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Using Contests to Generate Leads

An area of Internet marketing that isn’t exploited by marketers as much as many is “contests.”  Tina Williams, has generated 7,000 new leads in the space of a few days using contests.  Here are a few of the advantages of using contests over and above just generating leads:

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twitter fail image (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • More Exposure
  • Branding
  • Cooperative Marketing
  • Community Building
  • Fun and Engagement
  • Know, Like, Trust Factor

Tina and her group did a “Twitter Party,” to promote a webinar for an affiliate product, using a contest.  Tweetgrid.com was the platform they used to earn over $10K in just about 2 hours from this promotion, which was based on a simple Twitter hash-tag.  They use the following steps in designing a contest:

  1. Set the Objective – Know specifically what your audience wants and who they are.
  2. Select the Prizes – Depending on your target, what are the best/optimal prizes (considering ROI)?
  3. Pick the Platform – From the plethora of choices, find the best venue for your needs.  What are the rules of the platform, e.g., Facebook has the most stringent rules.  Options include Wildfire Interactive, Votigo, WordPress Plugins, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
  4. Create the Contest – There are several types of contests including sweepstakes, coupons, group deals, favorite picks, trivia, quizzes, signup forms, and photo/image/theme based.  It is also important to have impressive graphics and to make the contest fun for participants.
  5. Go Viral – Social Media Platforms can be used to create “buzz.”  And don’t forget all the traditional Internet and local marketing possibilities.
  6. Work with the Winners – Choose and showcase the winners, but don’t forget the losers, e.g., other free offers and keep them all involved.
  7. Follow-up – Keep the conversation up whether via email, social media, or traditional methods (phone and mailers).

This step-by-step methodology can be used to setup a contest tailored to specific business needs or help local businesses according to their needs.   The results for a well-planned effort will be both new customers and more revenue from existing ones.

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