I just read a great post written by Wendy Kenney about using contests to generate buzz for your business. She lists 29 great contest ideas you can choose from that will not only get your business noticed but are actually fun to do. Everyone wants to win free stuff, right? It’s no secret that contests are great at capturing prospects for your business but did you know that the media loves to cover contests as well? What better way to get a ton of free publicity?
Wendy also gives great advice on how to capture your prospects when running a contest. She says,
“Make sure you send contestants to your website where they must submit at least a name and email address to enter. In your rules, make sure you state that by entering, they are agreeing to receive email communication from your company.”
This is an excellent way to develop your email list that you’ll be able to use to market to your prospects on a consistent basis. Just be sure to use an autoresponder service like aweber.
I would also suggest using a dedicated website with a landing page specifically for your contest. That site will explain everything about your contest and help to generate excitement from the contestants. You may even want to give the visitors several options to share your contest with others they know. Give your visitors a way to add your contest information to their facebook and twitter accounts with a click of the button. Your contest will then become viral!
Here’s some contest ideas from Wendy’s post that piqued my interest:
- Win a “Scholarship.” Recently an orthodontist sponsored a contest for local junior high students to win a scholarship for braces. The students had to be nominated by a teacher or a counselor and had to have economic need. The contest not only generated the doctor free publicity, but enormous good will in the community, which turned into many new patients!
- World Record Setting Contests: In honor of launching a new flavor in 2004, Snapple Beverages hosted a “World’s Largest Watermelon Contest.”
- “Hit Television Show” Contest: Functional Fitness, a fitness training studio, in Gilbert, Arizona, launched a “Biggest Loser” contest piggybacking on the popular TV Show “The Biggest Loser.” Pay attention to what’s popular and have a contest about it.
- “Hottest” Contest: Scottsdale Jean Company, in Scottsdale, AZ, recently sponsored the “Hottest Mom” contest. The Winner would represent the company in advertising for a year. This contest, which was very controversial, garnered them lots of mentions on television, radio, and more. Exactly what they wanted!
- Scavenger Hunt Contest: The Contra Costa Times, in Contra Costa, California, sponsored the 2009 Great Road Trip Scavenger Hunt where they invited the public to find 20 items based on the clues that were given. According to the newspaper, the entrants loved the adventure, creativity, and camaraderie. Over 400 people entered with over 6,000 photos were submitted!
- The “Worst” Contest: Reckless T-shirts, in Tempe, Arizona, sponsored hilarious “The World’s Worst Casual Friday Outfit Contest” based off of the hit NBC show, “The Office.” Grand prize was custom designed apparel , business cards, and even lunch!
- Makeover Contest: Makeovers are very popular and they can be used in a variety of situations. Utah’s LogoWorks sponsored a contest like this for business owners to get a total logo makeover and gained tons of media exposure!
The possibilities are endless and you’re only limited by your imagination. Remember, if you would like to read all 29 Contest Ideas you can read them here.
If you decide you’d like to implement a contest for your business but feel you need help with the creation of the contest website landing page and autoresponder, you can call me directly at (317) 698-6418.
Please let me know what I can do for you.