Running a retail contest is a great way to drive results and engage with your key customers.

If you want your promotional giveaway to be successful, though, consider these 5 retail contest tips that can make the process more efficient and improve outcomes.

5 Tips for Running a Successful Retail Contest

1. Set Your Goals for the Contest

The first thing you should do when you set up a retail contest is establish your brand goals.

Are you looking to grow your social media fanbase, support a seasonal sales calendar, or introduce a new product? Other goals include boosting online sales or developing an online database. These goals are very different, and the way you set up your contest marketing should cater specifically to your objective.

For example, running a contest on your Instagram account is a great way to boost your following. According to Tailwind, over 90% of Instagram posts that have more than 1,000 comments are related to a giveaway!

On the other hand, if your objective is to increase your online database, having users interact with your social media post may not be the best way to gather information. Instead, you may need them to fill out a form or subscribe to an email list.

Working with a marketing agency can help you pin-down your goals and develop a strategy to achieve them!

2. Choose Your Contest Medium and Functionality

Based on your goals, you should select a contest medium and functionality that will best facilitate the retail contest. You must also decide if you will run it on an exclusive platform, or across multiple.

For example, if you are trying to boost product sales, you may consider running it in-store (POS) – or perhaps you can run it online.

When it comes to functionality, there are three types of social media contests you can try:

  • Database: Drive consumers to opt-in to marketing materials
  • Timeline: Stay within social media to boost engagement and increase following
  • User-Generated: Increase engagement and gather original content

Some other unique contest marketing options include a text-to-win platform or one that requires users to scan a QR code on the product packaging.

Again, the best practice is to partner with a contest marketing agency who will work in tandem with your team to create a unique, attention-grabbing giveaway that gets results.

3. Develop a Timeline to Launch and Promote

Next, you must develop a timeline to launch and promote your contest. You must organize your content marketing strategy before you launch the giveaway or risk failing the consumer experience.

Consider using a downloadable social media calendar that will let you plot out your giveaway and make staying on track simple. This can also help you determine how long the contest will run!

As you develop this timeline, be sure to have a dedicated ad spend so you can maximize visibility and participation! Make sure that you target your ads around key markets and relevant retailers and use technology like geofencing to engage with customers at the right place, at the right time.

4. Get Creative with your Content and Prizes

One of the most important things on your consumer promotions checklist is to get creative with your prizes and marketing. Remember that the reward for entering the giveaway needs to be enticing – it must pass the “Who Cares” test and be relevant for your target audience!

For example, if your brand is launching a new coffee flavor, consider a fancy coffee maker as the prize to keep the association tight.

Make your visuals enticing, and only use high-quality images. The more appealing your imagery, the higher the participation rate will be.

5. Capture Data and Remarket to your Audience

Whenever a customer enters your contest, use this as an opportunity to capture their information – name, email, phone, etc. When doing this, provide an option that lets them opt-in to your newsletters or email blasts and follow up with a promo code or special offer.

As you create these segmented audiences that represent your ideal consumer, be sure to use retargeting and remarketing tactics after the retail contest to improve your odds of transforming them into customers!

(Bonus Tip) Add Consumer Promotions Specialists to your Team!

If you want to make the most out of your retail contest, partner with a marketing agency like Cliffedge Marketing.

Their experts become an extension of your existing team and can help you handle everything from strategy to execution, so you can focus on running your business instead. 

To learn more about impactful contest marketing strategies, get started with some free advice from the shopper marketing experts at Cliffedge Marketing.
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