Challenge Creation: A step-by-step guide

In this article, we'll walk through the Challenge creation process from the planning stage through to publishing and promotion.

In this article:

  1. Planning
  2. Creation
  3. Publishing
  4. Promotion


Choosing Acts of Advocacy and Use Cases based on organizational goals is a critical step in designing effective Challenges and CTAs (Calls to Action).

Start by clearly defining the organizational goal that your Challenge will contribute to. This could range from increasing product usage, driving referrals, to improving customer retention. Once the goal is defined, identify the Use Case that best supports this goal.

Next, determine the Acts of Advocacy (AoAs) that align with this Use Case. AoAs are specific actions you want your customers to take, such as leaving a review, referring a friend, or sharing on social media.

Finally, design your Challenge CTAs to guide customers toward these AoAs. CTAs should be clear, compelling, and directly linked to the desired action.

Remember, the CTAs and Use Cases should always align with your organizational goals. This ensures that your challenges contribute to your broader business objectives and provide value both to your organization and your customers.


For the purposes of this exercise, we'll be using the following goal, Use Case, and Act of Advocacy:

  1. Organizational Goal: Increase Marketing Effectiveness
  2. Use Case: User-generate Content
  3. Act of Advocacy: Give a testimonial

Challenge structure

Our Challenge will look like this:

  1. Two stages: Questions (50 points), Corporate Approval (500 points)
  2. Rank: 1
  3. Allow multiple completions?: No

Creating a Challenge from scratch

While there are many valuable Challenge Templates for you to review and make use of, we will make this Challenge from scratch so that we may understand all the aspects of Challenge creation.

Step 1: Open the Challenge Creation wizard

In Admin View, go to Program > Challenges, and click on the "+ Add New" button. From there, choose Blank Hub Challenge, as seen in the image above.

You have now entered the Challenge creation page. From here, we will configure the look and feel, provide instructions, add Calls to Action, then configure other aspects of how Members interact with the Challenge.

Step 2: Challenge Configuration

Let's configure the Challenge, and add the banner image, name, headline, and instructions (as seen in the image below). In this section, we'll walk through every configuration option you will encounter when creating a Challenge.

Challenge Name: This is an internal name, meaning only administrators can see it. Make it as informative as possible, so you and others can understand its context and content at a glance.

Challenge Type: Choose a Challenge Type that most aligns with the main activity of the Challenge. This will be used for reporting and Members can filter the Challenges/Channel page based on these values.

Tip: While you can create your own custom Challenge Types, be sure to use them consistently!

Headline: This is the Member-facing name of the Challenge. Make it short and persuasive as Members will see this (along with the banner image) first.

Banner Image: Click on the "Choose Image" button to find a variety of ways to add an image. Let's review them starting from the top left of the image below.

  1. Upload from your computer: Simply drag and drop an image into the upload tool or click on the file icon to choose an image.
  2. Web Search: This will provide images from the internet. Be cautious not to choose an image that may have copyright restrictions.
  3. Unsplash: Choose from thousands of high-quality free-to-use images.
  4. Link (URL): If your image is hosted elsewhere, pull it into your Challenge by providing the URL.
  5. Google Drive, Box, Facebook, Instagram: Link one of these services to gain access to any images you may have uploaded.

Crop Image

Once you have loaded your image, you can use the cropping tool on the right side of the Challenge creation page (see image above). Click on the "Crop Image" button to open the tool.

This will let you choose the area of the image you'd like displayed on the Challenge Card. It will always maintain the correct aspect ratio to fill the entire banner area. When you are done, click "Save."

Hide Banner Image when this Challenge is opened: Select this so that the banner image does not appear when the Challenge is opened. This is recommended as the banner image often pushes the Challenge content below the fold.

Challenge Description: This is where we provide instructions on what members should expect to do in this Challenge. See the image above for an example. In the Challenge description, you can make use of the Rich Content editor to add images and videos, and adjust the formatting of text.

Read more about the full suite of editing options in this article about the editor.

Challenge Settings

  • Rank: The Rank determines the order in which this Challenge should display in relation to other Challenges within a Channel. Those ranked one are at the top, and the rest are displayed in ascending order. If there are more than one Challenge with the same rank, the newer one will appear first.
  • Allow multiple completions: Should this Challenge be completed multiple times? This option is best for value-adding challenges that cannot be abused by advocates to win excessive points. For our purposes, we will not allow multiple completions.

Step 3: Adding Stages

A Challenge is made up of one or more stages that represent the actions Members will take to contribute to your organizational and program goal. While there may be multiple actions taken, they should all be related to the same goal. For example, in our example, we will have one stage for submitting the testimonial and one stage for approval.

The Stage setup for our example Challenge will include a Questions stage and a Corporate workflow stage, as mentioned above. Let's add them.

To add a Stage, click on the + symbol (pictured above) located at the top of the Challenge configuration screen, to the right of the Influitive logo. Then click the 'Skip to Stages' link.

If you are unsure which Stage type is appropriate for the call-to-action you have in mind, don't click 'Skip to Stages." Take time to review the advocacy types listed on the screen that appears after clicking the + symbol. It will suggest Stages based on Advocacy type.

From the Stage selection screen, click on the box Stage that you would like to use. We will add the Questions stage and Corporate Workflow stage for our example.

Customize your Stage

Each stage, regardless of type, has a few standard configuration options. Let's walk through setting up our Stage now.

