When it comes to competitions, there are seven sins your competition can fall foul of: lusting after virality, being a glutton with your entry process, getting greedy when it comes to the number of entries you receive, being lazy with regards to promoting your competition, getting angry when your competition doesn’t go your way, going green with envy over what other businesses and competitions are achieving and letting your pride take over and putting too much emphasis on vanity metrics.

Any of these sound familiar? Don’t worry, we all fall prey to these competition sins at some point – even us. Here’s a full run down on our competition take on the seven deadly sins and how you can repent…

Lust.

FOCUSSING TOO MUCH ON ‘GOING VIRAL’

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t understand the attraction of going viral.

Maybe it’s my introverted side, or maybe it’s because when we run a competition, we’d rather focus on conversion to customer than gaining popularity…

But then again, we’ve never been in cool, popular gang.

Though there are no set formulas for calculating virality, a competition is generally considered viral if your entries increase exponentially with each entry received. For example – if on day one, 100 people enter your competition and tell others about your competition or refer their friends so that on day two you have 500 new entrants, then on day three you have 2,000 new entrants from those new referrals, your competition has gone viral. Each person that enters encourages more than one person to enter, so your entries exponentially increase day on day or hour on hour.

If three people share with three people each and those three people share with three people… Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

But what is going viral good for? Well, you get a lot of eyeballs on your competition and brand which is a good thing… but it’s completely and utterly pointless if they’re not your ideal entrant or customer and they have no intention to convert to a paying customer.

Call us crazy, but likes don’t pay the bills, we prefer cold hard cash in leads and sales as the result of the competitions we create for our clients.

Competitions are a long game, you should always aim to build meaningful relationships with your audience and gain actionable insights that will help your business grow in the long term, not just satisfy the short term ‘sugar fix’ that going viral has to offer.

Gluttony.

FOCUSSING TOO MUCH ON WHAT YOU CAN GET

Gluttony usually refers to excessive consumption of food or drink, but in the context of competitions, we’re changing this one up to be excessive entry requirements.

Asking too much from your competition entrants is a topic we recently tackled on our blog. The TL:DR version is this; stick to the bare minimum you need to ask to achieve your goal and ask for additional information later.

Yes it’s tempting to ask for names, email addresses, delivery addresses, shoe or clothing sizes, favourite colours, feedback on products, testimonials and more as part of your entry – I mean after all you’re giving them a chance to win an amazing prize, you should get something out of it too, right?

The problem is that every question you ask, every box they have to tick, every irrelevant piece of information that you gather is a chance to lose a potential entrant.

Check your greed at the door and keep it quick, easy and fun for your entrants if you want to maximise your entries and smash your competition goal.

Greed.

FOCUSSING TOO MUCH ON HOW MANY ENTRIES YOU GET

If you browse through our case studies, you’ll notice that none of the competitions we’ve helped our clients run have been ‘viral’ (see Lust, above) by any means.

That’s entirely deliberate.

At OrigamiGlobe we prioritise quality over quantity, which means we optimise for high conversion rates from visitor to entrant and entrant to paying customer rather than amassing entries for the sake of boasting millions of entries.

Competitions are about attracting quality entrants who are engaged with your brand, know who you are and what you offer, are warm leads and are interested in purchasing your products or services.

From there you can funnel your entrants through your sales process safe in the knowledge that they’re pre-qualified and are the people the most likely to purchase from you either straight away or with a little additional nurturing.

Entries mean nothing if they don’t have a high chance of converting to paying customers. So forget greedily amassing millions of entries and remember to focus on quality over quantity.

Build a genuine relationship with – and nurture – your ideal clients.

Text.

Sloth.

NOT FOCUSSING ENOUGH ON PROMOTION

Not that kind of sloth. Image by Minke Wink from Pixabay.

Asking too much from your competition entrants is a topic we recently tackled on our blog. The TL:DR version is this; stick to the bare minimum you need to ask to achieve your goal and ask for additional information later.

