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Thinking of running a competition? Excellent. Competitions are an incredible way to achieve your marketing goals and reward loyal customers.

But they’re not exactly ‘set and forget’ marketing activities. Competitions require planning, time and effort.

If you’re in the planning stages of your competition, contest or giveaway, here are three important things you need to decide before you go ahead and run that giveaway.

1. What’s in it for you.


As much as we like to think we’re running a competition just for fun, the truth is, it’s a marketing activity designed to generate leads and sales – whether immediately or as part of your overall sales/marketing funnel.

A good competition starts with a goal, be it a business goal, a marketing goal or a mixture of the two; always start with what’s in it for you.

Generally, there are four main reasons businesses choose to run competitions:

  • To promote awareness of a business, product or service
  • To grow or engage followers, likes or comments on social media
  • To get feedback or input from customers
  • To generate leads or sales

Deciding your goal, or the reason you’re running a competition, not only keeps you focussed on achieving great results; but your goal is also going to help you plan, build and manage your competition. From choosing your entry method to working out where to run your competition, deciding what’s in it for you before you run a competition is absolutely essential.

Not sure how to choose a competition goal? Check out How to decide on a competition goal.

2. What’s in it for them.


The next thing you’ll need to decide before running a competition, contest or giveaway, is what you’re actually giving away – i.e. your competition prize.

As you know, I firmly believe that giving away your own product or service is the best possible prize for any business because…

If a good prize can make a competition, then it also stands to reason that a bad prize can break a competition – so if you decide not to give away your own product or service, at least don’t give away one of these prizes.

Need a little more help deciding your competition prize? No problem. Check out How to choose your competition prize.

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3. How much you’re going to invest.


Running a competition takes time, money and effort, so knowing if you have these resources in advance is a vital step before you decide to run a competition.


When it comes to running a competition, it’s not simply a case of deciding you’re going to run one, chucking a post on social media and getting on with your day.

If you want your competition to be a success and achieve your marketing goals, you’re going to need to carve out enough time in your schedule to properly plan your competition as well as build it and manage the competition whilst it’s live.


Your prize isn’t your only competition cost.

There’s the cost of terms and conditions, licences and permits, competition apps or developers, graphic designers for marketing material and promotion – plus the cost of paid advertising if you want your competition to blow your goal out of the water and give you a good return on your investment.


You get out of a competition what you put in, so if you launch your competition, post about it once on your Facebook page, then forget about it until it closes, you’re most likely not going to achieve your competition goal.

However, if you create a solid promotion plan and keep an eye on your competition analytics (which, yes, does require a little effort), you’re much more likely to achieve your competition goals, run a successful competition and see a fantastic return on your competition investment.

Stuck for ideas to promote your competition? Check out How to promote your competition.

If you’re thinking of running a competition, contest or giveaway, take a moment to decide what’s in it for you (or your competition goal), what’s in it for you them (or your prize) and how much time, money and effort you’ve got to give to your competition before you launch, to ensure your competition is a success.

If you’re stuck with your goal or prize or simply don’t have the time to dedicate to a competition, but you’re still set on running one; get in touch or book in a free strategy session to chat through your competition challenges or engage OrigamiGlobe to run a kick arse competition for you.