The Ultimate Guide to Viral Contest Marketing (Updated)
If you’re ready to get started with your next viral contest, this is a great starting point filled with our best articles.
We have put a lot of work into finding and testing the best contest marketing tactics. After seeing behind the scenes of thousands of contests we have boiled down all the most effective tactics.
Before you get started, make sure you have an account at VYPER, which is the best tool on the market for creating your next viral email contest.
Planning Your Contest
This is by far one of the most important decisions you will make when starting contest or giveaway. The prize is a make or break decision and will either make marketing your contest easy or extremely hard.
A few tips on how to choose the correct prize is.
- Identify your target market, who do you want on your list?
- Then identify what makes these people excited, what sort of content would they be willing to share?
- What is unique and hard for others to replicate? A unique experience has a much higher perceived value. E.g. A surf company could give away a unique surf trip – Hang out with Kelly Slater for a week in Indonesia (flights and accommodation included). You can see how this unique experience would be worth sharing with your friends, family a co-workers.
- Do not give away general prizes like ($500 Amazon gift card) this will attract a lot of people, but not necessarily your ideal target market.
The main take away from this section is to pick a prize that is worth sharing. If people are willing to share it on their social channels, you will have a much easier time marketing your contest.
The next section of the pre planning is to plan out your contest marketing channels. A few that we see people using really well are.
- Posting on social media
- Emailing their current list to get them to refer friends and family
- Writing a blog post about the contest, prizes, and the reason for running the contest. Make it entertaining and add your contest to the post.
- Run Facebook, Instagram or other network ads. Check out this training webinar if you need some help doing that.
- partner up with affiliates or influencers.
- There will be more marketing tactics in the next section, this is just to get you thinking about some the contest marketing tactics that take a little longer to plan out.
- How to Choose the Right Prize for Your Viral Contest
- Planning a crypto contest, airdrop etc.
- The best bonus actions to use in your contest
Execution of your contest
Depending on the type of contest you’re trying to run, there will be different ways to execute and make sure it’s successful.
- Evergreen Funnel. Perfect for the brand on a budget and a time crunch. This type of contest can be run continuously to provide you effective lead generation. Can also be run alongside the Mid-grade funnel or High-ticket funnel. Works for ANY type of business.
- Mid-Grade Funnel. The perfect sweet spot between cost & effectiveness. Works great for niche businesses especially because it brings you more qualified emails.
- High Ticket Funnel. A funnel that can get you tons of email subscribers if pulled off correctly. Can also be extremely expensive. Works best for companies in larger niches.
A few things to remember when you are building your contest are to create viral mechanisms.
For example, what bonus actions can you include in your contest to get people sharing and engaging with your brand? A few really effective ones are.
- Share this Facebook post
- Comment on this Facebook post
- Tag a friend in this Facebook post
You can replace Facebook with any platform.
This is by far one of the most important steps when running your contest. You can build the best contest in the world but if you do not market it, no one will see it, let along sign up and share it.
The golden metric is the share, so all your marketing efforts need to come back to the same question (how can I get more people to share this with their friends, family and coworkers).
We have a ton of guides on different contest marketing tactics you can use to make your contest go viral.
- How to Use Opt-in Bribes to Boost Conversions. Using VYPER’s opt-in bribe feature, you can incentivize your contestants for even more viral sharing.
- The 4 Contest Email Follow-ups That Get You Viral Growth. This article teaches you how to get your subscribers and contestants sharing your contest.
- The Massive List of Sites Where You Can Promote Your Contest.
- How to Get Traffic From Facebook Groups (without Being Spammy)
- How to Promote on Reddit without Getting (Shadow) Banned
- The most creative contest marketing tactics
- Example Facebook contest and giveaway posts
- How to use Instagram stories for contest marketing
On-boarding (end of your funnel)
Once your contest has ended you can start to move into the nurturing process. Ideally, you want to use your contest as a top of the funnel marketing tactic. This tactic is used for introducing people to your brand and getting that first touch point.
Once you have that first touch point, you want to then start moving into the nurture drip.
This means doubling down on your remarketing. Setting up email marketing drips, advertising campaigns that target people entered your contest, visited your website and engaged with your social posts.
- How to get awesome open and click-through rates on your contest follow up emails.
See how others have been using contests to grow their business. We dive deep into some of the most successful campaigns ever run on VYPER.
It covers what prizes they offered, the contest marketing tactics they used and the results they got.
- How Foundr magazine uses contests to grow their email list
- How using unique prizes can make your contest go viral
- How to run a contest in the cannabis and CBD space
- Generating 41k emails in under 2 weeks
- Using influencers with contests (scaling a Kickstarter project)
- Q&A session on how to run a successful contest
- Using a contest in banned advertising categories (guns & ammo)
- How 2 Travel Bloggers Tripled Their Email List in 7 Days with a $0 Budget
- How we generated 7k B2B email leads and 8k new social followers
Ready to use the best tool on the market for creating your next viral contest?
- Check out VYPER contest software. It helps you run viral contests, giveaways, leaderboards, and reward programs.
The last word – make sure you are constantly reviewing and improving your marketing tactics. It’s important to do a post-marketing report to understand what worked, what didn’t and then what you can improve next time.
Running contests and giveaways is an ongoing process. Huge digital marketers like AppSumo, Tim Ferris, Scots Cheap Flights and others have been running contests for years to build email lists of 1 million+ which is not the foundation and core of their business.
Your list is the most important asset you will ever build so keep at it and understand it will take time.
Also published on Medium.