Online contests are pushing the boundaries of creativity. We’ve been seeing more and more companies upping the stakes on their contests lately, offering bigger and cooler prizes and driving contestants to do crazier things.

But make no mistake:  there’s a methodology in place to control and oversee this madness. Behind every successful contest there’s a experienced campaign manager who knows how to channel the buzz and convert it into more traffic and more sales.

Take Tourism Queensland’s “Best Job in the World” contest, for example. During their brilliant and much discussed contest they managed to gain an exposure of approximately 3 billion through media coverage and increased sales by 17%!

This example demonstrates the true power of a good online contest. The good news? The next great contest can be yours. Just make sure you stick to the following guidelines:

  • Make it about YOUR company-Make sure there’s a strong connection between the contest and your products / slogan / logo or brand.
  • Give it a KILLER title – Make it catchy and remember it needs to look good on a status line, a tweet or an email subject.
  • DON’T be cheap – Want users to give their best? Make it worthwhile and offer a real reward.
    Hot Gizmos and gadgets usually do the work. Remember the better your prize (compared to the required effort), the more participation you’ll get.
  • Sharing is caring – Help participants and viewers to promote the contest on their own social channels. Assistthem with spreading the word by providing easy means to share the contest with their friends.

Always keep in mind that People LOVE to get free stuff, contests are an exciting social activity and online contests are good for your business. Need some inspiration? Here are five great examples of how to crack the formula and create a successful contest.  “Copy from the best”, as they say.

Wix Was Here Contest

Facebook competition

Run by: Website builder
On: Facebook
Concept: Snap a photo of the ‘Wix Was Here’ badge anywhere in the world
Prize: Most popular picture wins a trip for two to New York; Most creative picture wins a Samsung Galaxy Tablet

Donkey Kong Country Returns Sweepstake

online competition

Run by: Nintendo
On: Twitter
Concept: Participants tweet according to weekly instructions
Prize: Limited edition red Wii console and a copy of Donkey Kong Country

ChapStick’s Sing Your Love Video Contest

Online Contest

Run by: ChapStick
On: YouTube
Concept: Make a video of yourself singing a love song for ChapStick
Prize: 1st place wins $5,000; 2 runners up get $1,000 each; 10 finalists get one year supply of ChapStick

Blog Your Way to the North Pole Contest

Online competition

Run by: Quark Expeditions
On: Designated site
Concept: Write a short post about why you deserve to be the North Pole blogger
Prize: A $54,000 cruise to the North Pole

Express Your Love Giveaway

Online Competition

Run by:
On: Company’s blog
Concept: Write a love-related comment on blog post
Prize: $250 Visa gift card

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