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You’ve heard us say it a million times, a successful competition is 20% strategy and 80% promotion. That means if you want to run a competition that gets real results for your business (and who doesn’t?!) then you need to have a plan or strategy and you need to promote the hell out of your competition. We’re going to dive into the strategy of competitions in this post; what is a strategy, why is it important and what does it mean for your competition.

A successful competition is 20 percent strategy and 80 percent promotion.

What is a competition strategy?

Basically it’s a plan to ensure the right people enter your competition for the right reasons.

If you go on holiday you don’t just announce you’re off for 2 weeks and hope the holiday magically organises itself; you’ve got destinations to choose from – relaxing beach holiday or adventurous trekking through the jungle? You need to research the best time of year to visit, what currency, insurance and vaccinations you’ll need and so on. Holidays – like competitions – require careful planning to avoid disaster.

Why is having a strategy important?

Your strategy is your why, who, what, how [much], when and where of your competition.


Why are you running a competition in the first place? What’s in it for your business? The single most important part of competition strategising is setting yourself a goal. That goal then shapes the rest of your strategy and keeps your competition on track to smashing said goal.


Who exactly do you want to enter your competition? If you just answered enthusiastically ‘everyone!’ then kick yourself. Use your competition strategy to get crystal clear on who it is that buys what you sell and map out ways you can get your competition in front of them.


What message do you want to communicate to your audience? A fantastic bonus of running a competition is the brand awareness you create for your business. Your strategy sessions are the perfect time to nut out exactly what you want to say to your target audience and how you want to make them feel with your competition messaging.


How much are you willing to spend on your competition? What kind of returns are you expecting? In this part of the planning process, you create a budget for costs relating directly to your competition.  Not only to ensure you have the funds to spend, but also to help you calculate the return on that spend.


When will your competition launch? How long will it run for? These seem like pretty basic questions, but you’d be amazed how many people launch competitions with no end date in mind. Your competition strategy should include at least your launch date, close date, draw date and winner announcement.


What are you going to give away? This may have been the first thing you started planning your competition around, but a carefully strategised competition will have a carefully crafted prize tailored to the why, who and what of your competition. Before you ask, here’s what not to give away.


Where will you run your competition? Where will people actually enter? Again, pretty fundamental details, but if you’ve created a comprehensive competition strategy, you should be able to answer this fairly easy. By keeping the why and who of your competition in mind, you should be able to work out where you’ll find them to encourage them to enter.

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How will a strategy help my competition?

There are many benefits to having a strategy – your competition strategy is your compass, map and itinerary all in one. If you have important decisions to make, refer to back to your strategy. Ask yourself does this decision help me achieve my goal? Does this channel help me reach my audience? Did I allow for this spend in my budget? Your strategy should be able to answer these questions. Trust us, future you will be thanking past you for being so forward-thinking and smart in coming up with a plan instead of just launching and figuring it out as you go.

Creating a strategy will avoid:

  • Crickets and tumbleweed as no one enters your competition
  • Prize pigs who are just interested in winning – not in what you sell
  • Out of control spending
  • Admin and legal nightmares
  • Immense amounts of stress and possible hair loss*

*Hair loss avoidance not guaranteed. We’re not doctors, we’re mad competition scientists.

Having a solid strategy for your competition, but most importantly sticking to it, means running a successful competition that attracts genuine leads who give a crap about you and your business and gives you a better return on the financial and mental investment you’ve made in your competition.

If you need help creating a strategy that smashes your goals and gives you a return on your investment beyond your wildest dreams, book in a strategy session with us to get your strategy sorted!