Contests, sweepstakes and giveaways have been a top marketing strategy for brands for as long as anyone can remember. For many years it was a strategy available only to large companies that could afford to manage these complicated and expensive campaigns. With new social media tools and platforms, social contests have become easier and affordable. Brands of all sizes have run successful social media contests that have helped them launch new products, and expand their marketing campaigns by going viral.
Here are a few reasons we believe everyone should add a social contest to their next marketing campaign:
Grow your email list
If you’re like most marketers, you probably struggle to expand your email list beyond your most loyal fans and friends. As social media channels continue to get more crowded, the email inbox is quickly becoming the most personal and effective place for brands and customers to communicate. By requiring a simple email registration for your contest, you are gathering valuable information that can be the key to building solid long-term relationships with new customers.
Create customer-generated content
Many small businesses can’t keep up with large companies that have teams of experts creating a constant flow of high-quality social media content. Contests are designed to use and promote user-generated content that features your company or products. Not only does this create a flood of great visual content hitting the digital market with a strong message around your brand, but the value of user-generated content can also help build customer trust and loyalty.
Make your brand go viral
Perhaps the most beneficial effect of a contest that features user-generated content and is promoted on social media is that it’s positioned perfectly to go viral. A fast spreading campaign needs to be simple, convenient to share and feature content that is interesting. And what could be more interesting than free stuff?! Contests are an opportunity to grow your audience exponentially by leveraging your network of followers.
Urgency makes people act
One of the greatest benefits that we see with clients who use online contests is the ability to make people act quickly. During a slow sales season, contests can grab people’s attention and perk up sales. Be sure to promote the end date of your contest and create a sense of urgency with customers. Offering deals and exclusive product giveaways that will only be offered once or have limited availability will encourage people to make a quick decision.
Before you plan your next contest, be sure to check on local regulations. State laws for running contests are often different and can be tricky.
Consider working with a marketing agency that will help you navigate the regulations and get the most out of your next contest.