It almost seems as if contests have been around since the pharaohs. And possibly they have. After all, contests are a great way to collect volumes of names and build a marketing database. Put something enticing up for grabs — an ancient pyramid, perhaps — and let the urge to win work its magic. Actually, not so fast. Nowadays, with savvier, time-sapped consumers, you may need to do more than that to attract entries to your online contest.
Start by creating a more engaging contest that invites consumers to go beyond submitting their names and email addresses. Consider what your target audience values and their point of view. Creative consumers might appreciate the chance to produce a video and loading it on your Facebook page or YouTube channel. Engage them in an online scavenger hunt. Invite them to submit names for your new product or service via Twitter.
Another option is to, as one tourist destination did, invite consumers to build their own prize online. Consumers were able to choose from a variety of hotels and activities in designing their idea getaway. Not only did this successful contest attract a lot of entries, the contest was programmed so that the activities, hotels and the demographics of the entrant were captured. The contest had a convenient, built-in marketing survey.
After all, for your company’s purposes, it’s the before and after that really matter, and not the prize. So start by outlining your goals. Are you looking for consumer demographics and psychographics; subscribers; user-generated content (UGC), such as photos, stories and video; only names and addresses; and/or increased brand awareness?
No matter what, brand awareness should be one of your goals. So design a contest that gets people talking about your company. Turn entrants into brand advocates, and the conversation will continue long after the contest ends.