- Identify your objectives.
To start with, identify the reason why you want to come up with a photo contest. No matter what your purpose may be, put it in writing and include metrics that will monitor your progress.
For example, if you want to boost traffic, consider the number of visitors and page views as your main metrics. However, if you plan to develop an engaged community, your key metrics are the amount of registrations, uploaded photos and actions such as likes and comments.
- Give what people want.
People join contents to win prizes. Therefore, to encourage them to participate, reward the winning photographer accordingly. Prices do not have to cost a lot. They can come in the form of gift cards, discounts or as simple as an acknowledgement. As an example, you can feature the winner’s picture on your homepage even as you benefit from their content.
- Make it smart.
Define your contest with this practical acronym, which stands for the following:
Specific: Describe the contest rules in details, including its duration and the way to notify the winner. Choose a catchy contest theme and make sure that photos are related to the theme. This should be easy to understand so that there won’t be any random photos.
Measurable: Identify the way a winner is selected (number of votes, views or panel selection) and make sure that the rules are understood from the start. According to experience, the best way to boost traffic and engagement is through votes among social networks.
Attainable: Since anyone can take photos, more people can participate. So, make sure that your user base has a lot of people who can participate. Moreover, avoid too many restrictions with regards to submission terms.
Relevant: The prize should be something valuable and worthy of the contestant’s effort. Make sure that the prize is directly related to your products or services.
Time: The contest should take place within a specified timeframe. People get easily bored or lose interest when contests take too long. The most ideal duration to encourage more contestants is two weeks.
- Awake the Creativity of Your Viewers
People can be very creative with their camera, a Photoshop edit or an app grain. Photography contests let participants go beyond their limits when there are less restrictions imposed on them. For instance, when your contest is sponsored and participants are supposed to take photos of a product, do not add to the limitations. In case you are planning to launch your products, you can let contestants design the poster to advertise them. You will be amazed with the ingenuity of some contestants.
- Make it Viral
The world of social media makes it simple to share photos. Your contest can benefit from the use of social media tools. When you let people vote, for example, they can share their submission with contacts and increase the quantity of referrals and activities about your contest.
One more way to benefit from social networks is to let potential contestants contribute from them, such as uploading a photo from Tumblr or Facebook. This makes the submission procedure easier, as well as allows participants to note down the submission on every feed.