Radio Interview Transcripts

MorePhotosRadio - Set Up Your Own Photo Contests With PhotoScramble
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ANNOUNCER:  Welcome to the More Photos’ Radio Photography Spotlight brought to you by Morephotos.com helping professional photographers with all their internet needs. Also brought to you by Labimages.com. Finally, an e-commerce solution for professional photo labs that makes sense. Now here is your host, Damien Allen.  DAMIEN: Good morning and welcome to the program. My name is Damien Allen, and joining me today on the telephone is Drew Warner of Photo Scramble. He is the digital marketing manager and client marketing consultant for PhotoScramble.com, a division of the WD Web. Welcome to the program, Drew.
 
DREW: Thanks, Damien. I appreciate you having me.
 
DAMIEN: It’s a pleasure to have you with us today. What exactly is Photoscramble, Drew?
 
DREW: Photo Scramble is a photo contest hosting site and essentially it is a platform that allows businesses and organizations to host custom photo contests that they create and it’s a little bit unique because not only can they host a photo contest and share it, but people can also come to Photo Scramble and browse multiple contests under one venue.
 
DAMIEN: How does it work?
 
DREW: The way it works is basically any organization would set up a photo contest with us and it is a pretty simple process; about three steps, and they think of a theme and prizes and rules before they set up, and basically people come in and vote on the contest and share it with their personal social networks and it’s just kind of a great way to build buzz around your brand.
 
DAMIEN: How easy is it to add something like this to your website?
 
DREW: It’s pretty simple. We have a contest badge that we have developed that basically allows you to copy and paste a little piece of code and you put that in a header or footer on your website and that is essentially all that it takes to add it as a point of entry for visitors to your prospective site and then also there are other ways to share such as social media, Facebook, Twitter, etc. So we have tried to make it as user friendly as possible.
 
DAMIEN: Why would I want to start a contest on my website?
 
DREW: Well more and more you are seeing people out there who are trying to think outside the box, you know, to do something unique to market their company, and I think the owner of the company, Mike Connors, did a really good job when he thought of this idea, because it kind of goes along with the whole social media wave that has kind of struck the country and the world in that people want to be engaging your brand, and they want to feel a part of what you are doing and so a photo contest is just a great way to get out there and be a little bit different and just offer something to your customers or perspective customers that is unique and allows them to do that in a fun way.
 
DAMIEN: Does this drive traffic into your website as well?
 
DREW: It does. The way that the viral spread kind of initiates it’s a contest that is well promoted. It’s pretty interesting. We like to tell host companies or organizations to begin by marketing to their own customer base. So for example if they have an extensive email marketing list and if they have a website that gets a fair amount of traffic or if they have a lot of followers on Facebook or Twitter, for example, they are going to start out by marketing to them. And what happens is if I’m a customer of a particular company and I see there is a photo contest going on, and I go in and upload my photo because I want to win the prize, then I will go into my personal social network like Facebook, Twitter or by word of mouth, and I’ll tell my contacts about it. So that’s where the viral spread initiates. Those folks are going to go in to vote for me, my family members, my mom, my sister, my brother, and friends, etc., are going to go in and vote for me.   That’s where the host company is exposed to this whole new client base that they may of not otherwise seen.
 
DAMIEN: So basically we are down to and they told two friends and they told two friends and they told two friends, and so on?
 
DREW: Yes, exactly.
 
DAMIEN: What are some of the things I should be aware of or think of before I create a contest like this?
 
DREW: We tell people in preparation, now the whole set up process is fairly straight forward, but we feel like it is a good idea to have a little bit of thought into it as far as having the theme kind of match up with, at least somewhat match up with your company or organization, to have an idea of what your prizes are going to be and if you are going to have specific rules and basically think of something that makes sense with your company, but at the same time is broad enough for you to be able to get some pretty good amount of interaction?
 
DAMIEN: Now, depending on what your company is doing, what should you give away as a prize? How do you figure out what the prize for one of these should be?
 
DREW: That’s a good question. We feel like when you can it’s great to offer a prize that has to do with your company such as a gift certificate if you are an online store or just the same if you are a brick and mortar location, a gift certificate is a great way to go. You can also have sponsors. So, for example, a local photography company or let’s say a local camera company could be the host of a contest, but they might get someone like Canon or Nikon come in and actually be the sponsor and give away a digital SLR. There really is no limits on what you can do with prizes, but it’s a good idea to self promote through your prize give away if you can.
 
DAMIEN: How about setting up the rules and regulations? How do you know what your supposed to add for something like that?
 
DREW: We tell folks to look into your respective state’s rules and regulations regarding contests and so far there has been a couple companies that have gone pretty extensive on that, but for the most part, folks have kept it pretty simple. Just keep things in mind like now explicit content and you want to put things into the contest you that you have specific rules where you might show a product that you are trying to sell and that has to be the photo. You might want to put that in the rules as well, but for the most part it’s been pretty lax. 
 
DAMIEN: Are there different types of packages that can be worked out for a Photo Scramble contest like this? And how easy is it to share with your social media sites?
 
