Contests have become a popular online marketing strategy.  When implemented effectively, they can boost your brand awareness, ensure brand loyalty from your customers, and garner valuable information about your target audience.

Effective implementation, however, takes planning.  Brands that invest little or no effort into their online contest won’t reap the benefits of a carefully coordinated campaign.  Worse, they’ll waste time and resources, resulting in lost revenue.

During the planning process, one of the easiest pitfalls to stumble into is not appealing to your target audience.  Not ensuring your contest appeals to your customers isn’t just a simple misstep – it’s a severe blunder.  After all, your contest can’t succeed unless people participate in it.

Thankfully, there are numerous steps that you can take to make sure your target audience reacts positively to your contest:

  • Analyze Current Data Likely, you already have some data on your target audience.  Regardless of the size or age, any data that you currently hold is worth reviewing.  It will help you start thinking about your contest before you even reach the planning stage.  When you do reach it, the data can steer your messaging and marketing efforts.
  • Reading Comments Your brand should maintain updated channels across all popular social media platforms.  Social media is a valuable opportunity for mining qualitative and quantitative data.  The highest-quality qualitative data takes the form of reactionary comments.  Review the comments that consumers leave on your posts.  Pay special attention to the comments on posts about your products and services.  Those comments will tell you why your consumers are following your brand and what they expect from it.
  • Offer An Appealing Prize A prize – which contests often split into tiered entry prizes and one grand prize – must generate excitement among your fan base.  If consumers aren’t excited, then they won’t enter.  Prior to choosing a prize or prizes, you must take several key points into account, including value and cost.
  • Don’t Ask Too Many Questions Digital contests are a great way for brands to garner information about their target audiences.  Unfortunately, data breaches and leaks are all too common these days.  As a result, consumers are sometimes reluctant to hand over their information – especially if the brand is asking too many questions.  Stick to asking consumers for only basic information, such as age, gender, and general location, as well as a summary of their experience with your brand.

Ensuring your brand’s online contest appeals to your target audience is tough.  But with the right approach, your contest will inspire brand loyalty from your customers, grow your following, and help you better understand your target audience.