By Corrina Anderson, Account Director

Everybody loves a competition. Competitions can be fun and give consumers the chance to win free stuff and money-can’t-buy experiences (golden ticket, anyone?) For brands they provide a powerful way to stimulate engagement, build marketing databases and better understand customers. 

The popularity of social media and smartphones has seen competitions proliferate online, yet few are as effective as they could be. Also, you only have to visit a few brand pages on Facebook to see that some don’t play by the rules.

Here are a few things to consider when running your next online competition:

  1. Make sure the value of the prize matches the amount of effort an entrant would be willing to put in to win it. Instant gratification and ease of entry are excellent draw-cards. 
  2. Establish what you want to get out of running the competition and what information you need from the entrant to achieve it. Assess the most effective way to do so, and the best platform to focus on. It might be Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram. Whatever platform you choose, promote the competition across all the marketing channels at your disposal e.g. website, EDMs, POS, advertising, publicity etc.
  3. If it is quality information you are after, entries that require a higher level of skill or involvement are the way to go. The best way to do this is to use a call to action. “Send us a photo of you and your favourite product” requires very little from the participant and may give valuable information on your products in return. “Tell us why you need this product/service for a chance to win it” may help you understand what motivates your target market. Don’t be afraid to get creative and have some fun with it! Tourism Queensland’s ‘Best Job in the World’ competition reached global audiences and was so successful that Tourism Australia has now extended the concept.
  4. If it’s site traffic and volume you’re after, game of chance style competitions are often the way to go. This style of competition is more appealing to time poor entrants, although you may require a permit. The best way to stimulate involvement is to limit the barriers to entry. Another popular method is a game of skill where you select the best entry as the winner e.g. “To enter, tell us in 25 words or less…”
  5. All competitions need a good incentive. The most successful prizes are of value to the entrants, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be of high cost to you. Think about what will motivate your fans – it could be a money-can’t-buy experience like meeting your brand’s celebrity ambassador, attending an exclusive brand-sponsored event or giving them an opportunity to review your latest new product before anyone else in the world. Instead of one big prize, you might want to consider a larger number of smaller prizes so more people have a chance to win.
  6. In Australia many competitions require a permit – although sometimes making it a game of skill rather than chance and small prize values can negate this requirement. Regardless, competition conditions and restrictions vary from State to State so you need to check. If you are planning a nationwide competition (most online competitions will be), you need to make sure you get a permit for each State. Terms and conditions are equally important and need to be transparent. Include as much detail as possible to avoid loopholes or surprises if something goes wrong.
  7. Running a competition on Facebook? There are a whole lot of rules you must follow. For example, did you know that you must use a third party app and that you can’t ask people to submit entries on your wall or like or share a post to enter? Find our more in our blog: Six sure-fire ways to get your Facebook page shutdown.

What style of competitions always attract your attention? What prizes do you think hold the most appeal? Tell us in 25 words or less below… 😉