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by James Perrin on 29th January 2013
Does ‘Like us for your chance to win a Holiday’, sound familiar? How about, ‘The best comment on this blog post wins a brand new iPad’? Well, it should go without saying that if you’re running some sort of competition, you should consider how this is going to be marketed.
If you build it, they won’t always come. It’s a saying that gets bandied about quite a lot, but it’s also very true of competitions. Just because you’re giving away a holiday, a car, an iPad or so on, it does not mean that everyone and anyone will suddenly find your website or Facebook page; you need to get out there and market it.
There are some key reasons why running a competition can aid in your Content Marketing strategy, and overall SEO campaign, it just depends on how you do the marketing that’s all. For an overview of using competitions specifically to enhance traffic and brand awareness, Gaz Copeland wrote an excellent Guest Post for us last year. But to get more specific on why and how you can market your competition with additional content, let’s take a closer look:
If you’ve got something to giveaway, why not divert all the attention to your website? This will give your site a massive peak in terms of traffic. Not only will this help with overall brand awareness, but a greater volume of traffic to your site could result in a greater chance of conversions.
Instead of just sticking to Social Media, ensure that you incorporate some sort of interaction with your site. For example, the contest could involve leaving a comment on purposely-written blog post. Alternatively, to enter the competition, entrants must fill in their details on a temporary form hosted on your site.
If you added a bit of promotional marketing around the competition, this will help in terms of natural link building. This is where Content Marketing can help massively. Write a blog post, a Press Release, conduct blogger outreach and share the word on social media. The more avenues users have to access the competition, the better.
If you have a central page on your site giving details all about the competition, this will help in terms of your link building and thus SEO strategy. If you decide to promote your competition strictly using Facebook, then that’s fine; but by adding more content around the contest, you’re giving users much more to work with.
As with anything SEO related, it’s not just about links anymore. There’s a lot to be said of increasing brand awareness, especially in the eyes of search engines. That said, contests and competitions are perfect at giving your brand that extra bit of exposure.
Social media is of course the first port of call, but why stop there? Search for communities, forums, blogs and begin outreaching to relevant and authoritative authors. Whatever your niche, search and engage with that community. It’ll really help to get the ball rolling; all thanks to extra content marketing around your competition.
As mentioned, the first port of call for any competition promotion will be social media. In fact, your entire competition promotional strategy will be no doubt be entirely focussed around increasing Likes and followers. If that’s the case, then fantastic. If not, then it’s certainly something that you need to consider.
Why? Well put simply, the more followers and fans you have, the greater chance of having your brand and business marketed to a targeted and loyal audience. In addition to the number of followers are the number of Likes, Tweets, +1′s and so on. Social signals play an important role in terms of rankings, so if you want your competition to feature prominently in the SERPs, write a blog post and seek all the social signals you need to get it on page one. Then you’ll have covered social media, and the search engines.
As part of the entry process, your contestants are more than prepared to part with a small amount of information, as long as the lure of the prize is worth it of course. Such information from a large cohort of contenders is pretty valuable. You can learn a lot about demographics, attitudes, what brought them to your brand and so on.
In addition to the entry process, there are those conversations that are being had on Facebook and Twitter. Keep an eye on these as you’ll also learn a great deal about your brand in the long run.
So what’s the point in talking about marketing competitions if I’m not going to discuss how this is possible? Well, in addition to my advice above, there are some really good examples that any of us can learn from.
A great use of content marketing to direct traffic to their site, as well as Twitter profile
When Nicklas Bentnder showed off his Paddy Power Pants to the world during Euro 2012 (ambush marketing/guerrilla advertising at its finest), it sparked an inevitable interest in the online gambling site. Already famed for their use of social media, having picked up multiple awards, Paddy Power really showed us how to harness competitions to help with your own online marketing. As with any online competition, it’s much less about the prize, but more the way they manage to get users interested in their competition.
In light of the highly publicised stunt, Paddy Power decided to give away 300 pairs of their ‘Paddy Power Lucky Pants’. All entrants had to do was click on this blog post and leave an amusing comment explaining why they deserved a pair of Paddy Power pants. Additionally, entrants stood a better chance of Tweeting a picture of their unluckiest pants. As you can imagine, the marketing of this particular competition gained quite a fair bit attention off the back of the original event. A great way of directing traffic to the Paddy Power blog, as well as interest in their Twitter account.
A more traditional approach to increase Likes, but also outreach to bloggers for further promotion
A good example of a recent competition is from fashion brand Motel Rocks. For your chance to win £10,000 to spend on Motel clothing, all you have to do is ‘Like’ their Facebook page and share the competition with your friends. By having a closed Facebook profile, Motel are increasing their number of Likes effectively through such a competition. For anyone that enters, again, they are met with a closed screen which only allows them to enter by sharing the post with their friends. Whilst it’s pretty one dimensional, it’s very effective.
Additionally, with an army of fashion bloggers in the blogosphere, such a competition received widespread publicity thanks to blog posts like this. Where this is really interesting is the incentive for Rachel Amy. Readers of her blog can also gain 25% off with an exclusive discount code. For me, this is a great outreach approach, to incentivise such bloggers so that their readers get something extra out of it too. Again, a great competition, aided by great content marketing.
Driving offline interest online through their App to their Facebook page
This was known as a real-time dual-screen prize giveaway, which involved E4, Carat and Kellogg’s Krave cereal. Effectively, during the ad break of popular TV programmes such as Made In Chelsea and Misfits, viewers were presented with a related question, as well as that day’s prize, which was contextually linked to the programme. For more information, viewers were taken to Kellogg’s Krave’s Facebook page, and to enter the competition you had to download E4′s and Krave’s branded App, ‘The Chocovault’. Winners were announced on Krave’s Facebook page. More information can be found on Channel 4′s own press release of the joint-ventured competition.
Whilst such a competition is not achievable to those without the aid of national television programmes, media buyers, huge social media budgets as well as app designers, it does demonstrate how the actual competition itself is really secondary to the goals you want to achieve. In this collaborative instance, it was to drive more awareness to E4′s night time slots, drive more traffic to Kellogg’s Facebook page, as well as more downloads of their shared app. It’s an example of a multiscreen content strategy that we will no doubt see more of in the not too distant future.
So there we have three very different types of competitions, all marketed in different ways through the use of content marketing. Some on huge budgets, others on smaller ones; but it just goes to show that by just simply putting something up on Facebook, you’ll be waiting for a long time to get those all-important Likes.
Make sure you think about content marketing to give your competition that extra push, as well SEO value. It seems to be that best results involve some form of content marketing, whether it’s directing traffic to your website, or from a third-party site to one of your social media profiles. This is definitely something you must consider when it comes to hosting your next completion, using a well thought out content marketing strategy to enhance its awareness.
If you have any more examples, I’d love to hear your thoughts. The best comment shall receive a coveted Koozai gift*
*competition and gift do not actually exist – it’s just a bit of fun
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