What Your Prize Says About Your Contest

Sarah Lazell
June 23, 2017

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Are you keeping your eyes on the prize? Your choice of prize communicates at lot more than "win this" it also gives clues about your contest, your brand and who you think your audience is. 

Don't spend ages putting together a kick-ass campaign and then watch it fall flat as no one is interested in winning. For anyone thinking about entering your contest, quite often it is the prize that is the motivation for the click. So firstly we recommend that you look at why you are running a contest as this will help you choose the most suitable option.

Your prize is a tool that should be helping you with your campaign, not merely the carrot on a stick. So are you looking to raise awareness, showcase your products, obtain new customers, engage with your audience, collect information on your audience? Whichever you decide should be reflected in your prize.


The prize should fit the audience

Your prize says a lot about the audience you wish to attract. You should be offering something that your customers really want and rather than something generic it should be specific to your business. Yes it would be great to win the latest smart phone, gadget or a big pile of money but everyone wants that, so how will this engage the people you want to connect with?

A lot of ‘compers’ tend to search out competitions where they can win prizes that they can then sell on for cash. There are ‘bots’ scanning the internet and looking for such prizes and automatically entering them. If you are looking for a sheer volume of entries then that is fine. However, if you are looking to attract genuine fans with your campaign, the ones that don't click unsubscribe at the first given opportunity, then it pays to look at prizes that are more personal to your company or would associate with it and that your audience cares about winning. Perhaps something that money can’t buy, a unique experience, something personalized or signed?

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Recently we worked on a contest for John Grisham's latest book, Camino Island. This campaign was for the Grisham fans, so the prize needed to be something that would be of particular interest to them. Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House, produced some stunning prizes for the fans: a signed first edition of A Time to Kill from Grisham’s personal collection and a signed collection of all 30 Grisham novels.These rare prizes helped attract the true fans rather than people only interested in winning a prize.


Big isn't always best

A big flashy prize isn’t always the incentive you might think. Although most people would love to win a new car or an all expenses holiday, it can often seem too unobtainable and people can not imagine themselves actually winning.

If someone thinks that the odds are too slim then they aren’t going to bother entering. Sometimes less is more, smaller prizes can actually attract a large audience as people feel like they have a realistic chance of winning. We often suggest that it might be more successful to have more smaller prizes rather than one big one as an incentive to play.

As a general rule the bigger the prize the harder it can be to enter. You wouldn’t offer big cash prize on a retweet to win competition, as the cost of the prize wouldn’t be worth the results. Having more steps in a contest can help filter out the time wasters and attract the genuine fans. So if you are looking to perhaps collect data or run a survey then you can offer more in return as an incentive.


Timing is important

How often you intend to run a competition will also have a bearing on your choice of prize. For example if you wanted to showcase your products, a regular contest may work in your favor.

Joseph Joseph run a weekly social media contest to win one of their products. As the odds of winning are good and it encourages its audience to come back regularly and view the range. This is a great way to engage with fans and update them on the latest products without giving them the hard sell.



About BeeLiked

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The BeeLiked Platform can help you engage and incentivize your audience and customers across their life-cycle and journey.

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