January 16, 2015 Michael Bickerton
Contest marketing helps brands in a variety of ways, there are FIVE great benefits in addition to building brand awareness and favourable impression. Keep your eye on the prize!
- Expand your reach – entrants are encouraged to share via social (ie Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc). Their friends and friends of friends enter the same contest. Given that friends are “LIKE MINDED” in some ways social sharing is somewhat like mining. Brands can expand awareness but also their sphere of influence. Nothing creates activity like the opportunity to win a “valuable prize”, and value is not just about actual dollars and cents, but what is of value to the engaged consumer.
- Nuture your database – inviting someone to enter a contest is asking permission to get to know him or her. If they agree, you can gain valuable insights and even create loyal brand ambassadors from previously casual acquaintances.
- Build Cross-Marketing Relationships – contest marketing is a great opportunity to combine products and elevate brands through association. The testing of new ideas, and products makes contesting the perfect tactic. Running a contest is a great way to conduct market research and prove a concept before really investing large dollars.
- Clear Inventory – every marketer has old inventory or merchandise to move every year, why not do it with a coupon and discount just in time for a new product launch.
- Marketing Benefits – increase your email list. Marketers need new leads and prospects. Without an audience to talk to, there is no one to receive your message. Whether you are just starting out or trying to grow your email database, contest marketing can drive email opt-ins quickly and easily.
- Social followers – Contesting is a great way to build your Facebook LIKES and Twitter Followers by having your contest entrants share your brand across social media for you. Build a strong following that can promote your brand for you by word of mouth. Social networks are great brand and engagement tools for marketers.
- Customer Data – gathering data is a strong reason for running a contest on an annual basis. Marketers can leverage this tactic to provide current customer insight, or gauge interest for new or existing products or services. The opportunity to poll the entrants as they opt-in to your contest provides marketers insight on many levels.
- Distribute content, offers or information – a great feature of contest marketing for marketers is the ablility to download a coupon, download a sell sheet, info sheet or an invitation. Reward entrants with a “special offer”. Contest marketing platforms can get your offer out there fast and provide ROI through solid opt-ins.
Contest Marketing is a tool to increase your Social Currency (explained as your social reputation). Sharing useful information, finding a special deal, or assisting someone with any kind of information increases your points, builds equity and can put you in someone’s favor. Sharing, therefore, acts as a form of currency.
It’s critical to remember that 83% trust the referral of a friend, while only 13% trust advertising. As such, social sharing is the perfect referral vehicle for marketers. Determining those that influence your product and brand is critical to your future success. Contest marketing is “word of mouth advertising” and builds your social reputation.
Social sharing is the broadcasting of our thoughts and activities. It’s a sociological phenomenon and it’s continuing to develop. Knowing what people are doing, where they are shopping, with whom they are interacting with, and knowing how much they are willing to spend are all great marketing opportunities. Marketers need to be aware of fans but more importantly influencers.
As a marketer, your social media presence should be established and if it’s not, you’re behind in the communications race. Get up to speed, Keep your eye on the prize!
Michael Bickerton, Raven5 Ltd. January 2015