4 weeks is the optimum duration of time for running an online contest. Anything more than this will cause participants to lose interest and forget about their participation.
Avoid overlapping contest. Running multiple contest simultaneously will cause confusion and reduce the effectiveness of each contest.
- Best practice is to incorporate a component of public voting. This increases the virality of the campaign.
- Avoid relying solely on public opinion! First filter out all entries that meet the contest requirements and align with the brand message. Public voting starts as soon as all qualified videos have been posted to narrow down the entries to a predetermined number of finalist. From there, a panel of judges then decides the winner(s).
Seeding the Contest
Create your own content which is not eligible to win. Solicit participation from a network of quality content producers to enter early.
Steer clear of potential legal issues by using a third-party promotional company or legal counsel. For more on legal rules for operation of contest and sweepstakes, visit the following link:
- Use partnerships/sponsors online to cross-promote the contest
- Use social media mechanisms to create buzz
- Use paid media to run ads on targeted sites
- Use email to spread the message (current email list, Facebook list, Groupon, LivingSocial…etc.)