20 Contest Ideas To Jumpstart Your Internet Marketing Efforts

Sales are so-so. Conversions have plateaued. Leads are lackluster. Your company needs to quickly kick things into gear. Which is why you've decided that now is the perfect time for a contest promotion. After defining key goals and objectives, researching target audiences, forming partnerships and developing guidelines, the only thing that remains is coming up with a contest idea. Which isn't always as easy as it seems. Fortunately, we've helped many businesses develop and implement contests online and off.

Here is a list of our favorite concept directions for contests to help you generate your own.

  • Come See Us. These promotions encourage users to show up at a location at a specific time to receive an offer or enhanced experience.
  • Daily Deal. Create a daily deal contest with limited, extreme offers to keep your audience interacting on a daily basis. It could be something as simple as: "The first 10 people who "retweet" or "like" this post will receive 30% off…"
  • Daily Drawings. Today's new fans can be automatically entered to win a prize package.
  • Essay. Essay contests can be used to have users share stories or nominate people for a specific honor or prize.
  • Fan Challenges. Challenges create competition among followers from two social graphs and are normally used to drive "likes" or other forms of participation to a third party.
  • Friend-get-friend. These promotions typically include a giveaway to followers who get a set number of their social network to like or follow the promoter.
  • Group Deals. Group promotions are normally tied to an increased number of fans, a specific number of posts, or other activity that would trigger the deal.
  • Guessing. Answers that are closest to the actual number or score qualify for entry into a drawing.
  • Icon Updates. Provide users with an icon or profile picture they can use to promote their association.
  • Idea Generation. Users can be a great source of ideas for everything from product names to ways to improve.
  • Mobile Check-ins. Deals can be made available to users who check in at a location and share their whereabouts with their friends.
  • Photo Caption. Asking users to participate by creating captions for photos is an easy way to increase participation.
  • Photo. User-generated photo submission contest are not as demanding as video contests.
  • Puzzler. Users who figure out the answer to a puzzle or riddle qualify for entry into a drawing and automatically get a smaller prize for the correct answer.
  • Secret Word. A form of special offer that requires users to say the word in order to use the offer at a local retailer.
  • Show Ups or Tweet Ups. These promotions provide users with an offer available at a specific time and place only good for fans and followers.
  • Special Offers. Offers are a key part of the Social Web experience and can be structured to require users to become followers.
  • Treasure Hunts. Treasure hunts are great for generating foot traffic and connecting the Social Web with the real world.
  • Trivia. Trivia contests can be designed for sponsors, charities and ticket giveaways.
  • Video. User-generated video contests require a higher-level of participation but can be effective at generating viral views.

Have another idea for a contest that you'd like to share? Or see one that you'd like help implementing? Share them below or give us a call. In fact, if you're one of the first three callers, you'll win a free… See? We got your attention. Proof that Contest Marketing does work.

This is the third installment in a month-long series about Contest Marketing.

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