Most of us will jump at the chance to get something we consider valuable for free. Whether it’s a large box of pasta or an all-expense-paid trip to an exotic island, we are unlikely to pass up pretty delights when they’re offered to us on a platter.
Numerous businesses have leveraged this knowledge for their own ends. They have attracted their target audiences with gifts, and grown sales through periodic promotions. Perhaps you have tried doing this at your own business. When it’s planned and executed well, it usually achieves results.
These days, brands have taken this tactic online by organizing contests on their websites and social media pages. If you would like to run a contest on social media or the web, here’s how to go about it.
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How to Organize Online Contests
1. Be Clear About Your Goal
What would you like to achieve with your contest? Do you want greater traffic going to your website or social media pages? Are you aiming for more publicity for your brand? Or would you like to drive more sales directly from it?
Be clear about what you want to gain from the contest, so you know where you’re heading with it, and steer the activities that follow in that direction.
2. Define Your Target Audience
You need to know who you’re targeting with the contest before you go ahead with it. This should not be a problem if you already know who your typical customer is. Define their age group, gender, income level, occupation, location, etc.
These things will help you understand who you will be targeting with the contest and how your contest should communicate with them.
3. Decide the Type of Contest You Will Run
Some popular types of online competitions include video contests, photo contests, votes, quizzes, and essay contests. Choose one that is most likely to generate the kind of results you want from the contest. It should also be one that your audience will find convenient to participate in.
4. Come Up with the Structure and Details
Come up with the start and end dates, method of entry, and rules for the contest. Choose an appropriate platform on which the contest will be held or tracked. For instance, if you are organizing a video or photo contest, you’re probably better off doing it on Instagram.
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5. Create and Share Content for Your Contest
Your encounter with online contests has probably included seeing a banner or text telling you about it. Your own contest should include something similar. You should have content posted on the platforms you’ve chosen to hold the contest on, inviting people to participate.
Make sure to share the entry procedure, rules, and other details via your various visual communication channels. Send them out via email, post them on social media, and announce it on your website.
Consider broadening the reach of the contest with paid social media adverts, if you can afford to do so.
Start your announcement on each channel with an attention-grabbing headline. This is the first thing your audience is likely to see, so you will want to get it right.
6. Monitor Your Contests’ Progress
You can keep tabs of engagement with your contest with analytics tools. For instance, if the contest is held on Facebook, you could use Facebook Analytics to check for traffic and interactions. And if you’re using a website, you could keep tabs on traffic and other vital indices with Google Analytics.
You should know the appropriate data to track for the goals you are looking to achieve. For instance, if you are aiming to grow visitor numbers over time, you should monitor the traffic trends during and after the contest.
7. Wrap Things Up
Announce a winner (or winners) for the contest on social media. Thank the participants for contesting with a message posted on your various channels. A properly crafted follow up content at the end of a contest could win over a good number of undecided people.
Featured image source: Natalie Cofield
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