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Digital Marketing an Hour a Day Blog

Contests as a part of your inbound marketing strategy

Posted by Orr Klein on Fri, Oct 14, 2016 @ 12:31 PM



Getting potential clients to notice your business can be tough. Competition is always fierce, you and your competitors are trying to appeal to the same client base. So, differentiating yourself is always important. There are many ways to do it, but here in  Park Slope Softworks, an inbound marketing company in Brooklyn, we believe you should harness the power of promotions to support your inbound marketing strategy and lead flow. One of the ways to do this is by starting a contest! By giving something substantial away, you’ll be sure to catch people’s interests and have them come and  check out your business.

 Determine your Goal 


Before you start coming up with ideas for your contest, you have to establish a goal. There are a number of options here. Some of these options include:

  • Brand awareness
  • Instagram followers
  • Retweets
  • Email addresses for your newsletter
  • Facebook likes 
  • Twitter followers
  • Photo submissions
  • Reviews
  • Selling more of your product or service
Obviously, the end goal is to sell more of your products or service, but forcing someone to purchase anything in order to participate in a contest is considered illegal in most states and you should probably not make buying your products a pre-requisite to participating in your contest. The contest should be a vehicle to promote your business, reach new potential clients and generate likes and shares on Social  Media. It is a way to reach people who you might not be able to reach otherwise.

Identify your audience

Identifying your audience will help you figure out the best targeting vehicles to reach them. For example,if you are targeting young teenagers with a music concert giveaway, you probably need to run your contest on Snapchat. If you are trying to acquire profiles of mothers with young children, you can try and launch your contest on Pinterest. Reaching business owners will work best on Linkedin. Etc.


Create rules for your contest 


Set tight and easy to understand rules and parameters for your contest. Make sure that all participants can find the rules quickly and easily. Consult with a digital marketing professional before finalizing the rules and launching the contest. The last thing you want is someone to find a small loophole and essentially defeat the purpose of your contest.

Set a strict time frame, it can be as long as you want, but if the time frame is shorter, it'll give people the incentive to act right away, and give you quicker results.The objective of the contest should be clear to you and to all participants.  It can be something as simple as having the participants follow you on Twitter as a way of entering the contest. Or you could devise a viral mechanism in which users invite their social followers to "Like" your business and gain additional chances to win for every invite they make. If done properly, this will create waves of followers that you can market to in the future.

People love to share photos or videos. You can tap into this behavior by having participants share images or videos of themselves using your product or relating to your brand.  The more investment the contestant has to put in, such as a video submission, the higher the reward should be. Make the people work for your awesome prizes!


Start a contest 


By starting a contest you’ll be sure to get people to come visit your website and potentially try your product or service. Regardless of what the actual contest is, you should try and make the prize as appealing as possible, maybe give away a new laptop or the newest iPhone or Galaxy phone. You should give away something that someone in the target demographic would really want. By starting a contest you can help get your brand out there, making the contest participants your brand ambassadors and advocates. People are willing to go to great lengths for the right incentive. Use it to your benefit.


Incorporate Social Media and PROMOTE!!


By incorporating social media, you’ll be able to spread your brand further out than you would have before. Make part of the entry requirements to follow you across social media platforms, maybe create a hashtag and have people tweet at you using the hashtag. This will get your business out there by a lot of people who may not have seen you before. Maybe if your contest is really cool, other websites will pick up on it and give you links to your website, helping you increase your SEO.


You also have to promote your contest, a lot. The last thing you want is to have it fail because it doesn't reach enough people. A contest is an investment in your business. Promoting it is an important part of the process. people have to know about your contest in order to participate in it. You can:

  • Start a PPC campaign to get people who may not have even known about your brand to enter the contest.  
  • Spread it across all of your social media platforms
  • Create an email campaign and let previous users know about your new contest
  • If you have a storefront, advertise it there
  • Register your contest in contest monitoring websites (Yes, they exist...)
  • Register your contest in coupons and Giveaway websites
  • Print a postcard with the contest information and hand it to everyone who comes into your place of business.

Contests are a great way to reach new prospects and increase your brand awareness. They cost money to create, manage and get prizes for, but they can be effective in growing your customer base in the long term.

To learn more about inbound marketing in Brooklyn, and how to get more people to check out your business, as well as increase your SEO, check out Park Slope Softworks, your marketing agency in Brooklyn. Contact us today to get a free consultation!

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Tags: SEO, social promotions, Social Marketing, contests