Ten Steps For Planning Brand Contests

Contests are an effective way to engage audiences and create awareness for your brand. Some of the recent contests feature an interactive experience design that engages audiences within a context creating conversations and engaging audiences to win prizes or enter sweepstakes. The Contest design varies depending on your Contest objectives.

Here are some Contest design ideas that can help you meet your campaign objectives. Quizzes and Polls can help you increase awareness and engagement whereas sweepstakes can help you expand your reach. Depending on the overall campaign objectives you can decide the contest objective.



Verizon Wireless USA ran a campaign for Star Wars Day on Social Media, with the contest design built to engage audiences with an Interactive experience that gave clues to Capture the Droids based on a mission, on Twitter.

The video post on Facebook generated nearly 450,000 views and the hashtag #CaptureTheDroid generated over 25 million impressions with Twitter as the lead channel and iOS devices as the lead engagement platform.



Verizon Wireless campaign engaged audiences with a mission of Capturing the Droid with clues that were given on Twitter  until the end of the mission. Star Wars Day was an ideal theme as the conversation was already live with the release of Star Wars trailer and Verizon Wireless contest design was suited to leverage the conversation in a relevant context.

Twitter Feed For the Contest







Ten Steps For Planning Your Contest


Set Your Contest Goals

Start with defining your goals. Choose a goal that is closest to the metric that  you are trying to achieve results for. Is your goal Brand Awareness, Brand affinity, Conversions, Increased Web Traffic, Obtaining User Data or Increased Reach and Frequency or Impressions.

Pick a Contest Design

Pick the Contest Design that works for your Campaign goals based on the key metric.

Determine the reason you are running the contest. Is it for a new product that you would like to build awareness for or are you looking at engaging audiences, introducing a limited time offer or would like to build affinity for your brand with an existing campaign.

Decide Your Calls To Action

Select Your Calls To Action. Define what would you like the user to do after interacting with your post.

Define Contest Targeting

Define your Target Audience. Who are the key audiences for your Contest. Depending on your goal you can define your Target.

Decide on Contest Messaging

Decide on your contests’ key message or Takeaways for the consumer, this will flow from the campaign rationale. If the campaign rationale requires that your consumers think about your brand in a certain way, the key messaging in your contest should be designed to deliver the message.

Articulate the keywords For Discovery

Articulate the keywords and Hashtags that are mandatory for your campaign discovery. Build the same in your messaging.

Choose Contest Tactics and Channels

Choose the right tactics for your contest, the tactics depend on your budget your brand  and contest design. If you plan to go with a contest that requires User Generated data the a suitable tactic for your brand will require to create a buzz for your campaign. This could mean engaging a social media celebrity, co-brandng or any buzzworthy posts that can make your contest go viral.

Choose the channels that you would use to promote your contest and  the channels where you would host your contest. Include the Terms and Conditions link and host the link on your brand’s site or micro site. Depending on the channel determine the key communication elements such as “Facebook Video post” and “Twitter Post”. Decide on Organic Social Media and Paid Social Media elements. Choose the right creative sequence for maximum impact. Create a flow chart of messaging for different use case scenarios

Decide Your Contest Budget

Your contest budget will cover for the contest design cost, cost for promotion and distribution on social media, depending on tactics and paid media as well as any creative and web development contest. If you are using a software vendor, you have to build in the cost for the same.

Measure With Metrics

Determine the metrics that you are trying to achieve growth for include the key metrics in order of priority i.e. conversions, visits, Engagement, Interactions.

Collaborate and Roll

Bring in all stakeholders up to speed with the contest details, agree on all the Terms and conditions and Brand guidelines , define the critical success factors and the barriers to success and how to overcome the same.