The Value of User Generated Content (UGC) in a Contest
User Generated Content (“UGC”) are digital assets (videos, photos, essays) created by an individual. When UGC is used in conjunction with a Skills Contest, entrants become really invested in their submissions, and in turn, the brand. Contests, compared to Sweepstakes, typically see a lower number of entries. However, the quality of the entry submissions and entrant engagement often outweighs the high entry count.
Phase 1: Submission
- Ensure that ample time is provided so that entrants can complete the Contest ask. We suggest limiting the entry submission time frame to no more than 8 weeks.
- Make sure you clearly state the call-to-action so entrants can easily understand what is mandatory and/or not allowed in their entries. Consider adding an FAQ page to answer consumer questions.
- Decide how many and what type of submissions you will allow per person. If you allow people to submit more than one entry they will stay engaged with the competition longer.
Phase 2: Moderation and Judging
- A team of moderators will review each entry to ensure it meets the eligibility criteria as stated in the Official Rules. Those entries deemed qualified can then be scored and ranked by contest judges.
- The criteria used for judging must be listed in Official Rules along with clear steps for handling a tie.
Phase 3 (Optional): Public Voting
- This is an optional step should you want to involve the larger fan base in helping select the Grand Prize Winner(s).
- A great way to increase the reach of a Contest is by having finalists become “brand ambassadors” for their own entries during this phase. Providing “PR Kits” enables all finalists with the opportunity to merchandise their entries. This, in turn, creates incremental free impressions for the Contest and brand. Remember, however, that any form of voter inducement must be discouraged as it will deem the finalist ineligible.
- Experience has shown that when a leader board (a list of entries in order of most votes) is used to publicize the number of votes each entry has received, it will compromise the integrity of the contest. It might make entrants resort to dishonest tactics or cause negative brand exposure if cheaters are listed high on the leader board.
- Make sure the result from a public vote is not the only determining factor in selecting winners and that the results are incorporated into another round of judging.
Phase 4: Winner Selection/Clearance/Announcement
- Entrant scores are tabulated based on the criteria as noted in the Official Rules with Grand Prize and First Prize Winners identified.
- Potential winners are asked to complete all required paperwork and upon review of paperwork, are cleared and named as winners. Remember, clear the winner before publicly announcing their name to ensure they meet eligible requirements for the Contest and that they attest that their entry was their own original work.
- Winners are announced and published on the promotion website.
Are you thinking of running a UGC Contest for your brand? Let us know what questions you may have. We can help!
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