Creating viral online competitions for beginners

Creating viral online competitions for beginners

With an everchanging and evolving e-commerce business, our consumers are also evolving and becoming more demanding. They have higher standards than ever, and you do need to meet them if you want them to purchase from your webshop. Some of the greatest players in the field, like Amazon, are always innovating. This directly impacts what is expected from a smaller business too, although you are currently on the way lower business scale than them.

To some extent, our customers are getting spoiled. They want their products almost overnight, a bunch of free options added, as much customization as possible at very low rates, no charges for returns of used goods, etc.

Dotcom Distribution’s survey found in 2018, that only 25 % of respondents would pay anything extra for fast shipping. Only two years before, 47 % of survey respondents said they were willing to pay $9 or more for the right to faster shipping. The same report says that 90 % of customers found free returns capability to be important or very important.

Getting something for FREE

The king of all perks for your customers is getting something free. Anywhere you look, you are seeing ads and offers with something that is being gifted to consumers. And basically, we are looking at it as a standard to aspire to. We are taking free shipping, free samples, free goods, free giveaway, free returns… free free free!

Although quality still ranks as number one when it comes to reasons to recommend a product to family and friends, we are seeing changes in consumers’ priorities. About 91% of 1,400 consumers surveyed said being offered free shipping from a seller would make them more likely to become a repeat customer.

Also, getting free items during the purchase is becoming increasingly important to customers. The power of free giveaways is especially strong among younger demographics, as 75% of Gen Z survey respondents and 60% of millennial respondents said free giveaways were likely to turn them into repeat customers. 

According to the same survey, just a few years ago consumers used to be more interested in attractive packaging and that initial unboxing experience. Now, people will tend to purchase from a webshop that provides a wide range of free options, as nice product presentation has become a mandatory standard.

Giveaway as your advantage

Now that we are aware of people’s desire to get something for free, what can we do about it? We can definitely achieve some of our business goals by giving our customers exactly what they like. When setting up an online competition, you need to be very careful with what you want to achieve and how do you want to go about it. 

Basic steps that you need to go through are: 

1. Choosing the right goal
2. Defining your target audience for the giveaway
3. Deciding on a suitable prize
4. Where will you run your Contest?
5. Determine Contest Rules
6. Promote Your Giveaway
7. Pick a Winner for Your Giveaway
8. Follow Up After the Contest

Choosing the right goal

So, why are we doing this? There are multiple goals that we can achieve with this particular promotional activity. Deciding on a goal will help you define all the other online contest elements.

Marketing goals

With carefully crafted giveaway you can achieve many marketing goals from growing social media following and engaging your community to increase your brand’s visibility. With giveaways, you can get new followers and get plenty of social media reach in your target niche. 

Depending on the way your giveaway is envisioned, you can get a lot of engagement on social media andliven up your community. People really get excited people about getting free stuff. Plus, you get access to new potential audiences that you weren’t reaching before. 

All of this leads to getting your brand’s name out there and being more recognizable, plus it is increasing your chance for conversations, with low expenses. This is considered cost-effective marketing as you can always fit the prize, process, and promotion according to your budget.

Sales goals

Again, with different types of giveaways, you can have different kinds of sales goals. If you decide to generate more leads, you can run a campaign to build your e-mail database. To enter the competition, ask your customers to leave their e-mail and opt-in to receive your Newsletter. This will help you to discover and nurture new leads.

In case you wish to increase your sales, you can tie your competition to a product purchase. First-time customers will get something for free if they buy your product. Repeating customers will be inclined to purchase even more to have more entries to your competition. 

For example, you can run a competition where your customers are asked to share their testimonials and include a photo of using your product. The most popular way to do this is through social media and using hashtags but you can also request to get testimonials via the form on your website. 

PRO TIP:DragDropr InstaShop has form submitting functionality that is perfect for your customer’s feedback.

Emotional response goals

Everybody loves to win! There is an element of excitement for people who buy your products, especially if the award is attractive enough. This whole experience can create happy feelings and thus increase customer loyalty with your audience. 

Another way to get an emotional response from your audience is by putting the label of exclusivity on your product! For example: If you are launching a new product, you can try to organize a competition where winners have early access to the product. You will be building a buzz around the product and the brand, plus people simply want what others can’t have so they will feel special.

