Most of link building / linkbaiting techniques are used so often that they lost their effectiveness long ago. Unfortunately, hosting a contest is one such technique: that has become a common fashion to create a contest for the sake of creating a contest without much thinking behind it.
However the tactic may be still effective when done right. Your contest may be rather successful:
- if you are popular enough to get enough attention for your contest boost;
- if you are creative enough to earn the attention you deserve;
- if you have carefully planned your contest.
MGH Word of Mouth blog lists very good points to consider when planning a good contest:
- Take time to consider the users’ motivation. Why would anyone enter the contest? Would you join it? User’s motivation may vary:
- An established / well-known brand can be a good motivation in itself. People might want to enter your contest just because they care about you and your company.
- Valuable prizes are the strongest incentive for people to join any contest. Making sure the prizes are relevant to the society group your contest is targeting is also very important. I would probably never care to take part if the prize is “How to quit smoking” guide, no matter how popular it might be among people who smoke and want to quit.
- Innovative idea / creative approach is the great motivation too. If you offer something completely new and exciting, people will be eager to join.
- Longevity: the “golden medal” approach is of high importance here:
- a contest should not last too long (people will lose any interest in it);
- a contest should not be too short (as many people might hear about that when it’s too late; this will trigger nothing but overall irritation and disappointment);
- a contest should be “strong enough to withstand the test of time“: even when it’s over, the buzz should go on (brainstorm some unexpected result: give away some funny prizes; praise most active participants; etc).
- Take care about the buzz: carefully think where you will be promoting your contest to foster word of mouth campaign.
- Go there where your readers / customers interact,
- Take care to get ready for your customers properly: think over the contest pre-launch campaign. Create positive expectations, etc.