How to Run a Photography Contest

Anyone can have a photography contest no matter your niche or label. That includes you.

Maybe you’re thinking about running a photography competition, but you don’t know where to start or how to start.

In this article, I’ll evidence you how to run a photography race in five simple-minded steps.

Let’s begin.

1. Photography Contest Strategy: Set a Goal

Creating a tournament with no end goal won’t give you the results you want to see. Before putting time into creating your race you need to define what the purpose of this race. When you set a purpose, you allow yourself to see the bigger picture and make the competition to aligns with it.

Goal to increase followers

If your goal is to get more Instagram followers, you can incorporate getting for followers with your competition car-mechanics like questioning followers to follow your Instagram page before they enter the game.

Brand awareness

If your goal is brand awareness, you are able to ask contenders to use your products in the images or incorporate a creative theory that resonates with your brand’s message.

Increase Subscriptions

Allow contenders to give their email address to enter or subscribe to your Youtube channel so you can increase your adherent count.

Drive Traffic

If “youre supposed to” drive traffic and increase transitions on your site then allowing your audience to sign-up on your website or be directed back to your website after signing up might be something you want to implement.

These are just a few of the ways you can get results when you have a goal in brain. Don’t just go off and operate a game, have a tournament with a goal in psyche.

If having a photographer contest doesn’t align with your goals, don’t worry you can use one of the following options 25 Creative Photo Contest Ideas instead.

2. Photography Contest Strategy: A Contest for your Audience

Now that you have a goal in brain the next thing on your listing is to make sure that your photo contest is created with the right audience in psyche.

Ask yourself, who do I want to enter this tournament?

Are they people who you want to follow your brand or are they already following you?

If you host a race that your target audience can’t be addressed to it simply leaves them disorient and unconcerned which can lead to little to no participates. No one wants that.

For example, if your National Geography hosts an online photography game, automatically you thought of either nature, animals or current world events. I’m sure you didn’t think about iPhones, jeans, or funny feline videos.

Why because it’s clear that they would only host a contest that aligns with their brand or aims. Your photography contest should do the same.

Take a look at View Bug’s Paint and Makeup Photography Contest with the grand award of a Leica Camera. View Bug is a Photography is centered around helping fellow creatives and house their home communities, so they created a contest and prize that indicated their brand and interest their followers.

How to Run a Photography Contest

3. Photography Contest Strategy: Picking the Right Prize

Choosing the right award can increase the chances of entryways but offering a prize that has nothing do with your label can attract the incorrect people. When you give prizes aligned with your label, you can increase the chance of warding off cheaters or people that aren’t apart of your target audience

If a glamour label had a tournament, you wouldn’t is looking forward to win a motorcycle. Now that is a bit of situations of extreme, but you get the point.

The prize you choose to give your winner should be interesting enough for contestants who are already your client or who might be in the future. If you’re not sure what to offer customers, you can offer loots like

Discount Bundle Product Prize( s) Shopping spree( offline or online) Giveaway Brand Ambassador Title Early access to products/ services Swap services with a compatible label Free-spoken trip-up or meal Tickets to an occurrences Vip services or access

If you take a look at photo rivalries around the world brands give different forms of trophies, from magazine subscriptions, product vouchers, all expenses paid holidays and more.

On exception to the rule of great booties is Time magazine who assembled 31,000 entryways via Instagram with no award, all they promised was recognition on the front of the cover of Time. Except that they placed 288 photos on the same cover!

How to Run a Photography Contest

So if your label has that tier of affect and label awareness, you can give it a try, but if you’re nowhere near Time Magazine influence, a prize was essential.

You can choose one or a combination of awards from what’s listed above. Most people don’t participate the tournament , not since they are don’t just wanted to, but the loot might not seem worth was seeking to competing toward. Ultimately you crave your contestants to have a prize worth participating for.

4. Photography Contest Strategy: Clear Directions and CTA

No one dislikes embarrassment more than contenders.

Should I click here or here?

Wait, I need what?

Those are just a few of the things you don’t want people to say when they try to enter your competition. Unclear instructions or weak call to actions( CTA’s) turn people off which lowers the chance of your contest success.

Clear Contest Instructions

Don’t let visitors guess what they should do, tell them.

If you want them to share your page to participate, say so if you need them to participate then show them where and how. Make them clear, step by step guidelines on what the hell are you expect of them. It also induces your work more comfy because you’ll have fewer people reaching out to you asking how to enter, why because you placed all the information there.

It’s only idiot-proofing your guidelines so anyone from your target audience interested can enter. ND Awards offer guidelines and enter details to educate and help contestants when they enter.

How to Run a Photography Contest

Strong Contest CTA’s

Your photography contest CTA’s are just as important as clear guidelines. CTA’s are what you’ll are applied to grab people’s attention to enter and how to enter.

Your call-to-action, or CTA, a button is one of the largest component for your photography game. It’s the first step to get a potential customer through that entrance.

If you had a contest in the past that didn’t used to work so well, it could be that you didn’t have strong enough CTA’s.

If you’re not sure how to create strong CTA here are 25 Proven Call-to-Action terms to help convert onlookers into doers for your upcoming photography game.

Remember to restriction your CTA’s and keep it simple and don’t over complicate it let your contest image speak louder than anything.

Here’s an example by Not Awake Photography Contest that dedicated contestants clear guidelines and used simple-minded but effective CTA’s.

How to Run a Photography Contest

5. Photography Contest Strategy: Choice the Right Platform

Choosing the right platform for your tournament isn’t as complicated as it’s made out to be.

