Here’s some breaking news for you. People like to get free stuff. I’ve talked before about giving away promotional items for marketing and branding purposes, but now I want to discuss marketing through contests.
A contest can be a great way to get people to notice your business, particularly if you are an online business.
"We all like to win something for free. Contests offer an attractive marketing vehicle for a small business to acquire new clients and create awareness," says Darrell Zahorsky at About.com. "You don’t need to run a billion dollar giveaway like Pepsi, just a valuable prize to your target market."
For one, you don’t have to give something away for free to every customer. You have people basically competing with each other to win one product (or however many you want to offer) .
While they’re entering, you are putting your brand right in their faces whether they like it or not. They may on the surface not care about what your business is about and only want to get their hands on a free item, but they’ll know about you regardless. You will be on the map.
Promoting a contest can be a fantastic way to boost the traffic to your site. You can run ad campaigns promoting it if you wish, but there are also free ways to promote a contest such as submitting it to sites like Contest Beat.
Contest Beat is simply a blog that links to a different contest on the Internet every day. And they’ll do it for free.
If you run a blog, a contest is an excellent way to gain subscribers to your feed (especially if you make signing up a guideline for entering). Take Marketing Pilgrim’s Andy Beal. He recently launched a contest in which he would give away an iPod to one lucky subscriber. All they had to do was sign up for his RSS feed and watch for something that would only appear in the feed. He only has to give away one iPod, but I bet he attracted a good deal of subscribers.
Sure, there is the possibility that they will just unsubscribe after the contest is over, but in the meantime, they will be exposed to Andy’s content, and it is his job (and his staff’s) to write good enough stuff to make people want to stay (not that they have any problems there).
The beauty about running a contest is that you can completely control the rules. You can aim the guidelines to focus on your needs. If you need more subscribers, have sign-ups count as entries. If you need content, have people submit articles, etc.
If you’ve ever run a contest as a marketing strategy, please let us know about it. Were the results favorable?