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In today’s increasingly digital world, customers find and connect with companies through online search, websites, and social media. Lead generation, social engagement, and brand loyalty are important components of an organization’s marketing strategy. Interactive marketing, such as contests and giveaways, help businesses grow their customer base and increase brand awareness. Contest software makes it easy to create, personalize, and manage contests on company websites and in social media channels.
This guide will explain how contest software helps business owners, marketers, and sales professionals increase engagement, followers, and brand loyalty.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What is contest software?
- Common features of contest software
- What type of buyer are you?
- Benefits and potential issues
- Market trend to understand
What is contest software?
Contest software makes it easy to run sweepstakes, giveaways, and other contests on company websites and social media channels, such as Instagram and Facebook. Online contests help organizations raise their brand awareness, increase website traffic, expand their social media following, and improve lead generation conversions. Marketing professionals use contest software to streamline contest creation and management, reduce time spent on manual administrative tasks, and deploy effective contests without the need for designers or developers.
Common features of contest software
While features vary from product to product, most contest software offers some or all of the following functionality:
|Lead generation||Create conversion-focused lead capture pages to collect qualified leads, segment audiences, and increase prospect conversion rates.|
|Customizable branding||Add company logos, colors, assets, and more to personalize contest templates. Integrating brand identity ensures uniformity across all channels to drive awareness and engagement.|
|Contest templates||Get started with pre-designed layouts and themes that can be customized to match your brand without the need for technical skills or coding.|
|Voting management||Design single or multi-round voting processes to select a contest winner.|
|Fraud detection||Monitor and moderate entries to ensure they meet specific criteria and are legitimate entries. Proactive fraud monitoring keeps your contest fair by searching for suspicious entries to prevent cheating.|
|Polls||Create quick polls to allow audience voting and participation. Polls are a great way to boost engagement and collect audience data.|
|Analytics||Identify patterns in assembled data to learn how users interact with contest campaigns. Use collected data to optimize current and future campaigns.|
What type of buyer are you?
Selecting the right contest software for your business starts by understanding what type of buyer you are. Most buyers fall into one of the following categories:
Startups: Contest software helps new businesses raise funds and build relationships with target audiences. Look for features that give you control over branding with customizable content and analytics to track the effectiveness of your campaigns. Sweepstakes, vote contests, and photo contests are low-cost ways to raise brand awareness, promote user-generated content, and convert business prospects into leads.
Small businesses: Small organizations with limited resources should look for contest software that offers numerous features on the most basic plans. Pre-designed templates make it easy to launch a campaign, and customizable branding options ensure that potential customers connect with your business identity.
Marketing agencies: Agencies use sweepstakes, giveaways, and other contest campaigns to create effective marketing strategies for their brands and clients. Look for contest software that offers full customization of all campaign aspects. Comprehensive analytics help agencies identify where traffic comes from and what campaigns generate the most engagement.
Benefits and potential issues
Contest software is designed to offer the following key benefits for businesses:
- Build brand awareness: An effective online contest can drive site traffic and customer engagement. Asking for a like or follow on social media as part of a giveaway entry increases the number of people who might see the content. When a contest attracts new and relevant audiences, it becomes a promotional tool that drives repeat website visits and converts prospects into leads.
- Get to know your customers: Online contests are great for learning about your customer base. When there's a chance to win a prize, people are more inclined to share information and answer questions. In addition to contact information, ask questions about interests and habits. The information gathered from contests can be used to enhance product or service offerings, as well as improve marketing and outreach strategies.
- Boost audience engagement: In addition to collecting important customer information, running a contest can help increase a company's amount of followers, likes, and engagement on social media platforms. Promoting user-generated content for contests raises customer involvement, strengthens brand awareness, and facilitates interaction between brands and customers.
Market trend to understand
Smartphones and tablets are the primary source of all U.S. online traffic. While desktops are still in use and shouldn't be discounted, social media channels are primarily accessed on mobile devices. For instance, even though Facebook has a desktop version, organizations should create content that is optimized for mobile use. Responsive design ensures that pages and content adjust to fit on any device. This keeps the user from having to scroll and zoom to get the content they're looking for. Social platforms are designed to amplify content that drives user interest and activity, so it is critically important that contest software includes mobile-responsive design features.