So you’re launching a business on a shoe-string, but still want to make sure your launch still has a big impact and reaches as many people as possible, getting your name out there and engaging your target audience. How do you promote your launch with little or no budget? … With a competition, of course!
TIP 1: Give away YOUR product or service.
The aim of your launch is to get your name out there, get people to realise you exist and understand what you do. If you have a product, give it away as a prize, if you have a service, give a free consultation or a month’s membership away as a prize. The aim is to raise awareness for and put your business at the centre of attention, not someone else’s business.
TIP 2: Make the entry process qualitative.
By qualitative we mean a game of skill, not a game of chance. I know your social media page probably only has 50 or so likes if you’re starting out, so you may be tempted to run a more quantitative ‘like to win’ style competition, but what you really need when you’re first launching is qualitative proof that your product is great, people are using it and like it and therefore it’s worth spending money on. Get people to take photos of themselves using your product or comment on what they would do if they won. If you’re launching at a live event, set up a hashtag and get people attending to use your hashtag and @mention your company. If you don’t have your social media channels set up yet – get them set up asap – see our post on owning your channels.
BONUS TIP: Not only will your clients be doing your marketing for you, but you won’t need a licence saving $80+! #winning.
TIP 3: Just focus on your goal.
The aim is to get your name out there as far and wide as possible so stick to this goal – don’t try and achieve all of your marketing goals (sales, followers, comments, likes) at once, if you do, your attention, energy, funds and sanity will be stretched to the limit. Your goal is to spread the word about your launch and your business in general so tailor everything from your entry method to your design to focus on this one single goal.
TIP 4: Make the entry process as easy as possible.
Don’t ask your entrants to like every single one of your pages, tag all their friends, post a picture, film themselves doing their victory dance then submit a 10 page essay. No one will enter. Make sure your entry process is in line with the overall goal of your competition and easy enough that people can do it from within the app/page they’ve seen your competition on. Remember: Facebook users hate to leave Facebook, so if you want them to enter your competition, let them complete their entry from within the app. Even if you just gain one key piece of information (like an email address) or ask people to leave one comment, you’ll get so many more entries by keeping it simple and easy to enter.
Tip 5: Record and monitor everything!
How will you set your benchmarks and know where to improve if you don’t track your metrics? Your competition is as much about learning about your target audience as it is about getting your company name out there. If people are commenting that they would love to win your consultation or that they wish your new journal came in blue as well as pink, guess what? They’re validating your product and giving you future development ideas for free! Straight from your target demographic! Keep all suggestions and comments in a document to refer back to later. Also keep your eye is firmly on the analytics page and keep track of what works and what doesn’t, if video posts get four times more engagement than picture posts, keep on posting those videos! This is invaluable for future marketing tactics and getting to know your newly established audience (and future customers!).
Following these five tips will ensure your launch using a competition will create an engaged and adoring customer base, ready to become brand advocates! Keeping your eye on the analytics and comments will not only act as a barometer for suitability of your product or service but give you heaps of ideas for future campaigns!