Gigg provide brands an unmatched marketing campaign that drives awareness, sparks engagement, and unleashes conversions that are unlike any other. Regardless of your objectives, Competitions offer a wide variety of use cases for both small business and large enterprises alike. Designing and implementing a competition poses challenges that may be easily overcome by implementing best practices as outlined below. Bear in mind that this article is not intended to be technical in nature. Please consult with your Account Manager for technical requirements.
IDENTIFY YOUR OBJECTIVE
With all business initiatives, we start by clearly identifying and defining objectives for your Competition campaign. This will be essential as you design and implement your Gigg Competition and measure its overall success for your brand. Although a Competition can accomplish various goals, understand what is MOST important will be your north star. Gigg Competitions have helped a number of brands accomplish a myriad of objectives:
Create brand awareness
Drive website traffic
Discover concert openers
Convert app downloads
Prizes will vary greatly between Competitions. What we have learned is that experiences generally make the best prizes. Experiences may include a trip to Disneyland, a vacation at an all-inclusive resort, tickets to a championship sporting event, or opening for a multi-platinum band. This is where you have the ability to get creative with the resources at your disposal.
When we refer to “prizes”, this may include a number of different ways to incentivize engagement with your Competition. You may have one “grand prize” for the single winner of your competition or you may have multiple prizes throughout the duration of your Competition. Grand prizes should be just that, grand. We always recommend that your ultimate prize should be significantly distinct from other prizes, should you have them throughout. Clients have asked on multiple occasions exactly how much of their budget should be dedicated to the grand prize. Our response has been that the majority, if not the entirety, of your prize budget should be dedicated to the grand prize. What you put into prizes is what you will get out.
Stages & Advancements
Segmenting your Competition into stages is a strong tactic to drive increasing engagement along the way. From our experience, the higher the stakes, the higher the engagement. As stages advance and the number of competitors decreases, the higher the stakes become. This includes traffic to your Competition page, votes on submissions, chatter on social media, social shares from submission links, and other engagement metrics. Although this may seem counter-intuitive, from our experience this is the reality. In your Competition planning, make assumptions about the number of expected submissions. Consider the number of customers or stakeholders within your organization (i.e., subscribers, followers, affiliates, etc.) and base your stages around your expected initial amount of submissions. For example: If you believe that your promotional efforts can yield more than 100 submissions, it may be wise to add your first stage as a TOP 100. And then from there, you can scale down accordingly to TOP 50, TOP 25, TOP 10, etc.
Every stage will include a way to advance to the following stage, whether its TOP 100 or Grand Prize Winner. At each stage, you have the option to choose the advancement criteria. Gigg provides two different options: Company Choice or Social Votes.
Gigg provides opportunities for our partners to enable sponsorship opportunities for their Competitions. However, sponsorships are optional. Half of the brands we work with act as their own “sponsor”. The other half will seek out a sponsor for their Competition. There are a number of reasons why some clients seek sponsorship. Some are listed below:
Monetary compensation: Client are able to cover the costs of the compensation and use it as a revenue source
Collaboration: Clients are able to align with other brands or influencers to further promote the Competition and their brand
Objective-driven: You and a sponsor may have shared interests and objectives, aligning in this regard may further both parties’ efforts
The value proposition of a Competition for a sponsor is essentially the same for any Gigg client. Sponsoring a Competition will drive web traffic to any website, create brand awareness from placements, generate conversion opportunities through offers, and align your brand with specific campaigns in an authentic manner.
The rules of any Competition play a vital role to its success. The more complexity and complicated steps brands add to the rules tend to deter the amount of submissions. While you define your rules, it is always highly recommended that you seek legal counsel. Your Introductory Video should also include a simple outline of the rules.
TIMELINE & CRITICAL POINTS
Submissions / Launch
The Submissions stage is the most critical phase of any competition as that is where you build the pipeline of competitors. Your initial push for the awareness around the campaign will determine the overall success. This is not a one-push, that’s-all strategy, but a continuous promotion activity. We’ve seen brands make pre-launch announcements to build hype around the event, while others announce the event the day of launch. Regardless of your pre-launch efforts, you should be communicating with your audience continually throughout the Submission phase, especially the last few days as that is when 60-70% of submissions tend to come in.
Most Submission phases last around one month, but we have seen some as short as a week, while some have been two months. It all depends on your preference and how you feel your audience will be motivated to enter. You will need time to help promote and drive submissions while also giving your stakeholders time to put together submission content as some may not be readily available. If your Submission period is one month, you may consider doing weekly announcements regarding the Competition. We strongly recommend exploiting all channels at your disposal to market your Competition (i.e., social, email, text, website, ambassadors, etc.)
Stage Advancements are critical points due to the fact that some entrants are cut from the competition, while others advance to the next phase. This is where emotions can surface for good and for bad.
We highly recommend posting about stage advancements on your social channels throughout the Competition. Chances are if someone entered the Competition, they are going to follow you on social media for updates about it. We recommend posting when a stage begins and a couple of days before it ends so people have one last opportunity to go rally some votes.
