5 YouTube Contest Ideas and Examples

Youtube contest

YouTube has extremely strict regulations in terms of contests. Be sure to read them in detail before you get began. You will also want to review their Privacy PolicyTerms of Service, and Community Guidelines.  Then, We will go through the YouTube contest ideas to get you began.

Here are a few key rules to note:

4 Important YouTube giveaway rules to know

1. Make it free

This one speaks for itself. It must be free to enter your contest.

2. Observe local laws

Regulations differ by country, state, and city. Be sure you have brushed up on your region’s legislation before running your YouTube contest.

First, review your local copyright laws. Ensure the material in your contest video is 100% unique. If it is not, YouTube might flag or remove it.

Then, determine whether you are running a contest, a lottery, or sweepstakes. Each of those falls under a unique set of laws. Select the right term and market your YouTube giveaway accordingly.

3. Create clear “Official Contest Rules”

This might be important of all YouTube’s regulations. Every YouTube contest must have a set of “Official Rules.”

These rules must:

  • Link to YouTube’s Community Guidelines and state that contestants who do not follow them will be disqualified
  • List all applicable laws and sanctions (federal, state, and local)
  • Follow YouTube’s Terms of Service
  • Explain how and where to enter the contest
  • Include the maximum number of times somebody could participate
  • State what counts as an invalid entry
  • Include a clear begin and end date
  • State how and where you’ll announce the winner
  • Outline what the prize is, and how the winner will get it
  • Disclose any sponsorships (including prizes donated by partners)
  • Add a legal privacy notice explaining how you plan to use any personal data collected (e.g. subscriber names, email addresses, social handles)
  • State any location or age restrictions
  • Add a disclaimer that YouTube has not endorsed your contest in any method. Make it clear that participants launch YouTube from any liability related to the contest.

4. Accept responsibility

Lastly, keep in mind that you’re 100% responsible for your contest. It’s up to you to make sure nobody gets hurt.
When you are still not sure whether your contest idea will work, seek legal advice. (Or, better yet, try something a little less risky.)

5 YouTube contest ideas and examples

Now that you have got the basics down, it’s time to begin creating!

We have an entire post dedicated to social media contest ideas. However, when you do not have time to read the whole thing, here are a few of our favorites:

1. Sweepstakes and giveaways

Sweepstakes are simple to organize and take part in. They are one of the quickest methods to boost engagement across multiple platforms.

In a sweepstakes, participants perform a basic task for an opportunity to win. This could include:

  • Subscribing to your channel
  • Following your other social media accounts
  • Liking or commenting on a video
  • Some combination of the above.

We love how young YouTuber Minai runs giveaways. To qualify, viewers have to subscribe, turn on channel notifications, watch one of her videos, and leave a comment. Each of those tasks would benefit her channel on its own. However, together they increase engagement even more.

2. Caption contest

The basic idea behind these YouTube contests is easy. Hosts present uncaptioned images, videos, comics, or artworks. Then, viewers submit creative caption ideas—normally via comments or an online form.

You could let followers vote to choose a winner. Or, you could decide yourself. Either method, you will end up with lots of engagement. Plus, some very funny fan-generated content.

Take Lindybeige’s Hannibal caption competition, for instance. The announcement video generated more than 50,000 views!

3. Comment below

Asking for comments is another prevalent YouTube giveaway strategy. These contests could range from super easy to very difficult.

The most basic option is to have viewers leave any comment they like. However, you will get higher quality engagement when you ask them for something particular. For instance:

  • Answer a skill-testing question
  • Find an object hidden in the background of your video
  • Guess how many x are in y
  • Ask a question related to your video

Take this YouTuber’s back to school giveaway, for instance. Contributors left feedback explaining why they thought they deserved to win. The host ended up with tons of considerate feedback about how a lot followers liked her channel.

4. Expertise contest

It’s also possible to ask your followers to submit their own videos. Get them to dance, act, or perform a challenge. Have them use the official contest hashtag so you could track submissions.

Terrell’s Song Association Contest is a good example of how this works. Fans submitted 60-second videos of themselves singing. The top 5 contestants won a free, all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles and a guest appearance on his show.

5. Content suggestion contest

Lastly, you could use YouTube contests to generate new content ideas. For these giveaways, followers tell you what they need to see more of in the future. It’s an effective way to get people talking.
However, the best part of a content-based YouTube giveaway? You do not even need a prize! Often, seeing an idea put into practice is all of the reward fans need.

Snack Time’s character suggestion contest is a great example. It generated over 5,000 comments—plus an awesome new character!

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