Getting people to visit your website is all about offering them something – of course you can offer whatever product or service you sell, but another way to stand out from the crowd is by creating a competition. This achieves a number of important marketing goals, and the cost of the prize can easily be offset by the publicity you generate. Competitions are an instant back link generator, so long as the prize is enticing and overall it’s something people trust and are interested in. It also compiles a list of email addresses and contact details of people who have shown an interest in your product – though you shouldn’t send them anything further without receiving permission.
Here’s what you need to run a successful competition:
- A contest. You can encourage participation such as making or linking something, but most of the time it’s enough for entrants to answer a precursory question. The ideal is something that’s enough for them to not feel like it’s “too good to be true”, but not to be put off by the difficulty either.
- A prize. This can be anything, but ideally it should be related to your product or service. Pick whatever seems to be most popular with your client base already as a starting point, and scale up or down depending on what you can afford to give away. People are also more likely to trust a “realistic” prize, so don’t be afraid to start small in the beginning.
- An audience. Of course a competition needs entrants, and the idea is not just to attract people who already know about your website but others too. You can look specifically for communities of contest entrants or competition directories. However these are often filled with people who aren’t actually interested in the product, just the prize, so social media can be a better way of ensuring you’re reaching fresh eyes and ears. Another good strategy is to reach out to bloggers or other websites you have an association with, particularly if they’re in the same or a relevant industry.
- A call to action. Once you’ve gotten people interested and entering, you should direct them to the next step of passing it along and spreading the word. Include a link to Twitter, Facebook or provide a website form to spread it via email.
Competitions are a great way to build links and publicity at a comparatively low cost to the website owner. Examples can be viewed in the NZS.nz competitions category, or on a wide variety of sites from Family Times, to the The Rock. Just about everyone likes getting free stuff, so utilise this to get talked about and linked to.