Nonreciprocal inbound links are great for your rank in the search engines. However, getting them, particularly from well-trusted sites, takes a little ingenuity. Want a fun, low-cost way to get some buzz going? Hold a contest. This is a great strategy to get blogs and individual readers to link to your site, sending you traffic and increasing your rank.
A wide range of products and services can be offered as prizes in a contest. While consumer-oriented and luxury products such as books, candies and cosmetics are the most obvious choices, there are plenty of options for businesses that sell services or that operate on a business to business model, as well. A site offering accounting services, for instance, can offer an hour long consultation as a prize. A housecleaning service could offer a free one-hour cleaning. The prize should be large enough for entrants to become excited about it, but not so large that the cost is painful. This is a customer acquisition cost and should be inline with what you would normally feel spending to bring new viewers to your site.
There are a number of factors to weigh when choosing between hosting the contest yourself and having someone else – usually the most prominent blogger you can woo – host your contest. If you host it yourself, you can more tightly control advertising about the contest, the contest’s duration, and how the winner is chosen. However, having a blogger host a giveaway for you gives you credibility with and access to their audience.
Finding a blog to host a contest for you will require some research. Contact the owners of high-traffic blogs in your niche and ask them if they would like to host a giveaway of your product. Provide them with as much supporting material as you can: attractive photos, detailed product specs and high-quality marketing copy can make your contest more interesting to potential hosts.
The easiest and most common type of online contest is a simple random drawing. You can give away entries for a number of actions that bring traffic back to your site. Common ways to give out entries include: commenting on the contest announcement post; tweeting, blogging, or posting on Facebook about the contest and referring additional entrants.
So, once your contest is launched, how do you get the word out? Start by contacting a handful of bloggers who write about your niche. Bloggers are always hungry for content and your contest gives them something to report. News will spread further as entrants blog, tweet and post on Facebook about your giveaway.
Contests have a number of benefits besides the traffic and search engine optimization (SEO) bump you can get. People like free stuff and a contest helps build goodwill. Even people who do not win the contest may become intrigued about your product and decide to try it out. There’s little to lose and much to gain by implementing this novel and fun SEO strategy.
WMR has recently decided to utilize on-going contests in our efforts to raise awareness for us.
The reasons for this may be plenty, but this a few thoughts on the benefits of using contests for your own company to drive awareness to a product or service.
Contests allow you to spread the word, creating a viral marketing buzz about the products and services that your company offers. It is a good way to build up your mailing list so you have more qualified leads to cultivate. Social media such as FaceBook, Twitter and Youtube allow you to spread the word about your companies contest rapidly, with the potential of it going viral on the internet. A viral contest awards users/contestants points based upon how much they spread the word about YOUR website.
Please check out our new Contest Leader Board here!
Key elements required for the success of any contest:
Is the prize worth signing up for?
Come up with a prize (or many prizes) that would be appealing to your readers. The prizes will make or break your contest. If you have nothing that people want, they won’t play to win. So, come up with attractive prizes that people can’t resist. The prize could be a package of your products and services, a cash prize, prepaid gift cards (which are very popular these days) or a paid vacation to a cool destination. Get this part right and your off to great start.
Make it easy for customers to enter.
Your contest needs rules. Rules keep things fair and legal. Keep the rules for your contest simple and easy to follow. The easier it is for people to enter your contest, the more people will enter.
Make it easy for people to spread the word or create a buzz
Social media marketing can help your contest go viral and reach thousands of participants who may have never been exposed to your business before. Include social media buttons on your contest page so that participants can easily Tweet or Facebook their friends about the contest.
Consider teaming up with a complimentary business.
One thing you may want to look into is finding someone or a business to sponsor the contest with you. For example, let’s say you run an online home based business and you want to give a laptop computer to the winner of your contest. You could pair up with an computer company who could offer computer electronics to the winner. This allows you to create a better prize, and it helps to better spread the word about your contest.
Promote It Everywhere
Once the contest is ready, it is time to promote the contest to everyone you know. Naturally, the first place to do so would be on your website. Next, promote it on other websites, on newsgroups, wherever you can stick the contest announcement.
Don’t think only in terms of online promotion. You’d be surprised that offline promotion works too. At the same time, don’t leave out your existing customers either. Send them an email announcing the contest. Tell them to send or refer the contest to friends and families, especially since you know they’ve bought from you and they know your products well (that is, if you are offering your own product). The key to any successful online contest is to keep promoting it, even until the deadline itself.
Now that you know how to run a contest, go on, get one organized! It takes some work and needs some creative thinking but it’s fun and helps you promote your business in the most innovative way!
I hope you’ve found this article about viral contest very educational. There are many sites and articles that can tell you more about viral contests.
Read more at here.