Marketing Ideas for Contest Promotion

Contest promotion can serve as an excellent option for marketers looking to promote their business. By running a contest promotion, you can attract new customers to your business while building a stronger relationship with current customers. There are a number of different ways you can go about promotional contests, so keep reading to learn some promotional marketing ideas.

Promotional Contests

You can use contest promotion to gain followers on your social media or even market a new product or service. Whether you already have a solid marketing plan in place or you are looking to build a marketing schedule, promotional contests can always make a great addition. Now, let’s go over what contest promotion is, why you should use it, how you should run it, and some digital promotion ideas.

What is a Contest Promotion?

Promotional contests can be defined as a popular marketing strategy used to build up a following on social media and keep engagement high. Building a larger following leads to more potential customers while high engagement makes sure your audience does not forget about you. Traditionally used on social media, different approaches like trivia, polls, and photo competitions, can help you boost your brand with social. Contest promotions are also sometimes called marketing contests. In addition to social media marketing, contests are a great way to get email addresses from your target audience and build your email list.

Why Use Contest Promotion

Promotional contests boost your engagement on social media. By increasing engagement, you will continue to attract a new audience while catering to your current audience. Higher engagement promotes your social media and we all know that social media is very important for attracting consumers.

Think about the brands you are loyal to. There are a number of reasons you might feel loyalty towards these brands. Maybe their products or services are functional and cheap, maybe your values align with theirs, or maybe you enjoy the customer experience. Regardless of your reasoning, surveys show that 75% of people believe businesses should use strategies to motivate brand loyalty. Contest promotions will spark higher engagement for your brand and fulfill the desire for brand loyalty strategies.

How to Run a Contest Promotion

Now you know all about the benefits of contest promotion and you feel ready to jump in and run a contest. If you want to increase your following and see your engagement skyrocket, follow these steps to run a contest promotion:

#1: Learn the Rules

Some federal and state laws as well as platform rules will impact the way you go about your contest promotion. If you are doing a giveaway promotion, you will want to do some research on the laws to make sure you do not run into any issues. Depending on the platform you use for your contest promotion, you might also have certain rules to follow.

Different social platforms will require you to follow their own rules. You may choose to run the contest promotion on your own website. On one hand, if you use your own website, you will have fewer rules to follow. On the other hand, you may not reach as large of an audience as you would have by using another platform.

#2: Set Your Goals

Contest promotion will certainly increase your engagement, but it can do much more for your brand. Decide on what goals you may want to achieve through your content promotion. Setting SMART goals can help your business achieve high levels of success. If you just released a new product or service, you may want to draw attention to that. If you are not sure how your audience perceives your brand, set the goal of identifying your brand perception from your audience.

black and white typewriter on green textile

#3: Pick an Incentive

Some of your audience might be interested in your promotional contest just for the sake of participating. Other members of your audience will be looking for a prize or incentive when joining a contest. Decide if you want to give out a big prize, multiple smaller prizes, or even a shoutout to the winner(s). Do not be afraid to get creative when choosing the incentive.

#4: Decide Where to Host the Contest Promotion

You have ideas in mind for your promotional contest, but where will you host the contest? Different social media platforms work better for different types of competitions. If you want people to caption a photo for your competition, you may want to use Instagram. If you want people to comment, like, and share your posts, you can look into using Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Additionally, you can create a page on your website for the competition. What is your promotion design? One option is to have people enter the competition through social media and look at the results on your website. Another option could be to host the competition completely on your website and share the link on social media to attract attention.

#5: Choose How Your Audience Will Enter

Depending on the type of contest you run, you will have people enter in different ways. If you just want engagement for your contest, let people know they must like, comment, follow, or share your post. If you want people to submit entries, decide where you will have them submit entries and let them know in the contest rules. Many third-party applications exist to help you run a promotional contest. These applications can give a you place to run the contest, help you organize it, and even help you gain information about your audience.

