How To Create And Run A Contest, Driving Even More Traffic

Do you want more traffic to your site and more attention to your brand? You’re going to have to create hype and you’re going to have to bring the excitement. The best way to do that is with contest marketing. When you create a contest, you create an atmosphere where you accomplish three primary objectives.

  1. Drive More Traffic: Everyone loves a contest, but people love winning even more. By holding the contest you will invite more traffic, but you will also invite repeat traffic because your participants will want to keep coming back to see if they’ve won.
  2. Collect Contact Information: When you create a contest, you invite your participants to enter. How do they enter? They can enter with a simple opt-in box. This will allow you to contact those individuals whenever you want to – in order to announce special contest marketing dates, to announce winners and anything else participants might find interesting. And, of course, you will still have their contact information, which will enable you to drive traffic with effective emails, even after your contest marketing promotion is finished.
  3. Invite Viral Traffic: A great contest marketing campaign will get passed around on social networks, via email, text and many other forms of communication. Make it exciting enough and you could find yourself creating a contest that drives traffic the likes you’ve never seen before.


Contest Marketing in a Nutshell

To create a contest, you must know your audience inside and out. Hopefully this is already the case. You should have engaged in plenty of market research and competitor research so that you know exactly how to reach your audience. To create a contest your audience will respond to, you must study them, find out what they’re talking about on social networks and in popular forums and make sure a large percentage of them will be interested in the contest you hold.

For example, if you are marketing a tool manufacturer’s website, you might hold a video contest where contestants will film themselves fixing a home appliance using one of the company’s tools. It doesn’t have to be a big contest, but think outside of the box so that your ideas are different than any others competing against you.


Contest Marketing Ideas

We’ve already discussed video marketing contests. This is only one idea that can help you build hype when you create a contest. Some others include:

  • Writing Contests: Have contestants send in their best, funniest, scariest or most nerve-inducing stories that revolve around your niche and brand. If your audience is of an intellectual nature, this is a great way to get their creative juices flowing and for your brand to generate more attention and traffic overall. This is a great way to get free, high-quality content that your visitors will love reading once you begin to drive traffic to your contest marketing submissions.
  • Participation: Have your audience fulfill an activity – It could be to draw something, film something, record their voice doing something, or anything else you can think of. You will then choose the winner based on the best of the bunch.
  • Audience-Chosen Winners: No matter what you choose as your contest marketing idea, you might want to think about having your audience choose the winners. This helps you garner more participation for each contest you create and, wow, what a way to drive traffic. When you make your audience the judges, they’re more likely to become interested in whatever contest you run.



The biggest seller of a contest marketing campaign is the prospect of winning great prizes. You don’t have to give away a new tablet computer or smartphone, but it helps. The better your prizes, obviously, the more traffic you will drive and the more your contest marketing campaign will succeed.

If you are on a limited budget and you can’t afford to head out to the Apple store each time you hold a contest marketing promotion, you might want to think about:

  • Prominence: Make your winners feel special by highlighting their winnings on your website and your newsletters. Make your winners feel as if they’ve truly won something for each contest you create.
  • Discount: You could offer the winners of your contest marketing promotions discounts on your best items and services. This is a great way to drive more traffic to your items and products, thus garnering far more attention to your overall brand.
  • Cheap Gifts: By cheap, we mean inexpensive. Have a T-shirt made or a drink koozie, something inexpensive that can still make the winner feel special. For best results, have the winners win something that relates to your brand. A T-shirt with your brand name and a notification that they won is a great gift to offer.

Remember that it is always best to have a first, second and third prize, or even more if you have that many prizes to give. As long as you create a contest your audience will be thrilled about and you separate yourself from your competitors with each contest marketing promotion you develop, you’ll soon learn how to create a contest your prospects and customers will rush to enter.

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