Your most critical marketing goal is likely this: Get more eyeballs. Brand awareness is the first step to long-lasting success. For most businesses, engaging a consumer base online is a rather large hurdle to overcome. Whatever you’re industry, you’ve got competition. Sometimes, a lot of competition. Establishing an interactive audience happens through content that not only piques a reader’s interest, but also provides an incentive or value to their lives. So what better way to gain participation than through a contest?
Contests are one of the most popular and cost-effective ways to increase engagement, obtain leads, and gain followers online. Big bonus: Contests are a gas to produce too. But as with every marketing venture, there are certain measures that need to be in place to ensure a meaningful outcome.
Evolve! has helped produce a slew of assorted contests for various businesses and along the way has learned a thing or two about how creating epic brand awareness with reasonable efforts and spends. Want to know our secrets? Of course you do. Keep reading below or just download the accompanying one-sheet; it’s got all you need to know to create a fantastically viral contest.
#1: Define Your Business Objectives
This portion of your marketing plan can be boiled down to one simple question: Why are you looking to launch a contest? Maybe you are seeking to increase traffic or conversions. Maybe you are getting ready to launch a new product and are looking to produce buzz around that. Maybe you just want to gain a larger social following. All of these (and more) are appropriate goals to have when preparing to launch a contest. The key is to clearly define what makes this effort a success or failure. If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, you will fall flat.
#2: Define Your Target Demographic
Who is your ideal customer? They will naturally be the same persona your contest will target too. If you have multiple personas, choose one focus for the contest, or it will feel muddled and lack focus. If you haven’t already, construct a survey to get to the heart of your follower’s character traits and pain points so that you can better serve their needs. Once you have this information in-hand, establish the foundation of the contest in relation to how it will serve the targeted demographics.
#3: Define and Procure Your Contest Rewards
This is the very core of the campaign. The reward is really what the audience is interested in and how you will get them to engage, so be sure it’s appealing and packs a punch. If your business tends to attract a younger demographic, things like vacations or big-name concert tickets are fantastic. Attract parents with things that appeal to their children. Address a pain point for your audience. Whatever you choose, make it clear, easy to fulfill, and highly appealing.
#4: Define Your Distribution Strategy
How will people find out your contest exists? If you’ve got an email list, that’s a natural go-to. Social media is also a must. Find influencers that have big email lists and ask them to promote the contest in return for cross-promotion in your list. Use traditional online advertising outlets. The options are pretty endless; just make sure you have a strategy defined before you launch your contest.
Next, make sure your contest is easily shareable. Have results readily posted and the participant’s social media feeds. Give folks additional entries into the contest by sharing the link with their network. Incentivize your audience to assist with cross-promotion and your reach expands exponentially.
Keep one thing in mind as you garner distribution: You want quality leads, not just email addresses. If you decided to post your contest on the myriad of sites that feature free stuff, be mindful that these folks may not convert well. Spend the bulk of your efforts ensuring you are reaching who you want. Quantity is not necessarily quality; depending on your business goals.
It is also important to consider how to further engage new leads once the contest has ended. You don’t simply want to have folks participate in the campaign and then forget all about your brand. Follow up with new leads with emails welcoming them and highlighting the benefits your company has to offer. Keep communicating, or your efforts will be all for naught.
Contests are hot tamales. It’s all about giving the people what they want, and in turn, they’ll meet your needs too. A bona fide win-win. There’s no better way to market.
Looking for more information on how to launch a successful contest? Reach out to us now and let’s get this party started.
The One Page Guide to Contests
|Business Objectives – Why do a Contest?||· Define ultimate contest goals like:1) Promote the launch of new product or services2) Increase traffic and brand visibility3) Increase conversions and sales
4) Grow your social media followings
5) Comprehensive lead generation
|Target Demographic||Identify the core persona you want to target; the more niche you are the more traction you can generate. Execute a survey of your audience if you need to know their key pain points and attributes. Then spec out the exact parameters of the audience the contest will serve and target.|
|Offer / Contest Reward||The reward is key; this is your sole method of enticing your audience, so tailor the offering to their exact desires. Younger generations tend to gravitate to experiences more than prizes, older generations want things of obvious value. The more it feels special and customized, the more participation you will experience. Communicate this offer with enthusiasm and clarity. This is the heart of the campaign.|
|Distribution Strategy & Objectives||· Alert your core demographic to your brand benefits· Lead generation for email lists and future marketing campaigns· Press opportunities promoting the contest· Influencer partnerships
· Funnel new leads to your social platforms by offering additional contest entries
· Follow through on new leads immediately with auto-send emails welcoming them to the contest and your brand
· Have a clear strategy to continue deepening the relationships with these new leads directly after the contest
· Make sure to also have an easy way to fulfil the prize, and communicate the results to your audience
|Investment||· Depending on demographic and industry, but estimate about a $3 – $5k spend to execute|
|Action Plan||Action||Owner||Date||Cost $|
|Identify Offer / Reward|
|Draft initial campaign language and milestones|
|Budget||Determine budget: Contest prize, email design, landing page design, social media coverage, metrics analysis|
|Promotion||Social Media Distribution|
|Dedicated website landing page|
|Various CTA ads throughout the website|
|Blog post promoting the contest|
|Follow up email(s)|