January 30, 2014
How’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:
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.
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 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.