11 Keys to Running a Successful Photo Contest (a free checklist)

Over the last 8 years, StoryBox has run hundreds of contests with brands including Disney, Levi's, Bud Light, Priceline and more. 

We've put together a free checklist to help your team run a successful customer photo contest. You can download this checklist below, and save your team hundreds of hours in your next photo contest.

 

How to get the most UGC participation possible

One of the most common questions we receive is: "How can I get the most (and highest quality) User Generated Content (UGC) possible?"

The answer is simple: let your customers participate however and wherever they would like.

Let customers participate HOWEVER they would like

The first key is to let your customers choose how they would like to participate. Here's some quick numbers for you:

how_customers_participate

When it comes to participation, it is hardest to get customers to submit a video (10% of all participants), followed by photo (25% of participants), text (50% of participants) and finally star rating (81% of participants).

So if you're looking to get the most participation possible, allow as many of these options as possible. At StoryBox, we make it simple for customers to submit photos, videos, and text, and we do this because we know this will result in the highest amount of participation possible.

Let customers participate WHEREVER they would like

It's just as important to allow customers to participate wherever they would like. Oftentimes we see companies who only promote participation on Instagram. This is a great start, but many of your customers will be unwilling to share a photo about your brand on their personal Instagram page. 

That's why StoryBox provides over 21 different ways for a customer to participate. This allows customers to choose the method that is most comfortable for them, which drastically increases participation rates.

Here are the methods we provide:

  1. Photo upload
  2. Webcam photo
  3. Photo from Facebook Album
  4. Photo from Instagram Album
  5. Video upload
  6. Webcam video
  7. YouTube Video
  8. Instagram content aggregation by #
  9. Instagram content aggregation by @Mention
  10. Instagram content aggregation bt geographic location
  11. Twitter content aggregation by #
  12. YouTube content aggregation by keyword
  13. Facebook aggregation via page post
  14. Mobile photo upload
  15. Mobile photo live camera
  16. Mobile video upload
  17. Mobile video live camera
  18. Photo submission via email
  19. Video submission via email
  20. Text only submission
  21. Tumblr content aggregation

By providing all of these options, you do not need to know upfront which method your community prefers. No matter what their preference, you'll be ready to receive it!

0 to 150k Instagram followers in 3 years - an interview with iEDM

0 to 150k Instagram followers in 3 years - an interview with iEDM

I sat down with Anthony Ulanovsky, Founder & CEO of iEDM, to discuss how he's grown his Instagram following from 0 to 150k followers in under three years. The highlights of our conversation can be applied to virtually any brand looking to strengthen their connection with their customers, and expand their social audience. 

REI Co-Op: #OptOutside

REI Co-Op: #OptOutside

In October of 2015, REI announced that as a “cultural counterweight to Black Friday” they would close all 143 of their stores, turn off all online transactions, and pay their employees to take the day off. Black Friday – historically the highest grossing sales day for retailers – instead was to be used to #OptOutside, and get outdoors and in nature. The marketing campaign sparked a national movement, with over 150 companies following suite, and 1.4 million people choosing to #OptOutside. The User Generated Content gallery – still displayed on their website – is an inspiring showcase of compelling reasons to get outside.

Coca-Cola – Share a Coke

Coca-Cola – Share a Coke

Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign has been running off-and-on in some fashion since the idea was first formed in Sydney in 2011. The concept was to replace the Coca-Cola logo on cans of Coke, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero – arguably one of the most recognized logos on the face of the planet – with 150 of the most popular names in Australia. The campaign struck a nerve that would eventually expand to over 70 countries and over 500k names. Customers were encouraged to share photos of their experience on Twitter, and the campaign capitalized on a global trend of self-expression and sharing, with Coca-Cola’s natural knack for striking a deep emotional cord through it all. This is a case study that is fascinating for it’s fantastical success, but also to see how the idea grew and expanded over time.

Bud Light: Super Bowl Correspondent

Bud Light: Super Bowl Correspondent

In December of 2011, Anheuser-Busch partnered with VideoGenie (now StoryBox) to launch a Facebook Application to audition a Bud Light Hotel correspondent. Contestants submitted thirty-second video clips in an “Ultimate Fan” format, showcasing why they were the ideal candidate for this killer role. The winner was selected to cover Super Bowl XLVI from the Bud Light Hotel, a 180-room renovated hotel in downtown Indianapolis. Not only would the winner star in a series of videos for AB InBev’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel, but they would attend red carpet events, conduct celebrity interviews, and get behind-the-curtain views of Playboy and EA Sports parties at the hotel. The winner also received a salary for their tenure. The Bud Light team presented on this campaign at the 2012 SXSW conference and called it “the most effective User Generated Content campaign that Bud Light has ever run.”

Corepower Yoga: #WhyIYoga

 Corepower Yoga: #WhyIYoga

In September of 2016, Corepower Yoga launched their #WhyIYoga campaign. Their community could upload a photo on the CPY website, and enter up to 20 characters explaining why they yoga. These words appeared as a scripted overlay on top of the image, which increased the share ability of each photo. This is a great example of a brand that elevates their contest above simple testimonials or requests for customers to talk directly about the brand. Instead, it united the CPY community in their love of and appreciation of yoga, and expressing their personal and unique reasons to committing to this practice.

Starbucks: White Cup Contest

Starbucks: White Cup Contest

In April of 2014, Starbucks launched the White Cup Contest. Inspired by the photos posted to social media sites of customers doodles on their mostly white Starbucks paper cups, Starbucks decided to take things one step further. They encouraged their customers to doodle away, post a photo of the finished product to Twitter or Instagram with #WhiteCupContest, and the winner would have their design printed on a limited edition Starbucks reusable plastic cup. The contest generated nearly 4,000 entries in just three weeks, and changed the winner’s life.

Tourism Queensland “Best Job in the World”

Tourism Queensland “Best Job in the World”

In 2009 Tourism Queensland ran one of the most successful UGC Video contests of all time, receiving over 34,000 user generated videos from over 200 countries and an estimated $260M in earned media content. In order to create international awareness for the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland Tourism & SapientNitro created “The Best Job in the World” campaign. People were invited to submit a 60-second video audition to be considered to be hired as a caretaker on Hamilton Island, a six-month position with an $150K AUD contract. Rather than spending money on ads, they posted the job in classifieds throughout the world. The campaign received international attention as over 46k news sites around the world covered this outrageous and first-of-a-kind campaign.