It’s the dream of all marketers and website owners, get the consumers, users or your target audience to do your work for you. Have them create the content and spread the word. So what better way to do that than by asking them to create media for your ad campaigns…

Recent research states that more than 40% of marketers in the US plan on asking their consumers to create content for ad campaigns according to Forrester Research. The requests will come in the form of contests and allow the marketers to get direct feedback from their users bringing them closer to understanding what it is they would like to see from the company and brand.

Forrester did warn that marketers need to keep expectations of interaction and brand impact low so as not to be disappointed since it’s still a somewhat unproven marketing tactic.

They also say that the contests need to be easily accessible and give it a more viral lean so as to get the consumers to do much of the heavy lifting.

The problem I see with that is if you are offering a small number of prizes many people may not tell a lot of others about the contest in order to keep the number of entries low. So perhaps an option for the contest might be to incorporate ‘tell your friends’ as a way to gain further entries or chances to win.

While the number of submissions might be low the contest could still generate a large impact on brand awareness and reach on the web so you cannot take one facet of the contest and expect it to be the results you need. Compiling all of the impact together would be a far better way to determine the ROI.

Forrester went on to give some further tips including demographics saying that 18- to 24-year-olds are most likely to upload video. 13% of users 18 to 24 report uploading online video monthly. Other age groups reported about half as much video uploading. If your product is not aimed at this particular age group you might expect far lower results and submissions.

CGM video contests are a prime example of that intangible benefit of online video we spoke about in another article. You, as a marketer get direct feedback from your consumers and it could generate further interest based on word-of-mouth. You might not generate direct revenue but it’s about getting your name out there and activating a base of consumers.

“CGM video contests can help marketers achieve traditional marketing goals, too,” as an example they put forth Tourism Queensland’s contest that generated an estimated $70 million in publicity.

Other things to take into account according to Forrester is the ability to reuse all of the videos that are submitted for the contest, using multichannel marketing, entrant self-promotion and inclusion of a charity or non-profit.