How to Use Contests to Get User-Generated Content

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This presentation is from Affiliate Summit East 2013 (August 18-20, 2013) in Philadelphia, PA). Session Description: Learn, step by step, to use contests to generate free user generated content and build your editorial site. I’ll use case studies and specific examples to help you launch your contest program.

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How to Use Contests to Get User-Generated Content

  1. 1. How to Use Contests to Get User-Generated Content Corey Post ContentAndContests.com
  2. 2. My Background  Speaker and Writer  Content and Online Marketer for Over a Decade  Experience  VP Marketing at Shoeboxed.com  Director of Online Marketing, Cornerstone OnDemand (IPO - CSOD)  Director of Consumer Memberships, IAC/InterActiveCorp  Social Media Consultant, ReachLocal (IPO – RLOC) and LegalZoom.com  Founder, ContentAndContests.com  MBA from The Darden Business School at The University of Virginia
  3. 3. Why Content Contests?  Provide an Engaging, Interactive Experience for Your Users  Create Brand Ambassadors  Develop Leads and Expand Your Customer Base  Build a Library of Evergreen Content  Earn Social Shares and Links  People Share the Content They Create  Search Engine Rankings - User Generated Content is “Google Food”  Rank for “Real World Terms” That Users Enter as Queries  Rank for Long Tail Terms  Search Engines Look for Social Proof  Learn About Your Users
  4. 4. Steps for a Successful Content Contest 1. Determine the Goals of Your Contest 2. Outline Your Contest Parameters 3. Develop Your Budget 4. Optimize Your Content for Search and Social 5. Promote Your Contest 6. Choose the Winner 7. Notify and Promote the Winner
  5. 5. Determine the Goals of Your Contest  Photo, Essay, Video Submissions  Survey Responses  Social Shares – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest  Links  Sales  Registrations/Leads/Email Addresses Captured  Visitors/Unique Visitors  Time on Site Shoeboxed Messy Desk Contest
  6. 6. Parameters – Content  Original Content Creation and Submission as Requirement to Enter  UGC Forms  Text  Images  Video  Audio  Relate Content to Your Business  Interests Existing and Future Customers  400 Word Piece About the Benefits of Your Product  Picture or Video of Your Product in Use  (Generally) More Difficulty in Creation = Fewer Pieces of Content Created  Exception – Audio  Quality Videos are Difficult to Produce
  7. 7. Parameters – User Data  Determine Your Data Goals  Sales/Leads  Learn About Your Customers/Readers  (Generally) More Data = Fewer Entries  (Generally) Lower Entry Time (time it takes user to participate) = More Entries  Only Ask for What You Need  Maximize Your Participation  Minimum Ask = Name + Email
  8. 8. Parameters – Time Frame  Shorter Contest Time Frame  Benefits  Excitement  Top of Mind  Challenges  Potential for Fewer Entries  Potential for Lower Quality of Entries  Longer Contest Time Frame  Benefits  Potential for Higher Quality of Entries  Potential for Higher Volume of Entries  Challenges  Procrastination/Loss of Excitement  Reader Forgets to Enter  Amount of Time is Subjective  Found Two Weeks to Hit Center of Bell Curve
  9. 9. Parameters – Prizes  Giveaway Your Product  Connect to Your Product  If You Offer an IPad, Your Product Should Relate to Technology, Business, etc.  Have Multiple Prizes – 1st Place, 2nd Place, etc.  Multiple Chances to Win  Make Sure the Prize is Valued by Your Target Market  What Has Your Competition Successfully Used?
  10. 10. Parameters – Guidelines  Different State and Federal Laws May Apply  Consult an Attorney if Necessary  Facebook, Twitter and Other Social Networks Have Specific Rules  Don’t Risk Your Social Presence – Follow All Platform Rules  Go to ContentAndContests.com/AS E for Links to Rule Sets
  11. 11. Budget  Prize  Large Range, From T-shirt (~$10) to Tech Gadget Like a Tablet (~$300)  Offer Your Product to the Winner (cost of goods)  Offer Your Services to the Winner (cost of time)  Press Release  Written In-house (free) or by a Freelance Writer (~$40)  Distribution on a PR service (~$350 for one release)  Blog Article Announcing the Contest  Written in-House (free) or by a Freelance Writer (~$30)  Facebook Page for the Contest  Developed In-house (free)  Contest Administration (reviewing submissions, contacting winner, etc.)  Managed In-house (free)  Celebrity Judges  Barter for Services or Pay for Time
  12. 12. Optimize Your Content for Search and Social  Host Contest on Subfolder, not on Subdomain, not on Mini- Site  Own the Links!  Use Keywords in Your H1, URL, Meta  Do Your Research with Your Favorite Keyword Tool  Consider Long Tail Terms  Make Contest Easy to Share  Use Social Share Buttons  CMS Should Facilitate This  Consider a Voting Mechanism
  13. 13. Promote Your Contest  People Need to Know About Your Contest for it to be a “Winner”  Email  Include Prize in Subject Line  Newsletter  Blog Post  Announce Contest, Give Updates  Press Release  Forums  Contest Directories  Blogger Outreach  Social Media  PPC (if you have the budget)
  14. 14. Choose the Winner  Celebrity Judges  May Help Promote Your Contest  You Might Have to Pay Them  Staff Picks  More Control  Votes  Users May Encourage Friend Involvement  Social Engagement  Consult Social Network Rules  “Random Drawing”
  15. 15. Notify and Promote the Winner  Notification  Email - Opportunity to Interact with All Entrants  Blog Post/Social - Traffic and Shares  Promotion  Write a Blog Post  Create YouTube Videos  Interview the Winner  Video  Email  Feature on Social Channels
  16. 16. Case Study - Shoeboxed  The Messy Desk Contest  Offered iPad mini with Shoeboxed App Installed  Relates to Our Product  Created Landing Page  Asked for Original Photos of Messy Desks  Judged Contest on Repins (Pinterest)  Promoted Through Email, Newsletter, PR Service, Facebook Paid Campaign, Social Following, Blog  Results  200 Incredibly Messy Desk Photos  25,000 Repins  155 Links
  17. 17. Questions?  ContentAndContests.com/ASE  Will Include Links to Social Platform Contest Rules (extremely important for social contests)  Will Include Case Studies/More Examples  Linkedin.com/in/coreypost  Twitter.com/coreypost  Corey@ContentAndContests.com

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