With social media being the norm your website isn’t the only place to host your photography contest there are a lot of platforms and lanes that can pay off with real results.

No was important that platform you choose to use you’ll require a promotion strategy behind it to get things moving, but we’ll get into that subsequently.

I’ve rolled a few platforms and spaces you can host your photography game, feel free to use one or multiple platforms, there’s no restriction to how many of them you can use just what works for you.

Platform: Website

Using your website to host a competition is a great way to get traffic to your locate.

It’s also a great mode for spectators to click around to learn about your brand or establish online acquisitions. If you decide to use your website ensure that you have a tight loading acceleration for your site, so visitors aren’t waiting around for the game page to load, it can turn people off from entering.

It’s also important that you have a page solely dedicated to your game, so visitors aren’t confused or lost on where to go.

Nikon uses its website to host its annual photography game.

How to Run a Photography Contest

Social Media

Using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram give you access to over 3 billion active consumers. That signifies out of the billions of users your tournament can constrict in on your audience.

If you plan to use social media, try using a tradition hashtag that relates to your label or rivalry. Hashtags help your audience find your label, and in turn, it helps you to find your audience.

If you think social media is the right fit for you, take a quick look at these Facebook and Instagram game steers to help.

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria utilized their Instagram account to host a Pizza Photo Contest in honour of National Pizza Day.

How to Run a Photography Contest

Landing Page

What if your brand doesn’t have a website, but you’re not very interested in hosting it on social media either.

No problem.

You can use a landing page to host your photography contest instead. A landing page is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a page that your visitors “land” on when they click a associate you furnish, it can be on or outside of your website. You can place this connection anywhere for your audience to access. Here’s an example of a Landing page.

So maybe a landing page merely might do the trick when it comes to being your photography tournament platform, then you can get started with easy to use landing page templates for your race.

How to Run a Photography Contest

Pro Tip:

Whichever platform you select keep in mind that there will always be cheaters. Try to attain your platform or tournament as “anti-cheat” as possible. You want your contenders to know that they have a fair chance at winning. In some lawsuits, it can be hard to stop cheating but where it is possible, try.

6. Photography Contest Strategy: Promote Your Contest

Your photography contest is ready to go so now it’s time to promote and share it.

Promoting your tournament may seem like it’s no brainer but there are a lot of labels out there with marvelous photography race but if no one knows about them.


No contest promotions.

That’s why advertising and sharing are one of its most important to success for any race. So here are some key styles you can get your contest out and out.

1. Send Emails

It’s not as old school as it seems, email is still live. The average open rate for email continues to improve time over year, as of 2018 the email open rate enhanced by 24.88%.

Send out an email with your upcoming or live game, so your existing patrons know about your amazing photography. Formerly they’ve subscribed to your email roster, it’s a higher possibility that they’d like to enter.

2. Social Media

even if you’re use a social media platform to host your tournament you still need to promote the tournament itself. That necessitates tweeting about it, adding to your Instagram story or operating Facebook ads to it. The whole nine yards. These are the places your adherent and potential contestants get to be. Preserve them up-to-date with the beginning and purpose date and let them recognize some of the introductions so far.

Just don’t overdo it with the self-promoting, it may annoyed some of your current clients.

3. Website Promotion

With your website, you are able to track and received more traffic with social media. You can also create a website flag or page that observers can see when they come to your locate.

4. Advertising

Facebook isn’t the only place you can advertise your photography tournament, you can try google showing network, Instagram and even Pinterest. Don’t limit yourself to where it is possible place your ads as long it’s where your audience is.

5. Repost or Share

Ask your followers or those in your community to share your competitor on their business/ personal social media pages, blogs or website to increase the chance of visibility.

Pro Tip:

With Wishpond’s Social Contest Suite you can also get detailed campaign reporting. Use it track your opinion, entryways and bounce rates in real-time. You can update your race in real-time to improve your contest results.

7. Photography Contest Strategy: Follow-Up After the Contest

So your race has ended, and you’ve gotten some good responses. You’ve even gained some new adherents on social media and steady traffic to your website plus some excellent brand awareness.

So we’re done, right?


Now it’s time to turn all your brand-new adherents and audience into loyal customers.

Here are some helpful ways to follow-up after your contest.

Show-off, your Winner

Once you’ve picked, you’re a win( s ), and let them know. Let them know beforehand via email, and you are able to mention, tag and share their race entry on your social media platforms. Your winner is apart of your audience how you treat them shows your community how you feel about your audience. So demonstrate some adoration!

National Geography did an entire blog post on the winner of their 2016 photography contest and how it changed his life.

How to Run a Photography Contest

Follow-up email

Send your contenders a follow-up email with a big “Thank You” for participating your race; you can keep them up to date for the next one and even afford a small discount to show your appreciation.

How to Run a Photography Contest

Say Thank You

Don’t just highlight your winners and contestants, let your entire community of customer and followers know that you were happy to share this experience with them. It can be a simple thank you or a sincere thank you very much. You can also say a big thank you on your blog or website as well.

How to Run a Photography Contest

Pro Tip:

Before you pick a contest win you have to make sure you know how you’re going to see pick your winner. Since this is a photography contest, you crave your winning image to be something you’d proudly share you can either let a person to vote for their favorite or attain the choices yourself.


Photo competitions are one of the best ways to generate leadings, increase brand awareness, and boost marketings for your business. Now that you’re ready to create a photography game we can recap the following steps.

Picking the Right Prize Clear Instructions and CTA Prefer the Right Platform Promote Your Contest Follow-Up After the Contest

Hope these tips helped. Have you ever run a photography tournament? Let me know how it moved in the comments below!

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