As SMBs learn the power of online video to reach their customers, video can also be powerful upstream in their value chain. That’s the idea behind a few video contests sprouting up this month from big corporations to give SMBs an opportunity to earn cash and marketing assistance. We’ll keep tracking SMB video contests going forward, as 15- to 30-second video snapshots save the time and money necessary to prepare an in-person pitch.
Here’s a look at the contests:
1. Staples’ “Give Your Small Business the Push it Needs.” To enter, contestants must submit a 15-second video about their business on Staples’ Facebook page. In order to win, each business must get the most votes for their video. Staples offers the winning five businesses up to $50,000 in free television advertising in a Staples ad or $40,000 in free advertising and $10,000 in cash each. Winners also get $500 in Staples merchandise and services. Deadline is March 14.
2. Wal-Mart’s “Get on the Shelf.” The world’s largest retailer is offering the winner of this contest an opportunity to have its product sold in Wal-Mart stores and Walmart.com. In addition, the winner will receive marketing help and assistance in scaling production to meet the retail giant’s demand. To enter, contestants must submit a video via YouTube. Deadline is Feb. 22.
3. Facebook’s “Small Business Boost.” While some companies are using Facebook as a contest platform, the social media network itself is offering tiered prizes in its SMB contest. The 10 U.S.-based businesses that can drive the most “likes” to their Facebook business pages by April 1 will receive up to $10,000 in free advertising. Smaller prizes include receiving $50 in free Facebook advertising for attracting 50 Facebook “likes” before the April 1 deadline. Winners with 100 “likes” on their business pages will receive a $100 ad credit.