How to plan for contest success
We’ve seen many successful contests and they all have one thing in common – planning, planning and more planning. The contest teams that consistently get it right are constantly thinking ahead and allowing time to produce a quality contest. Here you will find some of our best planning tips to ensure that you knock your next contest out of the park.
- Define your team. Anyone who runs contests should form a contest team. Put together a small committee, including someone from your digital sales team, promotions/marketing department and web team (content and webmaster). Meetings should be approached from a strategic standpoint can include discussion of possible contest themes, advertisers you will target and the parameters of each contest. The most beneficial part of having a contest committee is that it allows you to think ahead and brainstorm for revenue-generating contests.
- Understand your goals. You should be making goals for each contest you run. The key is to make sure you understand each goal and you know the path that will get you to that goal. Whether its revenue, audience growth or database growth, your team should define goals and create a campaign report once the contest is over to determine if it was a success.
- Target the right advertisers. During your contest meetings, you should be discussing potential advertisers. What advertisers would you like to spend more in digital advertising? Plan contests that will be good fits for those advertisers. Also target advertisers that go hand-in-hand with the theme of the contest you’re planning. For example, if you are running a fishing contest, go to your local outdoor sporting good store. Advertisers will want to participate in contests that speak to their target audience.
- Develop a promotions calendar. A promotional calendar should be centered around holidays, special events in your community and special sections or programming that your property promotes each year.
- Employ the agency model. Sell advertiser-specific Facebook contests directly to your advertisers as a service. It’s not about having an in-house agency, its about approaching an advertiser and fulfilling a social media need while also offering services around promotion. With this model, you will build, design, host and manage a Facebook contest that meets Facebook guidelines. You will also build a phenomenal promotional package that includes a variety of these assets: a like-gate on the contest, online promotion on your site, print and on-air promotion, social media mentions, e-blast to your promotional database, and an email opt-in for the advertiser.
- Integrate promotions. Once your contest is ready to launch, plan how you are going to use all your promotional channels: print, on-air, online, social media and email. By using multiple channels to promote your contest, you can put together great sponsorship packages for your advertisers.
- Track promotions revenue in your budget. Keep a detailed list of your promotions budget to help you plan the following year. Account for total revenue generated from each promotion and gauge your success accurately.
- Build a consumer email and social database. Plain and simple, the larger your audience is, the more people you can reach with your contests and the more you can charge for sponsorships. The quickest way to grow your audience is to run a sweepstakes. On your registration page, be sure to only ask for basic information that you will use. Always include opt-ins for your promotional database and other programs – such as deals – that you are running.
What steps do you take before running a contest that lead to your success? Tell us about it in the comments.