release. This is the time to outline the video contest, including what the theme/idea behind the contest is. You can also mention where videos will be displayed, and the video length that entrants are aiming for. Here's an example summary: St. Charles, IL - Bravo Video is looking for video submissions for their Halloween themed video contest. Bravo is looking for fun, creative videos that showcase the most original Halloween costume. The winning video will be displayed on Bravo's home page and Facebook page. Videos must adhere to the established criteria in order to be eligible for the contest. The purpose of this video contest is to display your creativity, so don't miss the chance to dress up and qualify for some really great prizes! We would like you to come up with your most creative costume idea, and show off your costume by recording a short video (30 seconds or less).

3. High-level contest detail

After the initial heading and body paragraph, mention where the criteria is posted so it does't seem like you're throwing arbitrary guidelines at them. The criteria guidelines need to touch on issues such as number of entries allotted per entrant and whether or not entrants will have to prove their age. Don't make entrants guess because the guidelines aren't clear. Better to provide too much information in your guidelines than too little! Here's an example of high-level contest details: One (1) cash prize will be awarded in the amount of $500 for the most creative costume, as voted on by viewers. Video entries will be judged on the following criteria:
  • Originality of costume
  • Creativity
  • How well entrants display being "in character"
A description for each of the criterion and the given point value are listed in the Bravo Video Halloween 2013 Guidelines section of our website.

4. Contest specifics

You'll notice in this section that we discuss the dates that we're running the contest, when the winner(s) will be notified, and which forms need to be completed upon entry. Be very specific about what entrants need to complete in order to be eligible. It's a good idea to have someone from your team read over the guidelines after you've written them to make sure they make sense to the average reader. That way, you can cut down on confusion and eliminate potential confusion during the contest. Here's some example contest specifics: Employees, immediate family members or other affiliates of Bravo Video are not eligible for prize awards. Videos must be under 30 seconds in length, and submitted through the Bravo Video website. Entries will be accepted beginning Friday, October 25, 2013 through Wednesday, October 30, 2013. The winner will be notified via email on October 31, 2013.

5. Submission info

The remainder of the press release should finish with details about what each submission needs to include. You should end by reiterating, once again, that submissions will not be accepted or entered without the proper signatures and forms. You can conclude by reminding them of who they can contact and how they can reach them should any questions arise. Here's some example submission info: All submissions must include:
  • Entrants name
  • Entrants email address
  • Terms of Use acceptance
Press releases are a quick, easy way to get the word out about your contest through a new medium!

Video Contest Results: Where Do You Display Them?

Video contest results When your video contest draws to a close, do you know where you're going to display the results? Haven't given it too much thought? No problem! We've thought about it for you. The goal of any contest is to generate awareness surrounding your brand. At the end of the day, if you've engaged your following and promoted your brand in a positive way - you've done your job! Video contests can have a lasting impact on your brand, ensuring a great connection with consumers, turning conversions who are on the fence, into satisfied leads. In order to accomplish this, it's important to give some thought to what'll happen once the contest ends, including where you'll display the results. The contest shouldn't just end and then fizzle out. Participants want to know who won, and it's in your best interest to continue using the results as an opportunity to link back to your site for more exposure. Here are a few ideas about where to display your video contest results. Perhaps the most obvious starting point is your company website, or blog. Since you're looking to draw attention to your brand, it makes sense that you'd announce the results on your site. It's a sure way to increase traffic, which can lead to online users sticking around to look at more of your content. A sure way to accomplish this is to make a special blog post announcing the winner. Draw attention to the announcement. A successful contest is worth celebrating and it'll make future, potential entrants more likely to want to get involved in the future. It also shows that you've kept your word by promoting the winning entry and giving out the prize you offered. Whether it's entrants or loyal fans who are following what's happening with the contest, you always want to deliver on whatever it is you promise. Displaying the results is a good way to reassure them of your commitment to delivering on what you promise. Next, you need to head to social media. Facebook is perfect for engaging fans directly once the video contest is over. As far as platforms go, it naturally lends itself to connecting by starting conversations. Don't be shy! Discuss the video contest and the results with your following and see what they have to say. Was there more than one prize given? List the prizes. You can chat about all the details and make sure the video is getting circulated across multiple platforms. Same goes with Twitter, where you can link the results back to your website or blog. Don't miss out on the chance to continue meaningful conversations surrounding the contest. Especially if they lead consumers back to your website! Don't forget to create a press release to increase awareness about your company and contest. If you're unfamiliar with creating a press release for your contest, we have a template to get you well on your way. It's an easy, concise way to get word out about your video contest results, outside of the usual social media platforms. You can send it to traditional news outlets, which will allow you to reach a new, potentially untapped audience, while supplying all the information they need to seek your business out. Once you've hit your website and blog, social media, and sent out a press release announcing the video contest results, you can always reach out to anyone else involved in the contest. Did you work with a sponsor? Join up with them to make the announcement. You can double your exposure, even find a new audience through their online presence. Video contests are as rewarding as the work you put into them. It's all a matter of realizing that your work doesn't end when the contest does.

3 Video Contest Ideas That'll Engage And Delight

Video Contest IdeasWe have 3 video contest ideas that'll engage and delight your followers, and the people who are just getting acquainted with your brand. For a lot of us, it's still cold and dreary outside. But that doesn't mean we can't look ahead, and plan contests that lend themselves to spring time. Here are 3 video contest ideas that will allow your brand to shake off the cold in the coming months:

St. Patrick's Day

Everyone's a little Irish on the 17th of March, right? Traditions for St. Paddy's Day are numerous and varied, which gives you a great opportunity for clever video contest ideas. Breathe some life into an old holiday by asking contest entrants to film their favorite St. Patrick's Day tradition. You'll probably see the inside of a pub or two, or maybe catch a glimpse of the Chicago River sporting a vibrant shade of green. You can ensure that responses are a little more family friendly, skipping some of the bar stuff, by asking them to create their favorite dish with a green twist. The key to a St. Patrick's Day video contest is to put forth an idea that captures the celebratory vibe that makes it such a great holiday.

Earth Day

Earth Day is celebrated at the end of April, right when we're saying goodbye to the cold, and gearing up for the long-awaited spring thaw. If you're feeling savvy, you can take advantage of the wide open theme by asking entrants to shoot a quick video in their favorite local outdoor spot. Now that more people are out and about in the nice weather, they'll be more into the idea of showing off their favorite place. Fresh idea aside, it's also a great way for you to encourage entry submissions using a mobile device. Consumers love easy access, so an outdoor, on-the-go contest entry definitely has that going for it, and will give them a good feeling about joining in on future contests.

The best of May

Who isn't looking forward to the warmth of summer? Frame a contest around the excitement for summer by asking about favorite childhood vacations, or the perfect summer destination. If you're a small business, there's a good chance that you won't be able to give away a free vacation package to the winner. But you can always suggest that the prize money go toward their summer travels. Keep other entrants, and consumers following the contest engaged by asking them to vote for whoever has the best memory, or the coolest summer plans. Asking your following to be in on the voting is a key way to keep them engaged and actually caring about what happens with the contest, rather than having a faceless team judge it. As the weather warms, you'll be able to get more creative with your video contest ideas. Send entrants outside, ask them to embrace the best of the next few months as we say goodbye to winter, and gear up for the best of spring.

3 Video Contest Promotion Mistakes To Avoid

Video Contest PromotionLet's talk about the video contest promotion mistakes you want to avoid. Promotion is all about strategy. How you can best reach your audience, when to start raising awareness. It's better to think of these issues ahead of time, rather than finding out the hard way when your contest doesn't go as well as originally planned. It only takes a little planning and putting some thought into how to go about things the right way, and you can save yourself and your team a lot of stress!

Promoting too late

Don't force prospective entrants to scramble to get their entry in. If you make the mistake of waiting too long, or being lax about getting the word out, you're upping your chance of getting content that you won't be able to use later. Quality might suffer when you force people to rush, as well as your entry pool. Ideally, you'll give them enough time to hear about your video contest, look into it more, and then get their content turned in with plenty of time.

On the flip side

You don't want to start promoting your contest too soon. There's a difference between giving people enough time to enter, and giving them plenty of time to forget the contest exists. For most, the rule of thumb is to start promoting the contest about a month ahead of your deadline. They'll still be able to tune into contest updates, without you having to worry that your audience will tune out before creating a submission.

Hitting the wrong platforms

Where is your audience hanging out? Mainstream and up-and-coming social media platforms are all well and good for promoting your video contest, but is your audience there? Instead of throwing content at major platforms and hoping it will reach people, go into the promotion phase knowing where they'll be. Build a strategy around that knowledge, one that compliments your audience rather than working against where they normally hang out. The key to video contest promotion is creating a strategy beforehand. Rather than stressing over details like where your audience spend their time online, or when to start promoting - figure it out ahead of time. Keeping these aspects of your campaign in mind can seem challenging when you're just starting out. Eventually, with more campaigns under your belt, it will be second nature to anticipate these details. For now, do your planning ahead of time. Get in the habit of doing these things early, and you'll avoid the stress of slacking in one area of your campaign.

