In recent months, I’ve spent countless hours working with bloggers on contests and giveaways. Some have been great successes, others miserable failures. Mostly though the failures, I’ve learned a thing or two.
In the interest of sharing these lessons, here are six important questions to ask before running a contest or giveaway with a blogger:
What’s the goal? Simple enough. However, it’s from whence all else flows. Do you want exposure, Web traffic, a following on social media platforms, or something else?
Why this blogger? It may be that you want to cozy up to someone because of the sheer size of his or her audience. There are other valid reasons, too. Perhaps a blogger has a small(ish) audience, but is highly influential with readers. Perhaps the blogger publishes content on several media properties, and a contest on that blog is the first step to scoring coverage in those other outlets. Whatever you do, make sure the “why” is laid out clearly.
How do people enter the contest, and how does the entry mechanism serve your goal? The method of entry is perhaps the most important part (and easiest to screw up) ]of running a giveaway with a blogger. If you want Web traffic, ask a question whose answer is only found on your website, thus forcing entrants to go there to find it. If it’s Facebook “likes” you seek, make sure the blogger clearly states this and links to your brand page.
Are there ways people can get extra entries? Most bloggers will build an extra entry mechanism into contests. This can range from following the sponsor on additional social media platforms, to signing up for an e-newsletter, to answering specific trivia questions. You get the point. Extra entry mechanisms are a great way to generate more value out of the exercise. Ask about them.
How is the blogger tracking entries? There are a number of popular contest management apps out there. The tool the blogger uses is less important than the fact that he or she has a system in place. Make sure the blogger does, so you don’t end up looking bad.
Who sends the winner the prize? Most bloggers will let the contest sponsor send the prize(s) directly to the winner. This is the only way to fly. Cut out intermediaries who might slow things down and possibly damage your reputation.
You probably have things to add. Please do.
A version of this story first appeared on the blog Proper Propaganda.