25 Proven Contest Ideas to Promote Your Online Business | Ecwid Audio Article

Hi this is Daniella from Daniella.io with
a Podcast for Ecwid’s blog. The following podcast is an adapted version
of the article called: 25 Proven Contest Ideas to Promote your Online Business by Alina Vashurina. Sometimes, you just need a good contest to
promote your online business. The tricky part is coming up with a good idea
for a contest that will get your audience excited about participating. If you throw together a half-baked idea, everyone
will see right through it – and they won’t bother taking the time to get involved. You’ll have wasted time getting the contest
set up, and your business will look a little pathetic with a poor turn out. Don’t embarrass yourself and your brand:
Take the time to figure out which contest makes the most sense for what you’re trying
to achieve, and then get the right tools in place to administer your contest, to promote
it, and to make sure you get the most mileage out if it you possibly can. Before we dive into the 25 contest ideas we’ve
gathered to promote your online business, let’s go over some basics for a successful
contest. Here are a few things to consider before you
launch your contest. These three steps will help you craft a more
profitable contest with results you can learn from and perfect over time. A target goal
A clear benchmark for success And a Prize and winner selection process A clear benchmark for success will allow you
to gauge whether or not the contest went well. Your goal might be something like: 10% more Facebook likes
X amount new followers on Instagram X amount of new email subscribers Set this goal before the contest begins so
you can build the contest around it via entry format, submission, etc. Outline what your prize will be (and make
sure it is something your contest participants will be excited about) before the contest
begins. Limited edition items, gift cards, or a large
collection of products work well. Then, decide on how the prize winner will
be chosen. If your contest is a sweepstakes, sites like
Rafflecopter or Random.org can help ensure you’re choosing a completely random winner
(and can help keep your contest fair). Marketing and Promotion Think about how you’ll spread the word about
your contest once it’s live. Social media and email will help you reach
your existing followers, but there are ways you can you reach beyond your usual crowd. Some contests have built in sharing features,
but consider additional promotional aspects, such as: Partnering with influencers
Running Facebook ads Partnering with local businesses Once you have these three basic steps outlined,
you can start getting more specific about the contest itself. Here are some ideas for contests you might
try this year with your online store. 1. Photo caption contest
Have participants make a creative or funny caption for a photo you post, and then pick
your favorite as the winner. Ideally, the photo will relate back to your
store or products to keep the contest relevant. 2. Sweepstakes
Sweepstakes work well for getting new people to opt-in to your email list, like/follow/share
your social media posts. Often times, participants can earn more entries
the more actions like these they complete. From there, a random winner or the one with
the most votes is selected at the contest’s end. 3. Video contest
Leverage user-generated content by having participants create a short video as a contest
entry. The video might showcase a person using your
product, sharing why they deserve to win your contest, or talking about why they love your
brand. These stories can be great ways to get testimonials
for your brand while incentivizing contest participants. 4. Essay contest
Ask participants to write an essay about why they admire your company and/or products. You’ll find some great customer stories
and quotes within these essays you can leverage later, too. 5. Selfie contest
Let users enter your contest by taking a “selfie” with your product. This helps add real-life context to what you’re
selling–and shows that you already have lots of customers who love your products. From here, you can randomly select a winner
or let your audience vote on their favorite selfie. 6. Share your best tips contest
Let users share how they use your products with a contest geared toward participants
sharing their best tips. This is a fun and easy way for your audience
to learn hacks and tips about using your products–and creates a dialogue on social media. Ask participants to share their best tip for
using a your products and then choose the top liked tip or a random winner. 7. “Like” or “Tag a friend” to win contest
Host a contest where all participants have to do to be entered to win is “like” or
“tag a friend” to be entered to win. This is a simple and easy way to quickly expand
your contest’s reach on social media (and works particularly well on Instagram and Facebook.) 8. Instagram photo hashtag contests
Create a contest that encourages people to share photos featuring your product or business
on Instagram with a custom hashtag, and draw weekly or monthly winners. This helps build brand awareness and shows
your product being loved by happy customers. 9. Share a photo contest
This a more generic photo-sharing contest that encourages contest participants to share
a photo as an entry. It could be a photo of their favorite outfit
featuring an item from your store, or a photo of your pets enjoying their favorite treats. The idea is to feature the product…but with
the user’s personalized twist. 10. Cutest pet contest
Ideal for pet-centric online stores, cutest pet contest are a great way to get participants
to share photos of their furry friends and to encourage voting, sharing, and promoting
your store. Plus, it’s a simple way to learn more about
your animal customers! 11. Drawing/painting contest
Encourage your audience to get artsy with a drawing or painting contest. Have them create an artistic representation
