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Strategy & Insights: Up Close

What you need to know before running a contest on your blog

Are you interested in conducting a giveaway on your blog? Hosting contests and giveaways can be a win-win for everyone involved, benefitting your audience while enhancing your brand's visibility. However, how do you go about executing a giveaway on your blog, and what pitfalls should you steer clear of?

In this article, we’ll guide you on how to efficiently manage a blog giveaway while sidestepping common missteps.

Why should you run a blog giveaway

Contests are a staple feature of almost all blog types. Some bloggers host contests and giveaways in collaboration with brands as part of paid partnerships, while others resort to contests to fill content gaps in their schedules.

The pressing question, however, is why you should host an impressive giveaway on your blog.

Consider this perspective: If you're consistently posting content, your blog will generate significantly more organic traffic than your Facebook page or Twitter profile. Hence, your blog is the ideal platform to engage a targeted audience.

With this in mind, here’s what you’ll need to do in order to run a successful contest or giveaway.

Do you have a goal?

Establishing a goal is the most vital yet often ignored aspect of running a competition or giveaway. Defining a goal will influence the entirety of the process, making it crucial to determine one before devoting substantial effort to other facets of your campaign. Here are some other potential goals:

  • Developing an email list

  • Enhancing brand recognition

  • Qualifying potential leads

  • Gathering audience data for improved marketing segmentation

  • Crowdsourcing opinions or collective views from your audience 

  • Collecting user-generated content, which can be utilized for further marketing

What are you giving away?

The selection of the prize is crucial not only because it should serve as an attractive incentive but also because it helps distinguish potential customers from those who might only be interested in the giveaway. Choose a prize that aligns with your business. Because we’re in the pet space, the prize should be valuable to both pet and pet parents.

Make sure you have rules and regulations

An essential step is to think thoroughly about all the potential issues that arise during your contest. By envisaging all the "worst-case scenarios," you can craft your contest rules, disclaimers, and terms and conditions in a way that preemptively tackles these issues. Including a disclaimer that grants you the authority to disqualify any participant suspected of cheating is advisable. Alternatively, specify that the winner will be selected differently in case of cheating, such as by a judging panel from among the top 10 vote-getters.

Promote, promote, promote!

Simply making your campaign available online or on Facebook does not automatically attract participants. To increase visibility, you need to promote it extensively. Your promotional strategy should be more comprehensive than the campaign's launch. Seizing promotional opportunities throughout the campaign and even after it has concluded is crucial. Regular updates, promoting submissions (in case of a voting contest), and announcing the winner are all effective ways to keep your audience engaged.

Follow up plan

One of the significant advantages of conducting contests or giveaways is the valuable audience data you gather. It's crucial to consider the follow-up plan ahead of time, as it aligns with your objective. Ensure that you establish the necessary components that allow you to leverage this precious information. This could be an email sent on birthdays or monitoring the redemption rate of your coupon codes. Once the excitement of the contest subsides, the actual task of converting customers commences. Recognizing that a contest or giveaway involves more than just a Facebook post or a form on a landing page can maximize the effectiveness of this marketing strategy. Incorporating your contest or giveaway into a more comprehensive approach - beginning with a specific goal and implementing a follow-up plan - can significantly boost your sales.

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