August 20, 2015 Jennifer Wales
Contests are increasing in popularity for businesses, as they allow for more brand exposure through social media, which gives businesses of all sizes the ability to reach thousands more people than with other types of platforms alone. As a twenty-something, I can personally say contests are fun, and winning free stuff is even better. In such a costly world, giving away a product or service for free or at some kind of a discount is unique and immediately grabs my attention.
First, figure out who your target market is, this will shape everything about your contest. Contests can be for the general public but what people don’t really realize is that it can be for business-to-business as well. Remember, contests are about engaging consumers while building awareness and in order to attract the right consumers you must market your campaign according to their interests. This will also determine what channel you pick to run your contest, the best way to do this is to reach out through e-mail to current contacts, post on social media and then drive both to your website. It’s important to utilize social media for at least one outlet because it allows like-minded people to share their interests to one another, which allows you to gain more views and followers.
Then, depending on your target market, you will either run a contest that will draw in a lot of people but requires little engagement, or draw in a fewer number of people but requires more engagement and creates lasting bonds with the consumers. Remember, the easier it is for the consumer, the more people will participate. For example; enter your email to win. An example of something that has less numbers and more engagement required by the participant could be something like a photo contest. People take a photo and hashtag it and post on social media to win. Even more engagement would be a video or a written essay but I do not recommend these unless you already have a huge following and a very in demand product or service.
Finally, make sure you have a prize that is relevant to the target market and is worth the time spent entering the contest. Nothing worse than giving away a prize that nobody wants, even if all they had to do is give you their e-mail. It is always a good idea to make the prize something that would highlight your business; if your business sells products give them away as your prize. No better way to get a life-time customer than to give them something they will love for free. If your business doesn’t offer a specific product but a service, then give that away for free. Here at raven5 we always suggest that there is a grand prize of some kind, this provides more consistent consumer engagement. Remember what you put as your prize will also determine the type of feedback you will get so choose wisely!