Win Big With Competitions

While gaining followers on social media does require you to be active on different sites, there are some other strategies you can use to promote your brand to a wider audience. Often posts on Facebook and Twitter only reach a very small percentage of your followers. So it may take something outside of social media posts to get their attention. Using competitions can help you tap into existing groups of your target market and raise your profile.

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Design

The first step in using competition for marketing is designing your competition.

  • Prize – your prize can be a product, service or exposure. You want your prize to incentivize your followers to participate. However it doesn’t have to be overly expensive – most often a simple prize you know majority of your followers will want works best. Make sure the prize won’t require your followers to make extra installations or changes.

  • Partners – finding a relevant partner for your competition can help bulk up the prize at a lower cost for you as well as provide joint advertising that may lead to future partnership ventures. However you don’t want your partner company to steal the followers you trying to attract. A good way to deal with this is by offering them a link to their page from the competition page. You want to portray them as more of a ‘competition sponsor’.

  • Entering – first you need to prioritize the aim of the competition before deciding how users can enter. Offering more than one method of entering will help the competition appeal to more users.

  • Competition Platform – Deciding on how users can enter the competition will lead you to which competition software you should use. You want the software that can provide the most functionality for your competition. Some examples are Punchtab, Rafflecopter and WizHive. Each offers different features and social actions that you will need to explore to find the right fit for your competition.

  • Content – you want your competition to be liked and shared as much as possible. This can be maximized through creating linkable and shareable content related to your competition. Some ideas to consider are: a competition hashtag, themed graphics, email campaign or social media posts.

Advertising

You have now decided on the structure of the competition, you need to put together the best strategy to maximize the participation of the competition.

  • Where – you need to decide if the competition will be held on your website or on someone else’s website. To decide you must focus on your end goal. If you use a webpage on your website you will be able to create lots of links back to your website, and have the competition mentioned on other sites. However this strategy is not useful if you don’t have large amounts of traffic on your website. This is where the second option is better. It allows you to use a more popular website to raise your social profile. The promotion aspect of the competition will also be cheaper.

  • Who – you want to reach as many people as possible to maximize exposure. You want to contact the most relevant people to help promote your competition. Make sure the person you contacting has the ability to link you and you have enough incentive to get them interested in the competition. It is important to find some that can help you tap into a large community without being detrimental to your brand. Often YouTube Channel owners can be very helpful in this respect.

  • How Much – you may want to pay for traffic sources to increase the exposure of your competition. Before you spend money make sure you know who your target audience is. Then find out which sites they are most likely to visit and see your advert.

    Some good places to start:

    • Relevant blogs: The popular blogs within your field will be able to capture a wide audience fairly easily. Judge the site by the level of engagement of its followers. Once you have found the right one for you, look at doing sponsored posts, banner adverts or dual promotions.

    • Email Newsletter: find a website with a large following and get your competition feature in one of their email newsletters. This can be quite a cost effective way to capture a large audience. Just make sure you know the open rate of their email, number of active subscribers, demographics of subscirbers and their average click rate on sponsored link.

    • StumbleUpon Paid Discovery: This website is very effective in generating traffic to your competition page. It is fairly cheap for the excellent targeting features they offer.

    • Facebook Promotions: When creating a Facebook ad you want to try and target a very specific group. You can target your existing fans and maybe their friends as well. Remember that posts with images get a much higher click-through rate. You may also want to pay another Facebook user with lots of followers to share your advert. Again make sure you look for a Facebook page with high engagement rather than just a high volume of followers.

    • Twitter Promotion: Similar to Facebook promotion you can pay to have your tweet promoted to reach more of your followers. Or you can ask influential Twitter user to promote your competition.

    • YouTube Promotions: Simply creating a video can increase your online reach. However you may also consider using YouTube advertising to target specific audiences or paying a influential channel to promote your competition.

    • Adwords Campaign: If you use Adwords PPC campaign you want your keywords to focus around the prize you giving away. However thus can be a fairly expensive method compared to the other strategies.

    • Banner Advertising: Although they can be fairly expensive, banner adverts are also an effective way in attracting your targeted traffic.

  • Reaching Out – When trying to find the person to help you advertise your business keep in mind what you want from them. Keep it simple and make sure they have as little to do as possible. You will also want to provide an incentive for them. Different incentives will appeal to different targets - so have a few in mind. In terms of getting in touch, a personal phone call is usually the most effective. The next best option is an email. Try and give them as much information as you can about the competition to get them interested in helping you promote it.

  • Focused Websites – there are a lot of websites which focus on displaying offers, promotions and competitions. These can also help you generate traffic.

Execution

  • Length – the timing of your campaign is crucial. If it is too long people will lose interest but if it is too short you may miss out on many entries. If you don’t have your own community to promote to and are relying on external traffic then the competition may need to run for longer. You will also want to consider the value of the prize. A safe option is between one and three weeks. For those who already have a big community to promote to may be able to do flash competition.

    Another key component of timing is any external promoters must post within your schedule.

  • Content Schedule – you want your competition to run as smoothly as possible. In order to maximize the performance of the competition you want to be as organized as possible. These are especially helpful if you are working with a team and want to keep track of individuals’ tasks and deadlines.

  • Track Results – With any marketing strategy you want to keep a record of how effective it is. Most of the competition software websites will offer a reporting option. You want to keep track of how most of your users entered thec ompetition and where the most traffic was generated.

  • Follow Up – finally you need to choose a winner. You can use computer software to fairly generate a random winner. Here presents another marketing moment. Make a big deal about the winner and use the announcement to generate more social activity. A good strategy is to get a photo of the winner with their grand prize and send it out to your social followers as well as in an email newsletter. This may end up encouraging people to enter your next competition.