How to Market Your Brand Through Contests

Enter for a chance to win!  I don’t know about you, but I love entering contests for a chance to win. I figure if I enter enough contests, I’ll win something eventually.  Contests create a fun atmosphere to engage with brands and with others in a like-minded community.  And who doesn’t like a little healthy competition?

Before creating a contest, first consider your goals. Are you…

•    increasing your awareness?
•    building your page likes?
•    engaging with your community?
•    building an email list?
•    broadening your reach?

Once you’re on track for your goals, you’re ready to start having some fun! Here are a few examples of contests that I’ve worked with in the past that may help you to come up with a great idea for your own brand.

Photo Contests

Yogis love Instagram! This has become one of the hottest ways to market yoga products and services.  In the yoga community, it’s easy to enlist Yogis for photo sharing contests for a chance to win things such as tickets to yoga festivals, yoga products or classes.  Pick a theme, ask students to #hashtag your campaign name and @tag your brand in their photos and off you go!  Most Instagram accounts are linked to Facebook accounts so you receive advertising and cross-promotion on both platforms.

As an example:  Let’s say your brand is “Comfort Shoes”. Your theme could be “Going Beyond Your Comfort Zone”.  Your photo contest could be asking yogis to take a picture of themselves practicing yoga in a place that was uncomfortable for them while wearing your shoes and sharing why that scenario challenged them to move beyond their comfort zone.  In this case you could make your hasthtag #beyondcomfortzone and ask the yogis to use this hashtag and also tag their photos with your brand @Comfort Shoes.

Here are some more tips from Social Media Examiner for hosting your contest on Instagram.

Enter to Win Contests

The “Enter to Win” or “Instant Win” contests are easy to execute and simple for the consumer. This marketing strategy quickly builds an email list.  As a yoga brand, you can team up with a large variety of yoga blogs/brands to offer a chance to win a high-ticket item that will compel participants to enter their emails. Build a landing page on your site or your partner’s site, and link all promotions to that page. Once someone enters to win the contest, you will collect and share all those emails. You can now also create special offers and discounts that are exclusive for these contest entrants down the road.

As an example: “Enter to Win a Teacher Training in Bali.”  On the landing page you could have beautiful travel pictures of Bali, and maybe an article about why it’s good to travel for a teacher training experience.  Tag all relevant brands and promote the contest in all social media posts, email newsletters and articles that relate to this article.  Also be sure you’re always seeding the contest with interesting content.

Essay Contests

Engaging with your community can be really fun on Facebook.   There are many different types of creative contests for Facebook like fan photo voting, essays, videos, coupons, personality tests and more.  There are some companies that have designed Facebook contest applications that are fairly simple to use.

As an example:  Ask your consumers to submit short essays telling you why they want to win the product/prize that you are giving away.  This way, you can choose a winner that really deserves to win. And you can reach out to those that didn’t win and create special offers for them, as well. If they have already written an essay to win the prize, they are more primed to make a purchase decision because they have justified to themselves why they need the prize.

The bottom line is, there are so many options and ways to market through contests. The success of a contest is to get focused on your needs and to know the measurable goals you wish to achieve.  Be sure to understand the execution of the contest and how much work is involved in picking a winner.  The more you understand these things up front, the higher the success rate of your program.  Have fun and good luck!

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