8 Best Practices & 3 Ideas for YouTube Contests


It is no surprise to tell you that many YouTube videos that went viral are not business-related and without a business budget. Many of them are created by individuals.

However, if you are a business, you cannot do many things that individuals do. But it is not a loss because you have options that individuals can’t have. For instance, you can run a contest and devote a part of your marketing budget to it.

YouTube contests still generate revenue, leads, and user interaction remarkably.

Especially if you know the basic steps to create a successful YouTube video campaign, you can generate more leads for your business, strengthen your brand image, improve customer connections, increase customer retention, and eventually increase income by using YouTube marketing.

There are a variety of ways to keep your YouTube viewers interested while also generating new ones. One option is to include YouTube contests in your YouTube marketing strategy.

It’s all dependent on how you can come up with witty YouTube video ideas.

Here, we’ll provide you with witty YouTube contest ideas and best practices.

Why Should You Launch a Video Marketing Strategy?

In the modern era, where we have a lot of images and concepts around us, and we are running out of time, we have less patience for a 1500-word article about anything. Instead, we would be satisfied with creative ideas that put images together and give a great visual outcome.

To prove this behavior, let’s first take a look at some actual statistics by Oberlo:

  • Videos can help your company create 66% more qualified leads per year.
  • They have the potential to increase brand recognition by 54%.
  • Videos have introduced a new customer to a company in 93% of cases.

So, it seems that the statistics support what we just said. Moreover, looking at the popularity of visual platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Pinterest, etc., shows that video content is becoming an increasingly important part of the in-app experience. In conclusion, video content is more engaging than still photographs in general, attracting more users.

Keep in mind that you should create a professional-quality video to meet the satisfaction of your target audience. In addition, you should have a message to convey through your videos. If you cannot provide these two conditions, it is much better to employ a video team.

How to Increase the Views of Your YouTube Videos?

If you want to increase your sales, consider several factors when building an effective video marketing strategy. The success of your video is determined by its content.

You may easily create a video that provides details on the niche you are targeting. To attract their trust, you might include product features and case studies, or customer testimonials in the video. To appeal to the viewers, you should make your video both entertaining and educational.

Depending on how active you are on social media platforms other than YouTube, you may be able to promote your YouTube video through multiple channels. Finding more viewers for your YouTube contest video is not so difficult in this era of social media.

Find the best social media platform that most of your target audience use and start cross-promoting your YouTube contest video. Doing so will increase your YouTube contest video viewers to a large extent.

Never forget engaging thumbnails and descriptions for your YouTube contest video promotion posts on the social media platform that you choose. It can increase the chance of getting more views for your YouTube contest video.


8 Best Practices for YouTube Contests

Let’s take a look at some YouTube contest best practices now. These practices help you be more creative about YouTube contests. They can give you some clues on how to create your YouTube contests.

1. Define SMART Marketing Goals

Define SMART Marketing Goals

You want to invest in creating YouTube contest videos because you see them have marketing potentials. But that is not enough. You should define clear goals for everything that you do. Clear goals and plans can tell you whether your chosen strategy can get you what you want for your business.

Make sure you know exactly what you want to achieve with your YouTube contest. You may want to grow your email marketing list, scale your website traffic, or directly increase your sales. Set a contest start and end date, then decide on your desired outcome before you begin. Make sure you have a good reason for doing it and a clear aim in mind.

Keep in mind that your marketing goals should be SMART. So, check if they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

Here is an example: You want to improve your relationship with your audience on YouTube. So, this is how you should plan:

  • Specific: I’m going to work on my relationship with my new customers.
  • Measurable: I’ll post an engaging YouTube video once a week.
  • Achievable: I engage these people regularly using contests, encouraging them to be active on my YouTube channel.
  • Relevant: I want to strengthen my social bonds and grow my sales.
  • Time-bound: I’ll follow this plan for three months before re-evaluating and planning my future moves.

2. Give Instructions

Give Instructions

How would you choose to tell your video viewers about the conditions to take part in your contest? You may say that you will give instructions in your video, but that is not enough.

YouTube videos, as you may know, have numerous components, including descriptions. In the description of your videos, include relevant textual content. It should provide people with a compelling cause to enter your contest. It should also include details on how they can enter your competition.

For instance, you can ask your video viewers to leave a comment if they want to participate in your contest. You can also ask them to submit a video of themselves about a subject. Depending on the contest you want to run, you can choose different ways to participate in it. Make sure to provide clear explanations in your YouTube video description.

3. Think of a Prize that Engages

Think of a Prize that Engages

Every contest should have a prize to encourage people to take part. If you do not think of a prize for your contest, you cannot call it a contest, and your goals are doomed to failure. Make your prize something for which people will want to compete. The following are characteristics that your prize should have:

  • Your prize should be something that your target market would enjoy.
  • It should only cost you a small amount of money, if anything at all.
  • Make it something you can distribute digitally, so you don’t have to pay for shipping. (Think: free trials, coupons, in-store credit)
  • If your prize is physical, choose the most convenient and cost-effective courier service.

