February 12, 2014
Planning 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.
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!