3 Video Contest Promotion Mistakes to Avoid

Video Contest Promotion MistakesToday we're talking about a few common video contest promotion mistakes and how you can avoid them. Everyone knows that new campaigns are exciting for you and your brand. It feels great to kick things off and see all your hard work in action. Here are a few things to keep in mind before promotion efforts begin.
Not having a handle on your audience
Contests are great at gathering interest and conversation around your brand. The buzz about what you're doing, including the cool prize(s) you're giving away, can do a lot for your brand if you're smart about promoting it. Before promotion is set to begin, you should have your audience nailed down. Where are they spending most of their time online? Will your contest promotion compliment their on and offline habits? It makes sense to hit the big social network platforms, but your focus should really be on where your audience will be. And if that means paying less attention to Facebook or Twitter in favor of another site or offline space, than that's where your focus should go.
Promoting too soon or too late
It can be easy to jump the gun and start promoting your contest. You're excited to kickoff the campaign that you've worked so hard on, and you want to get the word out and get things rolling. Rather than promoting too early, more than a month or so in advance, it's a good idea to hold off. If you start too soon, you run the risk of having people put off their entry, thinking they'll have plenty of time to enter and then keeping their idea on the back burner and never getting around to it. The opposite problem is promoting too late. Entrants shouldn't feel rushed, like they have to throw together an entry in order to make a looming deadline.
Are rules and deadlines clear enough?
Aspects of your campaign that seem like a no-brainer to you are going to require more explanation than you might think. Nothing puts a damper on a campaign quite like a rule/requirement mix-up at the finish line. You might think your bases are covered when you post the rules and requirements several times over the course of your campaign. In reality, you're better off posting them too frequently rather than not enough. Frequently linking to the rules in Tweets and other promotional posts will ensure that you're doing all you can to get the requirements out there. That way, any complaints or problems that might come up at the end of the campaign can be smoothed over. Also, other entrants won't leave with a negative view of your brand thanks to the knowledge that you were very upfront and clear about contest rules.

3 Video Contest Tips For Your Next Campaign

Video Contest TipsWe have 3 video contest tips for your next campaign. Whether it's coming up soon, or you're still planning, now is a good time to consider how to run your contest the right way.

Planning

Set the tone early for your contest. Start in the planning stage by having all your ducks in a row. You should have a good idea about your time frame - which includes advertising before the contest, kickoff, and how long entrants will have before the finish date. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn't advertise more than a month in advance. If you give too much notice about your campaign, people will put off entering, thinking they have enough time to come back to it later. More often than not, they don't end up coming back to their entry. Generally, a month is enough time to get the word out, without making them feel rushed, either.

Start strong

Once you've done an excellent job advertising, it's time to keep up the good momentum. Contests can fall apart if no one's paying attention to the little things. Make sure you keep an eye on the data to see what entry, as well as long and short term impact are going to look like. Additionally, you'll want to make sure you're sticking to deadlines and answering any questions as they're coming in. If you have a lot on your plate, it can be easy to forget that you and your brand are being watched closely during your campaign. The way you behave will have an impact on your contest. Remember to put your best foot forward. Smooth any wrinkles that come up

Wrap things up the right way

Ending your campaign on a high note feels great. Once the contest has ended, make sure you build up your announcement about who won and what they're receiving. Winners love to see receive recognition, so give them a shout out on your blog and social media. Not only will it leave them feeling good about the contest, but it'll also show that you deliver on what you promise. Some brands make the mistake of not following through, or scrapping the contest due to concerns that entrants aren't aware of. It ends up hurting credibility, and can seriously impact turnout for later contests. No matter what's going on behind the scenes, do your best to finish the right way. Give entrants the reward they deserve for putting time and effort into your campaign, and you'll see the return in the short and long term.

3 Video Contest Trends Worth Mentioning

Video Contest TrendsLet's talk about 3 video contest trends that deserve your attention this year. Part of pulling off a successful campaign includes checking into trends to see what you're following will likely respond to. Let's get your contest brainstorming off to the right start by going over the hottest video contest trends.

First up: Mobility

Without a doubt, this is the most important trend. Everyone's been hearing about mobile usage being on the rise. With 50% of users relying on their mobile device as their main source of internet access, you better be looking for ways to make sure your contest can travel with them! In addition, it's estimated that video will make up 66% of mobile traffic by 2017. This means that video contests will see a leap in exposure and sharing, adding up to more traffic for your brand. If mobility hasn't been a focus, it's time to change that. Consider how your audience is using mobile devices, from phones to tablets. Plenty of businesses have underestimated the online usage of their following, believing that only a younger audience is savvy enough to utilize mobility. Don't make their mistake and underestimate your audience! Mobility is soaring, rapidly gaining more importance - something you don't want to miss out on.

Incorporate Pets

In the same way that seasonal/holiday contests are wildly popular, so are video contests that incorporate pets. Let's face it, social media users love sharing videos of cute animals! If you ask entrants to showcase their pets, your campaign will receive a major boost in sharability. Chances are, your following is more than willing to get their pet in on the contest. Another plus is the limitless creativity that can go into entries. Provide the challenge, and watch the creative (sometimes quirky!) results roll in.

Next trend: Seasonal/holiday video contests

The up side to hosting a seasonal/holiday themed video contests is that you're capitalizing on the festivity that your following brings to the table. There's nothing better than highlighting the excitement that comes with holidays like Halloween, or sharing the fun of winter months with your following through a video contest. Holiday contests are very popular for that exact reason. Videos that are relevant to the time of year, or the experiences of your followers are likely to get clicked on and be passed around their social media pages. Which means the contest is accomplishing exactly what it should be in terms of marketing outreach. Again, it's important to know your audience. If you're trying to reach a broad group, it might be best to consider doing a seasonal contest rather than one that focuses on a specific holiday. Not all holidays are universal, so be aware whether or not you're limiting your entry pool if you choose to go with a holiday theme. As always, trends are an excellent way to see what's catching people's attention. Make the most out of them by knowing your following and planning a contest that will hook their interest from the start.

5 Most Popular Video Contests For Kids

Video Contests For KidsLooking to engage a younger audience? We have 5 popular video contests for kids, with subject matter that's relevant to a younger crowd, and parents will sign off on.

Health and wellness

When we talk about health and wellness for kids, it can mean a few things. First, physical wellness, which has been getting a lot of attention recently from campaigns and contests. With kids being saddled with more and more homework, there are some great campaigns looking to make sure kids are getting enough play time to balance things out. An equally important component of health and wellness is tackling the issues surrounding mental health stigma for kids. Kids who live with depression, ADHD, and other mental health issues might not be receiving that much support from their peers, especially if their classmates are unfamiliar with mental illness. Stigma busting campaigns are an awesome opportunity to lend support and generate conversation among kids.

Pet care

Plenty of families have a beloved pet that doubles as an additional family member. Which means it’s a good idea to go over proper behavior around animals, including how to treat animals you don’t know. Campaigns around animal safety are another great conversation starter. On top of that, it’s a relevant topic that we don’t always think to talk about with the kids in our lives. Many campaigns geared toward animal safety allow kids to engage in the conversation in a way that feels comfortable for them. Whether their content is on the serious side, or funny and adorable, the main thing is that the conversation is taking place at all.

Talent

Allow kids to show off their skills! Plenty of campaigns focus on singing and dancing, and it’s truly amazing to see how talented kids are when they perform at a young age. The arts don’t always get the most attention in schools, so it’s great to see campaigns that work to reward kids for exploring and dedicating themselves to what they’re passionate about.

Caring for the environment

A lot of conversations about recycling and how to treat the environment are taking place in schools. With Earth Day, the push to recycle, and kids having a genuine interest and curiosity about the world around then, a contest about caring for our plant does pretty well. There are many different directions you can take with a contest like this. And, even better, it can turn into a classroom project, or school collaboration, which will add to the awareness for your campaign and what you’re doing.

Reading

Let kids start a conversation about their favorite authors or books. Whether it’s the wildly popular Harry Potter series, or the latest from a beloved author. Many libraries host summer reading programs, and kids all over celebrate National Reading Month. Help them get into the swing of things by asking what they like to read, and why it means something to them. Like any other contest, the key to pulling off a great kids contest is coming up with something that's relevant to the age group you're looking to engage. Topics like animals, reading, and anything that might come up at home and school are always a great place to start.

5 Video Contest Tips You Can't Forget To Implement

Video Contest TipsLets talk about video contest tips you need to implement to ensure your campaign is a success. There's a lot happening when you plan a contest, and it's easy for details to fall by the wayside. We understand the pressure to have a successful campaign. Here are our tips to make it happen:

Get organized

The prep stage of any campaign effort is the time to set the tone for the feel of the contest going forward. It's all about how you approach brainstorming, working together with your team, and pulling all of the details together to make a great contest. Whether you think so or not, it will make a difference. Start by fostering an environment that supports creativity and the sharing of ideas. How many good ideas will never be brought up if your team is afraid of being mocked or not taken seriously? Make everyone feel welcome to throw out what they're thinking in order to generate a dialogue. Same goes with any other interactions you may have surrounding the contest. Put your best foot forward, make the experience a positive one.