For instance, if you have a beauty-related business, you can give your winner(s) a set of your latest products or give them a 20%-off discount code for online shopping on your website.

4. Make It Simple

Make It Simple

Let’s face it: people are tired of complexities, and they have enough daily challenges that they cannot involve themselves with more complexities. So, you should make participation in your contest as simple as possible.

Make it easy for people to participate in the contest by providing clear instructions on how to do so. You should give information on the number of entries allowed and the types of submissions that are acceptable. Also, remember to allow enough time for your audience to participate in your contest. Make your contest announcement ahead of time.

5. Cross-Promote Your Contest

Cross-Promote Your Contest

Cross-promote your YouTube contest video on your other social media platforms or your website to reach a wider audience. Remember to share the contest link on your social media platforms and email it to your subscribers’ list. This will encourage more people to engage and increase the number of people who watch your YouTube contest video.

For instance, if you have a large follower base on Instagram, you can cross-promote your YouTube channel and YouTube contest video. This is how you can drive a lot of viewers to your videos on YouTube. Here is how @lelepons shares her YouTube link on her Instagram profile and refers to it in the captions of her vlogs on Instagram:

lelepons Instagram Cross-promotion

6. Collaborate with Influencers

Collaborate with Influencers

If you have enough marketing budget, you can consider the option of collaborating with influencers. Collaborating with a well-known social media figure to promote your YouTube contest can double or triple your YouTube contest video. This would even give you the chance to go viral.

When you collaborate with an influencer in your niche, the contest will not only be seen by this person’s followers, but their endorsement may also motivate them to participate in the contest. This is a great advantage of influencer marketing, and you can take advantage of it if you do not have budget issues.

Here is an example of influencer marketing on YouTube between Louis Vuitton and Patricia Bright:

3 Witty Ideas for YouTube Contest

Now that you know the basics of creating a YouTube contest, it is time to think of a witty idea to make your content stand out. After deciding about the type of contest, use Wishpond’s contest tool to run your contests more effectively.

1. Talent-Finding

You can ask your YouTube contest video viewers to send in videos of themselves singing, cooking, dancing, acting, and so on. To get more brand visibility, you can ask them to show their talent while having a dish in your restaurant (if you have a restaurant contest), wearing the clothes your brand makes, cooking the recipe you have just taught, reading your latest book, etc.

To help increase the number of participants, you can create a hashtag just like the Instagram hashtag campaign. Your contest participants should add the hashtag to their video description so that you can find their content. This will assist you in keeping track of UGC (User-Generated Content). Once the contest is complete, you can submit the UGC videos to your YouTube channel.

Here is a talent-finding contest by TMS Productions. They organized a contest in which they asked their audience to take part in an editing challenge:

2. Giveaway

Giveaways are easy to organize and a great way to get your audience involved. Simply select an item that will appeal to your target audience as the contest prize. Set conditions like ‘Mention three of your friends in the comments, ‘Create a video with our product’, etc. Try to encourage your audience to do what you want and ensure that you give away something from your brand as the lucky winner(s) prize.

Here is a YouTube giveaway example by Matilda on Video who gives away Lisa Eldridge make up:

3. Comment Below

Another way to engage your audience in a contest is to request feedback on a certain video. You may encourage people to post comments by sharing the video on your other social media networks and including a clear call to action in the description of your YouTube video. Following that, the winners are chosen from the comments and announced in a follow-up video or on your other social media accounts.

Look at how Rosanna Pansino asks her video viewers to comment below her video if they have any questions regarding her dinosaur fossil cookies recipe:

Related Content


Video marketing is an excellent marketing strategy to raise awareness of your business among your target audience. You may host YouTube contest videos to attract many people to your videos because YouTube is a wonderful platform for videos.

In this article, we tried to provide witty ideas and best practices for your YouTube contest. We introduced some of the best tips to make a YouTube video that attracts a lot of viewers and promote your YouTube videos to show them to more audiences. You should, for instance, define SMART marketing goals for your YouTube contest video, give instructions, think of a prize that engages your audience, make it simple, cross-promote your contest, and collaborate with influencers.

In addition, we suggested three popular YouTube video contest ideas to have effective contests on YouTube. For instance, you can have talent-finding contests, giveaways, and those types of comment below contests.

Read the tips above and use them to nail your video marketing strategy. I wish you the best of luck!

Written by our guest writer Parichehr Parsi, co-founder of SEO Builders and a freelance content creator and link builder.

Parichehr currently writes for digital marketing websites. She loves reading, writing, and doing research.


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