Public voting, also known as People’s choice or Audience choice, is a smart way to generate recognition and increase the scale of your award programs or contests. And as you probably know, we’re obsessed with things getting done the smart way! So here’s a guide on how to use public voting to achieve some amazing results.
But before we get to the Hows, it’s crucial to start with the Whys. Here are just a few reasons to go for it:
A public voting contest is one of the most powerful ways to tell your audience “Your opinion is important to us!” and to make them feel valued. That’s a solid enough reason alone.
It actually has an electrifying effect on all parties involved! Simply because people love to be in the running as well as to have their say. And with public voting, you give them both! Moreover, those contests are very dynamic, interactive and unpredictable which holds people’s attention and interest throughout the whole campaign cycle.
There’s hardly a cheaper way to increase your program visibility and engagement. It helps you to not only connect with your current community but to also attract some new audience.
A public voting contest is a marketing tactic itself and a smart one at that! It costs you almost nothing, but has amazing results (well, if done right, of course).
Having difficulties engaging your social media audience? A public contest could totally change that! It will not only spark conversations, but you’ll often get tagged in contestants’ and voters’ posts - so prepare to go viral.
We’re not going to elaborate on how priceless UGC is because you already know that. We’ll just say that organizing a public voting contest is a great way to gain invaluable UGC that will moreover be super-engaging and successful. A photo contest is probably one of the easiest and most intriguing ways to do that. But you can have videos contests, short stories contest, you name it.
For a contest to have a stellar reputation, transparency is crucial. A public voting contest is usually as transparent as it gets as everybody gets to have their say.These are just some of the reasons why a people’s choice contest or at least a public voting round could be a great move. Choose the ones that matter to you the most and try to push towards achieving maximum results!
You might think that there are no downsides to running a public voting contest. Well, not so fast. Not every competition or awards program fits the concept of people’s choice. Just think of the Oscars - they will never have people’s choice award because they’ll simply lose their value. If you organize medical awards or any kind of competition requiring the judges to have very specific knowledge or expertise, the broad audience is simply not competent to evaluate the entries. In these cases, public voting could only harm the image of your awards.
However, if that’s not the case, we highly recommend a public voting contest or round.Another major threat when it comes to public voting is vote-rigging or fraud. You’ve seen it - an entry that gets an unrealistic amount of votes overnight. Usually, that’s due to bots or organized groups of people that are trying to manipulate the voting. And even though it’s almost impossible to eliminate cheating altogether (people are unbelievably creative when it comes to that!), you can at least limit vote-rigging to a great extent (more on that later in the post).
The first thing that comes to your mind is probably social media. Yup, social media is a truly great platform for lots of contests (mainly visual ones like photo contests, etc.). However, there’s a better one - your own webpage.
Why? It’s simple - you take your current audience as well as your potential customers to your online home where they can take the further actions you want them to take. In short, you shorten their way to your final goal.
Now that you know why and where you’re doing the public voting contest, it’s time for the fun part - planning and implementing.
The rules are the pillars of every competition, so that’s your starting point. We recommend to really think them through because altering them during the campaign could harm your image and annoy your audience.
Usually, the public voting phase is the first or a latter step within the main competition. Either way, including a people’s choice award or a public voting round as part of a contest, is usually an extremely successful move and many awards do it to engage their audience.
The most common type of public voting is the Popularity voting option, also commonly known as “Top Picks”, “People’s Choice”, etc. It basically allows people to cast their votes for one or more applications. All votes count equally – the winner in a category is the application that gets the most votes. Popularity voting is perfect for any kind of contest that requires ordering of entries such as photo competitions, art or other creative contests, lists, indexes, etc.Most awards management solutions will stop here and convince you that this is the only right way to do a public voting contest. Evalato, of course, offers more.So here are the other voting options you get with Evalato...
Make sure you provide clear rules and instructions, to avoid misunderstandings. It’s best if these are placed someplace they cannot be missed and are easily accessible at any moment.If there are important deadlines, also make sure people know about them. When does voting start, end, and when will the results be announced.Also, as boring as T&C forms are, they’re obligatory. When you have public voting as part of your program, you should consider having separate T&Cs for those who wish to cast their votes. .In Evalato, we’ve envisioned dedicated spaces where you can add all of these elements.
Now, every contest needs to have a prize. The more awesome the reward, the more and the better participants you’ll get.That doesn’t mean that if you don’t have a big budget, your public voting competition won’t be a success. The reward could be awesome and even more appealing even if it’s not monetary or tangible. If, for example, your organization is an authority in your industry and you make a list of the best in that field, contestants will be more drawn by being part of your prestigious index, than any tangible prize.
On top of that, psychologists have long proven than when competing, contestants are motivated by both extrinsic and intrinsic factors – the first being winning an award and the second - the experience of personal satisfaction and approval from the public.
Finding the right participants is not always an easy task. One thing is for sure - you need to make their entering into the competition as seamless as possible. That means not wasting their time in complicated and long processes or with endless communication. Make their (and your) work simple and choose an intuitive solution for your public voting contest.
With Evalato, your contestants register quickly and easily and get access to a personal online portal where they can submit their application whenever they want and simply click a button to submit it. You approve it again with just a click and voila - it’s live on your voting page (that is again provided by Evalato).
For a public voting contest to work, it’s also important to make it easy to vote and minimize vote-rigging as much as possible. Both things depend on your decisions and the public voting solution you choose.
Did you know that 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual and we process visual information 60,000-times faster than text? That’s enough to convince you how much design matters, right...So let’s quickly have a word about the design of your public voting page.
If done right, a public voting element could have a viral effect without the breaking-the-bank. Of course, you need to do your part so here are a few quick tips on how to promote it:
More tips on marketing your awards competition find here.
There are lots of tools you can use for public voting. Some are pretty basic apps that do just that - let people vote for some options you’ve added. Other tools, like Evalato, can help you run any kind of awards or contest that requires collecting and evaluating applications. Not to mention the tons of customization and analytics options you get with such a powerful and flexible solution. Our key advice here is - research and test, that’s the best way to know for sure whether a tool fits your exact requirements.Now that you know the ins and outs of public voting, it’s time to act. Sign up with Evalato for free and launch your people’s choice contest quickly and easily.