By Emily Zurrer
So you’re running out of new ways to keep your Facebook page fun and engaging, and you know there has to be another way to make your page a gateway to sales. What’s next?
I would suggest a Facebook contest. Here’s why…
Facebook contests provide an enormous range of benefits and an excellent return on investment. To start, they give people a reason to connect with your page, and if the prize or incentive is a great one, they’ll share it with their friends too. More eyes on the prize, literally, is a good thing.
Second, the customers that enter your contest are interactively engaging with your brand, which is very beneficial if you are trying to leave a memorable impression. (You are). People feel more connected to a brand if they invest some time in it.
Not only that, contests are a cool way to keep readers excited. A single Facebook contest can give you the same value for your time as dozens of pieces of content, which saves you a ton of time and effort. This can be a breath of fresh air when you are feeling inundated with blog posts and other inbound techniques.
So, how do you implement a successful lead-generating Facebook contest? I’ve got five things for you to try:
1) Offer a prize that fulfills a need for your targeted customers. An actual need.
If you’ve read any sort of marketing contest “how-to” post before, you’ll know that offering a gimmicky prize like an iPad is a big no-no. I repeat….do not give away a free iPad.
In order to really entice targeted customers to engage in your contest, the prize has to be something that relates to your brand. This is key. If the prize is something generic or completely unrelated, the customer may lose sight of what your company is really all about. Plus, you may be getting entries from people who have zero interest in your brand.
An iPad or any other general prize may provide you with thousands of random entries, but it won’t necessarily get you more leads. And the goal here is to generate leads…
Think of something brand related that will offer your customers a value that they haven’t been offered before. Their incentive to continue along the contest process will be much greater than if it is something that has been done too many times before.
Here are a few ideas:
• A free one-year subscription of your service
• A free lifetime subscription of your service
• A gift card for your product or service (this is a great way to weed out anyone that isn’t actually interested in your product or service)
• A product offering (this is an easy way to engage customers with a fun activity like “Name our Product” or “Caption This”)
• A complimenting additive to your service (i.e. A/B testing, a free consultation etc.)
￼This is a good example of Zatista giving away a prize that has everything to do with their company – a gift card. Great visuals and ease of presentation, too!
2) Make sure your written copy is clear and concise, i.e. short and simple!.
The longer your contest takes to explain, the greater the chance is that people will move on before entering. No bueno. Generally a person will leave a webpage in 10-20 seconds, which really isn’t a very long time to convince them to stay on your page and learn more about your product or contest.
Nowadays, our attention spans have gotten shorter than ever. In fact as of 2016, human attention span on average is said to last only 8 seconds. That’s a whole second shorter than a goldfish!
(Wait….are you still reading this???)
So to that end, your content has to be short enough to explain in seven seconds or captivating enough to hold a viewer’s attention past the eight second threshold. Either that, or you should start marketing to goldfish.
Which brings me to my next point…
3) Use visually appealing photos (or even a short compelling video).
Since we have such a small amount of time to convince a prospect to engage on our page, we have to be tactical with our presentation. According to Hubspot, researchers found that coloured visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.
Great images can sometimes be hard to find, but an image or video that relates to your brand or contest is certainly better than no visual at all. Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images, according to Hubspot.
Simply put, visuals are important. But keep in mind that an amazing photo isn’t necessarily going to lock up a potential customer if it has nothing to do with your company.
￼Here Wishpond uses an eye-catching image that is directly related to their contest and service.
4) Make sure your contest page is easy to navigate.
If your contest page isn’t easy to navigate, users are going to give up pretty easily (8 second attention spans..).
Work with your UX designers to ensure that your contest is easy to maneuver for even the un-savviest of users. There should be a minimum number of steps before the customer is able to enter. Less is more here.
5) Provide an entry form that isn’t unnecessarily long.
Because the goal of this campaign is to lock up leads, you don’t want to deter any potential users by trying to squeeze out unnecessary info from them in the entry form. If the user has made it to the call-to-action – the contest entry form in this case – you are now on the final home stretch to generating a lead. The absolute worst thing that could happen at this point is that your form asks too many questions or looks too long, scaring off your potential customer. You’ve worked too hard to get to this step and lose your lead!
For example: If you’re not planning on calling the entrants, don’t bother asking for a phone number. You can probably do without their middle name and job title, too.
Bonus idea: Try giving a gift away to every participant when the contest is over as a “thank you for entering.” Getting something as a surprise always feels awesome – kind of like finding a $5 bill in your jacket pocket or getting an extra nugget in your Mcnuggets (or a Timbit in your 10-pack). A “thank-you” gift is another opportunity to make customers feel more connected to the brand, and it can be something as small as 10% off.
Ok, let’s review. Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself when creating your next Facebook contest:
• Is your prize both lucrative and brand relative?
• Is your content simple and clear?
• Did you use a visually appealing image? (or even a short compelling video)
• Is the contest page easy to navigate?
• Is your entry form quick and easy to fill out?
Contests can be a great way to start a long-term relationship with new customers, or nurture the existing ones you already have. As marketers, we are always searching for awesome ways to generate leads and inch customers toward the end of the sales funnel and onto that sweet, sweet conversion. If done properly, Facebook contests can easily be your gateway to sales. Good luck!