Ten Steps For Planning Brand Contests


Honda Civic’s awesome trips Sweepstakes contest “Custom Honda Rides- Awesome Trips”, gives a chance to win a custom Honda Civic Sedan designed and autographed by Demi Lovato or a custom Honda Grom motorcycle designed and autographed by Nick Jonas, or a trip to Europe to meet Nick Jonas.


Contests can engage audiences with a theme or with a context increasing the interactions with your brand. In another example Kerastase, a popular Haircare brand encourages audiences to share their curls in a selfie contest, encouraging audience participation.


Ten Steps For Planning Brand 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. McDonald’s has introduced the contest with messaging centered around  a Special price Combo and launch of new “Strawberry Lemonade”.


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. If you are introducing a price off, build in the metrics for the new price or new launches.



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.




Five Content Marketing Ideas For Holiday Season


Generating awareness with existing fans and followers for new launches and campaigns that require users to interact with your products increases engagement and conversions. Highlighting offers with a call to action increases awareness, and brings in the required click-through rate. Create a sense of urgency with your messages.


Engage your audience with content ideas that resonate with them in the context. Offering a freebie during the holiday season deepens the emotional bond with your brand. Include images and content for seasonal packs.



Start a series that creates an ongoing engagement with shoppers that start shopping early. This can be done with Early bird offers and clever ways to prepare for seasonal celebrations. The type of content that works for different content Genre based on a study of over a million posts by Buzzsumo and the results you can expect by way of traffic generation varies. Choose the type of content that works for your category.


Start with User Generated Campaigns that are likely to generate participation.


Co-publishing content increases the chance of content discovery. Co-branding Content with publishers increases the engagement by nearly 8X.


Key Insights For Content Moments


According to AOL Advertising research for over 55,000 social interactions, there are eight different moments that define the content experience. Comprised of four different elements-Motivation, Emotion, Outcome and Topic, the eight different moments are the one that:

Inspire – Looking for fresh ideas, Impart Knowledge – Staying Updated, Lead To Discovery – Seeking answers or advice, Provide Comfort – Seeking assurance or Insight, Feel GoodFeeling relaxed, Entertain and Social Sharing.


Using these different moments  content experience offered by Brands can engage audiences through the buyer journey. For a meaningful content experience, Brands can create buzz for their products by linking it to an event and generating engagement with their presence at the event. Going a step further, Brands can create the content path for their consumers that can have an impact on brand performance throughout the funnel. Alexander Wang has gone a step further in the content journey rolling out different brand activation strategy for brands with a Pop-Up Truck for Adidas Originals and a Pop-In Online activation for Nordstrom.

Raising Awareness

Social Media Posts and Video on YouTube can raise awareness for new products that are linked to an event. Though the direct audience for an event may be limited in reach,   brands at an event can reach audiences that engage or follow the event conversation.


In a recent partnership of Adidas Originals and Alexander Wang, Alexander Wang announced a new look designed to make designer sportswear. Taking the look to a new level, Alexander Wang’s stark line up imbibes the fashion forward feel to Adidas’ sporting gear line-up. The activation is a Pop Up Truck where the users can follow the story on Snapchat and call to find out the next stop for the truck.

Connecting with the generation, Adidas Originals has curated the collection on Instagram and the blog on  Tumblr, with posts that showcase the look in visual posts.


Alexander Wang’s Twitter account posts further build on the look, with a Lookbook that captures the trends that are available in stores. Cross-promoting the event and launch of the new collection with Alexander Wang’s social media account, Adidas Originals has reached the social media followers of the designer.



Increasing Engagement

Nordstrom has showcased the work of Alexander Wang, with a Pop-In shop on Nordstrom, with posts on Instagram account that promotes the runway look for NYFW. The Pop-In Shop is a month-long fare that is curated by Olivia Kim, VP of Creative Projects for Nordstrom.


