Mar 25, 2023

Thinking of Running a YouTube Contest? Here’s How to Do It

Thinking of Running a YouTube Contest? Here’s How to Do It

Like any online contest, running a YouTube contest helps you reach your goals — whether that’s growing your YouTube channel, getting more people into your email list, or driving traffic to other platforms.

In this article, we’ll walk you through all the steps on how you can create a contest for your YouTube channel using UpViral. But before diving in, we’ll discuss why these contests are a great idea.

Why Do a Giveaway on YouTube?

If you’re still not sure about the benefits of a YouTube contest (because it requires time and effort), consider the following reasons:

  • Increase your engagement: This is especially useful if you’ve just started your channel. Besides understanding your audience, making catchy thumbnails, and posting consistently — contests invite engagement.
  • Get more YouTube subscribers: Sometimes your audience just needs a little motivation to hit the subscribe button. Contests also help you reach new subscribers by asking people to share your contest with friends and boost their chances of winning.
  • Build your email list: You can have people join your YouTube contest by first entering their name and email address on your opt-in page. With an email list, you’re less likely to worry about losing your viewership on YouTube in the future due to algorithm changes. That’s because email lets you stay connected always.
  • Drive traffic to other channels: YouTube has billions of monthly active users, making it a great source of traffic to your website and other social media pages like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Steps on How to Run a YouTube Contest

First time running a competition on your channel? Follow these YouTube contest ideas and tips to make it work.

1. Set specific goals for your contest.

How you structure your contest, the actions people take to win, and other important components will depend on your goals. Besides earning more YouTube subscribers, you might have other goals in mind.

Take time to think about what you want to achieve from your contest. Let these goals guide the rest of the campaign. What’s great about UpViral is that it offers templates and a custom actions feature that caters to any goal you have in mind.

In connection with growing your YouTube channel, email list, engagement, and other channels — we recommend our “GROW SOCIAL MEDIA” template which you can find in the UpViral app. See the screenshot below:

2. Pick an appealing prize.

Now’s the exciting part of the contest. The secret to a great prize is to offer something desirable that aligns with your YouTube niche.

For example, if your channel is all about watch reviews for watch collectors and enthusiasts, offer a watch as a prize. Of course, if you already sell a specific product or service, that would be the best prize to offer.

💡Tip: You can even partner up with related brands for a bigger prize bundle. If you’re planning on this type of YouTube contest, be sure to choose our “MULTI-BRAND GIVEAWAY” template.

Check out these guides if you need more inspiration on choosing your YouTube contest prize:

3. Read YouTube’s contest policies and guidelines.

YouTube has published a list of policies and guidelines you need to follow if you run a contest on the platform.

For instance, your contest must be free of charge to enter. Moreover, you’re not allowed to claim that YouTube is involved or has endorsed your contest.

Before putting together your contest, see to it that you’ve understood general restrictions and requirements, and official contest rules.

YouTube has also published a set of Community Guidelines, which includes a Fake engagement policy. This policy is especially important since part of your involves getting more engagement.

4. Create the contest using UpViral.

Since this is a YouTube contest, it makes sense to create videos in which you talk about the contest — why you’re running the contest, what you’re giving away, how people can participate, and everything else they need to know.

UpViral makes it very easy to set up your YouTube contest on a landing page where participants enter their email addresses, share the campaign with their friends, and complete certain actions that align with your contest goals.

For YouTubers with websites, note that UpViral gives the option to embed a widget on your website. See the screenshot below:

These are the steps involved when setting up your YouTube contest in the UpViral app:

Add your incentive

Choose your incentive type (e.g., coupon code, downloadable file, others) and set the number of points needed to unlock the incentive.

Set the points for sharing, signups, and referrals

After participants enter their name and email on the contest landing page, take them to a share page where they can spread the word about your contest across social media. This would boost awareness to the campaign and get more people to join!

Don’t forget to create your “Shared message” — this is the message that others will see when the contest is shared on a social media platform.

Finally, assign “Starting points” for simply signing up in the contest and “Referral sign-up” points when a friend signs up through a referral link.

Build your custom actions

“Custom actions” is a special feature of UpViral that lets you reward participants with more points (for more chances of winning) in exchange for completing specific actions.

For a YouTube subscriber contest, make sure to create a custom action asking people to subscribe to your channel. We recommend assigning the highest number of points for this action if this is your top priority.

Here’s a great UpViral tip: If you’re offering your own product or service as the main prize (or part of a prize bundle), add another custom action asking participants to “Visit my shop.” 🛍️

This will warm them up to your offers, giving you extra opportunities to make a sale for those who cannot wait until the winner announcement date (or for non-winners)!

Design your opt-in and share pages

If you want to get the most out of your YouTube contest, create the best possible opt-in and share pages.

The opt-in page is where people signup to enter the contest and get an overview of the contest. Here are some essential elements to include:

  • Clear headline
  • Form fields (name, email, other contact information, etc.)
  • Call-to-action button (enter the contest)
  • Link to Terms and Conditions
  • Image of the prize to be won
  • Social proof, such as testimonials from happy customers or users

The share page is where they share your contest on social media and complete custom actions of your choice, which includes subscribing to your YouTube channel.

5. Promote your YouTube contest.

You’ll want to create a marketing strategy to reach your target audience. There are many ways to accomplish this.

First and foremost, make sure that you announce the contest on your YouTube channel. You could add it as a featured video so that random and loyal visitors will be able to notice and click it.

Moreover, check your existing YouTube videos that are really performing well. These videos can be used as opportunities to link to your contest by adding YouTube cards. Place these cards at the beginning or end of the video.

Here are additional ways to promote your contest:

  • Share it to your social media platforms (with UpViral, you can assign higher points for higher priority channels)
  • Write an announcement email and send it to your mailing list
  • Partner with influencers (whose audience aligns with yours) to get the word out as quickly as possible

Read the article: Here Are 11 Ways to Promote a Giveaway

6. Announce the winners.

The last part of any contest is the winner announcement.

Since this is a YouTube contest, it’s crucial to create a new video where you’ll be announcing the winner. Start your video by thanking everyone who took the time to enter and share the contest and then mentioning other interesting details — e.g., how many people entered and how you chose the winner.

Some would even do a live stream and make it a big event. At that event, you could surprise everyone who attends with a small incentive. A big sale after announcing the winner also gives non-winners a chance to buy the prize for less.

Read the article: How to Do a Giveaway Winner Announcement That Gets Results

Final Thoughts

We hope that this post gave you lots of helpful YouTube contest ideas to work with to grow your channel, email list, and more.

UpViral is a powerful tool that helps you every step of the way — from adding prizes to creating beautiful opt-in/share pages to helping your campaigns go viral. We’ll also give you access to courses that will increase your knowledge and results.

Start your first YouTube contest with us today.