Summer time is high season for marketers. Why? Because your audience has more leisure time to spend browsing social media, shopping online, and connecting with your brand! Especially in 2020 when tourism and travel aren’t expected to fully restart in the upcoming months. Try these 5 summer contest ideas to raise your profile and increase brand awareness online.
Unless your business is already a household name around the world, you probably want to increase brand awareness. Although it might sound like another piece of marketing jargon, brand awareness actually translates into real benefits – like increased sales, a positive reputation, and word-of-mouth recommendations from customers.
And summer is the perfect time to boost brand awareness. We know that social media use increases in summer, as people have more leisure time, vacation days, and photos to share, especially when travel restrictions are still in place. But not all brand awareness is created equal. In other words – how can you raise brand awareness in a positive way? Check out our summer contest ideas below.
- Photo Contests to collect user-generated content
- Mention + Hashtag Contests to make your brand’s profile go viral
- Summer quizzes to educate and amuse your followers
- Refer-a-Friend contests to encourage word-of-mouth marketing
- Live Giveaways for summer and online brand events
Let’s dive in!
1. Organize summery Photo Contest to collect user-generated content
People are already going to share their photos of summer days at the beach, weekend brunches, and far-away sunsets. Some will share memories from previous years if they’re not allowed to travel this summer. But the trick is to persuade them to share the pictures with your brand.
One way to do this is a Summer Photo Contest. Create a public gallery where people can post their photos, share with others, and even vote for their favorites.
In exchange, you’ll have access to all those images – plus contact details from everyone who signed up. Resharing user-generated content on your social media channels is a great idea, as online communities find UGC much more authentic than any other content shared by brands.
But how can you attract more participants to your summer contest? Make sure there is an attractive prize involved! A great idea is to give away one of your own products, but you can also collaborate with another brand to mutually promote the contest and prizes. Another fantastic idea to attract participants is giving away discount codes and vouchers to all registered entrants.
Here’s an example of photo competition organized for citizens of Guernsey. The participants shared shots that in their opinion best portrayed a Guernsey summer. The entrant with the highest number of votes walked away with £750 cash!
2. Mention + Hashtag Contests to boost your social media engagement and presence
There are other ways to run photo contests, depending on your brand awareness goals. If you want to collect more leads, or include children in the contest, then a photo app like the one above is a great place to start.
But what if your goal is social media buzz?
A Mention + Hashtag Contest is the perfect solution. Your followers share their photos on Instagram or Twitter, and tag the post with your @brandmention and #brandhashtag.
It’s a win-win for everybody. Your followers get to share all those gorgeous photos with their friends – and you get your brand name plastered all over social media.
What’s more, you can collect all those posts into a single gallery. Just like in a classic photo contest, people can use the gallery to view, share, and vote on the different contest entries.
Here’s an example of a summer contest organized by Sun Gardens Dubrovnik. The participants entered the promotion for a chance to win a luxury 5-night stay in Dubrovnik. This social media photo contest increased Sun Gardens’ social media presence and brand awareness as the participants’ followers got to see this beautiful travel destination.
3. Segment your leads with summer-themed quizzes
When it comes to online promotions, we like to quote the famous BBC slogan: “inform, educate, and entertain”.
A Knowledge Quiz, Personality Quiz, or Product Recommender is the perfect way to educate shoppers about your brand and products while giving them a fun way to pass the time. It’s also a fantastic way to collect leads and segment them based on the participants’ answers.
Take this example from a flight-booking service and travel agency. They created a fun Product Recommender for potential customers.
Depending on each participant’s answers, they got a personalized holiday recommendation with a quick link to book flights. If you’re looking to convert leads into paying customers you can always throw in a discount code or voucher that will be displayed with the final message and also emailed to the participant.
This type of summer contest is especially effective for brands which find it hard to connect with customers. If you’re a B2B brand, or just not very photogenic, then a quiz can help spread your message in an accessible way.
Here’s an example par excellence: a brand of flea and tick treatments for pets. It doesn’t sound very pretty, right?
But they still managed to raise brand awareness and educate their target market with a timely quiz about the risks of summer tick season.
Even if people didn’t get the answers right, the quiz was packed full of information to help them out. It was a great opportunity to offer introductory discounts and encourage people to try the product.
4. Spread the word about your brand with Refer-a-Friend Contests
Remember what we said earlier in this piece: one shortcut to brand awareness is tapping into things your customers are already doing. Use your followers’ behavior to come up with summer contest ideas that will really appeal to them.
So if they like to share photos, give them a photo contest. If they like to test their knowledge, run a quiz. And if they share reviews and recommendations with friends… It’s time for a Refer-a-Friend Contest.
These are also sometimes called recruiter contests, and they couldn’t be simpler. All you have to do is create a registration form that asks for the lead info you need – things like email address, location, and shopping habits.
Now the twist. Instead of running a classic prize draw, you offer extra entries to people who recruit their friends to the contest. It’s an easy way to reward word-of-mouth marketing. This dynamic encourages social media sharing which makes your promotion and brand go viral.
5. Liven up your live and online events with Live Giveaways
So far, we’ve focused on online promotions that you can run on your website, or share on social media. But what about live events?
Summer is the perfect time to create pop-up shops or run in-store events. It’s also an important time for concert venues, festival organizers, expos, conferences, and awards ceremonies.
So… wouldn’t it be great if you could liven up those events with live giveaways and prize draws? To kick off the summer campaign season, we’ve created a new app that does exactly that. Watch the video to learn more about how it works.
Want even more summer contest ideas? Visit our Summer campaign hub to get free social media templates, case studies, and ideas for your specific vertical.
Do you have any questions? Or maybe you have a great summer contest idea? Don’t hesitate to contact us! Our Support Team is ready to assist and inspire.
Corinna KeefeContent marketer at Easypromos
Publication date: 2015-06-09