October 25, 2013

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.

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