Check in with your competition

The last thing you want is to host a contest that mirrors what your competition is doing. It's great to check in and see what they're doing and how their successes and failures stack up, but your contest should be uniquely your own. Tap into your team's creativity, do something that sets you apart from the rest. Viewers aren't going to be drawn to a contest that they've seen before, especially if it's been done better. They want your fresh ideas, and a new spin on things. Check in to see what other people are doing, but don't rely on their ideas to advance your marketing!

Leverage social media

Give your traditional marketing avenues a boost with social media. If you want your contest and the content you receive to make the rounds, you'll need to promote the campaign through Twitter, Facebook, and your other platforms where links back to your site and the contest can be spread through sharing. An added bonus of advertising your contest this way is the fact that you're connecting viewers to content even after the contest is over. If you keep up a reliable stream of relevant tweets and other updates, contest viewers and participants will stick around to see what you're up to, which will have a greater impact in your long-term marketing goals.

Know when to close it down

If your contest doesn't generate the interest you were looking for, the temptation is to extend the closing date or even leave it dangling until you receive more entries. Don't do that! Avoid the temptation and stick with a firm closing date. A high volume of submissions looks good, in theory. But your contest goals shouldn't just be about the short-term. If you want to have a lasting positive impact you have to keep in mind that viewers aren't known for their attention spans. Generally, contests run for 4 weeks and then it's time to do a PR blitz to promote the winners and make sure contest buzz is reaching your target audience.

Use contest results

Before you move on to your next campaign make sure you have a plan to use the content you've received. We already know that video circulates really well on the web. Businesses have been utilizing it for that exact reason. It allows you to introduce your brand to a whole new audience, and gives you more control of your brand's image. So don't let the content sit once the contest is over. Make space for it on your site, share them on social media. They aren't doing your marketing efforts any good just sitting and gathering dust.

6 Video Contest Ideas For Your Next Marketing Campaign

Video Contest IdeasWe have 6 video contest ideas for your next marketing campaign. If you're feeling a little low on creativity, we've got you covered! The most important aspect of sitting down to come up with ideas is figuring out who you're looking to reach. With that in mind, here are ideas that reach out to a variety of demographics.

Babies

Everyone loves funny babies: Whether it's a cute giggle or surprising moment of hilarity caught on film, contests featuring babies as the main focus can lead to some of the greatest video out there. Encourage parents to submit clips of their funny baby for heartwarming, adorable content. Lend a hand to new parents: Have you checked out the price of diapers lately? How about formula? Baby basics are expensive. Nothing will get parents more excited for a contest faster than your offer to give out cash, diapers, or other necessities.

Kids and teens

The arts: Give kids and teens a chance to show off their talent and they'll be coming out in droves to participate in your video contest. Singing, dancing, you name it and there are plenty of talented kids who want to show you what they do best. Reward their talent with a relevant, age appropriate prize and you'll have parents on board, too. Summer plans: It's time to shake off the gloom of winter. Trade piles of snow and frigid temperatures with sunshine and summer vacation for excited kids and teens. Plan a video contest that allows them to share their summer plans. Whether it's what they're looking forward to most, or something as simple as their favorite summer spot - generate excitement about the long-awaited break from winter!

Adults

Pets: The internet is full of videos of our pets doing the things that make us love them more. (Or in some cases, frustrate us to no end!) The good news is there's no shortage of interest in watching dogs sing and cats fall off of our counter tops only to land on their feet and look smug about it. A video contest that shines some spotlight on our pets and their (mis)adventures can have fantastic results. Holiday themed: Holiday themed video contests are a hit when you're able to make the most of seasonal festivities. Get your brand in the spirit of things by planning holiday themed contests over the summer and into fall and winter. The trick to putting together an engaging contest idea is focusing on who your campaign is targeting. By narrowing your focus onto the desired demographic, you're more likely to come up with ideas that'll grab attention and generate interest in your campaigns.

A Video Contest Rules Template For Your Next Marketing Campaign

Video Contest Rules TemplateThe most exciting aspect of your campaign won't be explaining rules to prospective participants. But it's certainly an important one. We've created a video contest rules template that you can use for your next marketing campaign, in case you need help diving in. A successful campaign hinges on your ability to clearly convey rules and guidelines to entrants. You can come up with a great idea, reach out and genuinely connect to your following in a positive way - but if your contest rules are muddled, you're headed for a disaster. Avoid having to disqualify entries and frustrating your following by making your rules and other guidelines clear upfront.
Description
Begin by providing a simple description of what your contest entails. Here's an example: The Bravo Video 2014 Contest - Entrants will submit a video discussing a personal goal for the year 2014. The videos must be a minimum of 20 seconds long, maximum 45 seconds. Judges will select 1 winner who will be notified via email. 1st place will receive $500. One runner up will receive $250. The description should be clear and to the point. It's just a basic overview of what most entrants will already know, repeated in the rules for anyone who might be looking into the contest for the first time, or needs a refresher.
How to enter
Here's where you can list any eligibility restrictions. No need to go into detail, yet. For now just list any age or location restrictions before you discuss the rules for entering. Must be a legal resident of the United States, 18 years of age or older to participate in the contest. Participants must do the following:
  1. Must submit a video discussing a personal goal for 2014 to through the contest submission page.
  2. Submissions will not be accepted after March 1st, 2013.
  3. Multiple entries are not allowed.
Eligibility restrictions
Now you can go into more detail about the restrictions you mentioned in passing in the last section. Make sure to touch on everything from age restrictions to employee eligibility. If you have any doubts about whether an eligibility restriction should be included - go ahead and include it! Better to cover your bases than not.
  1. The contest is open to legal residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older at the time of contest registration.
  2. Employees of Bravo Video, affiliates, members of the immediate families (defined as spouse, child, sibling, parent, or grandparent), and members of the households (whether related or not) of any of the above are NOT eligible to participate or win in this contest.
  3. Participants agree to abide by applicable federal, state, local laws and regulations.
Prizes
This is an area of interest for all entrants! Let them know what the rules are concerning prizes. How can they claim it once they win? What happens if the winner is unable to accept? Address all of that here.
  1. If the winner is unable to accept the prize, the prize will be forfeited in its entirety.
  2. No substitution of prize is offered, no transfer of prize to a third party is permitted.
  3. Prizes will be awarded only upon winner verification and approval by Bravo Video.The winner will be notified by email within 30 days after winning.The winner or selected entrant will then have 30 days to respond with their information. If the winner or selected entrant is unable to be contacted within 30 days after being selected or is ineligible, the prize will be forfeited.
Other guidelines
Here's where you can put any last minute, still important, contest details.
  1. No purchase necessary. Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, local laws and regulations.
  2. Bravo Video retains the right to disqualify any contestant if the rules are not followed.
  3. Any information collected by registering to enter the contest shall be used only in a manner consistent with these Contest Rules.
  4. If the contest is not able to run as planned, without limitation, Bravo Video reserves the right to cancel, terminate, or modify the contest at their discretion.
Use this template as a starting point and model for your own marketing campaign. Your rules and guidelines will be different, but the outline should be similar to ensure a smooth campaign.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="invisible" size="small"][vc_single_image image="6273" img_size="full" animate="afl" img_link="https://www.getbravo.com/plans/plus"][vc_separator type="invisible" size="small"][vc_column_text]Estee Shaw
by Estee Shaw
Estee is the resident blogger here at Bravo Video. When she's not writing, she's thinking about what she'll write next. You can find her on Google+ and Twitter.

Funny Video Contest Ideas From 2013 And What We Can Learn From Them

We have highlights from 2013’s funniest video contests. Whether the content focuses on adorable babies or mischievous animals, these videos can have big impact on brand marketing thanks to the sharability factor.  Internet users spend a lot of time viewing video content, which is great news for your contest efforts. All you need is the right idea, something with sharability and widespread appeal, and you’re looking at a successful contest. Here are 3 of the funniest video contests of 2013 and what they got right.

First up: Purina Friskies search for the cutest cats

Purina Friskies hosted their 2013 video contest, calling for submissions of cats doing what they do best - being quirky and getting themselves into humorous or adventurous situations that we can laugh at and share with our friends. Contest categories broke down as follows: 1. CAT COMEDY: capture a cat (or multiple cats) in a humorous situation 2. RESCUE CAT: capture a cat (or multiple cats) adopted from a rescue group or shelter enjoying life 3. CATVENTURE: capture a cat (or multiple cats) on an indoor adventure 4. PURSUIT OF FOOD/TREAT: capture a cat (or multiple cats) pursuing or engaging with their cat food/treat Purina offered a variety of prizes ranging from a trip to NYC and $5000, to coupons for up to a year in food. The appeal of a contest like Purina’s is fairly obvious. The internet loves animals, especially if it means watching them do silly things that we can share through social media. On top of that, the prizes were a great incentive to draw people in and up the involvement.

