Today, reader engagement is almost more important that the number of visitors who show up daily to read your blog. How do you encourage them to become…or keep them…engaged? Try a contest. Today, freelance writer Beth Bauer (@JourneyofBethB) offers five contest ideas sure to move your audience to action.
If you need to generate some fresh enthusiasm about your blog, and let’s face it, who doesn’t, contests are a great way to do it. Most people are competitive by nature; therefore, they have a difficult time not throwing their hat in the ring. Feed those competitive juices by running a great contest that encourages involvement in your blog. Here are some great contest ideas to keep your blog audience engaged.
If you’re wondering about this strategy, substantial evidence exists for the effectiveness of a good blog contest. Tumba recently polled 896 people about how they interact with contests, and the results are compelling. The results of the survey show that contests strongly influence the audiences purchasing decisions for three out of four people, and those same people say that they are more likely to recommend products or services of brands that hold competitions. What’s more, 84.5% of people that regularly enter social media contests still continue to share content from that brand long after the contest ends.
Prizes and Giveaways
Before you run a contest, come up with a prize worthy of getting people to act. However, you might be surprised how something as simple as a t-shirt can get those competitive juices flowing. Some of the most popular prizes include books (about your specific topic), free consultations (from you), a class or workshop, free advertising on your blog, and of course, everyone’s favorite prize–money or a gift card.
Run a Poll
Facebook is a great place to run a poll. Ask a simple question with three to five choices, and then tell your audience that you will randomly choose a winner from anyone that responds to, and shares, your poll. This type of contest is super for gaining useful information, so make your question a good one. People from every walk of life love to share their opinions.
A scavenger hunt provides another effective contest. It’s a great way to get people to read more of the posts on your site. Go into your website or posts and hide a small graphic, such as key, an animal, anything to do with your niche, and ask people to message you with the location of the treasure. Then, choose a winner from those that found the treasure. Remember to keep it simple though. If a contest get’s too complicated, you’ll lose people quickly.
Everyone likes to share photos, and amateur photography can sometimes be surprisingly good. Run a contest asking for images that have something to do with your niche. If you run a travel blog, ask your followers for their best travel images. If you run a blog about pets, ask for funny pet photos. Also, if you have a website about cooking, ask them to submit their favorite original recipe. Get creative and watch your audience expand!
Twitter and Instagram are great platforms for asking a trivia question. Make the question interesting and not too easy. Also, be sure it has something to do with your topic. You can also ask a trivia question about your specific content. For example, if you write a relationship blog and you’re married, ask a question only your readers might know, such as “Where did we get engaged?” or “Where did we go on our honeymoon?”
Important Things To Remember
A poorly managed contest can do more harm than good, so think it out and be careful to follow your own rules. Run the details by a friend before you actually post the contest to make sure it makes sense and is easy to follow.
Be sure to keep the rules simple and clear. Choose a deadline, and stick to it.
Always make sure you deliver what’s promised and make a big deal about the winner. Show a picture of them and mention them by name if possible. Of course, you’ll want to get their permission first.
Everyone likes to have fun. Contests are a blast, and people usually not only enter them but talk about them and share them with family and friends. A well-run contest is an inexpensive way to increase your readership and engage your audience.
Remember to encourage your audience to share your posts and get other people involved. Your loyal followers will love it, and you’ll likely gain more followers in the process.
Also, make sure you track your results on Google Analytics and apply what you learn to your next contest. You’ll likely want to run another!
What type of contest have you succesfully run to engage your readers? Tell me in a comment below.
About the Author
Beth Bauer is a freelance writer, travel blogger, yoga instructor, and entrepreneur currently working on her third novel. She has traveled to over 20 countries in just the last two years and enjoys life as a digital nomad. She is originally from the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A., and when she’s home lives on the Long Beach Peninsula with her dog, Ozzie.
Photo courtesy of qimono / Pixabay.com