YouTube has become a haven for corporate contests, offering free products and sizable monetary rewards. There is a science behind creating a winning video entry. The keys are planning, creativity and video quality. Here’s make a YouTube contest video.
1. Read all contest rules and regulations. You don’t want to go to all the trouble of producing a video only to find out you aren’t even eligible, or that your video was disqualified. Read all guidelines and fine print carefully.
2. Plan. Don’t throw your video together the hour before the deadline or you’ll be throwing away your time.
3. Familiarize yourself with the sponsor. By researching the company or organization offering the reward, you will get a better understanding of what they are after and better know appeal to the judges.
4. Strategize. Decide how you’d like to shoot the piece, what you’d like to feature and what you’d like to say.
5. Spend considerable time on props and graphics. If you are using “accessory” pieces, make them look professional. That will give you an edge over a well-written, creative piece with amateur graphics.
6. Employ someone with photography and editing expertise. Check with friends or friends of friends first. You are bound to know someone who is savvy with the equipment or has that artistic eye that you may not be blessed with. These people know get the results you need. If you win, you can even give them a cut!
7. Focus on quality. This is key. Don’t submit anything where the video is grainy, too dark or too bright. Same goes for audio. It should be clear and not overmodulated. If you must, rent better equipment or tweak what you already have.
8. Use subtitles. If it’s an English speaking country-based contest and your accent is thick, you may not be clearly understood. Even a well-executed entry may be discarded because this element is overlooked. Be honest with yourself about your speaking capability. Even an Australian accent is just different enough that it may trip up some American judges who don’t hear that accent regularly.
9. Think outside of the box (or computer screen). Do something you’ve never seen before on YouTube. Be adventurous. Take risks. As long as it’s within reason, this will garner good attention and put you in a strong position to win.
10. Write a catchy, compelling script. Read it aloud. That way you’ll know if you can say it smoothly or if it sounds natural. Don’t memorize it if you are actually going to be featured on camera. Have someone else review it to assure there are no grammatical errors which will adversely impact your credibility with the judges.