The very simple answer is “Yes.” Everyone should plan to contest, no matter what type of brand. This is just one marketer’s opinion, of course, but inevitably, everyone ends up with a reason to do a contest. The real question is, is it the right reason?
Here is a great list of potential contesting objectives from Social Media Examiner. I will dive into a couple of these that I feel sum up the need to plan to contest.
Increase Awareness and Engagement
Whether you are trying to draw attention to your new brand/product or just trying to reconnect with disengaged fans, contesting can help. Speaking to the latter point, fans may become disengaged due to change in tastes, but also due to Facebook algorithm changes that push out content that may not be relevant to the user. This can happen when they haven’t liked a post from you in a while, as it adapts to their habits. Regardless of why you want to increase engagement or awareness, a contest is a great way to achieve this.
For example: The team members behind Action Phase Games launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new board game called Heroes Wanted. They had social media stretch goals for the backers to unlock, but those didn’t seem to be getting as much traction as they were hoping for. After reviewing the details of the project and the fan base, Raidious suggested a photo contest where people could submit to be a hero or a villain card type in the game. There was no budget to advertise this contest, yet the results were pretty exciting. You can see below that unique views went up daily, along with the addition of new fans. On top of unlocking stretch goals, the most important thing is to bring awareness to the Kickstarter campaign. In order to make sure the contest didn’t JUST get drive-by voters, a fan gate, which creates a lock on the page that requires Facebook users to LIKE the page before they can see the content, was added. This brought in new fans to the game and helped to increase backer funding. I have shared the campaign stats below, and if you are interested, you can see the winners here.
Increase Sales & Brand Loyalty
The stats are in, and have been in for a while. Customers are heavily influenced by social media when it comes to purchase behavior. In fact, 78 percent of consumers say that the posts made by companies on social media influence their purchases.
I can’t wrap this up without noting that you MUST have realistic expectations on what you will get out of a contest based on what kind of budget you put into it. Plan appropriately, publish compelling content and create appropriately sized graphics to help promote, and be sure to follow up regularly throughout and after the contest.
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