There are many ways to engage with your YouTube subscribers and attract new ones. One way is to add YouTube contests to your YouTube marketing strategy.

Use this guide for creative ideas, guidelines, and best practices on how to plan and run an effective contest that will not only increase your engagement rates on YouTube, but also your subscriber count.

8 YouTube quiz best practices

You can be creative when planning your competition mechanics and rewards. But whatever comes to mind, be sure to follow these universal YouTube contest best practices:

1. Set SMART goals

Be clear and specific about what you want to achieve. Set a date for the start and end of the competition, then set your desired outcome before the competition starts. Make sure you have a real need or purpose to run it.

SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.


2. Explain why people should join

Your video description should include a convincing reason why someone might want to enter your contest and details on how they can do it. You should also include the rules of your competition in the description – learn more about that in a moment.

3. Select a desired reward

Make your prize competition worthy. It should tick the following boxes:

  • Something that will appeal to the target audience of the competition
  • It costs you little or nothing
  • Can be delivered digitally (which is great as it saves on shipping costs)

If you choose a physical reward, make sure it’s something people will enjoy using and not too hard to give.

4. Make it easy to participate

Make it as easy as possible for people to enter the competition by giving clear instructions on how to do it. This includes information on how many entries are allowed and what types of submissions will be accepted.

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It’s also a good idea to announce your contest ahead of time, especially if you’re going to ask your followers to post something like a photo or video.

5. Take the word out

Make sure to post the link to your contest on all your social media platforms and email it to your mailing list (if applicable). This will help increase engagement for those who may not have seen a special video announcement you posted on your channel.

Most importantly, make a video about it!

6. Work with influencers

Engaging with a well-known social media personality to help you promote your YouTube contest can help it go viral. This person’s followers will not only see the contest, but their support may encourage them to participate as well.

7. Be creative

To make your YouTube contest different from other contests you see on social media, try to come up with a creative idea that will engage viewers and keep them interested in participating.

8. Build partnerships with other brands

You may want to interact with other brands in your own context. Use this as an opportunity to promote all the brands involved and you can all step in for a worthy prize.

3 YouTube contest ideas and examples

1. Gift

Giveaways are easy to organize and a great way to engage your subscribers. Find an item that will appeal to your audience and give it away as a contest prize.

The two types of giveaways you can run are “random draw” and “winner takes all”. In both cases, you pull the winners from your subscriber list.

Here is an example of a random draw:

2. Comment below

Another way to involve your audience in a contest is to ask for comments on a particular video.

You can increase comments by sharing the video with your other social media channels and adding a clear call to action to your YouTube video’s description. Most importantly, talk about context in your video.

You then pull winners from the comments and announce them in a follow-up video or on your other social media.

3. Talent Contest

You can also ask your fans to post videos of themselves dancing, acting or doing a challenge. Ask them to use the official contest hashtag to track submissions. When the competition is over, you can post the videos submitted by the fans on your YouTube channel.

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Here’s a video from TMS Productions showing the winners of an editing competition:

YouTube contest and raffle rules

YouTube has strict policies and guidelines regarding contests and giveaways on the platform.

For example, YouTube contests should be open to everyone and free to participate. The person or organization hosting the contest must provide clear rules to viewers and take full responsibility to ensure that the rules comply with local laws and platform policies.

For more information, visit YouTube’s context policies and guidelines.

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