How to run a successful YouTube contest

youtube contest: video image

Running a YouTube contest is a great way to reach your target audience and generate buzz about your product line. However, it’s important to know the fine print before launching a contest – both to stay within the guidelines, and to understand how to derive maximum benefit from it.

Here are three ways a YouTube contest can help your business:

  1. Improve your brand recognition – People share entertaining contests, which in turn helps your brand gain visibility in front of a new audience.
  2. Engage your audience – By making your contest interactive, you invite your audience to reach back to you. This two-way communication spurs more views and offers your audience a chance to participate.
  3. Gather customer data – The prize incentive will encourage participants to fill out your contest entry forms, from which you can collect some great market data — such as average age, gender, income, and other interests.

Step-by-Step Guide to Launching a YouTube Contest:

  1. Sign Up – Create a YouTube account for your contest. You can do this by creating a Google account and then signing in with the same account into YouTube. Your account page will be the brand channel page and the place where the contest is run. Your chosen username will appear in the URL. For details on setting up a YouTube account, see: Setting up a YouTube brand channel account.
  2. Set up an Admin Account – Provide your YouTube technical producer the username, as well as your Gmail account name. Your technical producer will use your Gmail account name for administering the contest.
  3. Upgrade to Brand Channel –Before the contest begins, ensure your technical producer has upgraded YouTube channel to a brand channel.  A brand channel can be used for running contests.
  4. Build your YouTube Contest Tool – You can build your own tool, or work with a vendor agency to build one. Make sure your technical producer reviews the relevant mocks and confirms feasibility.
  5. Review the Contest Tool – Make sure and review the completed contest gadget to check if it fulfills legal, policy and technical requirements.
  6. Launch Upon Approval – Your technical producer can launch the contest as soon as you receive approval from YouTube.

YouTube Contest Phases:

Here are the main phases of a YouTube contest, along with more information on how to manage each phase:

  1. Phase 1 – Announcing and Submitting your Contest
  2. Phase 2 – Identifying the Finalists
  3. Phase 3 – Voting for Finalists
  4. Phase 4 – Announcing the Winners

Best Practices for YouTube Contests:

Here are practices that have worked successfully in the past for brands:

  • Administering:

    • Develop compelling call-to-action videos for each new phase
    • Assign resources for managing the contest and responding to inquiries from participants
    • Review ALL contest entries
    • Make sure to have a legal team work with your contest manager to properly draft rules for running the contest
  • Ideas for Prizes:
    • Use the best video submissions for TV advertisements
    • Why not have the winners meet or perform with a celebrity?
    • Popular prizes in the past have included things such as a car or a vacation

A YouTube contest can be a great way to engage your audience and also market your product. However, keep in mind that design and preparation beforehand are key to a successful contest. Follow the steps mentioned here, work closely with your team and use lots of creativity to maximize your chances for success.

Check out another valuable YouTube feature in our post about Creator Academy. Have you participated in any YouTube contents in the past? Let us know!

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Dennis Smith

Dennis Smith

Dell Contributor at Tech Page One
Dennis is the networking and storage evangelist for He also manages the Dell TechCenter social accounts; click on the tabs above to be connected to them. Dennis has also been recognized as aVMware vExpert.
Dennis Smith
Dennis Smith
Dennis Smith
Dennis Smith
Tags: Business,Social Media