I know what you’re thinking – what’s the point of running a competition? What’s in it for you if you run a giveaway, it’s not like you’re eligible to win the prize, right?

Well, after almost 10 years of running competitions, I can safely say that there are a hell of a lot of benefits of running a contest – here are just a few of my favourite unexpected benefits of running a competition, giveaway or contest…

1. Competitions drive purchases.

If you think competitions are all about likes, tags, shares and other vanity metrics, think again.

Competitions are an excellent way to drive purchases of your product or service either as a direct result of the competition or as a result of nurturing your audience after they have entered your competition.

Many of our clients see sales of their products or services whilst the competition is live – their ideal client sees their competition promotion and heads to their website to enter… whilst they’re there, the entrant decides to look around and cha-ching the client makes a sale along with a solid return on their competition investment.

But competitions don’t just drive purchases whilst they’re open, oh no, they’re the gift that keep on giving as most clients see the bulk of sales happen after the competition is closed. With a carefully placed offer that your new subscribers/followers/adoring fans can’t resist, a post-competition offer made in the right place at the right time is the perfect way to convert entrants into purchases. Another unexpected benefit of running a competition.

If you want to see how we do this in practice, check out our Mountain Bikes Direct cast study and our tips for maximising ROI.

2. Running a competition is an excellent way to smash goals.

Whether it’s building a subscriber database, generating leads or launching a brand, running a competition, giveaway or contest is an excellent way to smash your marketing goals.

That is, if you design your competition correctly, of course.

People often ask us what competitions could achieve but I love flipping that question and asking them what they want to achieve because competitions can be moulded and shaped to achieve whatever goal is most important to your business.

In fact, we wouldn’t ever run a competition without a goal and when it comes to goals, we love to smash them.

If you have a marketing or business goal you want to achieve, it really is as simple as:

  1. Setting a measurable goal
  2. Strategising/designing your competition around that goal
  3. Choosing an entry method that fits your goal
  4. Promoting the hell out of your competition

As long as your goal is at the heart of your competition’s design and promotion strategy and you get it in front of the right people with the right message, you can’t fail at smashing your goal out of the park.

You might want to check out our last guide to competitions to get started.

3. You get to know your audience a heck of a lot better.

Thanks to the huge amount of insights and analytics available to us today, you have no excuse for not knowing who your ideal customer is.

Your social media insights tab and Google Analytics are your best friends both before and after your competition.

Meet your new best friend – Google Analytics screenshot courtesy of Campaign Creators on Unsplash.

CHECK YOUR INSIGHTS BEFORE YOU LAUNCH

Look at your insights and data to determine who exactly your ideal client/ideal competition entrant is and get a really clear picture of who they are, where they live, what their family and job situation is, what type of personality they have, what values they hold and what frustrations or fears they have that you can help them solve with what you offer. We even give ours a name and a photo, it really helps us dig down into why they should bother to enter our competition, what kind of language they’d respond to and how to pitch our clients’ products or services to them in a meaningful way to help solve a genuine problem for them and not just make a quick sale.

Knowing who your ideal customer is, means you can tailor every aspect of your competition to speak to and appeal to that person who is most likely to purchase your product or service.

KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR ANALYTICS DURING YOUR COMPETITION

People change – and that includes your ideal client.

It’s actually one of my (many) favourite parts about running a competition – an unexpected benefit, even. At the start of a competition, our clients have a pretty clear idea of who their ideal entrant is but sometimes – shock horror – we discover that their ideal demographic isn’t always who our client thinks they are.

It could be that they’re slightly older than previously anticipated, that they’re actually higher earners than they suspected or that actually their audience is skewed more towards females, where they previously assumed it would be males.

We’re nerds for data, so we’ve written a whole post dedicated to leveraging your analytics to maximise your giveaway.

Which leads me nicely and not at all conveniently planned to…

4. Contest data is a goldmine for marketers.

Competitions and contests give you so. much. data.

So much so, that it’s sometimes overwhelming and often difficult to translate that data into meaningful and actionable insights.

Enter OrigamiGlobe’s signature competition debriefs. We know you’re not quite as nerdy as we are (that’s OK, we still like you), so for our Competition Concierge clients, we translate all the juicy data that competitions give us into bitesize chunks that are easy to understand and use in your future marketing.

