All the Advantages of Adding Contests to Your Marketing Strategy

Corinna Keefe
Social networks have gobbled up a big slice of the pie when it comes to brand marketing strategies. The number of social media users is still rising, and will surely continue to do so. Brands need to stand out by offering original, valuable content to their followers.

According to an Epsilon study of social media trends in 2020, contests and giveaways are the most effective branded content on social media. Let’s delve into the detail, and find out how contests make a difference to your marketing strategy. 

Marketing strategy
Social media trends 2020 by Epsilon

At the moment, 72% of online users follow brands on social media (according to an IAB study from 2019). They also take part in contests and often talk about their purchases online. But those same consumers are demanding, and they only choose to interact with brands that respond to their needs and interests.

Even if your business operates entirely offline, you still need an online presence for the sake of your customers – and potential customers. People use social media to find out more about brands and products before they shop. That’s your opportunity to get their attention and create a good impression.

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Well-run contests can make all the difference to your reach and engagement targets. Want to know exactly how it works? Read on!

How to plan a contest

Before you start planning your branded contest, run through this checklist. Follow each point to optimize your content and maximize the return on investment (ROI). 

Define your marketing objectives

Clear objectives will help you choose the right type of promotion or contest. You’ll also be able to set specific targets and key performance indicators (KPIs).

Marketing strategy

The above example presents an annual contest that always follows the same structure. The organizer looks to obtain user-generated content and turn the winner into a brand ambassador by giving them a chance to live an experience of a lifetime! UGC can be easily obtained with Photo and Video Contests. And to make the promotion go viral, enable the voting system to encourage the participants to share the promotion with their family and friends.

A promotion that boosts brand awareness is totally different from a contest that raises engagement. Start by deciding where you want to go, then figure out the route.

Make sure your KPIs are realistic and easy to measure with the feedback from your contest.

Choose your target audience

Your audience should dictate every part of the promotion: the theme, social network, and even the prize. Pinpoint your target audience for a more effective campaign.

Marketing strategy

This brand organizes weekly Instagram Giveaways aimed at mothers. The text and picture clearly state who the target audience is.

You’ll need to understand how your audience behaves online, their tastes and preferences. This will help you choose the right social media channel for your marketing strategy.

Pick a contest type and theme

Now you’ve picked your objectives and your audience, it should be easy to find the right type of contest. Find a theme based on your products or major dates on the calendar.

Spin the Wheel promotions are perfect to grow your database with new leads, and also to promote your brand and products. You can also convert the players into paying customers if you distribute discount codes and vouchers.

The perfect prize

What’s in it for your followers? Start by deciding on the quantity and value of the prizes on offer. Try to pick rewards that are clearly related to your brand, and will appeal to your target audience. There’s no point running a contest with a big reward and lots of participants if none of those people will ever buy from your brand. 

Marketing strategy

This type of online contest will you tick off a variety of different marketing objectives. With our Hashtag + Entry Form app, you obtain user-generated content, increase engagement, and by enabling the entry form you also generate new leads!

Who’s in charge?

Nominate someone on your marketing team who will take charge of the promotion. They’ll monitor its progress and be ready to deal with any queries.

Create terms and conditions

The terms and conditions are an essential element of any contest. They should explain who is responsible for the contest, who may take part, how to take part, and what prize is on offer. If you run a contest on Instagram, where you can’t share links in individual posts, you must add a link in bio so that people can find your terms and conditions easily.

Benefits of using contests in your marketing strategy

We’ve already hinted at the biggest benefit of contests: they’re the most effective branded content for social media engagement. Why? Because contests are entertaining, rewarding, and different.

But there’s more to come. Read on for even more reasons why regular, well-executed contests are key to your marketing strategy.

Increase reach and brand awareness

Everyone loves a free gift. If you set up your promotion correctly and distribute it well, you’ll see a rise in brand reach and awareness. 

Here are a few easy ways to share your contest: 

  • Publish a link to the contest on all your social media channels and in-store.
  • Use paid services like Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads. 

Encourage participants to share. You can’t require people to share posts on most social networks, but you can encourage them to share with their friends in order to collect votes or referral points.

Brand positioning

When you launch a promotion with a clear link to your products or services, it serves to reinforce brand recall in your audience. So contests can give you an edge over the competition. Plus, because contests reward and gratify contests, they also help to create a positive impression of your brand.

Add Mention + Hashtag promotions to your marketing strategy if you wish to increase follower engagement and raise brand awareness on social media.

Follower loyalty and engagement

When you share a contest that matches your usual style on social media, you’re reinforcing your brand values and personality yet again. And because contests have more viral reach than standard posts, even more people will be introduced to your brand in the way that you want.

When it comes to contests, all the news is good, for both brands and consumers. Ready to try it for yourself? Chat live with us and we’ll help you design the perfect contest.

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