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How to successfully run a photo or video contest – in 6 steps

Running a photo or video contest online is a powerful way to activate and connect with your audience – while retrieving engaging user-generated content (UGC) for your marketing. However, the key to unlocking this marketing material lies in effective implementation.

A photo contest can foster a sense of community and brand loyalty among your followers. To top it all off, you can also use a social media photo or video contest to collect data and insights about your audience’s preferences and interests.

The following 6 steps are the pathway toward success:

1. Clearly define goals

Be clear about what you want to achieve before investing time and effort into a photo or video contest. Additionally, you have to define your KPIs (key performance indicators). Whatever your goal is, always ensure to choose a KPI that can be clearly measured and tracked. It's important to know your social ROI (return on investment).

2. Specify the target audience

Be clear about your intended market before you start the creative process of defining your contest. In this way, you can easily tailor your message to them.

3. Incorporate a reward system

Incentives will always attract participation from your target audience. There are various rewards you could choose from. i.e cash prizes, gift cards, free trips, and so on. Depending on your brand, in some cases brand association could be incentive enough.

4. Choose a theme for the contest

A theme gives a sense of direction and allows users to get creative about their entries. Keep in mind what kind of user-generated content (UGC) is useful in your marketing. But ensure you keep it fun, relevant, and interesting!

5. Pick a platform

After having considered all the above, it's time to decide where your contest shall reside. Ideally, use a microsite on your own website. It becomes easier for users to find, especially if you can link to the contest from your homepage. Lastly, provide a clear and concise method for users to partake and engage with the contest.

6. Implement and promote

It doesn't end with just launching the contest; use as many relevant channels to reach the target audience and encourage participation. This could include owned media, email, and paid advertising.

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