How to Run a Successful Contest on YouTube: 5 Tips

how to run a contest on youtube

Organizing a contest or giveaway can be a great tool to promote your YouTube channel, get more views and subscribers. There are many forms and different types of contests, such as “Challenge”, “Dare”, “Best Caption”, “Subscribe & Win”, etc. contests and giveaways.

It doesn’t matter which type of contest you organize, there are some tactics that you can follow to make your contest more successful and get better results. Here are 5 tips on how to run successful contest on YouTube.

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1. Follow guidelines for contests on YouTube

First things first, if you would like to run a contest on YouTube, you must obey to YouTube’s guidelines. YouTube is one of the few social media networks (Facebook too) which sets specific rules for organizing contests and giveaways on their platform. You can find the full YouTube contest policies and guidelines by clicking here.

If you don’t want to read the whole guideline, we will outline some of the most important aspects.

You must have officially published rules that meet these requirements:

  1. Must include link to the YouTube’s Community guidelines;
  2. Must disclose all the information required by your country’s law (federal laws, state laws, rules and rulings);
  3. Must be compliant to YouTube’s Terms of Service.

Talking about the contest type, you can’t give away a prize to the winner just for liking, commenting or subscribing to your channel. This action is treated by YouTube as manipulation of metrics, so better avoid that. To win a prize participants need to do something that’s involves some sort of skill. For example, you can give away prize for answering some questions or commenting a funny joke that’s related to your brand.

Don’t forget that in your rules you must clearly state how you will select a winner and how the winner will be awarded with a prize.  

You also must state which specific countries can participate in your contest.

If you won’t follow YouTube’s guidelines, your channel may be punished or a video which presented a contest may be removed for violation of YouTube’s terms of service. So, it’s better to read YouTube’s guidelines carefully.

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2. Set clear YouTube contest’s rules

We have already presented official YouTube’s guidelines for contests, so now your rules and contest overall should be compliant with YouTube’s guidelines. But that’s not all.

To attract more participants you need to set clearly understandable and easy rules. Imagine, if you would see a big list of rules (black on while) with hardly understandable terms, would you like to participate in such contest? Even it would be a giveaway of a very expensive item, you would still think twice whether to participate in it or not.

Make your rules clear and easy, so you wouldn’t overwhelm your potential contestants. Make contest’s task fun and enjoyable, so that everyone would have fun while participating in your contest. For example, the task could be to comment a joke that’s related to your brand’s products or niche.

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3. Choose a prize

It is clear that the more expensive the prize, the more participants it will attract. But keep in mind that prize should be relevant to your brand. If the prize is expensive but is completely unrelated to your brand, then many viewers may not find it interesting and will not join your contest or giveaway.

If you are in luxury watches niche, consider giving away one of the most popular top-line watches. Believe me, prize can make or break your contest’s campaign. Prize that is related to your niche also helps you financially because it may be one of your products, so there will be less expenses for you.

On the other hand, keep in mind not to go too far, as prize should already have accepted value in the real world (outside of your business). This means, if you sell online courses, it is better not to set one of your courses as a prize. Remember that sometimes prizes are sold to other people, and course would be hard to re-sell. That means less interest in your prize and consequently less entries to your giveaway.

But, if you would give away an iPhone or other well-known product, your contest would have more chances to be successful.

4. Promote your contest

That’s a no-brainer that you must create a separate YouTube video and inform your viewers about the contest. You can’t run the contest or giveaway just in the comments section, as just a minority reads them.

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It’s important to notice not to forget to use other channels to promote your contest, as the more participants you get, more successful your campaign will be. If you have profiles on other social media networks, use them to promote your ongoing contest on YouTube.

If you run a blog and have a subscribers list, consider including your contest information in your next newsletter. It will certainly help you to attract more eye-balls. It will also make your newsletter subscribers happier because who doesn’t like freebies, right?

5. Measure performance

Last but not least, you must measure your contest’s or giveaway’s performance. How would you know if it was a success of not?

To measure performance you need to set your goals and objectives first. Why do you want to organize a contest at all? Do you want more engagement, more subscribers or views on your video? Or you just want to increase your brand awareness?

If you want to get more engagement, then you need to act accordingly and set contest rules which would induce participants to leave a comment, like or engage with your videos any other way.

Once objective is set and you organized your contest accordingly to your goal, you will be able to measure performance.

Don’t miss: 5 Key Metrics of YouTube Analytics to Track Video Performance

Learning from mistakes is a must for being better at something. Once you know what you could do better and what didn’t work as good as you thought, you can make improvements the next time.

Here were 5 main tips on how to run a successful contest on YouTube. If you have any other tips in mind, leave a comment in section below!

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