Monday, November 16, 2009

Running an Online Competition to Increase Fanbase

Ok so, in this blog post I'm going to talk about running a competition to increase your fanbase and how I ran one for LadyUmbrella on our facebook fanpage. For a new brand trying to get up and running I found it to be useful as we had: 144 entries, 119 votes and gained over 500 fans in the month period that we ran our compe-tee-tion. Here comes the info, brace yourselves...

Firstly, I think its important to make sure your competition is easy to enter, not just the actual entering part itself but also the question or want to include as many people as possible and make it simple for them to enter..KISS - keep it short and simple..

Secondly, you should set targets for what you want to achieve out of a competition..Do you want to swell your mailing list numbers, get more facebook/twitter/myspace fans or do you want to try get sales as a direct result of the competition? For us, we want to get more fans and spread the word of LadyUmbrella..this is primarily because we are a new t-shirt brand and company..more bedded in brands may want to get sales directly from the competition..

Once you have decided upon your competition and how it will be entered with some realistic targets set now the games begin..You have to promote the life out of the competition..Get on twitter, facebook, myspace and shout about your competition (obviously don't shout aggressively though, be friendly like)..this will get you some traffic and entries..Get down and dirty with Google and see what it returns for searches like "sweepstakes submit", "online sweepstakes", "sweepstakes forums"...If you get lucky you'll find some incredible forums with thousands of active members who just live to "comp" (as they call it)..there are also lots of directory type sites for competitions that also have huge numbers using them to "comp"..Here are a few that we have used and that have been effective for us:

- - very active forum in NZ, quite a few entries and a nice friendly forum
- - not sure how much entries this one has given me but we do get page views from it
- - has got a lot of traffic for me, not sure about entries/new fans
- - got a few entries from here
- - wow, got a lot of traffic from here and nice friendly forum
- - also got a lot of traffic from here but be careful in the forums, you're not allowed mention your own competitions..
- - not that successful but they all help
- - not a lot of traffic from here but again all helps
- - not a whole lot of success here but....

Ok so, the last three listed weren't dynamite fan making entry yielding machines for me this day and age of King Google it is important to get backlinks to your page to appease the SEO(verlord) and the even if sites don't give you a lot of traffic they will give you that all important backlink..hopefully some of you will find some use for the above?

Alright, I'm going to call time on this soiree...another hopefully useful post in the can..let me know how you get on with your competitions ye? and any tips that you have leave them in a comment..rock on all...

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  1. You definitely achieved your goal - look at your fanbase numbers on facebook now!

    You're dead-on about making it as simple as possible... our last comp was extremely simplified and the entrant numbers were up.

    One thing I'm always debating is the length of the competition/giveaway. I see some giveaways start and finish on the same day, others go for a week (our last one went for 2 weeks) and then there's the month long comp. Some believe that more time is needed to allow people/fans to find the comp and enter; while I wonder whether a long duration makes for an anti-climatic experience... care to share your views on that one?

  2. Thanks for the tips on running a promo contest. I have been considering doing one for a while but don't know the best way to go about it. I will have to take some of the points here into consideration.

  3. Hey Manz, very good question, how long should the competition be...this is one that had me thinking for a bit when I ran our competition and we ran it for a month in total and then with a weeks voting - so it was a lengthy affair overall...

    The reason we ran it for this length was because we really wanted to try get the name out there..if we had have just ran it for say a week we would have only got about 30% of the entries that we got. So, again, I would say it depends on the target of the contest - what do you want to achieve from running it..Speaking for my own experience it does get somewhat exhausting, the continual promo effort, the daily tweeting about the competition and always trying to make it "fresh" - it is tough but also very rewarding - every entry that is received can be attributed to the amount of effort put into promotion..

    Whether or not it is anti climax I think is more to do with the competition itself and the "hype" or "buzz" around it..if the competition hasn't really taken off then its ending will be anti climatic but if you can cultivate interest and then maintain some of that to the end I think that is one way of avoiding an anti climax..hope that helps a bit anyway..

    And azac your most welcome for the tips...good luck to you if/when you start your own competition...

  4. Exhausting... that's for sure!!

    Cheers for the reply. It does help to hear/read other peoples thoughts - especially on the issues that are being debated in one's own mind! Helps with clarity. Our next comp is going to be a month long... I'll let you know if entrant numbers increase.

  5. Do let me know how you get on or what you learn whilst running it...a month long - get ready hehe...

  6. Also, anyone can run an online contest from their blog and affiliate marketing site. However, there are certain rules to follow. Before joining any online contest, participants must conduct a thorough research first regarding the legitimacy of the contest. In addition, they should also follow the rules as stated in the blog to avoid disqualification.