Running a contest is a known method of increasing your follower count online, especially if you factor in a ‘must be following to enter’ policy. They’re a popular tool amongst marketers who are looking to interact with a wider audience.
Contests can help you engage with your fans or customers while enhancing your online presence, so they’re worth holding on to entertain your existing followers and entice new ones.
But where to begin? If you’ve never held an online contest before, the concept can seem daunting, but they’re easy providing you know the basics. Before beginning your contest, you’ll need to define the key elements of sweepstakes promotions and create a foolproof strategy.
Outline your objectives
Firstly, you’ll need to decide on your objectives. What would benefit your business? Common goals include increasing awareness, increasing daily visitors, gaining followers, improving brand loyalty or increasing sales.
Once you’ve set out your goals, you’ll be able to keep track of how you’re moving towards your goal as the contest progresses. If you’ve chosen to increase your follower count, for example, keep an eye on the numbers. If they’re increasing, great! If not, you’ll need to take action and try alternative methods, such as increasing promotion regarding the contest.
Set up the logistics
Planning efficiently can help your contest run smoothly, saving you a headache later on. Create the rules early on. Decide on the number of entries, the prize and how you’ll select the winner, to name a few important aspects.
It’s also imperative that you research your country’s sweepstakes laws to ensure you’re not breaking any in the process.
To simplify matters, you may wish to use a pre-built contest running tool, such as the Facebook Timeline Contest Tool by AgoraPulse, which will allow you to easily create and run a simple contest.
After planning every detail, it’s time to launch your contest. Ideally, you’ll create a test run, allowing your friends or colleagues to enter a faux contest and ensure everything goes to plan.
You may wish to contact any leading influencers you may know within the industry who could promote your upcoming sweepstakes. This can help attract more potential consumers to your page with the view of entering your contest.
Finally, research thoroughly before selecting a date and time to go live. Use your previous visitor data or online research to determine when your audience is most active online.
Keep in touch
After the launch and once the entries start appearing, you’ll need to focus on interacting with the contestants. Sending a follow-up email can add a sense of credibility and will also place your business in the mind of the consumer as they check their inbox. It’s easy to set up an auto response using services such as MailChimp.
You’ll also need to post regular updates on your social media page to keep entrants involved and assure them you’re still present. Plus, new updates can’t hurt your chances of enticing new entrants!
Leading up to the closing date, create posts reminding users to enter before it’s too late.
And the winner is…
It’s time to select a winner, which should be simple if you’re using a contest tool to manage related tasks.
As soon as the contest has ended, remove the widget to prevent further entries. Then contact the winner personally by email, requesting their details to send the prize. You’ll also need to announce the winner publicly in order to let others know they have been unsuccessful this time.
Finally, mail the prize to the winner and let them know the estimated delivery date.
Once the contest is over, take the time to review it and answer your own questions. What was successful about the contest? What would you change next time? This will ensure you’re constantly evolving, keeping up to date and offering consumers high quality, engaging content over time.
Have you started any contests? Share them in comments so we can participate too!