of their favorite product from your store, and then open up voting on which one your
audience likes best. 12. Recipe contest
Especially around the holidays, a recipe contest is a great way to get people sharing their
favorite foods and tips for dishes. If you have a food-related online store, see
if you can tie the recipe contest into your products and encourage entrants to create
something new with your offerings. 13. Fill in the blank contest
Fill in the blank contests can help drive people to your online store by testing their
knowledge. Ask a question like: “The Ecwid blog first
posted on ________ date?” to make people search out the answer within your website. You can randomly select a correct answer or
give it to the first correct response. 14. Trivia contest
Test your audience’s knowledge with trivia questions about your brand. Again, you can drive store visits by asking
highly specific questions about your brand’s history, your products, or by using snippets
of product photos. 15. Product-a-day giveaway
Keep the contests going with a week-long, product-a-day giveaway. Each day, you can award a surprise product
to a random contest participant who shares your Facebook status or who comments on a
particular post. 16. Name a new product contest
Let your audience get involved with naming your products by challenging them to name
a new product you’re releasing. Encourage puns, a play on words, or a deep
knowledge of your brand. You can let people vote on the name they like
best, or you can self-select the name you think is best. 17. Curated Pinterest board contest
If your audience is one of avid Pinterest users, leverage this social network and create
a contest around it. To enter your contest, participants can create
a curated Pinterest board featuring products from your store and other related pins for
a theme you designate, like “fall weddings” or “bikini weather.” 18. Build a lookbook contest
Challenge your participants you create a lookbook around your products. This might even become a marketing asset you
feature for your store. Just remember: This is a big undertaking,
so be sure the prize is proportionate–it needs to be worth it! 19. Mother’s day story contest
Have people share a story about their moms in honor of Mother’s Day, and talk about
why they think their Mom deserves a prize package on her special day. Then, randomly select a winner from the submissions. 19. Father’s day story contest
Same as Mother’s Day–but with dads. Encourage people to celebrate their families
and tell stories about their loved ones. This is a great way to earn organic shares
on social media! 21. Win an afternoon/session with an influencer
contest If you’re partnering with an influencer
for a contest, your prize might be an in-person session with that influencer for whatever
his or her specialty may be. Maybe it’s a decorating session, a makeover,
a closet revamp–you name it. A chance to get one-on-one time with an expert
influencer can drive participation in a big way. Bloggers and entrepreneurs Elsie and Emma
from A Beautiful Mess did this successfully: Their contest included a grand prize that
was an in-person decorating session where they helped one lucky winner re-style a room
in their home (in person!) 22. Win a gift card contest
Rather than designating a specific item for your contest, add some mass appeal by making
your prize a gift card. This can attract more participation, as it
lets the winner select whatever he or she wants. 23. Vote for your favorite item contest
Find out which items your audience really likes by creating a contest in which people
vote for their favorite items from your store. At the same time, anyone who participates
is entered to win in a random prize drawing. Think of it as a type of interactive user
survey! 24. Holiday decorating contest
Get in the holiday spirit by encouraging contest participants to decorate holiday items — but
with a branded twist. Entries might be carved or painted Jack-O-Lanterns
with your logo, cookies iced with your products, or ugly Christmas sweaters that bear your
brand name. 25. Create a jingle contest
Go old-school and create a contest where participants have to create a jingle for your brand. You’ll get some free advertising–and you
might find your next marketing hire! If a contest sounds like a good fit for your
online store, here are the next steps you need to take to get the ball rolling. Choose 1-3 contests that you want to run throughout
the next 12 months to drive sales. Outline your target goals for the contests
(whether it’s to drive sales, to grow your audience, or otherwise.) Outline your prizes for your contests, and
get a plan in place for how you’ll select your winner. Put a strategy in place for marketing your
contests and partner up with the right people. With some planning and strategy in place,
you can implement a few smart contests throughout the year to boost your online sales and grow
your audience in a way you could never have dreamed before. Just remember: Don’t overdo it, and make
your contests worthwhile for the participants. They shouldn’t bankrupt your business, but
they shouldn’t be underwhelming for the audience, either. Introducing two or three new contests during
the year is a good way to get started and can keep your promotional budget in check. Ecwid’s Blog has a new Guides section. The third eBook called Ecwid E-commerce Business
Blueprint offers a compilation of top resources from Ecwid’s blog that can help you promote
your contest. With articles including Publicity on a budget,
How to promote your brand outside of social media, 5 Google AdWord tips and How to Increase
Traffic for $3, Check out ecwid.com/guides. Please subscribe to my Youtube channel that
contains many other Ecwid tips and tricks. This is Daniella from Daniella.io, thanks
for watching.

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One thought on “25 Proven Contest Ideas to Promote Your Online Business | Ecwid Audio Article

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