Given the potential benefits -- real-life endorsements, actionable learnings and viral distribution being a few key ones -- it makes sense for any marketer to look closely at contests as a viable tool. The only issue, at least to date, has been a lack of case studies and best practices to follow.
That is, until now. Earlier this month, Forrester Research's Nate Elliot (a former Media Post columnist as well) authored a report on online video contests from a marketer's perspective. For the purpose of this column, we'll briefly touch on a key issue -- maximizing distribution -- and recommendations.
According to Elliot , there were as many as 115 online video contests going on in early July: a far higher number than many would expect. A typical online video contest garners 50 to 250 submissions on average: a far lower number than most would expect, especially since the estimated cost of an online video contest is between $10,000 and $250,000!
However, don't let the low submission average scare you, dear marketer. While submission and uploading of video might represent a barrier to entry to all but the most dedicated fan -- and I'd argue that in the age of Flip Minos and iPhone 3GSs, we might see that number change -- most everyone enjoys watching user-generated online video. In fact, Elliot points to examples of contests that had a "couple hundred video submissions that led to well over 1 million views."
When you hear about reach and view counts in the 1 million+ range, online video contests become an even more exciting idea. Best practices, according to Elliot, include making sure that the submissions are usable long after the contest ends (can "I'm a PC have the same impact now, long after the campaign is over?), and having steps along the way that encourage and incentivize pass-along.For any marketer or agency interested in learning more, I recommend reading the full findings, which can be accessed here