At the Ad Council, we always try to come up with fun and creative ways to engage our audiences. For our @ISeeBullying campaign, and in honor of Bullying Prevention Month, we launched a contest called the Positive Impact Awards to inspire teens to spread kindness. Throughout October, we are asking youth ages 13-21, to share their stories of how they made their world a kinder place – with a prize of $1,000 for the most impactful story.
As a nonprofit, running a contest can seem like a daunting task. But with the Positive Impact Awards, I gained some helpful knowledge that could put your contest on to the path to success! Here are 5 tips for executing an effective contest:
1. Rally Your Team Early
If you have a fantastic contest coming up (or just have a great idea for one), have a sit-down meeting with all your stakeholders right from the beginning. Get your public relations and social media folks, your digital and website experts, and your managers to sit down and discuss what their responsibilities will be and when they will need to get done. You want to get ahead of all the moving pieces as soon as possible.
2. Have an Awesome Legal Team to Back You Up
When you hold a contest, there is a large amount of legal language that must accompany your website and social media graphics. Be sure to have a top-notch legal team that can write up your rules and regulations and help you understand the liability that you could face for certain pieces. Not to mention, they can oversee cutting the check for the winner!
3. Try a Quick Promotional Video
The digital world is saturated with various forms of content, but video has become king. Think about promoting your contest with a quick promotional video and, if you can manage it, have a social media influencer, who believes in your message wholeheartedly, be at the center of it. People like to feel a personal connection to causes, so having a special video that creates that bond could generate a larger audience and more entries to your contest.
4. Review Contest Entries Regularly
Don’t be surprised when your contest entries start pouring in – that just means your promotion was successful! Block off time every week to go through the entries and start sorting (or judging) them. Then you can digest each of them in the moment and not be overwhelmed when the contest ends.
5. Too Many Great Entries? Use Them as Future Content!
You have hundreds (maybe even thousands!) of beautiful contest entries, and you don’t want them to just disappear. Consider reaching back out to your nominees and asking them if you can use their story as content for your social media channels (or include that usage in your legal language to begin with). It’s an efficient way to re-purpose the entries you receive and further your brand’s message with real-life.