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How to Run a Creative Competition Online: Part 1

A great thing to be doing for big and small businesses alike is to run online competitions – but how can you make sure it’s successful? Instead of thinking about social media in a linear way, you need to step outside of the box of believing you can build a social media following just by posting creative content – yes, great posting is fantastic but it’s not the be-all and end-all. Running a competition can be a very successful tactic to encourage interaction and tap into existing communities within your niche. We’ve put together a big plan for you to brainstorm how you would run a creative competition online.

Step 1: Think of a Prize

Who enters a competition without a prize? No one! The first thing you need to consider is your incentive, as that is what the whole competition will be based around. The prize could be a product, or a service, or perhaps the winner could be featured on your social media profiles. Whatever you decide, ensure that your prize will appeal to your target audience. It doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg – we recommend prizes of a value between £25 and £100.

Step 2: Decide How Users Can Enter

Before you decide how your users can enter your competition, you need to consider some of your business objectives. For instance, if your aim is to increase your social media followings, consider having several entry methods to squeeze the most out of the competition. This could include ‘liking’ your Facebook page and ‘following’ your Twitter and Instagram pages. We recommend allowing users to enter the competition using 3-4 entry methods.

Step 3: Understand What Content Is Required

Unfortunately, you cannot just post ‘Like our Facebook page to be in with the chance of winning a £50 gift card’ – you need to scope out what content is needed. Below are some ideas for the content you may want to use for your competition:

  • Rules for the competition
  • Terms and conditions
  • A competition hashtag
  • Video content to explain the competition
  • A graphic with text
  • Facebook advert graphics
  • Outreach email templates

Step 4: Create a Budget for Paid Traffic Sources

You don’t need oodles of cash for paid traffic sources! Decided on the type of traffic you want to drive to your competition and research your target market. Below are two ideas to get you started:

  • Email newsletters: you could pay to be featured in a relevant email newsletter to drive traffic to your blog or website. You’d be surprised how many websites offer this feature! Before deciding on a newsletter, make sure you know the average open rates of their emails, the number of active subscribers on their mailing list, the demographics of their mailing list, and what the average click-through rate of sponsored links are before you spend your money!
  • Facebook promotion: use Facebook ads to hone into the specific demographic you are aiming at and consider promoting your posts to increase your reach!

Part 2 will be coming later this week so get your creative ideas started before we next take a look at how to reach out to your targets and execute your campaign.

Written by

Total Merchandise | Editoral Team

Our editorial team is drawn from a pool of experienced promotional merchandise product team members, account managers, marketers and other contributors. With such a wide range of skills and experience, they write about many aspects of promotional merchandise, wider marketing and business matters, as well as company news updates.

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