Running an online UGC contest can help you engage fans and allow them to interact with your company, brand, and/or product. It is always important to use techniques that will encourage your fans to stay engaged with the contest even after they enter. One way to do this is to allow fans to vote on entries. For most businesses this is a great idea because people are prompted to spread their entry to get more friends to vote, creating a viral effect. Voting can promote more word-of-mouth marketing for your brand because entrants will spread the word to gather votes. This will in turn create more awareness of the promotion and your brand or product. Voting also gives the incentive for fans to continue to visit the promotion page and acts as another step in the online UGC contest. It is a fun way for fans to take an active role in the outcome of the contest.
When considering if your contest should be 100% decided by public vote, it is important to understand what this means for the contest and to be prepared to hand over control of the outcome to your fans. Another way to incorporate public voting in your contest while still maintaining some control over the outcome is to create a round of voting to narrow down the entries that are in the running to win. After allowing this period of voting you can then create a panel of judges who will decide the winner. This will still encourage fans to stay engaged and to share their entries virally, while also allowing your brand to maintain some control.
Some businesses may prefer not to allow fans to vote and instead rely on complete brand control. This means that your brand or business will be in charge of the entire voting process. A fun way to do this while keeping your fans interested is to incorporate a panel of expert judges that appeal to your target audience. This will give your fans the incentive to stay tuned to the contest and to continue to visit the promotion site.
Each option above provides a great way for entrants to stay interested in your contest. It depends on what your particular brand goals are concerning the promotion and it is important to consider which strategy will fit best with your company.