We’re all familiar with brands using contests to reward a lucky winner who entered through everything from print ads to social media. As great as these can be for the winners & participants, what benefit does it have for the brand? Contests can actually be a great addition to a brand’s marketing strategy and can have a great return on investment if done correctly.
In the early planning stages of the contest, even before you finalize what the details of the contest will be, it will be imperative to think of your target audience. This will help to guide you and determine the type of contest it should be. What types of platforms do your customers frequent? Where will they likely be made aware of the contest? What types of resources do they have to meet the contest’s requirements? These are all important questions you’ll need to ask yourself before you can hone in on the kind of contest that will work best for your brand.
Next, it’s important to set a particular goal for your contest. Of course to those on the outside, the goal is to choose a winner and award them with a prize of your choice – but for the brand it’s a bit more complex than that. Contests can benefit the brand in more than a few ways that will make their investment in the prize (whether it be product, service, or monetary) worth it in the long run. These are a few of the ways contests can benefit a brand from a marketing standpoint.
- A contest that’s run primarily on social media using hashtags, posts, comments, tweets and other public messages will do a great job of creating traffic on these social media channels. Your followers will be posting and sharing your content across one of more channels as a means to push themselves closer to the prize – but it has the added effect of that user’s followers seeing it and doing the same after they follow the links themselves. Contests are great for brand awareness as it can cause enough commotion to make others wonder what this increased activity is all about.
- Contests are one of the best ways to gather important information about your consumers that can help you down the line with even more marketing initiatives. Treat contests as an opportunity to collect data like where they’re located and their age range, but also how they found out about the promotion or build these market research questions right into the competition itself by framing it around sharing their favourite service or product offered by your brand. This is a good opportunity to learn a bit more about your consumers and the ways they use and interact with your brand as a whole, so it’s imperative that you pay attention.
- Depending on the type of contest you’re running, you can actually create more content for your brand’s online marketing efforts. If the competition focuses on user submitted content like images or video, it might be a good chance to share it with the rest of your followers. This creates more fresh content for you to post and will probably nudge even more users to participate. Who knows, you may stumble across your next ad campaign or idea from one of the entries – which may or may not be the point of your contest to begin with, but remain open to the ideas of your consumers seeing as they’re the ones you’re looking to appeal to every time you create content.
- No matter what medium you advertise your contest on, it will drive a certain level of traffic to your official website or online store. It will trigger curiosity in most, whether they’re existing or prospective clients, to want to get more information about your brand.
- Contests are a great way to reward loyal customers or users which will in turn create even more brand loyalty. Giving this type of recognition for consumers who have previously used your brand will mean they will be even more likely to share and discuss your brand in a positive light with others in the future.