You also have the ability to send email/SMS notifications for each stage advancement. Here you will want to craft a message letting them know they did or didn’t advance to the next stage, and you appreciate them entering. Ask them to follow you on social media to keep updated with future competitions. If they did advance, make sure they are aware if the voting of that certain stage is Social Votes or Company Choice. If it is Social Votes, they will need to reach out to their friends and family to get them to vote and share!
We recommend having each stage last about a week. It depends on how long you want the Competition to last, but we have seen the most success having each stage run for about a week. This gives contestants the opportunity to share to their social channels to get people to vote for them.
When you decide to launch the Competition, we recommend launching it during the week and keeping it consistent. You don’t want to launch the competition on a Thursday and have submissions end the next Wednesday then advance the next stage in two Fridays. Keep the length of your stages consistent. If you
social posting, email, duration recommendation, days to announce,
When you are announcing the winner of the competition we recommend posting the winner on the website and not on your social media pages. You can post on your social platform the winner was chose and to head to the website to see who the winner is. This will help direct people back to the website, don’t announce it on your social media pages. We highly recommend posting on your social platforms that the winners are announced on the website. We recommend announcing the winner at the end of day. You don’t want to do it in the middle of the day when people are at work and not on social media as much.
You will also want to add in anything coming up in the future. If you are planning on running another competition in a month or so, announce that with the winner so people can get geared up to enter the next competition.
Videos and photos play a vital role in the success of any competition. The number of creative assets depends on the needs of your organization and the complexity of the competition. Here are the key assets:
Utilizing a video, regardless of the production quality, to announce and explain the rules will catalyze the launch and virality of any competition. The promotion and distribution of this content will trigger the success of the competition by effectively creating a call-to-action to your audience. Where ad budgets allows, we recommend promoting this video through your social channels and filming influencers as talent.
Video talking points should include:
Introduce themselves (talent)
Brief explanation of competition & objective
Brief explanation of video submissions
Grand prize / opportunity
How to enter & win
Sponsor Graphic: If you have a sponsorship for a Competition, you will want to get a graphic you can add to the Competition.
Background Image: You will need a background image. It doesn’t need to be anything too fancy. This image will display in the background behind the Intro Video and Submissions. You can choose whatever image you want. Gigg will automatically place a filter on the image making it darker than the images displayed in front.
Intro Video: You will need to upload the URL of the Intro Video you created. If you have any questions of what this video needs to include, please refer to the section above.
Confirmation Video: While both the Background Image and Intro Video are necessary, you don’t have to have a confirmation video. If you choose to create this video, it will play after someone has entered the contest. In this video you can thank the contestant for entering, tell them where they can go to find updates on the competition and give them a call-to-action like following your social media accounts!
Sponsor Media: If you have a sponsorship for your competition, you can add in the Sponsor Logo that will display when you embed the competition on your website.
When setting up your competition, there is a section for messaging you will need to fill out.
Advancement Email Text: The first message you will fill out is the Advancement Email Text. This will automatically be sent out to contestants who advanced to the next stage. We suggest putting details in this message such as, “people can vote 1x per day. Voting ends Saturday at midnight.” Remind them of the prize and if they win, how they will be contacted.
Condolences Email Text: If the contestant didn’t advance to the next stage they will be sent a condolence email. Here we suggest adding your appreciation for them entering and encourage them to follow your brand on social media for updates about competitions in the future.
Winner Email Text: This is an email sent to the winner of the competition congratulation them they won! Depending on the prize, if you need to get their address or other sensitive information from them, we suggest letting them know someone from the team will reach out to coordinate how to get the prize into their hands.
Advancement SMS: You will also send text messages to contests as well. This will be a shorter message than the email. It can say something like, “Voting is now open! Share your post and tell your friends to vote! Voting ends Saturday!” Just keep it short and simple as they will also be notified via email.
Condolences SMS: Once again, add a shortened version of the condolences email to send as a text.
Winner SMS: In the winner text message congratulate them on being the winner and to check their email for the details.
**There are pre-made examples available as you are setting up your competition you can use.**
PROMOTION & DISTRIBUTION
Now that all the key elements of your competition are in place and ready, it’s time for execution. How you initially push and promote this campaign is where most brands go wrong. Driving exposure around your campaign will ultimately trigger success to your objective. A number channels can help boost the delivery of your campaign, we’ll highlight a few here:
Influencers & Affiliates
Collaborating with social influencers can pay massive dividends to the outcomes of a competition. Creating awareness around a competition will produce submissions, drive traffic to sites, and ultimately generate consideration around your brand unlike any other campaign. If possible, having an influencer share your introductory video or other asset provides another audience of shared interests.
Brands will generally have vast amounts of emails of users and other contacts at their disposal. Utilizing these email lists provides a simple way in announcing your campaign to an existing user-base. We always recommend utilizing your email list to kick off your campaign to a group that is already engaged with your brand.
If you are running a Competition, you need to leverage your social followers on your brand channel to provide a place for people to find updates about the competition. You want to announce the Competition on your social channels. This will help spread the message about your Competition quickly and broadly. This will help increase entries and keep your audience engaged throughout as you post updates about the Competition.
Another way you can increase entries using your social channels is by running your Introductory Video as an ad on Facebook, Instagram and whatever platforms you consistently post on. This will help spread the reach and increase entries to the Competition.