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How To Run A Photo Contest

Gleam offers a number of ways for you to incorporate photos & user generated content into your contests. From running a simple photo upload contest, to photo voting, or even a photo #hashtag competition - Gleam offers a range of capabilities to make easy for you to execute beautiful campaigns.

This guide is broken down into various sections, feel free to skip to the most relevant part:

Accepting Images In Your Campaigns

In order to display media you must first create a Competition that can either accept uploads from users or import media from external sources.

Entry Interval

Actions that accept Photos and Videos have an additional option that allows you to choose how frequently you'd like users to enter.

By default these Actions are set to Single, but you can choose Hourly, Daily and Unlimited (this will allow users to upload as many Photos or Videos as they want). We do look at the uniqueness of images, so users can't submit the same image twice.

Individual Upload Types

These upload types allow you to award a single entry for uploading from a specific source. The advantage with these actions are that you can be very specific about where you want the photo to be uploaded from.

File Uploads

With the File Upload action you can accept full-sized, high-quality images, video or files from user's devices (desktop or PC). They can simply upload it directly into the widget for a set amount of entries.

Select A Photo/Video From Facebook

The Facebook Photo Select action allows the user to select a pre-existing photo from Facebook.

You can also restrict photos that contain a certain #hashtag in the description, this can make it easier for users to submit.

Select A Photo/Video From Instagram

The Instagram Photo Select action allows the user to select a pre-existing photo from Instagram.

You can also restrict photos that contain a certain #hashtag in the description, this can make it easier for users to submit.

Select A Photo/Video From Twitter

The Twitter Photo Select action allows the user to select a pre-existing photo from Twitter.

You can also restrict Tweets that contain a certain #hashtag, this can make it easier for users to select.

Submit A Video From YouTube

The YouTube Submit Video action allows you to accept submitted videos into your contest. These can be videos owned by that person, or just videos they've found on YouTube.

Here's a sample campaign featuring each of the types above:

Multi Upload Types

There may be scenarios when you just want users to submit a single photo or video, but to give them the option to submit it from a variety of sources.

Submit Media

The Submit Media action allows the user to choose from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or File Upload (Business only) when submitting their photo or video.

Here's a sample campaign featuring the Submit Media action:

If you're on the Business plan or above then File Uploads will also be available inside the Submit Media Action

Importing Media Using Import Actions

Users on the Business and Premium plans have access to Import Actions via the How to Enter tab.

It's important to note that #hashtags can be imported into Competitions and also into a Gallery directly. Photo contests should always import via a Competition campaign, otherwise you won't be able to pick winners.

There's range of different ways that you can import media into your Photo Contest:

Facebook Post Comment Import

If you are running a campaign on your Facebook page that requires users to submit a photo as a comment to a specific post then the Facebook Comment Import action allows you to import their photos to your Competition.

Facebook Posts to Business Page Import

The Facebook Posts to Page import method allows you to pull in images that users (or staff) have tagged your page in as entries, or public photos that customers have Posted to Your Page.

Instagram #hashtag Import

The Instagram #hashtag import method allows you to pull in images from Instagram that have a specific #hashtag in the description or comments.

Instagram Mentions Import

The Instagram Mention import method allows you to pull in images from Instagram that @mention your brand.

Twitter #hashtag Import

The Twitter #hashtag import method allows you to pull in images from Tweets or Retweets that have a specific #hashtag in the message.

Building A Gallery To Display Your Media

Photo contests are an outstanding way to collect UGC and easily get explicit permission to use it in your own marketing efforts. You just need a way to display it so that users can view and vote on it.

There's two main ways that you can do this depending on what level of access you've subscribed to:

Install Options > Add Gallery to Your Site

If you have a Competitions Plan then the only way you can create a Gallery is from the Install Options tab inside the Competition that is accepting the entries.

Simply give your Gallery a Name and this will create a Gallery and automatically link it to your campaign.

Once your campaign starts receiving media from users or imports you'll start to see it populate in the Gallery.

Check Out a Gallery Example

Gallery Type

The type of Gallery that you're able to build will depend on your plan. Pro Competitions and above can use the Basic Gallery and anyone with a Package or a Gallery Plan can use the Gallery App (which offers more flexibility and features).

Gallery Import Tab

Once you've imported or pulled in #hashtag media into the Gallery you'll start to see it populate instantly. You can see a demo here.

Allowing Users to Enter From Gallery

When a Competition is linked to a Gallery you can show a button that allows users to upload their images from the Gallery directly.

Connecting Multiple Campaigns to a Single Gallery

On Premium plans you can connect multiple campaigns to a Gallery, this is useful if you have multiple separate Competitions from different locations all filtering into a global Gallery for voting.

Enabling Voting And Sharing

There's options when setting up your Gallery to enable users to vote on their favourite images, you can also enable the ability to share photos on social media.

You can let users vote anonymously, or you can choose to enable Social Login which requires that they login with Facebook to vote.

Installing Your Gallery

There's a few different ways that you can install your Gallery:

Use Gleam Hosted Landing Page

The most common method for businesses to get users to engage with their Gallery is to simply link the Hosted Landing page:

See A Hosted Gallery

Embed On Your Landing Page

If you want more control you can also embed the Gallery on your own landing page using the Embed option. We've done that below:

Picking Contest Winners

There's a few different ways that you can pick winners for photo contests.

Picking A Winner Randomly

At any point in time you can pick a random winner from the Winners tab inside your Competition.

Picking A Winner Manually

If you're judging based on skill or voting you can also manually pick winners from within the Actions tab of your Competition.

Various Tips & Tricks To Improve Your Photo Campaigns

There's various things that you can do to improve the success of your photo campaigns.

Make Sure to Promote Your Campaign

If you're asking users to upload photos or use specific #hashtags then make sure you ask users to use them!

This is especially true if you run a retail store, here's an example of a business in Australia called YOMG:

This is what your Gallery might look like if you did something similar:

Promote Your Contest on Instagram

If you're running a photo contest on Instagram, you can also use Instagram's Promote feature so your campaign reaches a wider audience.

Here's an example from Lamy:

Ready To Run Your Own Photo Contest?

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