Do not be afraid to ask your audience for information such as contact information or information relevant to your business. Be wary of how personal your questions are and how much you ask for. Personal information such as an address or payment information may deter your audience from joining. Also, asking too many questions can turn them away from joining as most people will want to quickly enter the contest and move on with their day.

#6: Implement and Market Your Promotional Contest

Now you are ready to get your promotional contest out there. Invite your audience to join the contest and promote it on all relevant platforms. Even if you run your contest on just one social media platform, invite your audiences on other platforms to enter. Include information and rules about the promotional contest so your audience knows exactly what they are entering.

#7: End the Promotional Contest

Choose how the contest ends. Depending on the type of contest you ran, you will select a winner or multiple winners at random or based on fair judgment. Let the winners know about the results and make sure to give them their prize.

#8: Post-Contest Engagement

Never miss a good opportunity for more engagement! You may have let the winners know they won, but let everyone else know too! You can create more content by making posts about the winners, list some runner-ups, or even stir up some interest by hinting at future competitions. One of your goals of the competition should be increasing awareness so take every opportunity you can to keep your audience engaged with your brand.

Contest Promotion Ideas

Great, you know all about contest promotions and how they can help you increase brand engagement. Now, let’s get into some contest promotion ideas! You can choose from a whole bunch of social media contest ideas and examples. Here are some product promotion ideas you can use:

Engagement Contests

Any type of promotional contest should improve your brand engagement. In fact, you may choose to have engagement serve as a direct entry for your contest. You can choose to have your audience enter the promotional contest by liking, commenting, sharing, or following your account and posts. This will help social media algorithms promote your content for organic growth.

Best Caption

A contest for the best caption can serve as another promotional contest idea. By allowing your audience the opportunity to caption your content, you use your audience to produce co-creational marketing. This will get your audience more engaged in your brand and help build loyalty. Additionally, some submissions may lead to future ideas for even more co-creational content.


Games may be a quick and easy way to increase your brand engagement. Your audience will enjoy this form of engagement and will not have to worry about investing too much of their time into the promotional contest. You can use some games like spot the differences between two pictures. If you have a large following, you can use a comment in succession game where the first person to comment specific comments in uninterrupted succession wins.

Those are just some examples but many more opportunities exist for contest promotion ideas. Once you have chosen the type of contest you want to run, you may want to come up up with giveaway promotion ideas.

several silver and gold trophies on wooden surface

Giveaway Promotion Ideas

Giveaway promotion ideas are one surefire way to increase engagement through contest promotion. If done properly, giveaway promotions can be one step you take to build a go-to marketing strategy. Depending on your business, you will have different options for giveaway promotions.

Prizes for Giveaways

Giveaways attract the attention of both your current audience as well as a new audience. Through using promotional giveaways to promote your business, you will surely improve your social media engagement. One easy option for prize giveaways includes giving away your product or service to the winner(s). If you decide you do not want to give away your own product or service, you can partner with another company to provide prizes. Additionally, you can give away prizes to help promote your brand such as brand stickers or shirts.

Monthly or Weekly Giveaway Promotions

If you want your audience coming back to your social media or your own website, you can offer consistent giveaways or even free samples. Monthly or weekly giveaway promotions can provide one form of contest promotion your audience looks forward to. Many members of your audience will want to keep coming back so they can win that special prize you give away on a consistent basis. Also, if you include sharing and tagging other users as a rule within your promotional contest, you will constantly have your audience reaching out to others to continue to grow your following.

These are just a few sales promotion ideas for your marketing campaigns, You could also try flash sales, offering free shipping, influencer marketing, a loyalty program, or advertising your products on search engines. SEO Design Chicago can help you come up with marketing promotion ideas to help you build a group of loyal customers. Contact us today to begin some marketing promos!


  • What are good contest ideas?
  • How do you promote a contest?
  • How do you attract people to join a contest?
  • What is a contest marketing strategy?
  • Are giveaways a good marketing strategy?

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