You’ve carefully selected your competition goal, got crystal clear on who your ideal demographic is and now it’s time to craft the perfect competition messaging… but your mind has gone as blank as the empty word doc sat open in front of you. It happens to the best of us.

So what should you say about your competition? How do you write competition copy that’s convincing enough to encourage your audience to hand over their email address? What’s the one thing you want to communicate to your entrants about your brand in your marketing messaging?

Excellent questions, it just so happens we have the perfect blog for you…

Great competition copy always starts with the basics.

As it happens, the basics is also the easiest place to start.

There are some essential pieces of information you must include in your competition copy if you hope to receive any entries at all to your contest.

These are:

  • The what and why – let people know that you’re running a competition, giveaway or contest, what they can win and if there’s a compelling reason behind your decision to run a competition (other than ‘to make money’ or because you were bored), then briefly explain why you’re running it to help people connect with you and your business.
  • The how and where – explain how people can enter your competition, the steps they’ll need to complete to get an entry and where they need to go in order to enter.
  • The when and who – tell your potential entrants the competition open and close dates and who is eligible to enter.

Want to see what that looks like in practice?

A competition example for Suki’s Custom Couches. The competition isn’t real, but the photographer is – Nathan Fertig on Unsplash.

From a few sentences, anyone who sees my competition knows what I’m giving away and why, where they need to go and how to enter plus when the competition opens and closes and who is eligible to enter/win.

Don’t forget the competition legals…

If you’ve read our guide to running a legal Facebook competition, or you spotted it in our example above, you’ll know that Facebook requires you to add a liability release to your competition text on the social media platform.

It’s a simple sentence you can literally copy and paste:

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.

We could not make this any easier for you if we tried, copy the above sentence and paste it at the end of any competition messaging you post on Facebook. Simple!

If you want to read up on your Facebook competition rules, you’ll find our quick reference guide to social media competition rules here.

What’s the one thing you want your potential entrants to know?

Here’s a truth bomb for you: not everyone who sees your competition will enter it.

OK, so it’s not exactly headline news, you probably knew that already, but what you may not have realised is that those who do see your competition will still see your competition copy and key marketing messages.

That means that if they see your competition to win a custom designed guitar and learn that you are the only guitar company in the country that can create and etch custom designs into custom-built guitars… but they don’t play the guitar; the next time they’re at a barbecue and their best friend says ‘I’m trying to find someone who can etch my design into my vintage Stratocaster’, guess which company they’ll now be able to recommend thanks to your competition?

Not everyone who sees your competition may be your ideal entrant, or indeed ideal customer, but they know plenty of people who just may be your perfect client; so use your competition copy to educate your audience and communicate what you do, why you do it and who you do it for.

Try to narrow your competition messaging down to the one thing you wish you could tell every one of your potential clients.

For us, for example, it’s that competitions aren’t about vanity metrics, but instead are powerful tools for achieving your marketing goals.

Consistency in competition copy is key.

Once you have your competition copy and marketing messaging drafted; use it consistently across all platforms and channels on which you’re promoting your competition.

Not only will consistency in your copy help entrants recognise they’re in the right place, entering the right competition for the right business; but it also helps minimise unsubscribes and disengaged subscribers if you choose to continue to send marketing messages to your entrants post-competition (as long as they opted in of course).

So instead of them thinking ‘who the hell is XYZ brand?!’ they remember your branding, tone of voice, marketing messages and competition and choose to stay engaged with your brand.

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Don’t overthink your copy and messaging.

Now that we’ve given you heaps of instructions to help you create compelling competition copy… we’re now going to tell you not to overthink it.

That’s right, at the end of the day it’s a competition, not a Pulitzer Prize submission. So with that in mind, here are our parting tips to help you avoid overthinking your competition messaging.

DRAFT, BUT DON’T DELETE

Draft several versions of your competition copy and play around with the length, tone and formatting until you find a draft that works for you – but keep your old drafts as you may be able to repurpose them during your competition.

TELL YOUR STORY, BUT KEEP IT BRIEF

We mentioned above that telling your audience why you’re running a competition can help create a connection with them – just be sure to stick to the abridged version, as people will lose interest. Keep the most important stuff above the “See more” link in your post.

BE YOU, BUT USE SPELL CHECK

Write in your brand’s unique tone of voice and sense of humour, but for heaven’s sake, don’t forget to proofread and grammar check! Get a friend, or a few friends to read your drafts. Check for rookie errors such as typos, apostrophe’s [sic] where they’re not needed and using your instead of you’re or vice versa. It looks unprofessional and is so easy to fix, use a free service like Grammarly or Hemmingway if you’re unsure.

When it comes to writing the perfect competition post, the formula is simple: start with the basics, add the legals and make sure you communicate the one essential piece of information you would like every one of your ideal clients to know about you and your business. Keep hold of your drafts along the way, don’t waffle too much and please, for the love all things holy, use spell check. Do these simple things and your competition copy will do the hard work getting entries for your competition for you!

You may have guessed we’ve written a fair few [thousand] competition captions and marketing messages in our time, so if you want to run your ideas past a professional, get in touch with us or book in a totally free, no BS strategy session with us. We love this stuff and we’d love to help you craft convincing competition copy like a pro!

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