How can a social marketer use YouTube to run contests to boost engagement?

girls surprised

girls surprised

According to Google, YouTube contests are one of the most effective ways for a brand to engage their audience and encourage those members to interact. Most people will jump at the opportunity to win something cool, and when you throw the hottest video sharing site on the planet into the mix, the chances of getting them to participate skyrocket instantly. But you just can’t offer a prize and slop together any kind of sweepstake. There is an art to leveraging YouTube contests to boost viewer engagement.

Draw Up the Game Plan

This is the part where you figure out the prize you will give out, the contest rules, how a winner will be declared, and so forth. It is imperative that you convey this information to your audience as clearly as possible. If you don’t, it will lead to confusion, and when people are confused, they usually end up doing nothing. Not sure how to go about running your contest? Don’t fret. Use the search functionality on YouTube and track down other contests that have been set up on the platform. Check out a few, and pattern yours after the one or ones you like the most.

Make it Compelling

A highly sought after item is not always good enough to convince people to take part in a contest. Sometimes, you have to go above and beyond to give them a compelling reason of why they need to throw their name in the hat. Fortunately, YouTube is chock full of tools that can be used for persuasion purposes. For example, you could create a video that acts as a call to action for getting participants, or use the convenient branding box to stress the importance of not only entering, but helping pick a winner. YouTube has many great features that can help you appeal to your audience, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of what is at your disposal.

Share the Results

After your contest has run its course, participants will be anxious to find out if they are the lucky winner. Give them what they want by promptly sharing the results. This is something you can do right on YouTube with a video that announces the winner, or on a variety of other sites. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to highlight the runner-ups and other participants as a way to say thanks for playing along. The goal is to publicize the results and if you do it correctly, you will create awareness and momentum that can be carried over to future contests.

YouTube marketing doesn’t have to be limited to product demonstrations, seminars, and clever commercial-like clips. There are plenty of other ways to use this platform as an engagement tool, and running contests is one that arguably works better than most. It will certainly help you stand out from your competitors, and these days, that is an edge you want any way you can get it.

Written by Francis Santos

Francis Santos is the Marketing Manager for Benchmark Email. He graduated from Cal State Long Beach and holds a degree in Journalism. In addition, he is also the executive editor for separate popular news blogs. Follow him on Twitter: @emailfrancis


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