Next we have a video submission sent into thebump.com looking for the cutest baby

This contest from thebump.com asked parents to send in submissions of their babies being funny. No question that this contest included the kind of appeal that’s needed to get the marketing effort off the ground. Pets are wildly popular in terms of sharing on social media, but cute or funny babies also do very well for obvious reasons! The grand prize winner was offered a $500 gift certificate to Babies ‘R Us. The contest had massive appeal to parents, and even got viewers in on the fun by asking them to rank the funniest babies through the voting process.

Finally we have a contest looking for the funniest horses, from Horsetrader.com

Horsetrader.com’s Funniest Horse Video Contest offers a similar appeal as Purina’s. They asked for funny videos of horses and asked that viewers get in on the judging by filling out information about themselves, including their email address. Horsetrader.com was able to get viewers in on the fun, promising them a reward for acting as judges. It was also an effective marketing tactic, asking for their email address with the understanding that the potential for a reward was enough of an incentive. The key to the success of video contests that aim to tickle viewer’s funny bones is the sharability factor. Horses, babies, and cats might not have much in common, but if you’re receiving content that will pique interest and get your viewers to laugh, they’ll be more likely to follow and participate in the contest.

Hassle-Free Video Contest Requirements

Video Contest RequirementsCreating clear and upfront video contest requirements will make for a smooth campaign experience. It'll also mean that the work you're doing behind the scenes will be easier. Organization won't be so stressful when you're running a campaign where the rules and requirements are known from the start and clearly communicated to entrants. For anyone who is just starting out with video marketing, it can be a challenge to know what requirements should be put in place. What'll work best for you and your contest ultimately boils down to knowing what you're looking to achieve.
Receiving video that represents your brand
Your requirements are going to come in handy in terms of allowing entrants to know upfront about the kind of video you're looking for. Plenty of brands are attempting to shape a marketing strategy that makes their brand look edgy. There's nothing wrong with  crafting a strategy that matches your brand and audience, but in the case of a lot of small businesses - edgy content isn't something that'll go over well. A lot of us realize that using edgy, often not safe for work content can attract attention, but have very little follow through when we're talking about actual engagement or brand loyalty. Which is why it's great for you to be clear about what your brand is looking for. It's okay to lay out requirements against cursing and other adult content because it means you have a handle on what would turn your viewers off of your content. Other considerations:
Placing a time limit
so you're receiving video that meets your needs. Whether it's short or on the longer side, you should be in control of content length.
Clear entry cutoff
can cut down on confusion about deadlines. Entrants don't usually have a favorable opinion of contests that make them feel tricked about deadlines or other requirements. Stay one step ahead of that problem by keeping reminders about dates and times in your posts.
How video will be used
for future marketing or whatever else you have in mind, is something that should be communicated with entrants. That way, the legal end of things is on the up and up and they're aware about how you may use whatever they put together.

How to Draft the Best Video Contest Ideas

Best Video Contest IdeasNudging creativity along for the sake of a campaign can be difficult. Here are some tips about how you can draft the best video contest ideas, minus the stress or burnout of forcing yourself into a creative mindset!

Know your limits

Rather than throwing out every outlandish video contest idea you can come up with, start by being aware of your boundaries. This can include budget, contest timeline, and expected turnout. Some people argue that bringing up these boundaries before a brainstorming session will drain the creativity. It might narrow your ideas, but I'm also of the opinion that it's better to know your limits upfront. Otherwise you're spending your energy discussing ideas that aren't plausible, which is an even bigger waste of time. The best thing to do is get everyone on the same page about what your limits are so you can get creative about how to stretch and work within them.

Be kind to encourage creativity

We all know that there is such a thing as a bad idea. Not every idea that gets pitched is going to be a winner. They won't all work for the campaign, or work for any campaign, but that doesn't mean you should shame whoever pitched it. If you're in an environment that's meant to foster creativity, the last thing you want to do is dress someone down in front of the entire room. It seems like common sense, but it bears repeating: Creativity won't flourish in a space where people feel embarrassed or nervous about throwing out ideas. Keep everyone at ease by starting the brainstorming session with campaign limits that you have to work within. From there you can encourage everyone by keeping up the positive energy in the room and setting an example for others to follow.

Keep track of whatever comes out of brainstorming

The good, the bad, and the ugly. Keep track of all of it so you can look back and put some of the better ideas toward future campaigns. If you don't already, it's a good idea to keep a pad of paper in front of you to take notes on while brainstorming. A lot of us use our tablet or laptop, which is great for convenience, just make sure you don't get caught up in typing and disengage from the conversations going on around you. Stay active in the conversations that are taking place, and maybe you'll even come away with more ideas beyond your current campaign efforts.

How To Maximize Your Video Contest Promotion

Video Contest PromotionYou've taken an awesome idea and turned it into a video contest promotion that will engage your fans and promote all the best aspects of your brand. Now it's time to tell everyone how great the contest is going to be. Here's how to maximize video contest promotion:

Zero in on where your audience hangs out

A lot of our focus can go to figuring out how we can solidify our presence on The Next Big Platform, which is great when we’re looking down the road at our marketing strategy and how it will evolve. But there’s a certain risk involved when we try to keep up our presence on mainstream social media platforms for the sake of having a presence there. We know major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google plus can do well in terms of reaching and growing our audience, and it's important to check out the online platforms where our following and prospective followers could be hanging out in the future, but what if we're missing something in the meantime? When it comes time to promote your contest, look at where your reach will have the most impact, while hitting the sites where your brand's presence is the strongest. If you have a strong presence on Twitter, come up with a strategy that will play up that strength instead of panicking about other sites where your audience isn't hanging out.

Include friendly reminders

No one likes reminders and updates that feel like spam. Start by personally contacting loyal followers to get the word out. From there, make your announcement an exciting one. Create a blog post that you can share across social media, getting people ready for the contest. Plan several reminders up until the contest begins, growing more frequent until kickoff. Schedule updates for each social media site and follow up with blog posts that talk more in-depth about the contest and prize. Including one reminder every so often won’t do much to advertise what you’re up to. You’ll need to consistently space out and plan reminders in order to keep the contest at the forefront of their attention.

Creative ways to advertise

There are plenty of ways you can get creative with promoting your contest. Your first concern should be raising initial awareness. That involves scheduling Tweets, posts, and producing blog content that is shareable and will get the word out. The second wave of promoting should have next to nothing to do with you. Plenty of contests include tweet to enter or share to enter features thanks to Twitter and Facebook. This is a simple but very important way to get word out about your contest. If you’re not careful, the first round of promotion, with posts and Tweets calling attention to your campaign, could start to feel like spam, causing followers to tune out. Keep them tuned in by using a Tweet to enter feature that will eliminate the spam factor while still bringing your campaign to the attention of friends and family.

Making Your Video Contest Judging Criteria As Transparent As Possible

Video Contest Judging CriteriaNothing can sour a campaign faster at the finish line than having people up in arms over the video contest judging criteria. People have been known to get pretty vocal if they think something wasn't quite right with the voting or the overall outcome of the contest. That kind of talk can circulate pretty quickly, and can harm the chances for future campaigns. To avoid upset entrants and speculation about the judging, it's up to you to make the whole process as transparent as possible. Here's how:

Provide reminders about rules and entry

Every contest includes a set of rules and guidelines to follow. Things like age requirement, content rights, and other important factors are spelled out so entrants know what they're getting into. Instead of posting the rules once, consider having them show up more frequently. Post-contest disgruntlement can happen when people feel they were treated unfairly, or didn't win because of a loophole in the rules. No one wants entrants or people watching the contest to walk away with bad feelings about it. Even if everything on your end was on the up-and-up, sometimes it's simply a matter of people not reading closely and then feeling cheated. Displaying the rules prominently and often is a way to eliminate the problem, by making sure the rules can't be missed.

Allow the public to handle voting

Allowing the public to vote through likes and other social media options benefits you in two ways. First, it's easier on your end. If you set up the means and process for voting on entries ahead of time, once it's time for the voting period to begin, you'll have done all the work already. More importantly, it gets people invested in what's going on in the contest, and makes them feel like they're being judged more fairly. If you take up the judging side of things, there's a greater chance that any dissatisfaction with the results will be linked, fairly or not, to your brand for future contests.

The takeaway

For your next contest, keep the video contest judging criteria visible. Link to it often, and make sure the language and meaning about what you're looking for is clear. Also, consider who's going to be in charge of judging. It can be a lot easier, and it'll go over well if you let the public dictate the outcome of the contest.

Rough start? Our Video Contest Tips To Get Your Campaign Back On Track

Video Contest TipsHas your contest gotten off to a rough start? You'll need some video contest tips to get it back on track. First, realize that every campaign has its own bumps along the way. No matter how much planning, little things here and there can always go a little differently than we plan. And that's okay. If you're known for having a sharp eye for detail, and staying on top of those little things, this can sound bizarre. It's okay? But I want a perfect campaign! The secret is that your campaign can still be perfect, still garner the results you're looking for, regardless of what's happening behind the scenes.

Keep calm and figure out what's happening

What exactly is going wrong? Is it a budget issue, or an advertising blunder? If you don't know exactly what's causing the problem, you won't be able to take the steps to solve it. Start by gathering your team. Have a frank discussion about the status of the contest, which will give you a good idea about how everyone else is feeling, and who might not be keeping up with what's been happening. In the process of figuring out what's going wrong, it's also a good idea to know who makes it a priority to remain invested in the contest, as opposed to someone who tunes out, and might not be pulling their weight.

