5 Ways How to Run an Online Contest That Will Drive Traffic to Your Website

Finally, you’ve taken the time to create your very own, unique landing page. What now? 

Well, now you get to drive some traffic toward it; otherwise, it’s just going to stand there like a lemon.

Come to think of it, there are actually many ways you can achieve this goal — influencer marketing, guest blogging, providing assistance on various forums, etc. Yet, all of these take up a lot of time and resources. 

So, what is the most optimal (and fastest) way to get organic traffic that converts — you host online contests.

Here are some five ways to do just that:

1. Choose the Right Type of Contest

An online contest encompasses many things — from simple giveaways to promotional events and competitions. As such, choosing the right type will determine the way you engage your audience. Now, ask yourself this:

Does your particular brand allow some room for creativity? If so, can you utilize it?

If the answer to both of these questions was a resounding ‘yes,’ you can probably make things more interesting by involving a healthy dose of creativity — or basing your competition on a particular skill — rather than relying on random chance to pick your winner/s. That way you will end up with a lot more user-generated content that will effectively engage others and draw them into the competition. 

Also, let the jury decide which contestant deserves to win — this will allow contestants to ‘campaign’ for themselves, expanding your reach in the process. 

Some engaging contest ideas include tag a friend, photo contests, best comment and caption competitions, and so on.

2. Promote Your Contest on Social Media

A neat contest idea and awesome prizes will be for nought if nobody hears about it first. So, start conversations with followers on social platforms to grab their attention!

Twitter, in particular, is exceptional for these kinds of engagements. Simply post a thread with interesting life hacks, some sound advice, or expertise and drop a link to your contest. This will further incentivize them to read the full story on your website, boosting traffic and converting onlookers into prospective contest participants. In addition, use the proper hashtags and add people to conversations to get the discussion going, and followers flowing.

According to one survey, social media accounts for some 25% of all site visits and even though Facebook has slightly dropped in popularity, Instagram and Pinterest have risen to take its place (almost).

Overall, you need to establish your authority on these platforms if you want people to actually click on your links and visit your website with some genuine interest (instead of just bouncing back). Therefore, merely grabbing their attention isn’t enough; you need to offer some real value for it to work. 

3. Offer Incentives

With great contests come great prizes. To really incentivize your followers and customers to join in on the fun, you need to offer some real value in return. After all, your main goal is not just to drive traffic to your website but to convert as well. This warrants some awesome rewards that are not only practical in nature but can really be of use to your participants. 

For instance, offering monetary rewards in the form of a neat universal gift card will attract more contestants than a niche prize ever could. What’s more, if you award these to your loyal customers they will repay you in kind by buying your products and services (with it), making this — quite literally — a gift that keeps on giving. 

4. Leverage the Use of Visuals 

Visual content is king. According to YouTube, their users watch a billion hours of video content on their platform each day. In 2017, Snapchat generated some 3.5 million photo messages a day, reports Statista. Today, with the rise of Instagram, the stats are probably even higher. 

Now, out of all these visually-based social media platforms, Pinterest is probably your best bet at generating traffic for your contest (and your website). In a nutshell, Pinterest is like a mini-search engine with cool pictures; the perfect place to promote your contest. The secret to ‘untapping’ its full potential — create amazing infographics. This will not only generate traffic from this platform but you can also repurpose the images to accompany your Facebook and Twitter posts as well!

Additionally, if you’re good at making video content, you should definitely try making a promo video for your contest; in general visual instructions are 3x better than written instructions. Just take a look at Tasty and the success they’ve had on Facebook, for instance.

5. Wrap Things Up

A lot of brands miss out on the opportunity to generate some additional traffic at the close of the contest. For example, one way to accomplish this feat is to announce the winner of your contest during a live streaming session hosted on your website. Sending follow-up emails to your subscribers — where you name the winners and offer them a chance to read the full story on your website — is yet another.  

All in all, you need to capitalize on the moment — everyone is extremely eager (and curious) to find out who the winner is. 

My name is David Webb and I am a Sydney-based business consultant and a writer. I studied business management at the University of Sydney. I love to travel. Couple of years back, I was traveling through Europe and AU, working in the online environment, living a digital nomad lifestyle. I also love to write, mostly about finances, digital marketing and business strategies.