Curated photo competition

Running a photo contest is a great way to tap into the powerful appeal of visual content on the social web. Photography is the most widely used medium on social media today. By tapping into this trend and encouraging user-generated-content from your fans and followers you can not only help increase your social presence but can also drive high quality traffic and ultimately great leads to your website.

Here are 5 tips to get you moving in the right direction with your first photo contest:

1. What Do You Want To Achieve?

Define your objectives clearly. What are your key metric going to be? Maybe you want to increase your number of likes or follows for a certain platform. Maybe you want to promote a new product or service by driving footfall to a landing page. Examples of key metrics you might consider are:

  • Number of registrations
  • Number of photos uploaded
  • Number of likes/follows
  • Number of unique visitors
  • Number of pageviews

This is the stage at which you will either succeed or fail. Having a clear plan of what you want to achieve will set you on the right track to curating a successful contest.

2. Choose A Suitable Platform

Executing a successful photography competition can be a logistical nightmare. However, help is at hand! There are a number of well designed, user-friendly platforms out there. Finding platform that is both suitable for your requirements and fits with your pricing expectations. Here's my top 3:

Offerpop.com

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Price guide: $100 – $250. Offerpop is a great budget turn-key solution for those wanting to run a social media photography competition. There is some great functions in this package for the price. You can even use the platform to drive hashtag driven competition from Twitter or Instagram.

Beeliked.com

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Price guide: 999 Per Month. Beeliked are a great start-up from the UK that run a host of competition formats including photography, retweet, quizzes and more. My favourite element of the Beeliked package is the great landing pages they provide for their clients. Having worked with brands like Lonely Planet on multiple occasions it quite clear that this is a great little startup that have some excellent ideas and a nifty development team.

Postano.com

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Price guide: $2500 +. Postano is the ultimate social experience hub. It offers complete flexibility and an incomparable amount of control. You have access to a 100% customizable platform and that allows you to deploy across any platform imaginable.

3. Consider Your Prize Choices Carefully

We all know that the main motivator for anybody entering contests is that they want to win something. But in an online landscape overrun with competitions it's important to offer an attractive prize. Remember, the prize doesn't have to be expensive. What is important is that it is relevant to your audience. Be sure to give recognition to your winners as well. Posting their winning entry on your homepage or even using it in your next print advertising campaign will give your competition the boost it needs to cut through!

4. Make It As Socially Engaging As Possible

Photography competitions shouldn't just be about curating user-generated content. It is very important to use your social platforms to promote your contest to as wide an audience as you possible can. By using a service like Beeliked you can take advantage of social entry and social voting. With social entry fans and followers will usually share their submission once they have entered on their wall or timeline. If this is coupled with social voting it gives the contestant a better chance of garnishing more votes from their online friendship networks. This not only works well for them but also helps get your message to a much wider audience. Use all the social functionality you can, but always remember – keep it as simple as possible. Over complicating your entry and voting process will do nothing more than scare people away.

5. Track & Analyze Your Results

What is the point of your competition? Maybe you're not sure. maybe you're not sure, maybe this is your first online competition and you're just testing the water. That is fine, but always be thinking: What data can you glean from this. Why? Because it is going to help you develop your strategy moving forward.Not just for future competitions but for all of your digital marketing. You can track any number of useful metrics. You could look into where your traffic is originating from. Are your the majority of people interested in your brand on Twitter, or are they on Facebook? By analysing and tracking your competition you can help improve your marketing & SEO, help your customers and consequently help your business.

6. Most Importantly Remember To Have Fun

Social networks are rarely the place to be engaging in over-seriousness. Keep your competition light-hearted. Keep your entry process simple. And always engage with your customers as you would your friends and family.

Joe White

Driven by a holistic vision for digital and dedicated to an honest and open future for online marketing - Joe is currently working as a freelance blogger, SEO and social media manager.

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