As the summer is coming to a close and school is about to start up again, it sounds like a perfect time for a new contest. Actually, anytime is a good time to run a new contest, especially if it has been some time since your last one. And if you’ve never attempted contest marketing before, you are long overdue. The following will give you some ideas for new contests to help usher in the Fall of 2013. Which one will you use to drum up excitement for your online offerings?
A Quick Note About Contest Marketing
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When you run a new contest, you need to ensure that a few rules are followed. For one, announce your contest a few weeks in advance in order to build the most hype. Next, allow anyone and everyone to participate. Don’t limit your entries to only those with certain equipment or only those who pay a certain amount. Keep them open to all involved in order to receive the most response. And third, try to do something no one has ever done before. Unique contests are always a hit.
Contest Marketing Prizes
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The one thing that usually holds marketers back from trying to run a new contest is the choice of prizes. They just can’t seem to envision a prize that customers would vie for. The thing about contests is, any prize is valuable as long as you position it correctly. A cheap T-shirt is often all that’s required to build excitement, and even an honorable mention on your website can go a long way. Sure, we’d all love to be able to offer our customers a million dollars like a Frito Lay contest recently did, but huge monetary sums certainly aren’t required for effective contest marketing.
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Instead of limiting the judging of your contests to your team, get your audience involved in the judging process too. This is perfect for contests that involve images or videos, which we will discuss in further detail in a moment, and it keeps your target prospects feeling as though they’re part of the process.
Photos And Instagram
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With mobile technology taking off and with cameras being built into most mobile devices, it seems that everyone is gaga over picture taking. Take advantage of this trend by creating a contest where you ask your social media followers, email subscribers and all others in your target market to take a photo of some kind. You might ask for a photo of them enjoying one of your products or you may ask for a funny pose. The winner gets the prize, but when you receive a ton of applicants, your company will be the true winner.
Video Contest Marketing
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Vine allows you to take a quick video that you can then share to all your friends. Take this concept and ask your target audience to create short videos using criteria set by you. This user generated content gets your customers involved with your company and it’s always fun watching the entries. The winner can then be featured in a hopefully viral marketing campaign that spreads far and wide across the Internet landscape.
Dip Into The Pool of Creativity
If you are attempting to come up with a new product or you don’t know what to name your latest creation, why not create a contest marketing offer around it? Tell your audience to create the next product your company could offer. Or ask them to name your product. You can really run a new contest revolving around any idea or concept, as long as it allows your audience to truly express their creative sides. This will help your company remain innovative while getting your audience further invested.
You now have several examples of contest marketing efforts that will get your audience excited about being a fan, friend or follower. Use social media, video marketing, your blog and all other means to announce your contest early and make sure your prizes are relevant to your company and the contest itself.
As long as you market far in advance, you’ll surely receive a lot of activity. Make sure you run a new contest every so often so that you benefit from a continuous influx of interest; every six months or so might be best. Don’t do it too often, however, or your contest marketing could lose its luster. As long as you ensure that at least six months passes between contests, your audience should remain excited. And if you manage to create really exciting prizes, that excitement just might register off the charts.