Be careful not to make changes too soon

Calling all detail-oriented folks! Sometimes we have a hard time seeing beyond what's happening immediately. Maybe your numbers aren't where you, or more frighteningly, your boss, would like them to be. There are a host of big and small things that could go wrong at the start of the campaign that could potentially make you feel a little frayed around the edges. The trick is to hang in there. In a lot of cases, you haven't actually done anything wrong, which would warrant altering your campaign. Most of the time it's a matter of settling in and watching cautiously as your planning and hard work begins yielding results. Don't make the mistake of changing things up too soon due to nerves.

Don't scrap the contest!

Deliver on what you promise. If your turnout isn't what you were aiming for, or any number of details don't pan out the way you were looking for them to, the solution is not to scrap the contest. Not delivering on what you've promised won't sit well with those who did take the time to enter your contest and show an active interest. It could turn them off of future campaigns, and that's a good way to make your turnout even lower next time.

Learn for next time

Each video contest has its own unique set of challenges and hurdles you have to clear. The key is to devote yourself to constantly learning and taking in what you can do better. That way, you'll be ready to face down a similar problem in the future and keep your cool!

Summer Video Contest Ideas: 2014 Edition

Summer Video Contest IdeasDo you have any summer video contest ideas? If you haven't started considering your campaign options, now is a good time to dig in. Summer provides a variety of options if you make the most of the warm weather and family time. Here are a few to get you started:
Favorite spot
Everyone is looking forward to venturing out into their community as the weather takes a turn for the better. Whether it's a coffee shop or the park where they walk the dog, ask that they show off their favorite spot. You can have viewers vote on their favorite spot, based on the criteria you provide.
Summer trip
One of the best parts of summer is getting to travel, especially for families that need to wait until school's out to get away. Celebrate family time, and all the great memories attached to hanging out and kicking back by asking families to share their summer vacation plans.
Holidays
Mother's Day, Father's Day, July 4th - Summer has a variety of holidays that you can tap into. Ask people to share their favorite holiday traditions, whether it's a recipe or family outing.
Reading list
Reading lists are pretty common for kids to take part in over their summer break. There's no reason adults can't get in on it and share their favorite quotes and why they're meaningful, or compete to provide a clever, abstract description of a well-known book and see who can guess the title.
Back to school
Wind the season down with a campaign that looks toward fall. This provides a great opportunity for entrants to share memories from the summer, fond things they can look back on as the weather cools and the leaves begin to change.
The takeaway
Summer campaigns really give you a chance to get creative. There are a ton of themes you can run with. Treat the ideas here like a jumping off point for your brand to do something awesome this summer.

Taking Your Video Contest Promotion From Good to Great

Video Contest PromotionTaking your video contest promotion from good to great has a lot to do with preparation. Any campaign that's going to turn out well requires in-depth knowledge of your audience, including how you're going to reach out to them, and the best way to go about it.
Figuring out your audience
Knowing your audience requires more than the basics. It's great if you know gender, age, and so on. But, more importantly, where do they spend their time? We know how powerful social media can be in driving conversation about our brand and our latest campaigns, but there's something to be said about taking the time to figure out which platforms will do the most for your campaign, rather than using all of them and hoping something sticks. Having a basic understanding of where your audience will be, and what keeps them there is key for pulling off successful promotion. Whether it's Facebook or a smaller, up-and-coming site, you should be keeping up so you can have a better understanding of who you're appealing to.
Savvy promotion
Once you have a better understanding of the audience you're shooting to connect with, how you go about it should be the next thing on your mind. A lot of time, brands lose their audience by either going overboard with posts and notifications about their contest, rather than posting too little. Both can have negative impacts of your contest, mostly resulting in low turn-out. The important thing is to find a balance. Once you locate which websites, platforms, and offline means of marketing you're going to use to get the word out about your contest, it's up to you to determine that balance between too much and too little advertising. As a rule of thumb, avoid posting huge walls of text that bore your readers, or spamming their timelines with advertisements about the contest. Instead, plan updates for strategic times, such as when you're most likely to have high traffic online, times when interaction has been great in the past.
The takeaway
Successful video contest promotion really boils down to committing to grow and learn. Whether it's learning more about your audience or improving your means of communication, there's nothing more powerful to your campaign efforts than having a team of people willing to push themselves to achieve new, great things.

The Anatomy Of A Great Video Contest For High School Students

Video Contest For High School StudentsA great video contest for high school students requires a few important elements. It takes some consideration outside what will interest a younger crowd. First up, getting parents on board.

What are parents okay with?

When we talk about creating a campaign for teens, it's vital to consider what will get them interested. What topics will they find engaging? If it's not something they'd want to explore, your contest could have a way lower turn-out than you're hoping for. It's obviously important to consider what will appeal to teens, but not at the expense of forgetting what their parents will be on board with. Some of your contest entrants will probably be eighteen, especially if they're high school seniors. Even if they are legal adults, parents can still have the final say about what they get involved with.
Before you try to build a campaign around subject matter that might appeal to teens and turn parents off of your brand, consider going with something that will appeal to both.
Parents like seeing their teens engaged in something educational. Many contents ask teens to talk about their health and safety with videos about dangerous driving, or anti-drug campaigns. And despite the bad rap teens get for being anti-anything educational, they'll get involved if you make it interesting enough and provide a cool prize as incentive.

Prizes that entrants will love

In terms of incentive and appeal, cash is a pretty big one. Cash prizes appeal to any age group, but it's also great for high school students who are putting money aside for college. Going back to getting parents on board, it also makes sense on that front. I don't know many parents who are going to turn down the chance for their college-bound teen to get creative and make some money while they're at it. If you can promote your contest as an opportunity for cash, or a scholarship of some kind, you'll generate more interest than if you offer something that really doesn't fit your age group. It's an added bonus if you're a small business looking to drive more engagement within your community. There are plenty of businesses that make their contest a yearly thing, something for students to look out for as the end of the school term approaches. There's no reason your business couldn't be one of them!

The takeaway

A great video contest for high school students is one that's engaging, educational, and offers a great prize. It can be a great way to strengthen involvement in your community, and it's more likely to get the green light from parents if it's friendly for all ages.

The Best Video Contests For Teenagers

Video Contests For TeenagersHow do you make sure your contest is reaching out to a younger crowd? The best video contests for teenagers speak to their interests, or offer a prize that does. That doesn't mean you need to throw energy drinks and memes at them in a bid to appear relateable and gain their attention. We get that not all businesses will appeal to teens, so it's up to you to create a video contest that does. With the right elements, you can make sure your contest draws in the crowd you're aiming to reach. Check out a few of the known hits with teens to get some ideas brewing. Not surprisingly, contests that provide cash or scholarship opportunities tend to do well with teenagers. They're willing to get creative to earn extra money for college expenses, provided you give them a great idea to jump start that creativity. Whether it's for the White House or a small business, it's a great opportunity on both ends. Connecting with a younger following can be difficult if your product or business doesn't naturally lend itself to attracting that demographic.We know that teens spend a great deal of time on social network, but that doesn't ensure that you're reaching them. Your business may be reaching peers or a specific demographic, but with the right contest idea you can easily expand that demographic. Teens don't usually run out to endorse the marketing efforts of law firms, car dealerships, and small businesses. But they do spend a lot of their time consuming video. Which is why contests that make it more about them, their interests, do well. As far as prizes go, cash is universal. Its strength lies in the fact that it doesn't appeal only to a niche audience. Instead, people of all ages, depending on the nature of the contest, are likely to enter. Another popular contest idea for teens are ones that bring awareness to issues that impact them. A good example of this is Bridgestone's Teens Drive Smart. The contest aims to highlight the high number of auto fatalities that claim the lives of teens. The subject matter isn't lighthearted, but it's an important conversation, and the winners receive scholarship money. Other topics range from the dangers of underage drinking to video contests that promote environmentally friendly living. Contest ideas should use the creativity of younger generations to your advantage. With the right prompt, teens are able to use technology at their disposal to create amazing video. It's all a matter of knowing how to reach them.

Video Contest Best Practices: Use Clear & Concise Rules

Video Contest Best PracticesPlanning out contest rules and guidelines isn't going to be the most exciting aspect of your contest. But implementing clear and concise rules will save you from more than a few headaches and potential roadblocks over the course of your video campaign. It's important, especially if this is the first contest you're hosting, to really consider everything that could be misunderstood, or cause some confusion. The rules you consider a no-brainer might not be that self explanatory to your audience, and could require a more in-depth explanation. It might not be the most fun you’ll have all day, but taking the time to spell everything out will be worth it when your contest goes off without any rule-related issues!

