Posted by: Daniel | Posted on: January 9th, 2012 | 0 Comments
Everyone likes to win free stuff. It’s the reason we play the lottery, it’s the reason we love game shows, and it’s the reason that contest marketing is so effective.
To kick-start the New Year, we at Engine 8 Media released our own contest called “The Ultimate Marketing Makeover” where by signing up for our newsletter, contestants are offered a chance to win:
- One month of social media management
- Free graphic design work for a new business card or company logo
- Custom design for a new email newsletter
- A free promotional online video
- 50% off a new website
In light of this, we decided to write about what’s involved in throwing an effective contest so that other businesses might take advantage of the same great marketing opportunity.
Before you do anything, you need to figure out what you want to get from your contest. Is it…
- Increased brand awareness?
- More hits on your homepage?
- Email addresses?
- More media content like photos and videos?
Once you know what you want, its time to figure out how to get it, and in order to do that you need to understand your target audience. Ask yourself:
- Are they tech savvy?
- Are they creative?
- Are they business types?
- What is their typical age?
All these things will have to be considered when determining what contestants have to do to win. If they are tech savy and creative, you could run a video contest. If they are business types who are always short on time perhaps a simple enter to win contest will suffice. Whatever it is you want to make sure that it strikes a healthy balance of making the contest accessible while still achieving your goal (what you want to get from the contest)
Additionally make sure you have a system in place to track all the entries and keep them organized so that when it comes time to pick a winner you aren’t scrambling to find everything.
Prizes are what entice people to play. You don’t have to spend thousands, but do make it something people actually want or else all the promotion in the world wont help increase entries.
The most important thing to consider is your target audience, what will attract them and make them want to play?
How long are you going to give yourself to create, maintain and take advantage of the buzz, keeping in mind that you’ll have to promote your contest for the entire length its running?
Consider all the elements involved with participating and then time accordingly.
Creating a contest with an excellent prize is not enough, it needs to be heavily promoted.
What are some options?
– Promote it on your homepage
- Send out an email blast
- Post it on your blog
- Take it to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Create a video that announces the contest
- Get creative and think outside the box!
The Side Benefits
Now you’re attracting a whole new audience as you create buzz around your contest. People who didn’t know you existed yesterday, are now suddenly interested in who you are and what you do.
With all this increased attention you will need to make sure that you are the best version of yourself you can be. You want to release your smartest posts, your greatest theories, and the stuff that makes you stand out in the most positive light.
Because although only one person might win that grand prize, every entry is a potential customer who might desperately need or want what you have to offer.
Once your winner is selected, how will the community be notified?
- Via blog post?
- Secret RSS message in your RSS feed?
- Video post?
- Twitter message?
- Message in a bottle?
Make sure that you take the time to properly carry out this last stage of the contest as everyone who entered (and maybe even a few people who didn’t) are eagerly awaiting the news so make sure that it gets out to as many people as possible.