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Competitions and giveaways are an incredibly effective way to grow your business. Whether you need website visitors, email addresses or cold hard cash, competitions can help you grow your business no matter what your goal is.

To show you how competitions can grow your business, I want to share with you three specific examples of how we’ve actually done this with real life clients and real life competitions.

Use competitions to bring your followers to your website.

The first way to use competitions to grow your business is to bring your social media followers to your website. 

Why do we want to bring social media followers to our website? 

Mostly because organic reach (or the number of people you can reach with your posts without paying for it) on social media these days is so poor. At the time of publishing, if you had 100 followers on Instagram, the number of people you’d be likely to reach with your posts – without paying – is between 4% and 10%.

That means of your 100 followers, potentially only 4 to 10 people will actually see what you post.

Organic reach is the number of people who see your content without paying to boost or advertise your content.

By running a competition to bring these social media followers over to your website, not only can you then collect a whole bunch more data about them through platforms like Google Analytics and your in-built website insights, but you can also encourage them to purchase a lot better than you can on social media if you’re only reaching about 10% of people (on a good day).

To show you how this works in practice, I want to share an example of a clothing and accessory brand who used this idea to grow their business, their website traffic and their sales. 

This client was traditionally running like and follow to win competitions on Facebook and whilst they were getting a lot of likes, comments, engagement and followers… these competitions never resulted in a single sale and people were not visiting the website from these competitions – despite having a Facebook following of over 80,000 people!

What we wanted to do, was to encourage these Facebook followers to visit their website and enter the competition via a dedicated competition landing page.

So together, we created a very simple enter your email to win competition. We then posted competition promotion posts on social media where their audience were already used to seeing these types of giveaways and competitions, but this time we encouraged them to enter via the company’s website. 

So how did it turn out? 

During the competition, we drove almost 11,000 people to their website from Facebook.

Now, bearing in mind we only posted organically about this on their Facebook page, we didn’t do any paid advertising whatsoever, this is an incredible result – one in eight of their followers came to the website to find out more about the competition.

Using a number of different tactics, we then steered these website visitors towards the products on their website and showed them the products that we were giving away as part of the competition.

Though our competition goal was to drive website traffic (not necessarily sales), the competition directly resulted in about $56,000 worth of sales during the competition – simply by bringing their followers from social media to their website where they could see the products and where they could complete a purchase. 

Use competitions to build your email list.

The second way that you can use competitions to grow your business is to build your email list or database. 

Now, I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of marketers harping on about how important it is to capture your clients’ email addresses and build a database of active, engaged subscribers…

This is because email usually drives a lot more sales than something like social media, plus you’ve also got a lot more direct one on one attention in their inbox (as opposed to fighting to keep their attention or stop them scrolling on such a content-rich platforms like Instagram or Facebook).

To show you how you can create a competition to build your email list, I want to share an animal charity who needed to build their database with emails and phone numbers so that they could capture details and encourage donations to keep the charity going.

Together we created a very simple enter your email to win style competition, also capturing a phone number as part of their entry, as they were planning to run an SMS campaign post-competition to request donations. 

Unlike the clothing and accessories brand mentioned above, for this competition we did use paid advertising to reach more people – however, we were really, really specific about who we wanted to reach with our ads, targeting dog owners in Australia in certain states where the bigger populations are, that would hopefully result in more donations.

As a result of the competition, the animal charity collected over 12,000 email addresses and phone numbers, which they then used to convert into donations. 

As a bonus, they were also able to use this competition not just to make the sponsors happy who had donated the prizes, but also made some doggos very happy too when they received their bumper prize packs full of treats, toys and food from the sponsors!

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Use competitions to reach new potential customers.

The third way that you can use competitions to grow your business is to reach out to new people. 

Not everyone has 80,000 followers on Facebook or an email list of 12,000 people they can reach out to when they need to generate sales.

This was the case for another client – a wilderness lodge down in Tasmania who found themselves struggling when the pandemic hit in 2020.

Suddenly, overnight this client found that they had lost their international visitors and their mainland Australian visitors too. So it became crucial to let the local population know that the lodge existed, what they had to offer and that the locals should come and experience the lodge for themselves and holiday locally. 

The lodge paired up with a number of local businesses to create an amazing prize package to offer the greater Hobart area residents.

Again with this competition, we did include paid advertising and again we were very specific with our targeting. 

We ended up collecting 11,981 email addresses and we reached over 71,000 people – which equates to about 14% of the entire population of Tasmania!

Here’s what Simon from Pedder Wilderness Lodge had to say about the competition…

Now I know what you’re thinking, it’s all well and good reaching 71,000 people, but if none of those people decide to come and experience the lodge, the competition has kind of been for nothing… right?

We thought the same. 

So to encourage these entrants to convert to paying guests, we created a special offer just for those entrants to encourage them to come and experience the lodge for themselves – and instead of the ghost town that the lodge had become after losing the international and mainland visitors; we ended up creating $72,000 worth of revenue and the hotel had 870 room nights booked directly as a result of our six week competition.

As you can see from these competition examples I’ve shared with you above, competitions and giveaways are an extremely powerful way to grow a business, whether it’s turning your followers into website visitors, building your email or phone database, or encouraging people to come and experience your products and services (and generating $72,000 worth of revenue in the process!), competitions can help you grow your business no matter what your goal is.

Hopefully these examples have given you a little bit of inspiration to create your very own competition. If so, there are two ways that I can help you and support you grow your business with competitions. The first is via the Competition Mastercourse, an eight week supported group course where you will have access to lessons, live calls and a whole bunch of resources to help you create your competition together with my expert help and a cohort of other like-minded business owners over the course of eight weeks. 

… Or if that sounds a little bit too intense or too much work for you, then you can always hire me to create your competition for you via the Competition Concierge service.