Stage Name: A one-to-two-word description of the Stage's content. This is visible to Members.

Advocacy Type: If applicable, what is the Act of Advocacy being accomplished in this stage? If the actual act should not be considered completed on this Stage, choose 'None/Don't Report). For example, if this Stage introduces the rules or if the action needs to be approved, you should not enter an Advocacy Type here. In our example, the questions stage will not have an Advocacy Type (None/Don't Report) because we don't want to have the Testimonial counted in our reporting until it has been approved.

Stage Description: Provide guidance on what needs to be done in this Stage specifically. If there is no action required, provide information to Members about the topic at hand.

Points for Stage: This is how many points Members will earn for completing this stage. Be sure to follow the guidance in your Program's point matrix to assign the proper amount of points. In this example, we will not award many points (50 in this case) because we will provide more once the testimonial has been approved.

Configuring the Stage Action: Questions Stage

The Questions Stage is something you can use any time feedback or input of any kind is required of your members. The variety of media inputs makes it great for almost any user-generated content or feedback use case. Learn about these options and other configuration details in the article dedicated to this Stage.

In this example, we'll add three questions by clicking on the Add a question button.

Question 1: "Write your testimonial here"

  • Response Type: Long Answer

  • Save to profile: No

  • Required: Yes

Question 2: "Do you give us permission to use this testimonial in our marketing and sales materials?"

  • Response Type: Dropdown (Yes, with my name, title, and organization | Yes, with just my name and title | No)

  • Save to profile: No

  • Required: Yes

Question 3: "Do you have permission to grant use of your organization's name and logo?"

  • Response Type: Radio Buttons (Yes | No)

  • Save to profile: No

  • Required: Yes

Make Responses to this Challenge Public

This option allows you to make Members' responses visible to other Members. This is mainly used for questions are are meant to encourage discussion. Do not check this box if responses are meant to be kept private, between you and the Member.

A note about public responses: If a response is submitted while the 'public' box is checked, then it will still be visible even if you uncheck the box at a later time.

Getting to the next stage

The first field in this section represents the CTA button text (i.e. the button Members click on to complete the Stage).

The second field is a celebratory message that pops up when the Member completes the Stage.

Configuring the Stage: Corporate Workflow Stage

The Corporate Workflow stage simply asks the Member to wait after they have completed the desired action that requires approval. It will put them into the approvals queue. You can learn more about this stage in its dedicated article.

For this stage, we will set the Advocacy Type to Gave a Testimonial. As mentioned earlier, we want the testimonial to be logged in our Program once it has been approved.

We will set the points to 500 to represent the value of a testimonial that we have approved.

The Stage Description of Corporate Workflow stage represents the message Members will see once they arrive at this pending stage. Use this opportunity to let them know how your approval process works and how long they might expect to wait.

Approval Button Text: The text entered here is what Administrators will see when they are approving Challenge submissions.


Now that we have configured the Challenge, we will set its visibility in the. Targeting section. Review this article for an in-depth introduction to the options.

For the purposes of this example, we will make this available to people at the Hero level and above, so we're not immediately asking new Members for testimonials. We'll also place it in the "Just for YOU" Channel.

Saving the Challenge

We have completed the configuration of this Challenge, so we will now save it and continue to the Publishing process.

Click on the Save button at the top right of the page to finish. Once you do so, you will be brought to the Challenge detail page, where it will be saved in an "Unpublished" state.

Publishing the Challenge

Click on the Unpublished label beneath the Challenge title to configure the publishing settings. Let's review them below.

Limit this Challenge to [ ] Participants: This optional setting allows you to limit how many Members can begin this Challenge. This is common if you are only looking for limited submissions or if this Challenge is linked to a Reward that has limited stock. For our example, there is no need to limit the number of participants..

Show After: This optional setting allows you to choose the Date/Time this Challenge should be published. If left blank, it will publish immediately.

Hide After: This optional setting allows you to choose th Date/Time this Challenge should be unpublished automatically. If blank, the Challenge will not expire until manually unpublished.

Simply clicking the Publish button will save your schedule or publish the Challenge immediately if there is no schedule.

Challenge Promotion

Now that your Challenge is published, there are a couple of ways Members can be alerted to the existence of this Challenge.

Digest Email

The Digest Email can be configured to automatically include new Challenges (and Discussion Topics if applicable) when it is sent to Members. This is the recommended method of promotion for most Challenges since it is an automated process and ensures consistent (but not excessive) communication about new content in your AdvocateHub.

Refer to the article on this topic to learn more.

Challenge Promotion

If this Challenge is a high-priority Call-to-Action, then you can consider sending direct emails and/or Mobile App notifications to all targeted Members or specific Members. We recommend using this option sparingly, because it could lead to Members ignoring emails from your program.

Refer to the article on this topic to learn more.

Challenge In-Progress Reminder

If your Challenge has more than one Stage, like in our example, you can enable the Challenge In-progress Reminder. This will remind Members who completed one or more Stage, but have not yet completed the Challenge to do so.

Refer to the article on this topic to learn more.


Congratulations on publishing this Challenge! Now it's time to leverage Influitive's Reporting and Dashboards to monitor its progress.

You may consider creating a custom report to automatically share the responses with colleagues via email.

Finally, it is very simple to export all Challenge response data into an Excel and CSV file.

To do so, click on the ... icon on the top right of the Challenge detail page, and choose "Export Response Data."

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