How to collect video submissions

Video is a versatile medium that’s useful for so many purposes. When it comes to awards and promotional contests — both the kind that confer prestige and those that award tangible prizes — incorporating video submissions can benefit both sponsoring organizations and applicants.

“The boom in reality television has caused a rise in video contests,” says Mick Essex, growth marketing manager for POWR, a global software company. “Video is interactive and fun, and having a video contest results in more views and submissions.”

Whether applicants are applying for scholarships or looking for financial backing for films and other projects, including a video with their application gives sponsoring organizations an opportunity to learn more than they might learn from a written application alone.

“It can be hard to communicate tone and personality in text,” says Essex. “Videos allow the person to show their individuality. The people who are reviewing [the] entries have more fun with video as well.”

On the applicant’s end, contests or award programs that ask for video submissions can make it easier for people who don’t consider themselves strong writers to apply. Plus, the organizations offering the awards can later use video submissions as part of a gallery of user-generated content, a helpful promotional extra for both the sponsor and the applicant.

While there are many benefits to video submissions, they do come with some logistical challenges. Wondering how to collect video submissions the right way?

In this article, we’ll cover how the right software can significantly expedite the collection of video submissions for awards and contests. We also cover how to establish submission guidelines and best promote the entry form.

Choose the right software to collect video submissions 

The first step in collecting video submissions is to select software that meets your requirements.

One of the major challenges organizations face with video submissions is how large video files are  — which is one reason you’ll need special software. Another is the variety of video file types you’ll be playing. Plus, the software you use should enable you to easily share video files with evaluators in the application process.

The long and the short of it is, you’ll need software that accommodates all these requirements and variables.

When it comes to software that can help you with video submission forms for awards and contests, Jotform is an easy choice. It offers several file upload form templates that organizations can customize to meet their needs, from choosing the colors and visual branding elements to adjusting the content of the form fields. Jotform offers an easy-to-use drag-and-drop form builder that you don’t need coding experience to use. 

A fully secure platform, Jotform can also accept payments, such as contest entry fees. And Jotform integrates with over 100 other cloud-based platforms — like Dropbox and Google Drive — for simple, stress-free storage and sharing of video submissions.

Establish the rules and regulations

Regardless of the type of contest or award you’re sponsoring, it’s important to establish guidelines and share them with applicants ahead of time. This type of transparency helps applicants prepare their submissions and prevents misunderstandings. Be sure to establish rules and regulations around the following areas.

  • Video creation and submission: Are there specific camera formats or editing software the applicants must use or any restrictions on subject matter or language that may be used in the video? What’s the deadline for submitting the video? “Have a disclaimer that notes that if applicants don’t follow the guidelines, their video will not be considered,” says Essex.
  • Video length: “You don’t want to end up with 10,000 videos that are 10 minutes each because that will be hard to review,” says Essex. “Best practice is to limit the length of the video at three minutes — or five minutes max.”
  • Legal issues: Who will own the video once an applicant submits it to the award or contest? Who will own the winning video? You’ll also need to check state regulations around contests to ensure everything is aboveboard. “Be sure to be transparent in your guidelines about how the videos will be used and if they will be publicly available,” says Essex.
  • Video review: How will your organization judge the videos? Is there a scale or rubric that you’ll apply, or are there category-specific criteria? Who will the judges be, and what are their qualifications? Determine the answers to these questions to share with applicants, and ensure the judges know how to use the submission software to view the videos.

Promote your video submission form 

Once you’ve figured out the technical and logistical details, it’s time to determine how you’ll promote the award or contest. After all, it’s important to share it with the right audience through the right channels to draw a large volume of submissions. Determine what the best channels are, such as websites, social media, email marketing, live or virtual events, or others.

Keep in mind that you’ll likely need to promote the contest through multiple channels, depending on your target audience. In your promotional material, link directly to the video submission form so that applicants know exactly where and how to send their videos, and provide easily accessible rules and regulations.

An intuitive video submission form is a key element in contest and award entry processes; it can make the technical and logistical aspects feel smooth and streamlined for both the organization and the applicants. With Jotform, you’ll avoid the pitfalls and meet the challenges typically associated with collecting video submissions.

Photo by Vanilla Bear Films on Unsplash

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