How to Run Video Contests on Social Media

Do's and Do Not's, Facebook, How To's, Tips

Video continues to rule the internet, making it one of the most popular ways people of all ages are consuming content, especially on social media. According to a recent WordStream post, 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter and 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.

Because people are regularly watching video online as part of their daily internet usage, it’s up to brands to figure out how to create and utilize more video in their social media campaigns.

One such method is to run video contests on social media, which allows your audience to get involved in the creation process, thus creating a more collaborative experience. User-generated content (UGC), like video, is not only a fun way to build relationships with your customers, but it also gives you more content you can share across various online platforms (i.e. your blog and social media channels). Here are some of the other benefits of running user-submitted video contests on social media.

How Video is Different From Other Ways of Contest Content Creation

Even though most marketers would agree that video is a good idea for your content marketing campaigns, only a small fraction are actually using it. Within that group, only a smaller number still are using it well enough to really be interesting or useful to their target audience.

This is where you really have the advantage: by helping your users submit high-quality video with guidelines like clear rules and tips for creating better videos, you can ensure that the majority of the submissions you get are fun and useful enough to possibly be used for promotion in the future.

Video Contests Can Get You More Engagement and Follows

According to Replay Science, our brains process visual imagery 60,000 times faster than the written word. This means that we not only process video faster, studies have also shown that we tend to retain the information in the video longer.

Many users may choose to create content in a video contest versus other formats because for them, it may seem easier and less daunting. Shooting a simple video on your iPhone with a friend seems to be less of an obligation than writing a 300-word submission on why you should win a contest. Video contests can allow more people to create heart-warming useful content that they otherwise wouldn’t have created, had it been a different format.

Besides potentially appealing to more users, video contests also stand out from other social media contest promotions that ask for endless forms, long answers, or other hoops. Video is also something that is more easily shared, thus opening the possibilities of using submitted video in marketing campaigns down the road (which we discuss later in this post). Other entrants and users are much more likely to view submitted videos during the contest and afterward as well. Think about it: wouldn’t you rather watch a few submitted videos rather than read submitted essay answers?

How to Structure Video UGC Contests

In order to get the most out of user-generated content in your social media contests, you need to make sure your entry rules are completely clear. Push a simplified version of the rules on the main entry page, and then link to a more detailed explanation if it’s needed. Users may find a bulleted list of requirements easier to read than a paragraph of rules that seem to run together.

Here’s an example of a bulleted list of requirements for a video contest:

  • Entrants must be over 18 and live in the United States
  • The video must be at least 2 minutes long.
  • Your face and voice must be clear and easy to understand
  • The video must answer the question, “What beach would you visit if you won our surfing vacation contest?”
  • Video titles must include the hashtag #Surfcation

Of course, the number of requirements and what they entail will vary greatly depending on your company, its legal policies, and what is being given away. But your contest will have a much higher submission rate if the rules are clear and easy to understand.  Make sure you also get their permission to use their video, which gives you options for future campaigns and promotions.

Besides the rules, it’s also important to decide how you want to handle the video files themselves. Some large companies have the storage capacity to accept the raw video files, which they host on their own site. If this isn’t possible, you can always ask users to upload their video to YouTube or another video platform (like Vimeo) and then link to it in the entry form. If you’re using an outside video platform, make sure it meets all the requirements of that platform’s terms of service.

How to Promote Video Contests

Once you have the final process touches done with your contest, it’s time to think about promotion. Before launching your video contest out into the world, create a marketing plan for creating buzz about your contest.

Think of each facet of your current marketing strategy and how each could be used to promote your contest:

  • Social Media: schedule various promotional posts letting users know about the contest, the entry deadline, the prize, and where they can enter and get more details.
  • Blog: Write a blog post about the contest, linking to the official rules and the entry form, which is usually embedded in the post itself or hosted on Facebook.
    • The blog is a great place to go into more detail about the contest prize and what you’re hoping to receive with the submitted videos. Some contests also choose to include an example video of a good submission or the winning video from a previous contest if it follows the same format.
  • Email: Send out an email blast to your list sharing the same type of information you gave in your social media posts and direct users to the entry form and blog post.
  • Email Signature: You can also use email in a different way—encourage employees to share the link to the entry form or blog post in their email signatures until the submission deadline.
  • In-Store Promotion: If you have a retail location, put up a poster or create flyers that promote the contest.
  • Social Media Advertisements: Running ads on social media can help grow awareness about the contest and your organic audience. Once people see you run contests, they may be motivated to follow you on social media to learn about future contests or winners.

Promoting the contest in places where customers already are can help get more entries, as they are already aware of your brand. It’s likely much easier to get a submission from an existing customer who loves your products than someone who has never heard of you before.

How to Use Submitted Video Content in Your Own Content or Marketing

Once the contest is over, you can start the process of reusing all the UGC that was just submitted to you. Many companies create compilation videos of some of the best entries or reshare submissions on their social media accounts and in a blog post. Users like seeing their videos highlighted and it helps you continue to drive interest in your brand and its products.

Depending what you asked users to include in their videos, you can also use the videos as testimonials. For instance, if the requirement of the video was “tell us what you love most about Acme products,” you can take the best ones and turn it into reviews on product pages or scheduled posts to share on social media.

Video contests can allow you to gain more insight into your audience’s thoughts about your product, what they are interested in, or how their lifestyle fits into what you offer.  It also lets you build engaging relationships with your userbase and grow your online following. All it takes is a great prize and a video prompt, and you’ll be getting great submissions in no time.

Did you know that it’s free to create Woobox campaigns? Free accounts can make as many giveaway or quizzes they want, and you only need a subscription when you’re ready to publish. Learn more about creating video contests on Woobox.

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