Contests, especially user-generated ones, have the ability to drive significant traffic and links to a site. For example, there are many sites like Contest Hound and Contest Blogger, that share information about various available contests. Many participants connect with contest for the following reasons:
- Win a prize (monetary or material)
- Connect with the brand
In order for people to connect with a contest, the concept needs to be relevant to the target audience’s interests. Issue-based organizations have been extremely successful at drawing many participants and encouraging feedback, regardless of the prize. However, consumer goods struggle with contests, especially if the rewards are nominal.
Wells Fargo, the financial services company, is offering a contest that encourages users to submit a story of what they would accomplish if they had a certain amount of money. Some Day Stories is rewarding the winner with $100,000.
This contest has the potential to increase brand awareness, directly connect Wells Fargo with their consumers and dramatically spike site traffic. When people need a banking service, they will likely to go back to the site.
Between June 9 and August 25, a featured story will win the Story of the Week prize of $1,000. So start writing Today and make it yours!
The H.J. Heinz Co. had a pretty successful User-Generated Contest (UCG) last year. The Top This TV Challenge invited America to create the next Heinz ketchup commercial. The winner won $57,000. I never saw the commercial on TV, but maybe the limited its release? Heinz said it received more than 4,000 qualified entries. They currently have another contest, Take 2.
Although UGC can dramatically impact the success of a contest, participants do not always take it very seriously. Heinz received many weird and disgusting videos for how to use the product. For example, Ketchup used shampoo. Yikes! This is why one good rule in UGC is to always have someone in the company monitor the submission and make the final decisions. Imagine if all the voters chose the shampoo video? That could be disastrous to the company.
Imagine if this was the video they went with?
Heinz posted the winners’ videos which kept the conversation going long after the contest was over. This created a community, boosted engagement, and established brand loyalty. Additionally, it prompted a buzz around the brand online and sent significant referral traffic.
Do you have a bad boss? Not me ;) Created by Working America, “My Bad Boss” contest encouraged people to submit stories about horrific experiences with their bosses.
We work against wrong-headed priorities favoring the rich and corporate special interests over America’s well-being.
They offered weekly prizes that related to the theme, like earplugs and a rear view mirror so you can see your boss sneaking up on you. It is an example of a creative idea and execution.
Effective contests are a great way to bring loyal customers and new people to your site. The variations in creating a contest are seemingly endless, but the end goal is the same- bring people back to the site and create awareness.
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