Running a competition on your website can be a great way to increase traffic, social activity and all round buzz around your website. However, simply launching a competition with no thought as to how you can make the most of the opportunity will probably not give you the most amount of benefit. If you’re giving away a certain value of product then you will probably want to get as much publicity and benefits as possible to try and gain some form of return on investment. Having been involved in running numerous competitions, there are definitely some things that make some campaigns more successful than others.
We’ve put together a few hints and tips to try and help you make the most out of your competitions and hopefully they will help make your next one that little bit more successful.
To Host or Not to Host?
The first thing you should be considering when you are planning a competition is whether you should be hosting a competition on your own website, or sponsoring a competition on another website or blog. Both have their own benefits and it all depends on the level of your website and what you are trying to achieve. Sometimes, making use of a popular blog can give you fantastic promotion and tapping into their traffic will definitely be valuable for you. This is a particularly good choice for a new website that is still trying to gain a regular flow of traffic.
If you own an established website with a good amount of traffic and a strong social following, you might be running a competition to try and get your users engaging more with your brand. In this instance it would probably be wise to host the competition on your own website. Social shares, links and a boost in traffic are all positive things that can come from hosting your own competition. Not a bad combination eh?!
Personally, I think it’s best to try and do a bit of both depending on what you are trying to achieve at that particular moment in time.
To try and gain as much long term benefit as possible, it’s well worth trying to incorporate social activity into the competition itself. We all know how powerful social media is becoming in the online marketing mix, and constructing your competitions correctly should give you a nice boost in this area. Ideas could include making tweeting a link or liking your Facebook page a pre-requisite of entering your competition. If you can do this in the right way, you WILL gain new followers.
One thing to be careful of here is making sure that you can track this activity properly. Before you launch the competition you should be brainstorming your ideas and testing out how you will track the activity as the competition develops.
Measuring the Success
Once you know what you want to achieve from the competition, try to decide on some key performance indicators. If you’re going down the route of social shares, likes and re-tweets take some baseline figures before you launch the campaign. The sorts of things you should be looking at could include number of people liking your Facebook page, Twitter followers, number of likes for your website and number of tweets your website has received.
Once you have your baseline figures, you can then follow up after the competition and measure your success by comparing the figures. If you start to run competitions on a regular basis, it’s really useful to be able to refer back to these figures and identify what has really worked for you.