While facilitating the Small Business Roundtable Meetup “Summer Fun! Using Contest and Giveaway Marketing” earlier this week, the group came up with these 5 great reasons to use contest marketing and giveaway marketing in your business. And, just for reading the 5 Great Reasons, you will also receive 4 additional tips to consider when designing your next contest or giveaway! (you see how this works)
1. Branding Your Business
Think of the summer radio contests used to promote the station and increase listeners. Using a “take notice” prize or giveaway gets people’s attention, just make sure they don’t stop there. Keep your brand and message prominent so that even those who don’t qualify for the prize remember who was generous enough to be giving it away.
2. Connect – Gather Contact or Marketing Research
Looking to build your contact list, Facebook fan base or getting some feedback on your business? People are much more likely to provide information or sign up to receive promotional materials if there is a chance to win something they want. A local email marketing client of mine used gave away a new television, gathering hundreds of email addresses in the process.
3. Influencing Customer Behavior
Small business marketing expert Pat Ennis from American Marketing Solutions provided this idea. ”Using a customized ’scratch-to-win’ ticket that a customer gets each time they come in, purchase over a specific amount, or buy a certain product combination can influence buying behavior.” He added that “Customized scratch off tickets are not hard or expensive for a small business.” Anyone who has been caught in McDonald’s Monopoly knows how effective this can be!
4. Generating Referrals for Your Business
For the small business who wants to create or increase their referral business, contests and giveaways can help. Recently, I was part of a chamber of commerce re-branding committee. We wanted current members to bring guests to our big brand unveiling event. Using gift card donations from local restaurants as prizes, we gave an award to the three people who brought the most guests! You might give away coupons for future service, or even 2-for-1 deals to promote referrals.
5. Promoting a New Product or Event
Grand openings, trade shows, product launches – when you’re trying to get the word out, using contests or giveaways can help the promotion effort. This is especially true when you have a more complicated product or one that people don’t buy very frequently. If I’m not currently buying or selling a house, a realtor’s open house doesn’t appeal to me. However, free food, supporting a favorite charity and a chance to win an iPad are all things I will stop and notice!
And Now, Your Prize Just for Reading This Far!
Thanks to the great local business people at the Small Business Roundtable Meetup for their thoughts, ideas and these additional bonus tips:
Audience, Objective and Message – like any other marketing, know these three things before you spend another minute or dime on your contest.
Pick the right give-away item – choosing something that only your specific targeted audience appreciates will result in better leads.
Promote the promotion – having a contest isn’t the focus! The contest is just a great excuse to bombard your audience with the real message of your business.
Keep it Legal – when in doubt consult with an attorney to make sure your contest is on the up-and-up.
Sigma College of Small Business specializes in narrowing your business focus – finding the one thing that will have the most impact in helping you Be Better at Business. Many times it is marketing and sales, but it may be staffing, business processes or even IT systems. Whatever it is, we’ll find it and come up with a solution to make it better.
Let us know your favorite contest and giveaway marketing event, the one you’ll never forget!