3 common mistakes when running online competitions

Competitions are a great way to engage your audience, build your list, curate fantastic user generated content and even fundraise.

However, if not done properly the results can fall flat.

Over the many years we have been hosting online competitions, we often see the same mistakes being made time and again. I’m going to share the 3 most common mistakes made when running an online competition so you can hopefully avoid them.

What’s the actual goal?

I know this sounds simple and you may be saying to yourself, “You cannot be serious!” however this is one of the most common mistakes we see when discussing a new campaign with a prospective client.

What’s worse is that this mistake can have the most negative impact on your result. Setting clear and quantifiable goals will help define the whole premise and structure for the competition.

For example, if your goal is to attain leads and build your contact list you should quantify how many leads you need, what type of contacts you want to attain and what the potential impact these leads would have for your business. The business impact could include the conversion rate for these leads to perform a follow up action such as purchasing your products, attending follow up events, etc.

This can then help you define your budget, the type of submissions and information you want to collect, where you need to promote it and what type of prize will incentivise the quantity and quality of the participants you are trying to attract.

It will also enable you to quantify the success of the competition to achieve funding for the next event or identify opportunities for improvement.

You call that a Plan?

I’ve got to say that this one is my favourite and is commonly overlooked. What I mean by a plan is thinking about how the whole operational aspects of the competition.

For example:

  • When do you want the contest to start?