Chapter 17. Smile. You’re on Camera.

Two of the most common forms of contests online are photo contests and video contests. Even before the Internet made the creation and sharing of multimedia easy, companies were exchanging cash and prizes for compelling multimedia involving their products. Obviously, the Internet and the proliferation of cheap, high-quality cameras have only made this process easier. Now, nearly anyone can create multimedia content if properly compelled to do so. For little work and not too much expense, this style of project will help you create a social media marketing war chest of user-submitted content.

Do some research and strategic planning before striking out on this project. Come up with a contest that will target and engage your ideal customers. You may need to experiment a bit before you find an approach that strikes a chord, but grant yourself—or your employees—the flexibility to do so. Don’t assume that you’ve got it right (or that you have been as successful as is possible) in your first attempt. There are many ways to approach this project, and the approach you take should account for your audience, your products, your company, your branding, and your personality.

For example, if you’re Shelf Stackerz—a new company with a brilliant new shelf-organization system, and you haven’t sold many of your systems yet, it would be difficult for you to successfully ...

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