How to Run a Successful Contest on YouTube: 7 Steps

how to organize successful contest on youtube

If you are looking for new methods how to effectively interact with your YouTube audience, boost following, generate leads and drive sales, then organizing a YouTube contest can help you to reach these goals.

Marketing on YouTube is about creating a loyal community and YouTube contests are considered as a powerful way to do it. YouTube contests not only assist you in entertaining your audience, they also increase engagement level of your YouTube channel. Consequently, it has a positive impact on your channel’s ranking in search results.

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In today’s article I am going to review the 7 main tips to run a successful contest on YouTube.

Let’s begin!

1. Define your goal

Various social media studies state that people who have clearly defined objectives of their strategy, receive better results than those who ignore this.

So, first of all, before you start planning your YouTube contest, it is important to think about what the overall goal is for your channel and why you want to run a YouTube contest/giveaway.

In order to set your goal correctly, it is advised to implement a SMART goal setting method. Actually it is the most widely used objectives-setting method.

Here is a description of SMART goal setting technique:

  • Specific. It means that you need to have a clear goal which will let you understand whether your performance is profitable or not.

So, choose the most important objective that your brand want to achieve running a YouTube contest. For example, increase subscribers, receive more traffic, boost sales, get higher engagement level or etc. Overall, your goal should be set as clearly as possible.

  • Measurable. In this part you need to track and evaluate how your YouTube contest influences on metrics that you have set in your goal. To measure your YouTube giveaway’s performance use analytics tools, such as YouTube or Google Analytics.

As it was mentioned before your goal should be specific, so in this part it is significant to ensure that your goal will be measurable. In this case, for instance, you can define the goal as “by the end of a YouTube contest increase amount of subscribers by 1000”.

  • Attainable. In this part just answer a question, is your defined objective achievable? If yes, so go ahead with reaching your goal.
  • Relevant. It means that your YouTube contest’s goal needs to be related with your overall channel’s content. For example, if you are running a beauty channel, then think about giving away beauty products.
  • Timely. The final part is about setting the time limits when your goal should be accomplished. So, you need to decide on a duration of your YouTube contest.

All in all, while defining the goal for your YouTube giveaway, don’t ignore an opportunity of setting SMART goals. In this case, it will help you to understand what to do in order to stay on track and successfully achieve your contest’s objective.

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2. Select an appealing prize

Probably it is the most crucial step of your YouTube contest. Actually, your prize can be almost anything, as long as it is relevant and attractive to your audience.

In most cases products are the better choice, however, it doesn’t mean that you can’t select as a prize for your YouTube contest services or experiences. According to studies, nowadays customers value more when they get experiences rather than products.  

Overall, whatever your YouTube contest’s prize is, it is more important to ensure that it will grab your subscribers’ attention, encourage them to participate in a contest and provide them with some kind of value.

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3. Choose a partner

To receive more powerful results from your YouTube contest, it is recommended to organize a partnership with another brand or YouTube influencer.

This type of collaboration will give you advantages, such as higher brand awareness, increased engagement level or even reach new audiences and turn them into your YouTube channel’s subscribers.

Here are a few ways how you can run a partnered YouTube contest:

  • Work with a YouTuber to cross promote each other channels.
  • Combine prizes with your partner to boost an overall provided value.
  • Collaborate with a brand who can give you free products for prizes.
  • Pay a YouTuber with a larger amount of subscribers (influencer) to receive an access to their audience.
  • Find a YouTuber who will share your contest with their audience.

It doesn’t matter what option you select, you need to check and make sure that your partner’s audience is similar to yours. Otherwise, your efforts will be useless and you won’t be able to achieve the goal that you have set for your YouTube giveaway.

4. Keep your contest understandable for everyone

If you want to get the high level of engagement, then try to ensure that the amount of users who is participating in your YouTube contest will be big. However, in order to attract as bigger audience as possible and save your time and energy, your task is to make your giveaway’s guidelines simple and clear.

It is advised to answer all questions that can be aroused in the subscribers’ heads (the ones who decide to participate in your YouTube contest) and put them into your YouTube video description as an instruction.

Overall, make your YouTube contest easy for users to enter.

5. Choose a specific hashtag

If one of your YouTube contest’s rules is that participants need to create their own videos, then it is important to select a unique and relevant hashtag.

Actually, while having a great hashtag, you can easily track and review your giveaway participants’ submissions. However, before choosing a hashtags, do a search to make sure that another YouTuber doesn’t already use this particular hashtag.

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6. Promote your contest

Another key step is to promote your YouTube contest by creating an announcement video.

Here are several tips that your contest’s promotional video can contain:

  • Show your giveaway’s prizes to evoke users’ interest.
  • Insert call-to-action that gives a sense of urgency to induce users to participate in your competition.
  • Provide a short, but brief description of your contest’s rules and explain what participants may do to maximize their chances of winning. It is better to insert the rules’ part into the end of your video. In this way, you will get people to view the whole video that, consequently, will increase one of your performance metrics – watch time.

What is more, it is not only important to make your created announcement video look engaging, but you also need to ensure that it represents your overall YouTube channel.

However, there are additional ways how you can promote your YouTube giveaway.

First of all, use other social media channels in order to reach the wider audience and increase the amount of participants. This is also a powerful method to make aware the users, who already follow you on other social media channels, about your YouTube channel. Furthermore, you can ask your partner to announce about .your YouTube contest on their channel.

7. Announce the winner

Now it is time for you to meet your responsibilities to all your engaged subscribers who have been actively participating in your YouTube contest.

In this case, the best way to announce your giveaway’s winner is considered as creation of an appealing video. But don’t forget to be creative and make a funny video that will evoke participants’ curiosity to see who won the contest.

That’s it.

However, wait! Ask your YouTube contest’s winner to create a short thank you video and display the prize.

This tactic will help you to create a feeling of social proof which will show your audience that your contests are being organized professionally and participants who honestly follow all the rules can receive prizes.

All in all, once your YouTube contest is over, use YouTube Analytics to see whether your set goal is achieved or not.

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Wrapping everything up, today you have learned the main steps how to run a successful YouTube contest.

If you follow the tips presented earlier, you will not only provide subscribers with an opportunity to receive free stuff, but also grow your brand and create a strong community on your YouTube channel.

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