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How to Use Contests to Promote Your Business

 

If you're looking for fun ways to promote your business, you should consider holding some fun contests or sweepstakes. Contests can help get customers involved and provide them with incentive to support your business. Follow these steps to plan a contest which is beneficial to your business and fun for your customers.

Step 1: Plan a Budget

Running a basic contest shouldn't cost you too much - and in any case, you don't want to spend more than you can expect to regain. Consider the current state of your business and decide how much money you are willing to put towards funding a contest. If you are having a sweepstakes or drawing where people purchase items to gain entry, you may be able to fund the contest entirely off the sales you make. However, if you are holding some type of contest where no purchase is necessary, the expense will have to come out of your own pocket.

Step 2: Brainstorm Ideas

Sit down with a pen and paper and write down some concepts for contests. You could hold a sweepstakes, judge a coloring contest, offer a prize for the best idea for a new product, etc. The type of contest you choose should appeal to your target audience. If you make products for children, a coloring contest could be fun for everyone. For the older demographics, sweepstakes might be more appropriate. Consider the demographic you are trying to attract and that you currently serve, and come up with ideas that would appeal to them.

Step 3: Think of a Prize

The prize for your contest should be enticing enough to lure in new customers, but not so expensive that your expenses outweigh your gain. A good and commonly used idea is to offer the winner credit towards an item or service you offer. Since you would ordinarily be profiting from that item or service, the prize will cost you less but will still be valuable to the winner.

Step 4: Set Up the Contest

Once you have your idea and your prize figured out, it's time to actually set up the contest. You'll need a way to keep track of entries, a start and end date and time, and whatever other rules which might be associated with the type of contest you've chosen. Get all the logistics written down, and make a webpage (or a flyer, if you only work locally) which lays out the specifics.

Step 5: Promote the Contest

After everything's set up, you just have to spread awareness of your contest, and thus your store as well. Print flyers, buy pay-per-click advertising with extra budget money, update the descriptions of the items in your online store, email your previous customers, and do whatever else you can think of to make people aware of your contest.

By following these 5 steps, you can set up a successful contest to help promote your business.

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