With millions upon millions of websites out there, it can be hard to stand apart from the masses. To draw more consumers to a site, there are quite a few techniques that marketers employ. One very common and often overdone method of driving up traffic is having a contest on your website. At first glance, contests can seem like a good idea, but like anything, there’s a time and a place for them. Let’s look at when it’s appropriate to have a contest on your blog and more importantly, how to go about starting one.
The wrong time for a website contest
The key to creating a contest is first, knowing the wrong time to have one:
- When your product isn’t in demand: This may seem like a great time to have a giveaway, but think about it: who wants a product for free if no one else wants to pay for it?
- Questionable legal aspects: If you don’t know if your promotion is completely legal, then don’t do it! Check with the rules and regulations before you do a lot more harm than good for your site.
- Damaging your brand name: Giving away too much of your product or service can cheapen your brand and pose your product in a negative light. Be careful of how much you give away.
- When you’re only watching traffic: Website traffic is important to keep track of when you have an online business, but remember, it’s not the only factor. Contests can help to increase traffic but it’s usually short-lived traffic. The customers you’re driving to your site for promotions are not usually lasting ones.
The right time for a website contest
There can be right times to have promotions for your site, here are a few of them:
- Introducing something new: If your brand is already an established and respected one among your consumers and you have something new on the market, then a giveaway can be a perfect way to promote your new product. Sending out samples of it can be a great way to get the buzz going around it.
- Rewarding your loyal customers: A lot of companies (brick and mortar ones too) have loyal customer service rewards systems. Having a promotion to reward this fan base is a great way to ensure they keep coming back to you and tell their friends about you too!
- SEO: SEO is such a crucial part of Internet marketing. If you make your promotion based on current trends (i.e. Christmas/Holiday promotions in December) then you could be getting a whole new group of customers simply from search engines!
How to create a contest
Creating a contest for your website is actually a lot easier than you might think. With software companies out there like WizeHive and others, inputting your data and creating your contest is very simple, fast and can be surprisingly affordable. Just make sure to have a complete strategy and list of expectations for your contest before you begin building it. It’s very easy to get bogged down in details and overspend on your contest, only to discover that your message and overall point have been lost in translation.
It’s important to remember that no matter what you are trying to promote, anyone can hold a contest. We’ve seen contests from places that sell car parts, hair products even vole traps!
It’s up to you and your team to decide whether it’s the right time for a giveaway or promotion on your site. The time and effort you put into the promotion is what you’ll get out of it. Share your insights and experiences with contests and leave your comment below!