Branded contests, sweepstakes, and giveaways are nothing new, and almost everyone has experienced their fair share of them. Yet, from a company's perspective, are these contests really worth your time?
The short answer is yes!
Properly executed, these contests can be one of the most efficient and effective lead generation strategies available.
When a business is toying with the idea of promoting a product or service by sponsoring a contest, they may be too nervous about giving it a try because of all the myths surrounding this type of marketing strategy. This approach can ultimately hurt their business and their marketing goals when they fall into the trap of believing some of the following negative stereotypes:
Contests Only Raise Brand Awareness
One of the greatest misconceptions about having a contest is that their only goal is to raise brand awareness. Yes, contests do bring brand awareness, but this is only an added benefit and not the primary focus.
Contests Generate Unqualified Leads
Done right, contests are proven to produce high converting fresh leads that can bring a company many promising new customers. The myth that contests only generate unqualified leads is only accurate for "register to win" boxes and other randomized contests where the prize has nothing to do with the business.
Sweepstakes Entrants Only Care About Winning, so they will Ignore your Brand Message
Yes, everyone loves to win, especially when it involves an awesome prize. However, believing that sweepstakes entrants only care about winning and will ignore your brand message is just not accurate. This misconception only applies when the brand message does not resonate with the entrant.
Lead Generation Contests
So how do we debunk these myths? By showing you exactly how contests are a great starting point if you are looking to grow your client and customer base.
The Goal is Relevant Reach; Not Maximum Reach
It is essential to understand that throwing just any type of contest will not get you the results you want. In truth, you need to have a specific goal for the contest and make sure that it is relevant and reaches the right type of consumer. It may seem counterintuitive to minimize the number of people interested in the contest, but the results can be quite significant with this approach.
- Bad Contests will try to get as many entrants as possible, regardless of their demographics. This approach will get you a lot of registrants that will have no desire to be your company's potential consumer.
- Good Contests will go after a specific target, meaning the contest provider will send an email to people who tend to register for contests AND are a relevant target audience.
Deciding to throw a contest with a prize that will get a lot of attention may sound like the perfect idea. However, all it will do is fill your inbox with an extreme amount of names and emails, but very little interest in the actual business behind the prize.
The key to making sure the prize generates qualified leads is finding rewards relevant to the business. Specifically, ones that target actual consumers that want to use those services. An excellent example of a specific prize that targets the right consumer is a dentist giving away teeth whitening products.
When you throw a contest to discover qualifying leads, you will find contestants that not only want to win the specific prize but ones that are willing to answer questions that can help qualify them as viable customers, while also segmenting them by pain point or objections.
Why is this so important to your business? Only after you understand your customer can you position your specific message in such a way that will resonate with them. And using segmentation can help you personalize your email marketing workflow, making it easier to reach customers with the message they want to hear.
Contests Are the Real Deal
No matter how many negative stereotypes surround them, the bottom line is that contests can provide your business with fantastic opportunities, endless new clients, and help you get the results that you want. If you think otherwise and assume that contests are a waste of time, then you are doing them the wrong way.
When you make it your goal to have contests aiming to obtain qualified leads, you can easily have a positive ROI.