What clear and concise looks like

There are certain specifics that you want entrants to know. Including: Deadline for entry: A quick blurb about specific dates and times, unless you plan on having a never-ending contest, which I’m sure isn’t the case! Eligibility: Are you allowing followers from outside the US to enter? Also, do contestants have to be over 18? Or is this a kid/teen friendly contest? Avoid confusion by letting them know from the beginning. Minimum and maximum length: How long should their video be? If you're looking to keep videos on the short or long side, here’s your chance to state what it is you’re aiming for. Otherwise, you run the risk of receiving 10+ minutes of video. If your end goal is to use the video you receive for quick, clean promotion, you'll want to receive content that's to the point. Profanity and other content restrictions: Sometimes we assume that rules like this go without saying. Even if it seems like it goes without saying, say it! Unless your contest is catering to an older crowd where adult language is acceptable, let them know that any entries with language or questionable content will be tossed out. It's up to you to set the parameters for what's acceptable. Use of submissions: Spell out your rights to submitted content. This includes your future plans to share content on social media, offline, or not at all. Terms for winners: This is where you deal with issues like substitutions, your responsibility for any unexpected taxes or fees placed on the awarded prizes, and any requirements for proof of eligibility. Miscellaneous: Your catch-all. Any of the other terms of service that didn’t make it into the already mentioned categories can go here.

The takeaway

It’s best to have several pairs of eyes looking at your video contest rules to make sure you’re covering all your bases. Even if you think you’ve got it all, ask others on your team to take a look. Better safe than sorry! Additionally, make sure that prospective entrants can easily look up the rules. It’s good to include them beneath the general contest information so they can be easily referenced in case contestants need to check them out from time to time. Your followers shouldn’t have to hunt to find them. Keep them in plain sight so they’re aware of what they should expect, and you're well on your way to having a smooth video contest!

Video Contest Judging Criteria: 3 Popular Things To Look For

Video Contest Judging CriteriaVideo contest judging criteria can make or break a contest. If you aren't clear about what you're looking for, people are less likely to enter, leaving you with a small pool of confused entrants. Be upfront about what you want to see, so people can deliver. Here are 3 popular starting points for your video contest judging criteria:

Meets basic contest objective

At the risk of being too broad, let's narrow this point. Every contest has a basic objective, right? Entrants are asked to focus on an idea, or theme. There's some wiggle room on the execution and interpretation, but the theme is something that should link all the entries together, overall. If your contest is asking people to focus on a beloved holiday tradition, and their video response discusses something totally out of left field, it's obviously missing the mark! It's totally valid to designate a portion of the judging criteria to whether or not entries meet the objective. If a video doesn't mesh with the objective of the other videos, or lacks the coherency that establishes a clear meaning, this is the area where they'd lose points for it.

Content

Content is another broad category, but it plays a huge part in judging, so here's how you can break it down: Creativity: Are you going to reward entries that think outside the box? Would you rather they be straightforward, with content that's to the point? Make it clear what you're shooting for, and if risk will be rewarded. Most contest judging criteria has tiers, such as a 1-5 point system that gives a 5 for exceptional creativity, and 1 for a lack of originality. Entrants will appreciate you being upfront about how you plan to score them, so they have an idea what a winning video will look like. Production: Depending on the kind of contest you're hosting, and the crowd you're catering to, production can have a lot to do with judging criteria. Quality of video, including lighting, sound and other basics can all factor into selecting a winner. If you're asking for longer video content, you can even look at how smooth transitions are, and whether the editing compliments the flow of content.

The little details

Minimum and max time limits, adult content - what will disqualify entries immediately? It's so important to be clear in order to eliminate confusion about what is and isn't acceptable, or what you're looking for from the video contest. You would think some things would be common sense, but you always want to cover your bases just in case. Include these details as a reminder, and to prevent anyone coming away from the contest with bad feelings because they believe their submission was rejected unfairly.

Video Contest Marketing Tips To Boost Your Campaign

Video Contest Marketing TipsAre you making the most of video contest marketing? We have 3 tips to make sure you’re accomplishing what you need to. The whole point of putting together an awesome, successful contest is to establish and foster connections while getting the word out about your brand, right? A video contest can accomplish this and more thanks to the interest they generate. Paired with the online appetite for video viewing, and you’ve got a great marketing campaign on your hands. It's just a matter of knowing how to make the most of what a contest can do for your business.

Include links back to your site

Video is known for its sharability, but if your content is making the rounds without information that leads viewers back to your website - it's not doing its job as well as it could be. Make sure viewers who are intrigued, or want to know more, can do so through relevant links. This is especially important when you consider that content takes time to deliver results. It might not show up immediately in search results, which is why you'll benefit more in the long-term if you make sure viewers know how to find you. The contest will be over, but it’s up to you to make sure the impact is a lasting one.

Be on your best behavior

This seems like a no-brainer, but hear me out! The way your brand conducts itself will impact the involvement and success of future contests. If the contest ends up having a lower turnout than you would have liked and you decide to scrap it, or you are able to make important, lasting connections with followers - good or bad, followers will remember all of it. Put your best foot forward. Answer any questions entrants might have in a polite, timely manner. Keep up conversations surrounding the contest on social media. Also, when the contest ends, make a deal about who won. You're excited about a successful marketing effort, but don't forgive to spend some time congratulating the winner. People will be curious about who won, and the winner will love receiving congratulations and recognition!

Put video content to good use

What happens once the contest is over? Hopefully your game plan includes capitalizing on the video you've received. You can create a page dedicated to displaying content from the contest on your website. Make it easy for consumers who are just discovering your brand to learn more about you and browse through content. Take it a step further by sharing video contest entries on social media. Entrants will be thrilled to share their content with family and friends. Since your contest idea is awesome - the content is likely to get passed around and gain attention. Both of these options will allow you to continue making connections through content. If you stop short, letting video content gather dust - it's a missed opportunity. Keep up the creativity, and keep people viewing, sharing, and talking about your brand.

Video Contest Promotion Tips For Summer Holidays

Video Contest Promotion Warm weather and family vacation plans are on the brain, but how's your summer video contest promotion planning shaping up? If you're going to use any of the summer holidays to build a fun, summer campaign, it's time to start thinking about how you'll handle promotion!
First up, timing.
It would be great if we could plan an awesome campaign and then let the promotion fall into place without too much effort. But getting the word out takes more work than that, and a little bit of strategy. A lot of us fear starting our promotion too late, and with good reason. It doesn't matter how well you put together your campaign, if your promotion isn't happening until the last minute, then no one is going to hear about it. Then you're facing low turn-out and other problems that you'll have to answer for.
What doesn't get talked about a lot is the danger of promoting too early.
There's a balance that you need to strike up between promoting your video contest when holiday excitement is high, but also having enough time for blog posts and social media to be effective in reaching your audience. If you're going to be rolling out a campaign for Father's Day, or the 4th of July, you have to time your promotion so it's reaching your audience with enough time to get in on it.
It's important to know that starting your promotion too soon will result in lower turn-out due to prospective entrants putting off their entry and not coming back to it.
The takeaway
There's something to be said about finding that balance for promoting your contest. When you're thinking in terms of building a contest around a summer holiday, it requires a little more strategizing on your part. Between capitalizing on the holiday buzz, and not promoting too soon and losing interest, you've got a unique set of circumstances on your hands. Any concerns you have about promoting too early or late can be handled by sitting down and creating a timeline where you're able to reach your audience in a way that makes sense and will be most effective for the campaign.

Video Contest Requirements For Your Next Campaign

Video Contest RequirementsIt's time to consider video contest requirements that'll work best for your next campaign. Whether you're just starting out or already have a few under your belt, the most important thing to keep in mind is whether or not your campaign is helping future marketing efforts. Thinking about the content you're looking to receive now and how it can help you out in the long-term is really a key part of your campaign strategy. If you're receiving video without looking to the future, you're probably missing out on the chance to use it for its full potential.
Requirements that compliment future marketing efforts
Content The video that you put out there needs to have a connection to all that your brand stands for. If you receive content through your contest that promotes values or a message that doesn't convey your message, it's not going to do much good to tell people what you're about. Length Viewers aren't known for their attention spans. Video is being consumed more and more, but you're not doing yourself any favors if you're trying to circulate video that doesn't grab or hold attention. Make sure you're letting contest entrants know that you have a specific video length in mind, rather than letting them choose and running the risk of receiving content that has to be heavily edited. Shareability Do people want to share content from your contest or are they clicking away? In order to circulate and do well, your contest idea needs to demand engaging content. A lot of brands stress and put too much pressure on themselves without realizing that some of the best ideas are the simplest.
The takeaway
Contests are exciting because they allow you to engage your following and do all sort of outreach to people who are hearing about what you do for the first time. A lot of the effort you put into these campaigns will come back to you in a big way if you also keep your eye on what content you're receiving now can do in the future to promote what your brand's all about.

What Makes A Good Video Contest App?

Video Contest AppRather than making your life more difficult, a video contest app is doing its job if it makes things a little easier on you throughout the duration of your contest. You've got a lot on your plate without having to manage every detail of the contest on your own. An app can be a huge help with organization, and making sure everything runs smoothly on your end.

