Competitions Aren't Spammy Anymore: A to Z of Contest Marketing

· 8 min read

Not sure if you want to run a social media contest that converts?
If you are thinking contest marketing is a worn-out tactic that doesn’t work anymore, you are certainly missing the bright side of it.
Contest marketing is certainly a promotional tool. But it helps you to provide your customers with an elevated affinity for your product or service.

In addition, you will be able to collect the much-needed information for the upcoming marketing campaigns. It can help you to acquire loyal customers as well.
Think how ‘tag a friend to enter’ competitions always get the most attention across social media channels. Doesn’t that work like magic?
In this blog, you will learn more about what is contest marketing, 3 elements of successful contest, 4 reasons why contest marketing works, and 5 steps for running a successful social media contest marketing campaign.

What is Contest Marketing?

According to Barry Feldman, contest has competitiveness at its core. Now the human mind is designed to use its survival instinct upon seeing a competition.
Contest marketing uses this competitiveness to promote a business or product or service. Besides giving your customers a positive experience, contest marketing is used for collecting information as well.

3 Elements that a Contest Should Have

While you may be wondering about the elements of a contest, it is not that difficult to play with the consumer psychology. Want to know why contests work? Here are 3 reasons they work:

1. The Free Psychology: The idea of free boosts the human emotion. Contests make an attempt to connect with you using emotions such as joy, fear, and competitiveness. With contests, participants visualize themselves having the experience of winning the prize. A contest works best when you offer a prize that your audience can connect with.
2. The Psychology of Urgency: Urgency drives the human mind to take an action. It gives your mind a sense of near-instant gratification. If you observe successful contests, most of them will have a countdown timer attached with it.
3. FOMO Psychology: Human mind is impacted by the psychology of FOMO (Fear-of-Missing-out) to a great extent. More scarcity you create, more contestants you will get. Want to be flooded with entries? Reduce the supply and make you offer an exclusive one.

How Businesses Benefit With Contest Marketing

As the social media channels continue to grow, contests have become an integral part of social media marketing. Here are four reasons why you should be running contest marketing:
1. Finding Subscribers: If you just started your social media page, contest marketing can be a great way to build a relationship with your subscribers or fetch them to your business. Want to experience the true power of content marketing promotion? Run a basic contest with a relevant reward and you will experience the result soon.
2. Engaging with Subscribers: Once you find your subscribers, you need to engage with them in the best possible manner. UGC or user-generated content can help you to engage with your subscribers. Once you run a photo or video contest, soon you will be able to have subscribers who love your brand.

3. Get All the Data: Heard of Google acquiring health tracking company Fitbit? Needless to say data is the new oil. As you run a contest, you will be able to learn more about your consumers. For example, you can ask them to answer questions like how they came to know about your product, the product that they like from your brand, and so on. Listening to you subscribers help you to be able to have a better interaction and conversation.
4. Let’em Do the Marketing: Want to spread brand awareness quickly? With contest marketing, you will be able to reach thousands of users, thanks to social sharing. For example, if you run a contest with a voting component, chances are high that contestants will ask their family members and close friends for support. This certainly adds to your traffic and brand awareness.

5 Steps to a Successful Social Media Contest Campaign

Launching a successful social media contest campaign takes time and scrupulous attention to details. Here are the 5 steps to help you in creating a social media contest for your brand:

Step 1 – Understanding the Basics Before You Get Started

While contests can be a great way to market your brand and reach subscribers, you must have a comprehensive knowledge of what you are trying to achieve through this campaign. Here are some of the basics that you need to figure out before getting started.

a) Why?
Knowing the why is crucial for anything you do. You must be aware of why you are willing to run the contest. Here are some possible scenarios for you to consider:
To increase the number of subscribers
To drive traffic to your existing website
To generate leads
To generate immediate sales
b) What?
What kind of contest campaign are you looking forward to run? This depends on the audience you are targeting to reach. Here are some of the contest marketing ideas that you can possibly run:
Giveaway for random drawing and giving people a chance to win
Promotion for giving prizes to subscribers who sign up
Contest for initiating a competition and rewarding the winner
c) Who?
Who is the ideal target audience of yours? Understanding the target audience is at the heart of any marketing campaign. In contest marketing, you can understand your target audience by finding answers to questions such as the product that will interest them.
Just like any other marketing campaign will be incomplete without KPI (key performance indicators), contest marketing isn’t an exception. Measure these KPIs will help you to understand whether your contest marketing effort has been a successful one or not.