Defining your target audience for the giveaway

You might be selling multiple products or services but not all of them will target the same consumers. Make sure to analyze which target group needs to be nudged into a purchase or made aware of your existence before you run your online competition.

Example: You can test if a particular niche would be interested in your product(s). You can always test the waters by aiming a giveaway at them and see how they respond.

Deciding on a suitable prize

Make it or break it moment! 

You can have all the items from this list done right, but if your target audience is not into the awards you selected, there is no hook for them to participate in the first place. 

Good giveaway prizes need to be:

Relevant: Everyone loves getting free stuff! BUT, if you are advertising manicure appointments as an award on a sports jersey webshop, you are most likely not getting any entrees. The prize needs to reflect something worth winning for your target audience.

Valuable: So, we are not saying expensive, we are saying useful, desirable, and able to bring excitement to the target audience.

Some of the most popular contest prize ideas include:

1. Money
2. Gift cards or gift certificates
3. Free products/services

Where will you run your Contest? 

Social media and your website are obvious choices to place the content for your giveaway. You should always choose the simplest way to approach audiences, and you should not be too complicated with demands and steps. People will leave halfway through the registration if you are asking too much of them, especially if the award is not corresponding to the effort expected of them. 

To track all of your entries, randomly pick winners, create entrée forms, etc you can turn to online platforms that host competitions for you. Here is a list of some good options. 

Determine Contest Rules

You will need to define basic information that is describing your giveaway to the customers. Some of the relevant information is: what are the prizes, duration of submission of entries (start date and end date), number of winners, selection process, when will you announce the winners, etc.

Also, do not forget that different markets have different regulations. For certain products, there might be an age limit, or event restrictions to run a competition for, so be aware of this.

Make sure to do everything in your power to cover all the rules and make it as visible as possible for the people who are entering the competition. Make rules prominent on both social media and website, plus obviously on a platform you are running it on.

Promote Your Giveaway

Today, more than ever in the history of marketing, users are autonomous to create great campaigns, even with zero help of professional marketers. All social media have more or less developed business platforms where you can follow step by step instructions on how to reach your target audiences.

PRO TIP:You can also create beautiful landing pages in DragDropr, place them on your webshop, and promote that page.

A very successful tactic to get more eyes on your competition is by finding suitable partners. Influencers, bloggers, or other businesses, that can help you spread your message faster.

If you already have an e-mail database of your customers, do not forget to let them know in a Newsletter that you are currently giving away really great stuff. Also, do not forget to remind them a few times that the competition is running as well.

Make sure to have share buttons on your campaign on your website, and to invite people to include their family and friends.

Numerous studies have shown that for large-scale campaigns, 1-2 weeks is the optimal length of time. If you are asking your buyers to do something complicated, like making a video, your campaign needs to run longer.

Pick a Winner for Your Giveaway

Celebrate and show off your giveaway winners! It is not exciting to have a competition unless people get to know the actual winner. Shinning the spotlight on your winner(s) can be a great marketing activity. This becomes especially important if your winner is very representative of your buyer persona and people can identify with them.

Some of the things you can do are: including their social media handles in your posts, write a blog post dedicated to them, doing an interview, or sharing their image from prize giveaway. All of these are examples of great marketing material to round up the campaign. They will be happy that they won, so their comments will be very positive. This way, you can have social proof of past successful competitions and it will make people more inclined to participate in similar activities in the future.

Follow Up After the Contest

Do not forget to keep those leads warm! If there is an option to continue the conversation with people who entered the competition, do not hesitate to do so. For example, don’t hesitate to send them a thank you note for taking their time to participate. If budget permits throw in some extra awards, like discounts for next purchases for example. You will be able to announce additional winners and make some more people happy.

Don’t be afraid to try something new. Maybe you haven’t used this marketing tactic before, but it gives you many creative options to communicate with your target audience. With many Holidays just around the corner, it would be great to give back to your community!

1 reply
  1. Mansoor Ahmed
    Mansoor Ahmed says:

    In this article described in detail that how to create viral online competitions for beginners. This is very nice post. I really like it. Thank you very much for sharing.


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