DREW: There are three levels that we are going to be offering and at this point in time, today, we have one of them completely developed and that is the basic package. The basic package essentially resides on the Photo Scramble website and we have some custom tools and a custom widget we talked about the badge already and then something that is nearly complete and will be coming out in the early part of 2011 is the Pro contest and we describe that as more of a white label campaign which is actually branded toward the particular company specifications that we are working with and then the 3rd level which is going to get a touch more into customization is called the Corporate package and that really goes a step beyond as far as color schemes and really branding it towards the particular company we are working with. The second question when it comes to adding it it’s really simple. We have a sharing tool that allows you to stream it right from the contest page onto Facebook and all the other social medias that are out there, but if you don’t want to use the tool, it’s also as simple as going to the contest page and copy and pasting the link from the URL browser and go ahead and use that to put it on your Facebook page or on your Twitter or wherever you want to. It’s pretty straight forward.
 
DAMIEN: Now what if you just want to browse a contest or maybe add a photo in. How do you get around to doing that?
 
DREW: Browsing would just be as simple as going to the site and looking around. You do have to go a step beyond that when it comes to adding a photo. You want to actually register as a photographer is what it’s called and when you do that you create a user name and password and that allows you to come back in and have a running tally of photos you have submitted and be involved in multiple contests. We do have a fan base that is starting to build up of folks who just like to come and share their photography and have fun with these contests. That’s been pretty neat as well.
 
DAMIEN: Is there a degree of difficulty in adding photos to these kind of contests?
 
DREW: No it’s pretty simple. Most folks that have a digital camera would already know how to upload their photos to their computer and at that point they are just having to browse on their machine and select the photos they want to upload and our system automatically recognizes it and resizes it to the size that’s needed for the software. We found that to be pretty user friendly up to this point.
 
DAMIEN: When you are getting the pictures into these contests, when you are sending them in, is your information shared with anybody, are we going to be looking at an email box full of SPAM after this? Is there some kind of privacy code to keep your submissions and information private?
 
DAMIEN: Yeah. You will receive confirmation emails when you do upload photos as well as the hosts of contests will receive emails throughout the contest period concerning changes that are taking place in the contest, but what we are doing, and it’s going to vary by the level of contest. For example, the basic, for entrance itself will have an opt in box where they will be able to choose if they want to receive announcements from the host company regarding special offers and promotions, etc., and the pro version we are looking in 2011 actually having the email be a requirement and then you’ll be told when you enter the contest that you will be receiving promotional offers from the host company; however of course, as with any email promotion, you can always unsubscribe at any time. We don’t sell to any third parties. These are just strictly for the host company and for our use throughout the contest period.
 
DAMIEN: If there are a problems when you are adding pictures into these contests, is there any type of support for getting through the problem?
 
DREW: There sure is and we have a few different options. We actually have a live chat on the site and most times business hours Eastern Standard Time we have somebody at the ready there and then we also have an email which is simply support@photoscramble.com and you can call into our office and we can help you out there and all the contact information is on the site provided for you.
 
DAMIEN: Where do the photographs appear after they have been submitted?
 
DREW: When you submit the photo, it’s going to appear right on the contest page that you have submitted it to and then what happens is they get automatically ranked by votes if it’s a public contest with voting, the system automatically ranks them. If you upload a photo the first day it might be at the end of the line and then if you promote it well and you get some votes, it could slowly climb up in the days to come getting toward first place.
 
DAMIEN: Well the contest has been set up, the photos have been added in, people have been visiting the site and voting. We have gotten a winner. How do you award the winners from that point?
 
DREW:  We have a system and some features are still being enhanced at this time, but what we plan to have is a real user friendly awarding process where you can actually type in a custom message to the winners whether you have one or the first three places that win a contest, and you should be able to do that through the log in you have as host.
 
DAMIEN: Well it sounds like a really great program. How much is this going to cost for somebody to set up and start running? 
 
DREW: The costs are going to vary based on the level and right now for folks that are getting involved before 2011 we are actually offering the basic contest at no charge. We anticipate that to eventually be right around $100. We’re thinking around $99 for the basic and the pro version is anticipated to be around $299. When it comes to the corporate, it’s going to be a little more expensive with a base rate of $4900 to get set up and then it would be on a programming, hourly basis after that.  So there are a big variance in those prices, but we are expecting a lot of our hosts to end up using the Pro.
 
DAMIEN: How do I share this contest with people on the web, with people on my email? How do I let them know what is going on? What do they have to do to find out what’s going on with the contest?
 
DREW: There are a lot of different ways you can share it. Simple word of mouth to people that you know and if they are wanting to go out and get involved and help you out and vote for you that’s great. You can also use social media, you know, with the number of people who are on Facebook these days it can be a pretty powerful tool. Email marketing and print material. If you are a brick and mortar store and you want to make a flyer, certainly hand those out to your customers as they are leaving or put it in the shopping bag. Really you can get as creative as you like, but those are the main ways to share it.
 
DAMIEN: If someone is wanting more information on Photo Scramble, what do they do, where do they go? What is the website and contact information, Drew?
 
DREW: The website is www.photoscramble.com and they can always give us a call at WD Web Company and that number is (231) 932-0855 and we are at extension 11 here with Photo Scramble.
 
DAMIEN: Thank you very much for joining us today, Drew, and discussing Photo Scramble with us.
 
DREW: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
 
DAMIEN: It’s been a pleasure. We have been speaking to Drew Warner, digital marketing manager and client marketing consultant for PhotoScramble.com, a division of WD Web. You have been listening to More Photos Radio. ck with your change of Everyone, thank you for joining us today. Have a good afternoon.  
 
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