4 Tips For Creating a Better Consumer Generated Video contest

You don’t have to be a giant brand like Doritos to get some buzz bang out of videos created by your customers. You don’t have to have a prize worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, either. Sure, those things help, but even smaller regional brands can generate some added interest and engagement though video contests. Here are four tips for putting together your own consumer-generated video contest.

Create an interesting theme.

Create a theme for your contest that’s going to be interesting to your customers. Don’t just go with “tell us why you love brand X.” Not only will this generate less interest, the videos you get won’t be all that interesting either.  And you want them to be interesting enough to pull in viewers who aren’t friends of those entering.

The theme can still be centered on you brand. You just need to come up with something that encourages storytelling or interesting video ideas. Ask what their favorite or earliest memory of the product or store is. Ask them to come up with a new use for your product.  Have them explain what the world would be like without your product.  Or how would they convince an alien to use your product or visit your business.  Anything would be more interesting than “why do you love me?”

Offer a decent prize for your market.

You don’t have to offer a million dollar Super Bowl ad and a trip to get good results. But, you do need to offer some kind of prize that will entice participation. When looking at your prize, look at the size and demographics of your market. If you’re a local or regional brand, a two or three thousand dollar prize seems pretty big. You could also give away a year’s worth of your product. Or it could be a gift certificate for your store/restaurant. 

Don’t be afraid to think out of the box, either. Perhaps there’s an event in your area that it’s hard to get tickets for and is one that connects well with your demographics. Go through a broker and get tickets, then package it with dinner at a local restaurant beforehand.  All you need to do is figure out what your customers would want and offer that.

Create your own video.

What better way to attract people who like making videos than by making one yourself. Put together an interesting video about the subject you’re asking people to submit videos for.  Use it as your announcement of the contest. It gives you some interesting content you can put on your site, your Facebook page, your YouTube channel, a microsite you create for the contest or any other place you want to spread the word.

Another reason to create a video is it subtly tells your community what kind of video you’re looking for. The tone, quality, type and storyline you create give people a feel for the kind of videos you’re looking for. If it’s a humorous video, chances are you’ll get more humor videos. If it’s fast paced and youth oriented, you’ll get more along those lines. Not all will copy your style, but it will set the tone.

Give the community part of the vote.

Often the big question is whether to let the community vote on who wins or whether you should choose a winner. The best solution is a little of both. Have the community vote be one of several factors in determining a winner. Just make it clear in the rules that winners will be chosen based on popular vote, creativity and best use of the brand/product (or whatever factors you want to base it on). You don’t have to give exact percentages, but you have to tell them what the winning is based on.

By doing the tabulations this way, you still get people coming to your site and the viral effect of contestants sending the link to their communities to vote. But, you are not stuck with a really bad video as your winner, just because someone has a large community or knows how to work the system better.

Just do it. 

Creating a video contest is a great way to engage your customer base, gain more content and create engagement. You don’t have to be a mega-brand to do one; you just need to create one that’s interesting, has a decent prize for your market and entices your brand’s community to be a part of it. These are just 4 tips that came up recently while I was helping a client create one for their regional chain. What other tips do you have for creating a successful and engaging contest?


[Image credit: by Sosialistisk Venstreparti]