Contests, raffle drawings, and sweepstakes are not a new thing when it comes to promoting your business. It has been a go-to strategy for traditional marketing, and it’s still the same for digital marketing, although with slight differences in mechanics and effects. Overall, social media contest marketing is a solid way to promote your business.
Should you start your own social media contest? Is a contest marketing strategy right for you? Here are some benefits that you could get for holding your own social media contest as part of your marketing strategy.
1. Contests help build your social media base.
Especially for businesses that are just starting their social media pages, contests can give a huge boost to your social media base. It’s the power of exponential growth. Imagine if your current 50 or so fans on Facebook joined a contest that encouraged liking your page and sharing your posts. Every person sees those posts will then be more likely to like your page as well, which would add up and ideally, your engagement would grow exponentially.
A good contest to try, especially if you are just starting out, is the sweepstakes. It has a low barrier to entry and involves almost no effort required from your target customers. Additionally, most social media contest apps already have a sweepstakes option for easy setup.
2. Contest marketing increases your social media engagement.
Arguably, the most important aspect of social media marketing is not page likes or profile followers, but rather, engagement. Social media sites, especially Facebook, put an emphasis on audience interaction. In simple terms, engagement is the metric that measures how many people talk about your brand. The engagement rate actually affects how their algorithm determines if they will show your post to more people or not.
Contests, by their nature, involves a lot of comments, shares, follows, and retweets—the elements of good engagement. Expect a boost in your engagement rate whenever you run a contest. But do take note, you should not rely on contests, but rather build upon them to generate engaging content to your customers.
3. Contest marketing is cost effective.
Relative to other marketing strategies, contest marketing is not expensive. The bulk of the cost is usually on the price that you are willing to give. Even the cost to make it a sponsored post in social media sites is minimal. If you’re using a paid app, it would only be a one-time expense and you can use it every time you hold contests. But with the engagement that social media contests bring, I’d say they are definitely worth it.
4. Contest participants are a great source of consumer data.
In a market research perspective, the participants of your contest are a great source of information. You can use contests as a way to get consumer information for future email marketing efforts. If you are still in the process of defining your target demographic, or simply refining it, social media contests can give insight into that. Furthermore, you can include questions in your contest that ask for consumer habits, interests, and other information that can help you promote your business better.
5. Contests make interested customers do your marketing for you.
At the end of the day, the goal of your social media contest is to increase your target consumers’ brand awareness. Even if your contest does not immediately result in sales, the mere fact that your page appears in the newsfeeds of your target consumers is already a huge piece of your online presence. By using social media contests, engaged fans are able to help spread your marketing message through social shares.
Contest marketing provides multiple benefits to your business. Especially if used in an integrated marketing campaign, it can be extremely effective in building brand awareness for future marketing efforts.
What is your experience with contest marketing? Tell us your stories below.