Here’s a little sample of the smorgasbord of data competitions have to offer:

  • Who did we reach and how did we reach them?
  • Which channels worked better than others?
  • How many entries came from organic vs paid ads (and were those paid ads worth it)?
  • How much did it cost us to get each entry?
  • How much did each entry make us in sales?
  • How engaged are our entrants and what actions did they take to indicate their engagement?
  • How well did our competition page convince people to enter the competition?
  • Which images, words and marketing messages drove the most entries?
  • Which images, words and marketing messages don’t work for your brand?

These types of data points offered by competitions are an absolute goldmine for marketers – it’s like having a cheatsheet on which levers to pull and buttons to push to ensure you successfully engage people who are ready to buy what you sell.

5. Giveaways are the perfect place to test new creative.

As mentioned above, competitions can tell us exactly which images, words and marketing messages result in entries and even sales – and which do not.

Competitions are the perfect place to test creative because they are incredibly engaging, drive a large amount of targeted traffic and have a clear call to action or conversion point (usually entering their details), which create conditions ripe for A/B testing.

For example – if you split that large amount of traffic heading from social media, paid ads or wherever you promote your competition to two different landing pages; the data will quickly tell you which landing page with which creative converts the most visitors to entries and you have conclusive proof of which creative works best for your audience.

This is something we do religiously with the Facebook and Instagram ads we run for clients – yes, the aim of the ads is to drive as many entries as possible, but we also want all the juicy data on which creative, copy, formats and audiences work best, so our clients can take those learnings and apply them to the rest of their ads, saving testing time and all-important ad spend working out the winning creative.

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6. Competitions are great for social media engagement.

But Suki, don’t you always tell us not to chase social media vanity metrics?

Yes, dear reader, I do… at least as your primary competition goal.

Choosing to collect vanity metrics such as likes, follows and comments as your primary competition aim will give you a pretty poor return on your competition investment as it’s much more difficult to convert followers to customers on social media (versus conversion from email for example), especially when reach is deliberately restricted on social media.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t order a side of extra page followers, additional likes and a generous helping of engagement in the form of comments and shares from happy competition entrants and potential customers to complement your main meal of email collection.

People love well-designed competitions from their favourite brands – and when someone loves a brand, they often don’t need extra incentive to tell others about that brand. Though it may seem counter intuitive to share a competition if you really, really, really want to win, you’d be incredibly surprised how often people are willing to share your competitions posts, tag their friends to tell them about your contest and get them to enter and comment on your competition posts to share why they’re entering and why they hope to win.

Screenshots of genuine competition engagement from page followers.

The best part about all this extra, organic and genuine engagement?

The likes, tags and shares don’t break a single Facebook rule as you haven’t made them a compulsory entry requirement – your audience have independently chosen to tag and share, saving you from a trip to Facebook jail so you can still pass GO and collect $200.

7. They’re an excellent source of marketing material.

Competitions that collect what we marketing nerds refer to as “user-generated content” are an excellent source of marketing material for your brand.

By asking entrants to submit an original work as part of their entry, you collect hundreds of thousands of photos, videos, ideas, suggestions, testimonials, comments… the list goes on. Depending on your entry method, you can collect whatever content and material is going to be most useful to your brand.

If through A/B testing for example, you find that you generate most sales when you feature photos of your product submitted by your users, why not ask your audience to submit photos of themselves using your product?

That’s just what we did for Kennards Hire when they approached us to help them run a user-generated content competition.

To enter, their audience had to take a selfie with their DIY project they were hoping to tackle with the help of Kennards Hire’s equipment, or snap a photo of themselves using Kennards Hire equipment to get the job done.

The result? A collection of fantastic photos from real people using their equipment to complete their projects. Not only did this promote additional hires of equipment so that entrants could take their entry photos, generating revenue for the brand; but their logo and branding featured prominently in these photos and with our watertight terms and conditions, Kennards Hire were able to re-use the entries for marketing purposes.

Entrants submitted their photos via Instagram, Facebook and via a dedicated competition landing page.

An additional unexpected benefit of running a user-generated content competition?

You won’t need any licences or permits as these types of competitions are bona fide games of skill.

Competitions are amazing. I know, I know, I would say that… but I hope that by seeing real examples of the unexpected benefits of running competitions, giveaways and contests has at least made you stop and consider – even if just for a second – how you could use more sales, more intel and more engagement in your business by running a competition.

And if you still need further convincing about the benefits of running a competition, why not jump on the phone with me for a free strategy session or get in touch via our contact page to talk about the benefits of competitions for your business.

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