There’s a reason the midway is typically the most popular area at a fair.
It’s the dizzying mix of lights, music, and the seemingly endless rows of games and contests where you have a chance to win that giant, pink, stuffed teddy bear that has been crisscrossing the country all summer and now taunts you as it dangles from the canopy of the carnival booth.
Yes, Yogi, you will be mine before this day ends.
You can feel it even when making a friendly wager with an acquaintance. No matter how mundane the bet or how miniscule the prize, there’s that moment when your pulse quickens, the adrenaline kicks in and the dopamine fires up in your brain as the contest begins. “Could it be possible? Yes, it’s true! If my wall of paint keeps drying faster than his, I may really have a chance to win that last slice of the pizza we bought two days ago!”
You get the idea. It’s the rush. The thrill of competition.
Everyone likes to be a winner. Even more, everyone loves being presented with the opportunity to win. It’s why contests are an easy and ideal promotional tool to help build brand interest and awareness. Here’s a look at a few basic reasons contests should be a part of any marketing strategy.
1. Contests Build a Fan Base
Free stuff is fun and gets attention. The power of promotion is a tried-and-true method to increase Facebook likes and shares — and some contests even urge people to spread the word on the event. According to American Express, “a basic enter-to-win sweepstakes with a lower barrier to entry often provides the best option for those just starting out with social media contests or without a large base of fans in place.”
2. Contests Engage Consumers
The first step of a contest is to get someone’s attention. The next step is to get that person excited, engaged and to take action. “A contest is often distinct from the typical content that brands put out. It pushes people to interact with your brand because they anticipate fun and gain the chance to win something of value,” Submittable wrote in a blog post. “Contests also promote and multiply user-generated content that gets customers more involved and makes your brand more memorable to them and people in their networks.” That user-generated content could be anything from photo submissions to user-made videos.
3. Contests are a Data Treasure Trove
“Contests also offer advantages from a research standpoint. When people sign up or agree to participate, you can collect names, contact information and get answers to other research questions,” according to Chron. “On a giveaway for a television, for instance, a manufacturer may include questions about participant TV habits. When consumers sign up at local electronics retailers, they fill out forms with their information and answers. Companies collect this for research and analysis to better promote that product or something else in the future.”
4. Contests Increase Sales
“The logical and necessary evolution of the benefit of your contest after building awareness and increasing your subscribers is increasing your sales,” said Neal Schaffer, founder of digital marketing consult group PDCA Social. “Contests are a great way to convert your business leads into valuable customers — especially in the case of the winners because they had just tried your product for free (if you chose the wise path of offering your product as a gift and not a random iPad) and they will most likely return to purchase more if your product satisfies them.”
Effective as well as cost-effective, contests are a reliable form of marketing that can boost your business as well as the business of your partners in the eyes of the public.
At SaveOn, we offer monthly contests that showcase the products or services of our various business partners, from winning a tank of gas to walking away with a new KitchenAid Mixer or a gift card to a garden center. Find out more about SaveOn and how we can help take your business to a new level by visiting saveon.com.