Here's what you'll want to look for

Collecting entries
You can embed an app onto your site, as well as on your Facebook page. This provides more options for your entrants, widening your pool. You can also ask for entries via Twitter, using a specific hashtag to automatically enter. Providing several ways to enter your video contest is convenient for the people looking to do just that. It increases your reach by targeting entrants where they’re already hanging out.
Sharing
It's in your best interest to make sure entrants can share their video, or other videos from the contest on social media. Who doesn’t want free advertising for their contest? It's an effective way to get the word out about the contest while introducing unfamiliar consumers to your brand in a positive way.
Submission and voting timeline
Control the contest timeline, including the cut off for entries. Every contest has a start and end date, unless you plan on running yours forever! Give entrants enough time to know about the contest you’re running and why they should want to enter and then set a date when you’ll close submissions two begin judging.
Customization
You don't want a generic design that looks like it could belong to any brand. Customize your contest people make the link between it and your brand. Include your logo and incorporate your brand’s colors. Your app should allow you to play around with design so you end up with something that compliments your brand rather than clashes.
Data
Does your app let you access the information used to enter the contest? If not, that's a problem. Email and other information is great for you to reach out and make new contacts. If your app doesn't give you this access, it's better to look elsewhere so you don't end the contest losing out on valuable info!

The takeaway

Not all video contest apps are created equal. It's best to do your homework to make sure you get what you need. That means assessing what you're looking for early on to prevent a last minute scramble to find the right app for you. Doing a little research can go a long way, especially if it's your first contest and you're not totally sure what you should be looking out for.

Which Video Contest Plugin Features Really Matter?

Video Contest Plugin FeaturesWhat do you need out of a video contest plugin? You'll want to think about your contest endeavors and where you plan on taking them in the future before you make your decision. Here are a few features to keep in mind:

Mobility is a must

Mobility should be high up on your list of priorities. Mobile usage is soaring, especially among consumers who want to check in with their favorite brands on-the-go. Whether at home or out and about a huge chunk of online usage is facilitated through mobile devices. Your video contest plugin should accommodate the rise in mobile usage so you know you're effectively reaching prospective entrants. It doesn't look like mobility will be slowing down anytime soon. If your plugin isn't allowing you to receive submissions from devices, it's not going to do much for your business and it's going to turn away potential entrants.

Getting social

How does your plugin interact with social media? Similar to the mobility factor, social media is essential to get word out about the contest and make it a success. If you check out video contests on Twitter, you'll return a wide variety of results. Make sure your contest is getting out there and reaching the right people thanks to features that allow entrants to share their involvement with friends and family on their social media pages. It's vital that you keep entrants and everyone else following your contest up-to-date on relevant information like an approaching end date. You can also make sure followers remain interested by using social media as a means to gather points. Some contests use Facebook likes as a means to enter or add points to their entry. It's all a matter of what your plugin allows and then getting creative!

Front and back end organization

Your plugin should help you stay organized especially if you're running multiple contests at once that require your team to be on their toes. You should be able to monitor comments on contests or entries and choose whether or not you want to receive an email each time another entry is submitted. On the back end of things you can choose what limitations to put on admins in regards to their rights to the contest. Another important aspect is being able to take a look at statistics that show how the contest is progressing over days and weeks. Again, the plugin should help with organization, not make things more difficult! You already have enough to deal with by putting together a campaign, make sure there isn't a breakdown and keep things running smoothly.

Playlist potential

When all is said and done, what are you doing with the video you receive during the contest? Hopefully your answer doesn't include letting them sit and gather dust. Instead, keep the marketing ball rolling! Your videos won't be doing you any good if they aren't being viewed and shared. A playlist allows you to stream the videos you want others to see. This also means that you can adjust which videos are being viewed depending on how they work with other future marketing efforts. You'll have new video contests, different campaigns - all providing an opportunity to display what's relevant at the time.
In terms of upping your marketing strategy - video contests are an excellent way to dig in.
With the right idea you can draw interest to your brand and begin fostering meaningful relationships based on that interest. Make sure your plugin is doing the most to help your marketing efforts succeed.

Which Video Contest Requirements Should You Use In Your Next Campaign?

Video Contest RequirementsWhich video contest requirements should you use in your next campaign? There are a few factors at play when you ask yourself a question like this. Take into consideration who your audience is, as well as where they’ll be hanging out online, and create requirements that’ll work in your favor based on these details.

First up, having family friendly content.

Some brands do really well by using content that's edgy to grab attention. It works perfectly for products that are clearly adult-oriented, but how about your brand? Unless you're selling a product aimed at adults only, it's better to stick with content that's family-friendly, rather than risk turning off consumers. Having edgy content is a good way to draw attention to yourself, but attention for the sake of attention isn't always a good thing! A solid picture of what you want your brand to be now and in the future is a good way to gauge whether content will fit the image you're looking to project.

Length

How are you planning on using the video content once the contest is over? If you're going to make the most of it by sharing it in future marketing efforts, you're going to want to be conscious of length. The majority of viewers tune out quickly. Keep their attention by placing a time limit on the content you receive. The rule of thumb seems to be sticking to 30 seconds - 1 minute long. There are exceptions to every rule, but tread carefully to avoid loss of interest.

Tweet/share to enter

Use the point of entry as a means for getting the word out about your video contest. Tweeting or liking to enter on Twitter and Facebook are two ways to accomplish that. That way, friends, family, and other followers are going to see your contest on their feed, all without you having to spam them with Tweets and status updates. Similarly, if you're heading to a different platform, like tumblr., you can count follows/reblogs as entries. Liking a post on tumblr. won't count for much, but reblogs can increase exposure and up contest awareness. Again, it's all about understanding where your following is going to be hanging out and getting creative with entry so it works in your favor!

Why Video Contest Promotion Is Key To A Successful Campaign

Video Contest PromotionHow's anyone going to know about your great idea if you don't promote it? Video contest promotion for a successful campaign is about more than flooding social media with news and updates about what you're doing. Let's take it in steps:

The Before

Before your contest is unveiled, when you're still in the planning stages, it's time to i.d. your target audience. Specifically, where they hang out online, offline, and in general. Even if you've already spent time recently looking at who you're targeting, look again. Better to confirm what you know rather than go forward not knowing! Once you've done your homework, make a plan. What is your video contest promotion going to look like? What spots do you need to be hitting on and offline? This is when you'll be able to formulate that promotion plan based on what you're learning about your audience. If you get to the end of the planning stage without knowing the answer to these questions, it's an indicator that you still have some work to do before your contest is ready to launch.

The During

Now it's time to put the plan into action. There are a few things that can happen during your contest that will get in the way of success. The first is under-promoting your contest. Throwing out a few status updates or Tweets about your new, awesome contest isn't enough to catch attention or push involvement. In the same vein, flooding social media with promotional messages is going to turn people off what you're doing. If you're not sure how to strike a balance, consider how you interact with the brands you love on social media. Get together with your team to identify the right amount of activity based on the size of the following you already have, and what your presence already looks like. Another problem can occur when your contest doesn't immediately take off in the way you think it will. It can be panic-inducing to watch things unfold, or field questions about how the contest is doing and when it's going to pick up. The urge to scrap your promotion plan might be strong at that point. Sit tight. Aside from making small, careful adjustments - it's usually not in your best interest to totally overhaul what you've planned out due to panic and uncertainty. The easy fix is to put your anxiety at ease by making huge changes, or scrapping the contest, altogether. Don't give in to your nerves. Instead, remember that contest engagement can do amazing things for long-term marketing. Not everything will happen in the short-term, and that's okay. Instead, remember that you carefully planned your promotional efforts. Have faith in what you and your team put together, and go forward understanding that you won't always see immediate pay-off.

The After

The contest is over. It was a huge success and your boss is pleased with the results. Or maybe it fell a little flat in comparison to your expectations. Whatever the end result, now's the time to look back and see what you did well, and what can be improved for next time. It's a good idea to sit with the data and your promotion plan to understand how it might have impacted the success of your contest. Chances are, if this is your first contest, you've learned a great deal for your next campaign. Take it all in, and plan to apply it for the next round. It's always important to examine your failures, but remember to reward your successes, too. Each campaign provides a learning experience. Good or bad - you now know way more than you knew going in.

Why Video Contest Widgets Are So Critical To Your Campaign's Success

Video Contest WidgetWhat can video contest widgets do to make your campaign a success and easier on you? Turns out, quite a bit. If you're someone who's still working on how to be better at organization, a widget can streamline the process for you. Let's talk about how.
What they are
First up, what is a contest widget? A widget allows you to easily launch a video contest on your website, blog, and Facebook page with the help of a simple embed code. All it takes is a quick copy and paste of the code onto your site, and you can start receiving and organizing content. Zero hassle and you're good to go!
What a contest widget can do for you and your campaign
Above all else, a video contest widget can really simplify the process of receiving content. Not just for you, but for entrants as well. A widget placed on your site, including social media platforms, will allow content to be recorded, reviewed, and voted on. All in one stop. Rather than having your entrants navigate to different sites, they can record their video and then go ahead and check out other videos, and even go through the voting process. On your end, a widget will allow you to keep track of what your receiving, which becomes even more important while voting is happening. Once the voting period is over, you can easily scroll through and view the videos with the highest number of votes. The alternative means that you're saddled with collecting and organizing video as it comes in, which can get overwhelming pretty quickly. A widget can ease things on the organization end, and really smooth out the campaign process for you and everyone else involved.

