How to Increase Website Traffic by Running an Online Contest

Elaine Bennett

Who said Christmas comes only once a year? Everybody loves presents, right? So, why not use this to our advantage? Namely, I’m talking about running your own online competition to bring about that holiday spirit we all know and love, and share it with your loyal fans and followers. In essence, online contests are not only an excellent way of engaging with your followers, but also an awesome way to boost your traffic, spread brand awareness, and make people happy in general. However, in this post, we’ll focus primarily on how online contests can drive more traffic towards your website; and not just any traffic, but traffic that converts. So, without further ado, let’s delve a little deeper into the art of contest making and see how it can benefit your business.

Choose the Right Contest Type for Your Target Audience

The first thing you ought to do is pick a contest type that clearly matches your goals. For example, giveaways offer people the chance to win an exciting prize without too much fuss. Usually, all it takes is a like or a share to gain entry and the winner(s) are then chosen randomly. As a result, this method is fantastic at promoting your social media profiles. However, its main downside is that it generates less social buzz than a fully fledged competition. Contests, on the other hand, offer a lot more engagement than giveaways as they actually encourage users to be creative; examples of these include: photo contests, video contests, caption contests, and so on. Moreover, with contests there’s a distinct possibility that your user-generated content goes viral overnight, turning your brand into an online sensation for the time being. So, don’t go too heavy on the rules and regulations and instead keep them clear and simple for everyone to adhere to.

Create a Dedicated Landing Page

When people follow a link they expect to see relevant content on the other side, otherwise, they’ll feel like you’ve simply ‘click-baited’ them. If that happens, they’ll pack their bags and leave, and they’ll think twice before trusting your brand like that ever again. To prevent this from happening, you need to create a dedicated landing page for your online contest on your website. There, you can slowly but surely draw in new visitors into your amazing contest by showing them just how cool it really is. Write exciting copy that’ll keep them drooling at the chance to win an awesome prize and greet them with engaging visual content the moment they land on your page. Essentially, this will make your contest the coolest kid on the block and people will share it with their friends and family; and more people equals more traffic.

Incentivize Them with Neat Prizes

Now, what’s the point of a contest if there aren’t any prizes worth competing for? In other words, you need to provide your followers with an adequate incentive to make it worth their while. So, consider all the things your target audience would appreciate as an enticing reward and don’t go overboard trying to appeal to everyone. As an example, you can offer them your own products or services free of charge, an all-inclusive vacation package to someplace exotic, or perhaps you could even reward them with cold hard cash in the form of a branded Master gift card. That way, you encourage them to spend money on your products and services, potentially turning them into your loyal customers. Also, be sure to announce the end of the contest on your website to get even more exposure, as people will most likely come back to check who won.

Strike While the Iron is Hot

As Christmas season is just around the corner, this is the most opportune moment to begin your campaign. Holidays, in general, are always a legit cause for celebration, so make sure you capitalize on their festive spirit whenever possible. Likewise, theme your contests accordingly so they fit the overall mood of the occasion. For example, a spooky costume contest on Halloween, best Christmas tree selfie contest, and so on… you get the idea. Now, apart from the holidays, you can use other occasions such as a hike in sales, company milestones, etc. to run a contest as well. In fact, whenever you feel like your traffic is getting low you can come up with new things to celebrate just to keep the ball rolling.

Online Contests Done Right

The frozen waffle brand, Eggo, made a brilliant contest on their Facebook page recently where they encouraged people to submit and vote for their favourite waffle recipes. The prize: $10,000. The result: tons of branded user-generated content that was shared over social media and beyond. Dove is yet another brand that knows its customers pretty well, as seen in their fill-in-the-blank photo contest which was a major success. In short, people had to upload a picture of their friend, fill in their name and add two things that made them beautiful. The reward? Becoming the next face of Dove. Hence, they not only succeeded in engaging their audience but also succeeded in effectively humanizing their brand.

All in all, it doesn’t end there. Now that you’ve thought of an idea for your contest, you still need to promote it over the internet. Maybe write a few hashtags, create a YouTube video, and get the word out. Let us know how did your online contest go in the comment section below!

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