Idea contests: Agencies are now turning to user-generated content

Never has there been an easier time to be creative. With the unprecedented accessibility to video editing software and filming equipment (your phone), the world of filmmaking is now at the fingertips of almost everyone. Gone are the days of needing hundreds of thousands of dollars to visually transfer your ideas to the world. For just a couple hundred dollars (if that) you can do everything from write and shoot your project, to edit and distribute it. Millions of people around the world are uploading quality content that’s being seen by huge audiences.

Eco-Comedy Video Competition Spring 2015

Businesses and corporations have also picked up on this trend and regularly solicit user-generated content to help move and showcase its products. Whether it be a funny Super Bowl commercial or just a quick Vine clip that they can share on it’s social media channels, the push for “home-grown” content is at an all time high. Many companies will reach out by way of idea contests. They will survey their audience and ask for them to “pitch” an idea. A lot of times you’ll be paid for your idea and be given funding to produce what you’ve pitched. Companies tend to use unique software, like Skild to effectively run its contests.

Many different contest ideas are available all year round. Currently, the Center For Environmental Filmmaking at American University’s School of Communication in Washington D.C has an open call for its annual Eco-Comedy Video Competition.  The call is open until Sunday, March 1st 2015 and asks the question, “CAN YOU MAKE CONSERVATION FUNNY?” This year’s theme is “Clean Water, Clean Air.” The grand prize for the best video will be $2,000 and the video will be posted and shared on the organization’s website’s and social media sites.

Utilizing user-generated content is one of the best ways to engage an audience. A lot of times the content generators will help get the buzz out about your businesses message by using their own following to get behind a project. With an audience of over 1 billion unique visitors per month, taking advantage of sites like Youtube.com is a wonderful way to get an idea of the proper ways to create good, quality content.

Source: (Eco-Comedy Video Competition Spring 2015 – American.edu)

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