June 26, 2019 Bianca Altomare
Many people think that running an online contest is simple and consists of solely drawing a name from a hat. Wrong! There are many aspects that need to be taken into consideration beforehand to avoid bumping into the law or destructing your brand image.
When hosting a contest, you need to dictate what result the business is aiming for.
Lower the barriers to entry with ease of access and more people will participate. Most simple of which are being a simple form containing name and email to fill out. Though these simple types of contests may not leave an impression to remember, a business can take advantage of email collection as a pre-marketing tool to use with a proper marketing campaign down the road.
Photo contests are popular type that gets consumers engaged with a relatively easy entry. It’s always important to consider the brand and its consumer base as this may not resonate with brands that skew towards an older or even younger demographic.
Some contests that involve a written submission may deter consumers to enter, as it involves more creativity. Even as video contests are also becoming more prevalent, another barrier presents itself as one needs to create and upload a video of themselves or another.
Contests that involve uploading a photo or video usually come with having to put a moderator on the clock. Though users entering these sorts of contests will have to wait till their submission passes approval, once it becomes live on the submission page entrants find gratification and motivation to tell others. Therefore, sending more leads to the page, creating hype.
With many ways a business can go about running a contest, moderating entries of publicly posted content on a branded microsite should be first priority. We cannot control what gets posted on social channels such as Instagram and Facebook and we don’t need to as they self-moderate. But content that might get posted directly to a brand’s contest or aggregated prior to being removed from social channels is critical to remove from your contest as well. Some contests allow submissions to automatically upload to then be voted on by the public, which could potentially hurt your brand image if not filtered appropriately. Hiring a moderator to look after these types of contests could save the way people perceive your business, worth it? I think so.
Other factors to watch out for are fraudulent entries and users stuffing the entry box. Implementing a fraud prevention system into every contest, will give entrants the opportunity to report behaviour that seems off, offensive or maybe just slipped pass the eyes of the moderator.
Depending on what approach your contest takes, encouraging entrants to share their submission to their social channels is key to attract support from their friends and even have them enter the contest themselves.
Just be conscience, if you decide to take that route and open the door to social media marketing, make sure you have everything inline before going public. You need to ensure that if the campaign were to go viral, nothing could come back and bite you.
Though hosting a contest or sweepstakes may seem like it’s all fun and games, but before holding one, businesses need to understand that there are some hefty fines that can come along if you aren’t on top of the changing laws on contests, sweepstakes and promotions. As laws vary dependant on location, it is critical to do research beforehand.
Getting penalized in Canada for gambling is huge. To qualify as a legal contest (and not a lottery), the main and most frequently missed factors are:
Be sure to watch out for copyright issues! Depending on the type of contest, moderators should be on guard for images, videos, or even music being used without permission. Make sure you have abided by all promotional contest laws and rules in Canada here: http://www.ipvancouverblog.com/2019/01/promotional-contest-law-in-canada/.