According to Yahoo News, “The collaboration will launch in nine stores as well as on nordstrom.com/pop, bringing items from the designer’s various product categories together for a more global look at his work. The store already carries Wang’s women’s wear, shoes, accessories, and handbags.

Among the items, Wang designed specifically for Pop-In@Nordstrom are sets of shot glasses, gold-plated dice, playing cards, an inflatable unicorn pool toy, a domino set and more.” Asides from creating the partnership that is likely to engage Nordstrom fans, the products are best likely to enhance the style statement with unusual products such as the gold-plated dice. Furthermore, there is an exclusive Pop-In Bag from Alexander Wang on the purchase.


Takeaways For Brands and Advertisers

By defining moments that are most likely to inspire and help audiences stay updated, Brands can identify the right partnerships for an event that the audiences are likely to follow.

Creative that gets audiences to react serves as a motivation for audiences to engage and interact with the brand with an emotion. This leads to greater social sharing and amplification of the brand’s message.

Using a Topic that is popular with the target audiences can give brands and audiences the required connect to share their reactions on social media.

Brand Activations that are Online and Offline, increase the chance of interaction, creating moments of Feel Good, reassurance and seeking comfort. Giving an incentive with a CTA is likely to increase campaign efficacy.


Defining moments for the content journey with a popular topic  can generate required interactions and engagement while raising awareness, for Brands prior to a campaign launch, over and above Content goals such as Referral links, CTR, Impressions and Social Media Shares. The required engagement can further Brand Performance for the defined metrics such as Purchase Intent and Recommendation Intent




OMG! Pepsi and Twitter Launch Promoted#Stickers


Pepsi and Twitter are partnering for global launch of Promoted#Stickers. Promoted#Stickers will prominently feature Pepsi stickers in the #Stickers library, giving fans a rapturous combination of sharing their moments of fun and excitement with photos and favorite emojis.

“The ‘Say It With Pepsi’ campaign has helped consumers around the world express themselves using our proprietary set of Pepsi emojis and we’re truly taking it to the next level with this partnership with Twitter,” said Brad Jakeman, president PepsiCo Global Beverage Group, @bradjakeman. “By allowing people to add our emojis directly to their photos, we’re giving fans a whole new way to engage. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture with Pepsi stickers can really spark a conversation.”

Promoted Stickers

Twitter and Pepsi‘s mega deal as an exclusive launch partner of Promoted #Stickers, will include 50 custom stickers associated with their global PepsiMoji campaign in ten countries across five continents. The stickers will prominently feature some of the brand’s proprietary Pepsi emoji designs bringing together the visual draw of photo sharing and the popularity of Emojis.

How does the Sticker campaign work?

According to Twitter post, Brands can design stickers that users can choose from while sharing the messages. Twitter Stickers add an expression for users sharing the moments with their followers and friends. Promoted#Stickers are deemed to act as visual hashtags when Users turn to Twitter and can discover moments shared with a visual hashtag.

Pepsi and Twitter’s deal also includes, a custom Niche creator campaign showing consumers how to use their #Stickers, as well as a branded Pepsi emoji and a Promoted Trend. Pepsi will secure featured placement in the #Stickers library in ten countries across five continents, including Argentina, Canada, Egypt, India, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Takeaways For Advertisers

Extending your existing campaign theme empowers users already engaged with a new creative tool, creating a win-win for the brand and the followers. Use of photos with stickers gives brands the UGC, that is proven to be 10 times more effective for conversions. Furthermore with Emoji Targeting, Advertisers can increase the reach for their campaigns beyond the existing users of campaign hashtag.

Stickers work as a powerful medium of expression and including visuals that users are familiar with connects the users in an offline and online  world.

Advertisers can extend Stickers campaigns with visuals for key events or with popular Emojis that are already favored by your brand followers such as The VMA’s and Olympics for contextual messaging.

As Video is often the preferred content piece, include Visual Stickers in your Video clips and Live Streams for increased Impressions and reach.