Hot Tip: How to Run an Engaging User-Generated Contest

img-ideaYou don’t need to be a big brand with a huge marketing budget to run a user-generated contest that spreads like wildfire. Non-profits and small businesses are currently running contests with us that are generating thousands of submissions and are reaching tens and, in some cases, hundreds of thousands of consumers via newsfeeds, friend invites and sharing. Why are these contests doing so well? We’ve noticed a couple of important success factors:

1) Contests that focus on topics that people feel passionate about tend to generate the greatest interest. We’ve seen highly successful photo and written contests that focus on pets, children, sports (e.g. surfing, skiing, mountain biking), hobbies (e.g. cooking, travel), and affinity groups.

2) Contests that make it easy for entrants to submit their content tend to generate more submissions. Asking entrants to submit photos that they likely already have in their Facebook photo album (e.g. photos of travel, kids, pets, hobbies) or that they can easily snap using their mobile phone will tend to result in more entries. Likewise, if asking for written content its best to keep word limits reasonably low. Video contests require quite a lot of effort on the part of entrants so generally result in a much lower number of entries – but if the content is good, these can be very viral.


3 Responses to “Hot Tip: How to Run an Engaging User-Generated Contest”

  1. 1 john demarchi August 27, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Outstanding advice. Consumer passion points = the glue. I’ve seen it with,,, and other promotions for brands.

    The accelerant is participation. Once folks participate, they share, and you are off to the viral races. Friend feed, tweet deck and other apps – like Wildfire”s – are fantastic at pouring gasoline on the proverbial flame.

    –john demarchi
    evp, sponsorships, saavn

  2. 2 Brett August 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I’m delighted that Wildfire has included solutions for small businesses and non profits and I’m excited about running our first campaign.

  1. 1 Internet Marketing 101: Tips for running better contests « Christy Watson Media Trackback on August 31, 2009 at 11:34 am

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We are a group of innovative developers, designers and marketers with a passion for creating a social media marketing platform that helps companies & agencies to engage the millions of social network users. Our platform allows you to easily grow and cultivate your fans & followers.

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