How to Run the Best YouTube Contest in 10 Easy Steps

the Best YouTube Contest

You want to increase subscribers, win leads, and drive sales? A YouTube giveaway could help with all of these goals (and more). Marketing on YouTube is all about building community, and the best YouTube contest is a good way to do this. Not only do they assist viewers to engage and feel connected to your brand. They also inspire likes, comments, and shares—all of which influence your YouTube search rankings.

In this post, we will share key tips for hosting a YouTube contest. 

How to run a YouTube contest in 10 steps

1. Set SMART Goals

Research shows that people who set their own goals get more done than those who do not. Get clear on why you wish to host a YouTube giveaway before you begin planning it.

You could use the “SMART” goal framework to get began. That means, setting goals which are:

  • Particular
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

2. Select a stellar prize

Your prize could be nearly anything—as long as (the right people) want it.

Of course, products are an obvious choice. However, your contest prize might be a service or experience. (Actually, research shows millennials may actually prefer experiences to products.)

Whatever it’s, be sure your prize is related to your channel. First, be sure you are clear on who your audience is. (Check out YouTube analytics when you aren’t.)

Then, select something you know they will value and enjoy.

For instance, ECO-BOOST’s audience is super environmentally conscious. Take a look at the green goodies she shared in this YouTube giveaway.

3. Partner up

YouTube partnerships offer exciting chances for brands and creators.

For brands, they help foster audience awareness. Collaborations with YouTube creators are 4x better at driving brand familiarity than these with celebrities.

In turn, partnerships help creators increase their reach—as well as their budgets. That makes them a win-win for everybody.

There are several methods to host a partnered YouTube giveaway:

  • Team up with a brand who will provide free prize(s)
  • Mix prizes with a partner to extend your offerings
  • Pay a YouTuber with a bigger following to leverage their audience
  • Promote a creator’s campaign in exchange for the same
  • Find a collaborator who will share your contest with their contacts
  • Whatever option you select, be sure your partner’s target audience is similar to yours. Talk through your goals and values before signing off to confirm you are on the same page.

4. Decide where to run your contest

Hosting your contest on YouTube is an obvious choice. However, some brands choose to embed their YouTube contest into their site.

Here are a few benefits of hosting a YouTube giveaway on your own website:

  • Increase traffic
  • Make a branded landing page
  • Gain detailed analytics on the campaign
  • Improve brand belief and consciousness
  • Funnel guests to your e-commerce retailer
  • Deciding the place to host your YouTube giveaway goes again to the SMART targets you set earlier on.
  • Select the setup that makes probably the most sense for you.

5. Keep it low barrier

For max engagement, you will want maximum participation. Which means, making your YouTube contest simple.

Of course, asking participants for video submissions could pay off. However, easier duties, like likes, subscribes, or comments are sometimes more effective. That is especially true when you are still increasing your subscriber base.

Take this LimmyBoi campaign, for instance. He promises an iPhone giveaway, however, only if he could get at least 1,000 likes on the video. He got more than 3 times that number by making it super easy to join!

6. Pick a contest hashtag

When you do decide to ask viewers to create their own videos, be sure you utilize a contest hashtag. A great hashtag is an easy method to keep track of submissions. Plus, it could help generate more interest—particularly if one of the videos takes off.

For instance, the #bottlecapchallenge began on Instagram. However, the concept rapidly spread to other platforms. Now, even furry YouTubers are taking part!

7. Announce your contest

There are a lot of methods to launch your YouTube giveaway. Making a video is the most obvious (and effective).

Here are some easy ideas for making your announcement video:

  • Show off your (amazing) prizes.
  • Add plenty of calls-to-action to encourage submissions.
  • Share the contest rules later on the video. (It will get viewers to watch through to the end—a simple technique for boosting watch time.)
  • Keep the details brief. Embody the full contest rules in your video description.

Lastly, remember to let your personality shine. You might be making a quick announcement, however, your video still represents your channel. Make it engaging, as this young YouTuber does!

8. Get the word out

Next, you will wish to generate as much consideration as potential in your YouTube contest. Fortunately, there are many methods to promote your content on YouTube.

Some popular methods include:

  • Add end screens promoting the contest to your top-performing videos.
  • Share regular updates with your audience. Remind them of the prizes or highlight your favorite entries so far.
  • Offer mini-rewards to followers who have shared your contest with their followers.

Your outreach should not stop at YouTube, although. Cross-promote your giveaway on your site, newsletter, and other social channels. When you partnered with somebody, have them do the same.

9. Monitor success

Utilize YouTube analytics to monitor traffic as the contest progresses. Amp up the promotion when you aren’t getting the attention you need.

10. Announce your winners

When the time comes to wrap things up, make an awesome video announcing the winners.

Don’t be afraid to get creative here. People have to watch this video to find out whether they won. However, by making it fun, you could get even more views.

For instance, this YouTuber asked his daughter to help announce the winners. Watching them share the most humorous submissions from the contest is adorable!

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