Yes it’s tempting to ask for names, email addresses, delivery addresses, shoe or clothing sizes, favourite colours, feedback on products, testimonials and more as part of your entry – I mean after all you’re giving them a chance to win an amazing prize, you should get something out of it too, right?

The problem is that every question you ask, every box they have to tick, every irrelevant piece of information that you gather is a chance to lose a potential entrant.

Check your greed at the door and keep it quick, easy and fun for your entrants if you want to maximise your entries and smash your competition goal.

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Wrath.

FOCUSSING ON WHAT’S NOT GOING RIGHT

Getting annoyed because people aren’t entering/the wrong people are entering is our fifth competition sin – wrath.

When you run a competition, you have access to a huge amount of useful and insightful competition data that can help you quell the wrath and turn your competition around if it veers off track.

When I was researching this article, I was googling the seven deadly sins (because I can never remember them all…) and came across some advice for overcoming wrath:

“… patience cures wrath by understanding others’ needs and desires.”

Bear with me here, this isn’t a bible studies lesson, it’s a marketing lesson.

If you understand the needs, wants and desires of your target audience, you will be able to design a competition and marketing messaging that meets and addresses those needs and desires. So use your google analytics data and Facebook insights to understand who is entering your competition, who is visiting your site but deciding not to enter and edit your competition to improve your results accordingly.

You’ll find a very insightful post on why no one is entering your competition – and how to fix it here.

Failing that, we hear meditation is a pretty good way to calm down…

Text.

Envy.

FOCUSSING TOO MUCH ON WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING

Running a competition just because someone else is/has is never a good idea. Especially when you copy another business running a tag and share competition (shudder).

The competition sin of envy can also get you when comparing your results to other business’ results. Every business and competition is different, so therefore every result is too.

Focus on what you want to achieve with your competition, choose an entry method that will help you achieve that goal, pick a prize that will appeal to your ideal competition entrant (hint: your own product or service is always best) and don’t forget to promote.

Run your own race, run your own competition and forget about what everyone else is doing. Half the time you don’t have the full picture of what’s going on behind the scenes anyway.

Pride.

FOCUSSING TOO MUCH ON VANITY METRICS

Does boasting millions of followers make you a better person or build a stronger business? Not really, no.

Vanity metrics are just that, a tool designed to make you feel good about yourself and boost your pride.

They include such metrics as likes, follows and reach. The one thing they don’t do? Boost your bank balance or build meaningful relationships with your audience.

She obviously didn’t get the memo. Photo by frankie cordoba on Unsplash.

We’ve already made our opinion on like, tag and share competitions and loop giveaways well known before, so we won’t harp on about how pointless these types of competitions are for building a genuine audience and generating sales.

But Suki, I’ve read that guest post in which Stevie talks about like competitions being beneficial though? Yes, it’s true that there are a couple of circumstances in which like to win competitions can benefit your business, but they are few and far between.

For the time, money and brain power you’re going to invest in your competition, you want to make sure you get a decent return on investment – and that means putting your pride aside and focussing instead on the key stats that are going to grow your business and keep the cash flowing.

This starts with setting your goal and monitoring your stats throughout your competition to ensure you’re not getting distracted by the glittering temptation and junk food fix of likes and comments and focussing instead on achieving your marketing and business goals.

Yes, the seven deadly sins can even be translated to apply to competitions. These sins can see you focus too much energy and attention on going viral or sacrificing quality for quantity. But through building genuine relationships with your audience, slimming down your entry process, focussing on quality entrants and great promotion, being patient and running your own race as well as ignoring those all-too tempting vanity metrics; you can shed the shackles of these seven deadly sins and create a successful competition.

If you’re guilty of one (or more) of these seven deadly competition sins, maybe it’s time for a chat with competition’s angels? OK, so we’re not quite Charlie’s Angels, but we do run a mean competition and know our stuff when it comes to running heavenly competitions. You can book in a free chat with us here, browse our done for you services here, or get in touch with us here.

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