How to run a successful YouTube contest? Simple tips that will help you!

Dmytro Polishchuk
Dmytro Polishchuk
Content writer and blog editor at PromoRepublic
≈ 4 min read
Upd. on: 2 Aug 2021

To be honest, YouTube is a non-standard social media platform. There, you are able to watch videos from different users, add your own content, put likes and dislikes, write comments. You can even earn money with YouTube`s monetization system, when platform pays you for the current number of views. When you reach the current number of subscribers and views, you will be able to get a partnership agreement with YouTube. It allows you to put advertising spots into your video and promote other channels, companies, brands and organizations.

All huge companies have their own YouTube channels, and in most cases, they use them to publish announcements, attract audience with funny videos or just promote their goods. However, we can`t say that these companies tried to run their own YouTube contests. So, we`ve decided to prepare an article to tell you how to run a successful YouTube contest. Don`t worry – all tips that we mention were tested by our specialists.

  1. Make sure that you have a huge audience

On YouTube, everything depends on how many subscribers you have. These subscribers give you needed engagement and help you to grow up your channel. If you decided to run a contest, make sure that you have enough people that will be interested in it. It will be irrational to run a contest with 100 followers. We recommend you to start from 500k. when you`ve reached that number, it`s time to begin the preparation.

  1. Find some good ideas for contestYouTube contest

It will be hard for users to take part in video contest (some of them are visiting YouTube for the first time), so let`s make it simple. Before your contest will officially start, prepare a short video explaining the rules and what are you expecting from the competitors. Here we have some unusual ideas for your future YouTube contest:

  • Commenting contest. When user decides to take part in the competition, he needs to leave a comment under your video.
  • Subscription-based contest. This type could be used to increase your audience. Ask non-subscribed users to take part in your contest by subscribing your channel.
  • Advocate video contest. Ask subscribers to upload their own videos talking about your products. It will help your brand to hold its position in rating.

If you have already chosen a type of your contest, it`s time to build your contest step-by-step.

  1. Set clear goals

You should clearly understand why you need this current contest. It could be made for promotion, audience growth or driving sales. You can combine some of the basic goals and create a plan for the contest. Then, when it comes to content creation, you can decide, which part will be on the first place.

  1. Follow YouTube contest policies and guidelines

450-800-copyright-guidelinesNothing puts a damper on a good contest like a ban from the platform where it takes place. Why? Because you ignored the rules of the platform. We`ve seen these situations many times, and we think that it`s our task to write down the most important rules that every blogger, marketer or developer must know. Here`s a set of “Official rules”. It`s required for everyone and it must:

  • Include links to YouTube community guidelines and indicate entries which don`t comply will be disqualified.
  • State all disclosures required by all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations.
  • Be wholly compliant and consistent with the YouTube terms of service.
  • Your contest must be conducted, and all prizes awarded as outlined in your Official rules.
  • You are responsible for your rules and all aspects of your contest administration.
  • You must include a legally compliant privacy notice in your Official rules which explains how you will use any personal data you collect for the contest and adhere for that use.
  • You may not pay a third party or parties to manipulate metrics on YouTube service, including numbers of views, likes, dislikes or subscribers.
  1. Choose valuable prizeChoose valuable prize

Prize always depends on the project`s budget and the number of competitors. The more people take part in it, the bigger prize should be. And, of course, it should be something which is popular between your subscribers or something that is valuable in your sphere.

  1. Set time limits

A perfect contest should be run from 10 to 14 days. During this period, people won`t use interest to your contest, and you will have enough participant to choose a winner. There were many situations when contests lasted more than 20 days, and people who took part in it lost interest and leave from your contest. We think that you don`t need such situations, so make sure that your contest won`t last for too long.

  1. Measure your success

Your contest is as good as the goals it helps you to achieve, so it`s important to measure how successful it was. It`s like error analysis at school – you write an essay and then check it. If you find mistakes, you correct them.

To make sure that you`ve completed all points of the plan, ask yourself these questions:

  • Did I choose the right type of contest?
  • Did I choose the right time period for the contest?
  • Did I target the right audience?
  • Did I choose the right prize?
  • Did I define a clear set of rules?
  • What was the biggest obstacle I faced during the contest?

With answers to these questions, you will have a clear understanding of the situation and, if something went wrong, fix it. Now go and launch your YouTube contest.


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