If your business has recently decided to hold a contest as your next marketing tactic, you need to prepare yourself for the journey. Holding a contest involves a great deal of time and effort, and it is something that constantly needs to be managed.
If you have never held a contest for your business before, you may be unsure what to expect or how to prepare yourself for your upcoming endeavor and how to manage online contest. One of your biggest tasks is going to be managing your contest, and if you don’t adequately prepare yourself or your team, you’re going to find it difficult. Instead of risking the threat of a bad contest experience, use the following tips to help you better manage your contest and ensure that it is and remains successful.
Read Carefully if you want to Manage Online Contest
Know your goals.
No company holds a contest just for the sake of holding a contest—there is an end goal that they want to achieve. If you want to manage your contest, you need to know what this goal is. Do you simply want to generate awareness about your new business? Do you want to increase traffic to your website? Do you want to gain more fans or followers on social media? Knowing your goal helps you create the best possible plan of attack for your contest and allows you to ensure that all of your efforts during the duration of the contest remain on track.
Make sure you’re legally legit.
Believe it or not, there are rules and guidelines that need to be followed in order to hold a contest. Each state has different laws that you need to follow, permits you need to hold or paperwork that needs to be filed in order to hold a contest and give away a prize. If you’re using an online platform to host your contest, the website may have certain guidelines you need to follow in order to use their site.
You also need to make sure that you’re legally covered on your own end. Make sure that you carefully draw up detailed rules regarding your contest and have them easily accessible to all participants. If possible, have a lawyer review your contest rules before the start of your contest to ensure that you’re providing all of the correct information and that your company is covering all the necessary topics.
Prepare your technology.
If you are holding a contest that involves technology, whether uploading submissions through your website, emailing submissions directly to your company or even using an SMS contest, make sure that the technology on your end will be able to handle a huge jump in traffic. Make sure that your servers and Internet connections are all qualified and prepared to handle a quick increase in traffic. This will eliminate any crashing or technological issues that may arise, which will all cause frustration from those who are trying to participate.
Prepare your staff.
Along with your technology, your company is going to get an onslaught of activity during the contest. People will send emails, make phone calls, write letters and turn to social media to discuss issues they are having, ask questions about the contest and to just learn more about it. If you don’t prepare your staff for this increase in interest, you’re going to find yourself with many unhappy customers.
If possible, make sure that you increase your staff support on customer service phone, email and social lines. Try and generate shift work at least for the duration of the contest so that your participants can seek answers or guidance through any channel at any time of the day. Make sure that all of your staff members know about the contest and have access to the rules in case they are required to assist a user. The more prepared you can make your staff, the better you will be overall.
Have your prizes before the contest starts.
Before you start your contest, you need to not only know what your big prize is going to be, but you should also have it in your company’s possession. This way, you will eliminate any last minute issues, leaving you taking an extra long time getting the prize to its rightful owner, or in a worse case, having to replace the grand prize with something else.
It’s also a good idea to determine the winner of your contest as close to the end of the contest as possible and share the news publicly as soon as possible. Once the contest is over, you will be bombarded with phone calls, emails and social media posts inquiring about who won. If you can get this information out quickly, you can free up some space on your servers.
Hire a contest administration company.
A contest administration company can lend a hand in managing your contest. Some companies don’t realize the amount of work involved in running a contest, and they find themselves understaffed and on the verge of a breakdown. If you don’t have the manpower to handle all the managerial aspects of your contest, enlist the help of the professionals who do this for a living.
A contest can be a fun and exciting way for your business to generate interest and traffic, if you Manage Online Contest very carefully. Make sure that you use these tips to help prepare yourself manage in the best possible way.
Jarrod Smith teaches executives on best practices for managing sweepstakes campaigns. Jarrod is also known for his creative work in engaging customers via social media.