Fall Video Contest Promotion Tips

Video Contest Promotion TipsIn need of some video contest promotion tips for your fall campaigns? You're in the right place! Now that we've made the transition from summer to fall, it's time to get down to business and finalize all the last-minute details for your upcoming campaigns. Have you considered the best time to begin promoting, or how video submission will work? We've got you covered!
Capitalize on seasonal themes
If you're looking for ways to increase your number of entrants, and capture the interest of others following along with the campaign, your best bet is to capitalize on seasonal themes. All around us, brands are prepping for the change in seasons. Displays in the grocery store change, big name brands start rolling out new products and deals to get in the spirit. Here are a few examples of campaigns that'll draw interest based on seasonal ties:
  • Back to school
  • Halloween
  • Giving thanks
  • Gearing up for winter
You're going to have an easier time promoting a contest that's relevant to the time of year, and by extension, the mindset of your entrants, than one that isn't.
All in bringing the details together
One of the biggest mistakes we can make in video contest promotion is a lack of organization. I'm not going to pretend that organization comes easy to me. The key is that I've recognized that it's not one of my strengths, and I've done something about it. If you're the same, it means figuring out how to bring every aspect of your contest together, so you don't wind up promoting too late. There's a fine balance between promoting too early or too late. As a rule of thumb, it's best to begin getting the word out about a month before your contest deadline. It gives entrants enough time to consider the contest and what entering will require of them, without giving so much time that they put off their entry, or forget about it, altogether. In order to begin promoting in a timely manner, you definitely have to have your contest organized down to the finest details. Save yourself a lot of time and trouble, and make sure everything's in order from the start!
Make submission easy
Submission might not seem like a facet of promotion, but it can have a lot to do with whether or not entrants decide your contest is worth their time, or if they'll come back for future contests, which makes it something that deserves more attention than it normally receives. It's a detail that you might not think about in great detail, but it's one that will stick with entrants, and can be used as a contest promotion selling point if it's quick and easy. First question to consider: Can entrants submit to your contest on-the-go? If not, that might come back to haunt you in the form of a lower turnout than you'd hoped for. If mobile compatibility hasn't been on your radar, it definitely should be. Think of how easy it is to capture video when you're out and about, with a phone or tablet. If you're encouraging the kind of video that's quick and candid, or can highlight your product or service in action, you're working against yourself if the submission process isn't mobile, and easy. If you throw up too many roadblocks, it's going to turn people away. Try to put yourself in the shoes of entrants. Consider what information you're asking for, how long the process is - and if the length of the process is worth the prize you're awarding. You want it to be as straightforward and streamlined as possible, that way, entrants are more likely to come back to participate in future contests.

How Formstack's Conversion Report Can Help Boost Video Contest Conversion Rates

Formstack recently released the The Form Conversion Report, which thoroughly reviewed form submission data across their platform.  As an added bonus, we were able use this data to gather some valuable insights into increasing video contest conversion rates.
Which component is key for engaging your audience and boosting conversions?
Formstack's Conversion Report 2014According to Formstack's report, email marketing is still a top channel for reaching and engaging your audience. In fact, 61% of Formstack customers say that email was responsible for driving the most traffic to their forms, which shows that email has more power than we might give it credit for.
What this means for you
Rather than retiring email as a means to promote your video contest, Formstack's report has cemented the importance of using it to communicate effectively and drive involvement. Think about it.  How are you currently reaching your audience? We know that leveraging social media is a popular way to provide exposure to your video contest campaign.  But in the process of posting and tweeting, have you left email behind? The best way to get positive results is to pay attention to the channels which enable you to communicate effectively and reach your audience.  In this case, email has come out on top.
Timing is everything
So you're trying to promote your video contest to a select group of participants.  But when's the most opportune time to engage them? According to Formstack, activity for contest submissions is highest between 1-3PM, with a brief window at 8PM: Formstack's Conversion Report
Mobile is a must
Formstack's Form Conversion ReportFormstack also found that smartphone users are reaching for their device around 150 times a day. Contests that aren't mobile-friendly are missing out on a huge group of people who could be participating if they had the opportunity to do so. The takeway?  Use video contest software that's mobile-friendly!
And don't forget...
Be sure to get to know your audience. Understand when they're most responsive and what they respond well to. Make a habit of checking the analytics behind your video contest, so you know when your emails and other posts are having the most impact. Thanks to Formstack, we have a better idea of how we can successfully reach our audience to increase conversions.

Why Video Contest Software Became So Popular In 2013

Video Contest SoftwareWas it a fluke that made video contest software become so popular in 2013? Hardly. Without the demand for software to make campaigns easier and more efficient to launch, the demand for software wouldn't have spiked the way it did. Let's talk a little more about why the demand was there in the first place.
Demand
The demand to easily launch campaigns was there for a few reasons. Attitudes about marketing and reaching audiences have been shifting. More and more campaigns are relying less on the endless stream of money that large corporations can pour into marketing. Campaigns with big budgets and nearly endless resources might look pretty great when they're all put together. But what are those campaigns really accomplishing by throwing money at their marketing without actually building a relationship with their audience? Instead of throwing money at marketing, something accomplished exclusively by the big guys, campaigns that use way less money and head to consumers to generate conversations through content are taking off. With the ease of reaching consumers through social media, it only made sense that software would need to play catch up to this new, ever-expanding way of reaching out and hearing from the people whose voices matter most.
Ease of use
When you're talking about the rapid growth of video contest software, a huge factor is the ease of use. Think about it. Would we be clamoring for software that made our lives more difficult? Not likely. The ability to launch a campaign - managing several at once, even - while moderating, sharing, and collecting the analytics was all uncomplicated by the use of video contest software. Managing multiple campaigns has never been easier. Getting consumers in on the conversation, readjusting the focus of our campaigns so they're the focus, rather than making them feel like we're talking at them has been a key part of the growth of software. The great thing about video contest software is that the growth isn't over. Marketing is always altering and re-shaping, influenced by our audience and the technology that's coming out to meet our needs.

3 Great Ideas for Video Testimonial Contests

3 Great Ideas for Video Testimonial ContestsGetting the best testimonial for your business doesn't require paying for those videos. Effective video testimonial contests can bring you a wide range of options to choose from, many of them even exceeding your expectations. Running one of these contests is as simple as sharing it with your followers on social media and previous customers via email, but knowing just what type of contest to run can be more difficult. Here are a few ideas for creating more powerful video testimonial contests.
1. Become the face of your brand
With so many aspiring entrepreneurs and media personalities, it may be easier than you think to find people who would like to become the face of your brand. Offering the winner a chance to spearhead your marketing efforts across all channels can quickly bring you the most ambitious, outgoing and media-ready customers available. Plus, with a potential career on the line, you'll be sure to get their best effort.
2. Reward entrants with your product or service
If people enjoy your product, offer them more of it! The unique benefit of this strategy is that you'll only receive submissions from people who genuinely loved your product and want more of it. You don't have to offer a one-year supply or subscription, either. Simply offering a single unit or a small version is often enough to get those stellar testimonials.
3. Find the most influential fan
It may not seem like much of a reward, but people like to feel important. By asking people to create and share their testimonials online, recognizing and rewarding the person whose video gets the most attention on social media, you'll receive submissions from people who have influence in their circles - and that's good for business.

3 More Powerful Ideas For Engaging Video Testimonial Contests

3 More Powerful Ideas For Engaging Video Testimonial ContestsNot too long ago, we offered up some pretty great ideas for how to create the most effective contests for video testimonials.  While your competitors may be spending money in bringing real customers or hired actors to a studio, your customers will be practically tripping over themselves to give you free, honest, powerful testimonials! The possibilities for this marketing strategy really are endless, and so we'd like to offer a few more helpful tips for creating stellar video testimonial contests.
1. Offer more than one prize for different metrics
Nothing inspires people to participate more than feeling like they really have a chance to win. And, as we said before, these customers already love your product! No need to give out a year's supply; just a single unit will suffice for a prize. As such, you can give out more than one reward without putting a dent in the budget. Try offering a prize for the most votes, the most views, and maybe even a "company choice" prize for the video which you thought was the best, regardless of views or votes.
2.  Pit your own products against each other
If you have similar lines of products, create a false competition between the two. Competition is attractive, and it's all the better when you control both sides. You can even get goofy with it, like the famous "Mike vs. Ike" or "Left Twix vs. Right Twix" ad campaigns. See which of your products gets more testimonials, more votes, more views. This also provides a whole ton of free market and demographic data.
3. Make the contest seasonal
Most companies have different times of the year when they are most profitable. Your contest can amplify an already popular season with, say, a Christmas theme. Or you can use it to bolster a time when sales are weaker, like Christmas in July. Encourage the users to wear a Halloween costume for the video, or tell a story of how your product made their summer great. These kinds of details can make the contest stand out from other marketing exercises, increasing engagement. Try one or more of these ideas, and see how it works out for you. Get your own, unique video testimonial contest started up today!