Running a contest, promotion, or giveaway can provide your business with invaluable information and increase engagement that can result in a substantial growth of your audience. Everyone loves freebies and giveaways, but keep in mind, consumers aren’t stupid and they often know when something seems too good to be true.
In order for a contest to catch the attention of your audience and engage them to participate, you must make them feel like the promotion is too good to pass up and that the benefits outweigh the cost of the time it takes to enter.
Keep in mind that a participant’s choice to join is negatively influenced by greater task complexity and a lower sponsor reputation. So, whatever type of contest you run, make sure you keep the participation process as simple as possible and the prize as valuable as possible for your target audience.
Beach Trip / Vacation
Consider giving away a vacation for participating in a consumer survey that is focused on gaining insight through information provided by the consumer. If you can manage to afford a big giveaway, like a beach trip, you’ll discover that many consumers will find it worth their time to provide you with more information than usual, giving you data that helps you understand the deeper connection between you and your audience.
If you’re a smaller business and perhaps don’t have the means to give away a huge prize like a vacation or an expensive product, consider partnering up with another business to increase engagement, share across multiple social channels and accounts, and offer a much larger reward.
Co-promotions allow you to identify your audience’s other needs that your products might not specifically address. Even though you’re not promoting your own product, you’re promoting your interest in your audience’s needs and partnering with businesses that also add value to their lives.
As you can imagine this is a very effective way to grow your fan base by supporting other brands or products your consumers already love and trust. Even if the business you’re pairing up with can’t bring a lot to the table, your eagerness to promote the lifestyle of your audience over your own products creates substantial trust between a consumer and a brand they already support.
BBQ Equipment and Patio Party
Themed contests are always effective if promoted to the correct audience at the correct time. Even if your business doesn’t offer products related to summer BBQs and patio parties, you can still play to the interests of your audience and offer gift cards or “shopping sprees” for other retailers that do.
Consider centering a contest around user-generated content for themed promotions like BBQs or outdoor parties while at the same time associating it with a local event. If there’s an upcoming sportsman or outdoor show coming to a specific region that is relevant to your target audience, you can promote attendance to that event through user-submitted photos that allow your consumers to enter and win a prize associated to a BBQ or outdoor themed party.
Implementing a theme that is easily relatable to a majority of your consumers will allow you to engage on a more personal level. Even tying in a holiday, such as Fathers Day, into a contest themed around BBQing or a patio party giveaway can engage a broader amount of participants and appeal to a range of people from dads and moms, to children and grandparents.
School’s Out, a Graduation Celebration!
Graduation or the end of the school year is a great event to associate with your sweepstakes or giveaway. Contests with a familiar context, like graduation, can help your audience associate with the promotion on a deeper level and naturally create a stronger connection between your audience and brand.
Because graduation or end of the school year events are a common occurrence among households, you should make sure you create a contest with a high levels of creativity, entertainment, stimulation and inspiration in order to drive engagement.
Consider a promotion that requires voting. For example students can post a photo of themselves at graduation and fill out a provided caption on a social media channel like twitter, “If I win $400 shopping spree from @yourcompany, I’ll spend it on ____ this summer.” Then they must request family members and friends to participate by voting for their photo submission (a personal accomplishment) as the winner.
Helping Others, promote related charities or local involvement
A strong sense of local pride and support can drive consumers to engage in online promotions and giveaways if they know something is going back into their community. The sense of personal responsibility and generosity can be applied beyond the local community of your business and create substantial results.
For example, a promotion highlighting a product or event that encourages environmentally conscious behavior can create stronger relationships between your brand and the consumers who care about the health of the environment.
If you have a strong local following, consider co-promoting with another local business so that you cater to consumers who care about keeping their business local and putting back into their community.
Contests Can Strengthen Your Business and Build Your Brand
There are countless ways to promote a sweepstakes or giveaway, and endless themes, concepts, and prizes that can work to specifically target the audience you want. You can gain a larger fan base, create lasting brand-advocates, and learn from the participation of your audience all with a simple contest, so why wait?