Choosing where to host your competition (i.e. where you direct your entrants to actually enter the competition) is an incredibly important consideration and both social media contests and competitions run via landing pages on your website both have a long list of pros and cons – so how do you decide where to host a competition?

With a handy blog post from your favourite competition nerds, of course.

Deciding where to host your competition comes down to:

Social media competitions vs website competitions.

Hosting your competition on your website is a great idea if you’re trying to drive traffic back to your site, already have high visitor traffic or want to increase brand awareness or encourage purchases.

However, if your competition goal and entry method are more suited to social media (such as like to win, follow to win, comment to win etc) or you have a good, solid, engaged social media following you want to convert to subscribers, you might want to consider hosting your competition on your social media pages or profiles.

As with most things in life, there are advantages and disadvantages to both hosting your competition on your website and hosting your contest on social media…

Where should you host your competition? Social media or on your website? Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash.

The pros and cons of running a social media competition.

Social media competitions and contests are popular for a reason, you can’t scroll too far without seeing a competition, giveaway or contest on most social media platforms these days…. But are social media competitions worth it? Let’s get a pros and cons list going.

PROS OF RUNNING A SOCIAL MEDIA COMPETITION

  • Your audience is ready and waiting on social media, you just have to tell them where and how to enter your competition.
  • It’s the perfect place to host a competition if your goal is engagement, such as likes, follows or comments.
  • People recognise social media competitions, they’re familiar with them already, so they feel comfortable entering.
  • It’s incredibly easy to set up a competition on social media – you simply open up your app and post the details of your competition.
  • You don’t need technical knowledge or a web developer to run a social media competition (unlike website competitions).

CONS OF RUNNING A SOCIAL MEDIA COMPETITION

  • If you don’t have a lot of followers, you’ll need a plan to get your competition seen by people who don’t already follow you.
  • Competitions are everywhere on social media, so yours needs to stand out with convincing copy and a kick arse prize.
  • You don’t technically ‘own’ any material (or followers) collected on social media, you’re just borrowing them.
  • Organic reach sucks on social media, so you’ll most likely have to pay to get your competition in front of people.
  • Like to win’ and ‘follow to win’ competitions can be really hard to track and almost impossible to collate entries for.

The biggest pro of running a competition on social media is, of course, the fact that everyone is on social media, so you’ve got a huge pool of potential entrants ready to enter your competition – you just have to find them and get your competition in front of them.

The biggest con of running a competition or contest on social media is that it’s a borrowed audience. Social channels own that audience and control how you communicate with their users. If they decide to cut that contact or charge a king’s ransom to show your posts to them, you lose access to that audience or have to pay a small fortune to talk to them.

The pros and cons of running a competition on your website.

Competitions hosted on dedicated landing pages on your website are the most popular alternatives to running a competition via social media. They too have their fair share of pros and cons, so let’s take a look at a few now.

Cookie the Pom is clearly a fan of website competitions… via Unsplash.

PROS OF RUNNING A WEBSITE COMPETITION

  • You can collect whatever entry types you wish with a website competition as you have a lot more flexibility (unlike social).
  • You’ll gain so many valuable insights about your audience via Google Analytics, so make sure you have analytics set up and installed.
  • It’s much easier to generate sales when people enter via your website as you can use existing funnels to direct them towards your sales pages.
  • You ‘own’ 100% of the information you collect as part of your entry (unlike on social where you’re ‘borrowing’ access to their audience).
  • Website competitions create brand awareness as they’ll see your colours, logo, branding, personality and read your copy whilst on your site.

CONS OF RUNNING A WEBSITE COMPETITION

  • If you don’t have the skills to create a landing page, you’ll have to pay a developer or designer to create one for you.
  • You will need a way to drive traffic from other channels such as social media to your competition landing page (or pay to drive it).
  • Technical difficulties happen, so test, test and test again to make sure everything works before and after your competition launches.
  • People are reluctant to hand over their email address – so make your prize worth it and ensure your competition is trustworthy.
  • There’s a lot more work and marketing assets needed to create a website competition (compared to social).

The biggest pro of running a competition on your website is the epic amounts of data and marketing intel you will gain on your entrants beyond a simple like or comment on a social post. With this data, you can make smarter decisions about your marketing, which will save you time, effort and money in the long run.

The biggest con of running a competition or contest on on your website is the work involved. Either you’ll need to set time aside to create and build a landing page yourself, or you’ll have to pay for a designer or developer to do it for you, which will impact your return on investment from your competition.

If you’re keen to reap the benefits of running a competition on your website with none of the downsides, our Competition Concierge package is your answer – we’ll design, build, maintain, monitor, optimise and perfect a tailored landing page that will get the best results for your competition.

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Where do you find your customers?

And on that note, how do you usually communicate with your customers?

If social media were to have another outage or *heaven forbid* you run a competition against Facebook’s rules and get kicked off the platform – how would you reach your customers?

Knowing where to find your customers and how they interact with you can help you decide whether to choose a social media competition or a website competition.

If you usually generate most of your sales from comments on your social posts, messages on social on through link clicks from your social bios through to your website, it would make sense to run a competition via social media. That’s where your audience finds you, that’s where they feel comfortable purchasing from you and that’s where they’re most likely to enter your competition.

On the other hand, if you’re not big on social media (*cough* like us *cough*) and you generate most or all of your sales directly through your website, host your competition on your website, where you know your customers already know you, already engage with you and – most importantly – already purchase from you.

Don’t add unnecessary steps or opportunities to lose people by hosting your competition in a place you don’t already interact with your customers – meet them where they already know you for the best results possible.

What is your competition entry method?

It’s no surprise that some entry methods are best suited to a competition hosted on social media and other entry methods work well for competitions and contests hosted on a website landing page.

Choosing your entry method can help you make your decision on where to host your competition.

If you’re aiming to boost your social following and engagement because that’s how you’re currently communicating with and building your audience whilst your website gets built, then obviously hosting a competition on social media is a no-brainer.

If you’re aiming to boost traffic to your website, you’re clearly not going to run a like to win competition on Facebook; you’re going to drive your audience to your website to enter your competition.

Weighing up the pros and cons of both social media competitions and website competitions, hosting your competition where your audience actually interact with you and ensuring you host your competition somewhere that lines up with your entry method is the best way to help you decide where to host your competition. Regardless of where you decide to host your competition make sure you maximise both social media and your website to promote your competition. That means changing the banner on your homepage, linking to your competition on Facebook and posting regularly on your blog and social accounts telling people where, how and why they should enter your competition.

If you need advice on where to host your competition or need a hand building a high converting landing page, let us know! Get in touch with us via our contact page, check out our services, book in a free chat with us or shoot an email to hello@origamiglobe.com.

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