Contest Marketing

Here’s the thing, I’m guessing that by now, you’ve read somewhere on the internet how someone has gotten bajillions of leads or how someone has quadrupled their sales using contests. At this point, you might even already be convinced that running a contest is the silver bullet that you need to achieve the business breakthroughs that you’re looking for.

I’m not going to lie to you, you may actually be right, but only if you know what you’re doing. Only if you’re employing the best practices that most marketers are using to drastically increase the chances of them getting great results from their contest marketing campaigns.

If you’re looking to find out what these “best practices” are, then you’re definitely in the right place.

I’ll be sharing with you 4 tips that seasoned marketers are using to help them get amazing results from their contests.

Let’s hop right in.

1. Offer a prize that you know your audience will love.

As you can probably imagine, this tip is a non-negotiable one if you want your contests to succeed. Do this wrong, and no one’s going to bother joining your contest. Do this right, and people will come flooding at your doorsteps to join your contest. So then the question becomes, how do you determine the kind of prize that your audience are going to die for?

There are a couple of ways to go about this:

  • You can run a survey.
  • You can visit Q&A sites to determine what kind of problems your audience are facing, then make sure that your prize solves your audience’s problems.
  • You can ask them straight-up through your social media profiles.
  • You can visit your competitors to benchmark on their successful contests.

While there are several other ways to finding out the prize that your audience might like, using the 4 points that I shared above should be able to get you the kind of information that you’re looking for.

2. Make it easy for others to join your contest.

I get it. You’re smart. You know how your contests could go viral if you asked your audience to share your contest first, before they can join. You also know how you could leverage on repeat business if you asked your audience to enter their email address as a requirement for them to join your contest – so you can add them on your email list. And if that isn’t enough, you could also be thinking about having them post pictures on your social media accounts as a requirement for them to join, so you can leverage on user generated content.

If you’re thinking of asking your audience to do all of these since you wanted to get more mileage out of your contest, then you seriously need to hold your horses.

You need to realize that your audience might find it a bit too taxing to join your contest because of all the requirements that you’re asking for them to join. Of course, the moment they find that joining your contest is too much of a hassle, there’s a good chance that they’ll simply ignore your contest.

So what’s the point that I’m trying to drill down here?

I’m telling you to loosen up on your requirements a bit. I’m telling you to make it easier for your audience to join, because if you overwhelm them with your requirements, there’s a good chance that they won’t join your contest because of the sheer hassle of it.

3. Emphasize the benefits.

When you visit Safecar’s homepage, you’ll see a huge headline on their sidebar saying, “WIN $1500 SCHOLARSHIP FOR A 30 SECOND VIDEO!”.

The headline doesn’t say, “Join Our Contest Now” or anything to that effect, doesn’t it?

It immediately talks about the benefit (the $1500 scholarship), which is what entices their audience to take action. And if you’ll go on reading the blurb on the sidebar, the text is all about the different tiers of benefits that they are offering, and an overview of what their audience needs to do to be able to join the contest.

If you have a good grasp on how people behave online, you’ll realize why emphasizing the benefits of your contest first, is something that you shouldn’t overlook.

I mean, considering how almost everyone is so busy, and there are TONS of distractions on the web, you need to be able to get your audience’s attention, and you need to do it fast! Of course, showing them how they can benefit on something is an almost sure-fire way of doing that.

If your business is all about wearable tech, please don’t give away dining tables for your contest’s prize. Doing so just doesn’t make much sense.

Your audience are visiting your website or your social media profiles because they are wearable tech advocates, if you’ll pitch them your contest using dining tables as your bait (as your prize), they’ll just ignore you.

You’ll never be able to stir the appeal that you need from your audience to get them to join your contests. However, if you give away something that’s highly relevant to your niche (like your products), there’s a good chance that they’ll be interested in your prize.

What’s more… If you use your product as your prize, your audience will be able to experience first hand how amazing it is. Depending on how helpful they’ll find your product to be, they may even take the time to share to their network how amazing it is.

Now compare that with the kind of results that you’d get if you gave away a flower pot, when your audience is all about wearable tech.

What’s next?

Have you been using contests to give your business the boost that it needs? What best practices or tips can you share to the audience to help make their contests successful. Please share your ideas in the comments section below.

Photo courtesy – © iQoncept / Dollar Photo Club