Running a competition can be an excellent way to draw attention to your brand.

Consumers enjoy spending time entering competitions in the hopes of winning a prize. Often those who win prizes become loyal lifelong customers.

Read more about how your business could run a competition and how to make the best of the campaign here.

 

Why Should You Run A Competition?

Running a competition is a great way to engage with your audience and to collect valuable market data. News of the competition can also spread far and wide with the help of social media and this can push the exposure of your brand further.

There are a number of different prizes you could offer in your competitions. For instance, your business could run a competition for a bundle of your products or one large product. Alternatively you could run a competition to win a large ticket item such as a television, games console or car.

The latter of these options is very popular with businesses because it plays on the idea that a significant proportion of the population will be interested in one of those products. Therefore more people will interact with the brand, giving better brand exposure.

Likewise the competition style could be varied. You could ask entrants to answer a series of questions. Alternatively you could use an online company like Raftercopter and have them gain entries into a prize draw by spreading news about a blog post or other page through social media, email and their own blogs.

 

What Are The Main Aims For A Competition?

One of the biggest aims for your competition should be to encourage an audience into interacting with you. It is also about expanding the reach of your business with free advertising.

This is where social media can be particularly helpful. Having part of the competition take place on social media, either by having competitors tweet their participation to gain more chances to win or by announcing and commenting on the competition through a network, you can expand your brand’s reach.

Businesses often advertise for the chance to win something through social media channels and this is often shared across networks several times. There are also particular users who constantly search for new competitions on social networks.

Alternatively, you could use the competition to collect email addresses. This is where you do a raffle system and you pick a random person who has signed up to your email newsletter. This can be one of the easiest to organise, but also one of the toughest to implement as there are too many elements to selecting a winner to consider.

 

How To Run A Competition

To run a competition there are several stages you must complete. Each stage is designed to ensure the competition runs smoothly.

Stage One: Decide On The Prize

The first thing you need to decide upon is what prize you are going to offer entrants. Large ticket prizes offer the best returns in terms of number of entrants, but they may have no interest in your product if the prize is not relevant to your business.

Offering entrants a chance to win one of your products means those who are entering are going to be interested in what you have to offer. Therefore, you can take the data collected and then market further products to them after the event has closed.

Once the prize has been chosen, it is best if you purchase the item (if applicable) before you move onto the next stage.

Stage Two: Decide On What Your Entrants Need To Do

The next stage concentrates on how your competition entrants are going to be able to enter. There are a number of options available and it is best to match the activity to the prize. For instance, if they are going to win a car do they need to make a purchase of a certain amount? If it is for a television do they need to answer a set of general knowledge questions?

However, you can’t make your competition too hard. A difficult method to enter your competition will decrease the number of entrants you have and limit the exposure of your brand.

At the same time decide on how you will decide the winner. Sometimes the easiest option is the best. Having a computer program select the winner for you is a good option, i.e Rafflecopter.

Stage Three: Decide Start And End Dates.

Know exactly when you want to start the campaign and when to end it.

Stage Four: Create Marketing Material

Decide how you are going to market your competition and create some promotional material for your competition. This may mean making a new landing page or creating a series of social media updates to inform your audience and keep them appraised.

Stage Five: Launch And Manage Your Campaign

Next you will want to launch and manage your campaign. Always keep on top of it and engage with people who mention your competition on social media.

Step Six: End The Competition And Choose The Winner

At the set date; end the competition and select the winner. Make a lot of noise about the winning entry by announcing the results on social media and your blog. Then contact the winner to arrange delivery of the prize.

If it is a large ticket prize, meet the winner and make best use of the PR opportunity. Have photographs taken with local press and release your own press releases to announce the winner and how excited they were to receive their prize.

This is likely to be picked up by other journalists and so your campaign can be highly effective at drawing more traffic to your site even after the competition has closed.

 

Conclusion

A competition is an effective method of driving traffic to your site and increasing engagement with your audience. You can increase the number of entrants to your competition by having large ticket items and advertising the competition online through your social media channels.

 

Take Action:

  • Decide on a prize to giveaway.
  • Run a competition where customers have to sign up to your newsletter.
  • Select a winner and deliver the prize, making the best use of the PR opportunity.

Jake Burdess

Director at Aflua
This post is by Jake Burdess, the founder of Aflua and HEROIC. Jake is an English designer who lives in New Zealand with his wife and three kids.

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