Last friday, I made a presentation for the Belgian branch of a large cosmetic company. We had a little chat about the web as a contest media (and the online contests overkill). Based on this discussion, I tried to summarize this topic in 4 rules:
– Keep the marketing objectives in mind and chose a contest territory: the goal of an online contest shouldn’t be to have as much participants as possible. For instance, if the objective is branding, be sure that your contest is in line with/supports your branding campaign and be consequent with your brand territory. A good example is Carlsberg who stick to the principle of luxury prices to share with friends, from private jet to Yacht trip (I really don’t like their website though) which is quiet aligned with their offline communication.
– Price value doesn’t matter. Credibility and originality do: A few years ago, my former employer bought an email marketing company. To celebrate the acquisition, we organized a contest with a Porshe as main price. We were quiet disappointed of the results despite a heavy promotion plan (much less participants than for our weekly cinema tickets contests). We concluded that a Porshe was probably regarded as “too good to be true” by our users.
– Balance effort and (potential) reward: Some advertisers forget that the web is meant to be simple and instant. Avoid ping pongs between web, SMS and mail and endless forms. If you want to add a viral dimension, go for it but keep it as simple as possible.
– Avoid pop-ups: Most site do not include their contest in the navigation and prefer to integrate non-permanent content through pop-ups don’t forget most browser are blocking pop-ups.
Of course, the way the contest will be promoted matters big time.