We could only provide ideas for your next contest, but in today’s blog post, we’re offering a few great resources to help you craft and curate your own contest ideas.
Before you start researching, though, figure out what you’re trying to accomplish. You’ll need a measurable goal and an idea of where your contest will run–you could use Facebook contests, hashtag contests, video contests, photo contests and other similar promotions.
All you need is your imagination and the Almighty Internet.
Ideation Best Practices: A Crash Course
This first strategy has a central premise–your ideal customer is your ideal contest participant, and the right contest is one that engages this person. If you don’t know who they are, you’ll need to figure that out before choosing a prize and designing a contest. That’s where creating a persona and taking the time to do some social media sleuthing can help.
First, your ideal contest participant is someone who loves your brand. You’re probably running a contest to collect something, too–engagement with your brand, prospecting leads for your sales team, photos that can go viral showing people using your product, or something else entirely.
You’ll also need a prize that entices this particular person. Make the prize too broad, generic or generous, and you’ll wind up with a lot of entrants who aren’t this ideal participant. You can, for example, offer an exotic vacation to Bora Bora or give away a new car, but that may not be as effective as, say, giving away pairs of gardening gloves if you’re selling fertilizer for home gardens.
Once you have identified your contest participant and contest goal, you can use social media to help find a prize and contest idea.
Using Facebook, Instagram or other social media:
- Popular Posts and Photos
- If people love your food photos, consider a cooking photo contest and offer one of your products as a prize. These contests are perfect for helping you collect those photos, videos or other media that can help with marketing.
- Related to Your Business
- Sure, try a little friendly Facebook stalking and look at what other pages your Facebook followers like. This is particularly useful while you research and create your personas.
- Trending Stuff
- Looking at what’s trending can be a resource, as long as these trends are still relevant to your brand and audience.
- Leverage your past data to find ideas for future campaigns, and MEASURE EVERYTHING. You’re running your own experiments, and you can’t continuously improve without knowing where to start.
Of course, learning more about social media can also help you. That’s why we’re also recommending some blogs that’ll boost your social media know-how (and have some special coverage about contests).
Jeff Bullas writes about using social media to promote engagement, create contests and run promotions. Use this blog as another resource for ideas when you’re planning something for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or elsewhere.
Social Media Examiner is full of tips and expert advice on how to use social media to promote your campaigns and connect with your customers. They have resource guides for getting started with social media and occasionally write about generating contest ideas, too.
This is a great site to visit on a regular basis for Facebook contest ideas, Instagram contests, and others. Check out their “Starting” tab for social media guides, or search for “social media contests” in the custom search on their site.
The folks over at Social Media Week also know some things about generating contest ideas, so they’re another blog to follow. Their videos and educational materials talk about everything social media, even digging into deeper issues.
Ready to Create That Excellent Contest?
We hope these blog resources and contest idea tips are helpful. Of course, the best contest and sweepstakes ideas are useless until you start using ’em. You’ll need to test out your new ideas and start building that next sweepstakes campaign so you can begin learning how to implement the best practices you’ve collected on our blog and through other resources.
Creating a free Woobox account is one way to practice. You can actually get started with new contests quickly and have data, social media-friendly tools and resources right there for you to use. If you have any questions about using Woobox, email our support staff for help. Our blog also offers articles with tons of ideas for just about any type of contest.