How to promote a campaign competition?

One thing that most advertising agencies are really good at is creating campaign microsites. Most microsites are created to support an offline campaign and don’t have enough of a media investment to drive adequate traffic to them. I like to refer to the microsites as islands and the media as bridges – without the bridges the island just doesn’t get enough traffic.

To try and spike traffic to the microsite (over a short period of time), a promotion or competition is often used. One question I have about using a competition to drive traffic is whether or not the competition is being taken up by the target audience or if it is just the ‘prize pigs’ that hunt the Internet for competitions.

Last year, we placed a competition on the Telstra Spread the Good Stuff website targeting a younger audience (Gen Y – 18 – 24yrs) where everyone received a prize for playing a game. The competition generated a lot of traffic with minimal advertising investment and to see if we were talking to the right audience, we contacted some of the major prize winners to find out more about them. Most people we contacted were well outside the target audience – women aged 40yrs+ with children in the target audience, so how did they hear about the site and competition? From all of the prize and competition sites that list competitions, promotions or free offers discovered online.

These sites are great for driving traffic, but not sure if they drive the right (qualified) traffic. A list of these sites are detailed below.

Competition, contest, freebie Australian online communities:

Submission-based competition websites:

General interest communities – receptive to competitions, contests and freebies:


These sites are great at driving traffic, but not always the right traffic.

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14 Responses to How to promote a campaign competition?

  1. Yes, all too true – competitions as rule generate a very narrow band of traffic. I’ve had success building a story around the prizes. Keeping the description in the competition text very brief, with as many links as possible to information on the prizes – news stories, reviews, educational material (how to, what is, etc).

    And just lately, I’ve hit upon a method of using the competition eligibility as a list builder.

  2. I was thinking about the comment I left, and thought it might have been somewhat removed from ‘campaign competitions’. But, the point I wanted to make, is that particularly in a game of skill competition, there is the ability to impose certain requirements in the T&Cs. Being creative there could allow you to make the ‘wrong’ traffic more worthwhile.

  3. drilldown says:

    Hi. I think the problem is dealing with the traffic that’s coming though. You need to create ‘funnels’ that qualify that traffic. The funnel may have a few parts to it: asking for more information in a survey, putting more steps in the process, you need the users prove how specific to the segment you are targeting before they get through the final step of ‘winning’ prize (or entering the competition) . I wrote a little about this subject in my blog.

  4. drilldown says:

    apologies I made a slight grammatical mistake: need the users prove how specific *they are* to the segment you are targeting before they get through the final step of the ‘winning’ prize ..

  5. Pingback: The perils of running a web competition « Drill Down

  6. steve ogden-barnes says:

    I’m currently doing a Phd which is all about marketing decision making in relation to the use of promotional competitions – looks like design is often by consensus, and evaluation is often patchy, ie not much science involved!

  7. competitions says:

    Reality is that many people who enter competitions do it just for the prizes. It is a cheap way to build email optiin lists though.

  8. Generally competitions are a fantastic way to build email lists. It is true that there are hardcore compers that chase as many competitions as possible, however the vast majority of entrants will be regular people you through a varied methods have come across the competition and entered because either the prize or the competition interested them.

    I have found that there are ways to target your audience very easily by stating on the auctual competition entry page what the target is and that the competition is limited to them. (Placing it only in the T&C will generally be missed by most people)

    However if hard core compers do stumble over a competition they love, it will only help to create buzz for it as in todays world of social media they share it with both hard core compers and other friends alike. They can be the petrol on smaller campaigns to get things going.

    BTW, I own the most popular free competition site in Australia, would you mine adding it to your above list?

  9. Niemeier says:

    Thanks, this gave me some ideas for my own dandruff treatment

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