With contest marketing, both you and your customers can be winners

Contests have been an integral part of marketing plans for decades for a reason – they work. Well-designed contests offer distinctive, memorable ways of promoting your brand and its products and services to your targeted audiences without giving them a hard sell. Crucially, they also can be fun.

Contest marketing offers your audience the prospect of winning something in exchange for sharing something about themselves that can help your organization better understand them, informing your other marketing and sales efforts. Contests should be used judiciously and strategically. Fryed Egg can help you explore how contests can fit your needs. Here are some key considerations of contest marketing.

Understand your purpose

As with any marketing tactic, contest marketing needs a strategic foundation. You should be clear about why you are holding a contest – what the goals of the contest will be, what outcomes you are hoping to achieve. Those goals will guide the design and decision-making around the development of the contest. For instance, a contest built to promote a new product will be designed differently than one intended to increase your followers on Instagram or to get more people to sign up for your email newsletter.

Approaches will vary

One of the advantages of contest marketing is that you can create a contest that is uniquely your own. Creativity can flourish in the design of the contest, whether the contest is being held online or offline. Popular types of contests include social media contests, in-store contests, email contests, web contests, mail-in contests and event-based contests, such as at a conference or trade show. Contests can be as simple as filling out a survey or they can be in the form of games that are engaging and fun.

Make the prize matter

Nothing will undermine a contest more than an underwhelming prize. If you are going to commit to holding a contest, then you need to commit to investing in a worthwhile reward. Contests are everywhere – customers are inundated with them. For yours to matter and stick in the minds of your audience, you will need to offer a prize that is worth their time. You need to offer one that will stick out from the crowd and truly attract the kind of attention and engagement you were hoping for. Not only should the prizes be promoted, but, when possible, the prize-winners should be promoted, too, helping to build goodwill for your organization and connecting real people to your brand.

Brand awareness and engagement

Contests are an excellent way of boosting awareness of your brand and engaging directly with customers. It is a form of marketing that ensures two-way communication between your organization and your audience. When done right, contests capture the imagination of target audiences. Contests, of course, should align with your overall branding efforts and ideally be part of an integrated marketing plan so that they support your other marketing efforts. They also should be authentic to your brand. A contest unattached to a larger marketing plan will have less impact on your brand, while also being less successful on its own.

Database gold

In some cases, the customer data that comes with a contest is even more valuable than the brand recognition that it brings. For customers to participate in contests, they should provide some information about themselves that helps you better understand your audience. However, you want to keep it simple and straightforward. The more intrusive and extensive the questions the less likely you will get much participation. However, brief surveys or other formats of questions can yield new research about your customers’ behaviors, preferences and habits that will add crucial depth to your understanding of them.

Contests require careful planning and the investment of resources. Fryed Egg Productions can help you determine how contest marketing can fit into your marketing plans. If you want to learn more about how Fryed Egg can help, contact us at (813) 478-0494 or [email protected] or visit www.FryedEgg.com.