Step 2 – Building the Contest from Scratch

Once you have found answers to all the questions above, now it is time to get started with the actual thing. Here are some of the most crucial things that you will need in order to build a contest:

1) Crafting Engaging Copy: An engaging copy should be short and conversational. It should speak to the customer on behalf of the product or service at the same time. Also, you must make it clear that what the contest is about and the possible rewards as well.
2) Landing Page: This is the page where you can send people once they sign up. This dedicated landing page will increase your chances of creating TOMA (top-of-mind-awareness). Here are some of the elements that you landing page must have:
i) A unique and catchy headline that works as a hook
ii) High-quality picture of the prize that the winner will receive
iii) Engaging information to encourage people to participate
iv) A short entry form capturing the contestant information
v) A clear CTA with a prominent button designed with contrasting color
vi) The option of social sharing via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Step 3 – Promoting the Contest Through All Possible Channels

Once you are done with designing the contest, it is time to pay attention to promoting it through all possible channels including email, blog, forum, ads, social media, etc. No matter what channel you are using to promote your contest, be sure to include elements such as important dates, entry details, image of the award, CTA, other incentives (if any).
Here are some of the best practices that you can adopt while promoting the contest that you created:
a) Create a Buzz: Start with building an anticipation in order to be able to create a buzz. You can do this by announcing the contest a few weeks before the actual contest starts.
b) Periodic Reminder: Once a contestant has signed up, you must send a periodic reminder with a direct link that can be used for participating in the contest.
c) Frequent Updates: Provide the contestants with an incentive so that they feel encouraged to share the contest on social media channels.
d) Visible on Home Page: while running a contest, you must leverage the home page as well. Make sure that all the visitors visiting the home page gets a chance to participate in the contest.
e) Email Newsletter: To make the most out of your current subscriber list, you can consider sending an email newsletter so that they can connect and participate in the contest.

Step 4 – What to Do While the Contest is Running?

If you are wondering what you should do while the contest is up and running, here are a few tips that might help you.

a) Promoting the Contest: Do you know that only 16% of the content reaches the fans and subscribers? This is why you should keep promoting the contest while it is still running.
b) Measure Conversions: Measuring your performance while keeping an eye on the contest helps you in understanding the performance of the contest marketing campaign that you are running. This aids you in real-time campaign tracking.
c) Send Personalized Thank You Letter: If you have used referrals or brand ambassadors of influencers during the contest marketing campaign, make sure to send them a personalized thank you note as the campaign ends.

Step 5 – What to Do When the Contest is Over?

Once you are done with measuring the performance of the contest marketing campaign that you are running, it is time to keep your audience engaged. Once your contest is over, it is time to do certain things such as choosing the winner, awarding the winner, announcing the next contest, and so on. Here are the steps that you can take:
a) Announcing the Winner: Choosing and announcing the winner is one of the most important things that you should start with once the contest is over. In addition, you can showcase the contest winner on your website or social media pages.
b) Sending the Prize: Sending prizes to the winner is the next step. Make them feel special by sending a personalized mail and thank you letter.
c) Enrich Your Subscriber List: If you want to continue retargeting the people who participated in the contest, you should start adding those emails to your email marketing service.
d) Announcing the Next Contest: If the metrics are speaking well, you can announce the next contest as well. This will work well if you are planning to run a contest every month. This is one of the best ways to keep your present audience engaged.

Final Thoughts

Creating a well-researched contest marketing strategy helps you in creating TOMA and driving business growth at the same time. Once you have a comprehensive understanding of your audience, you will be able to visualize how it impacts your business in a positive manner. To make the most out of it, you must measure the performance of your contest marketing campaign and revise accordingly.


Here are 20 contest marketing ideas to help you be innovative with lead generation.
Use these contest marketing websites to promote your contest and make the most out of it.
Get started with the landing page for your contest marketing campaign with Teleduce from Corefactors today!
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