10 Marketing Contest Ideas to Boost Your Brand


All companies want to reach more people with their brand, but it’s important to be savvy in how you connect to consumers—you can’t expect them to help your brand without offering something in return. Contests can be an important part of that marketing outreach strategy.

If you’re thinking about launching a contest, you should also be planning how to leverage it for marketing purposes. Check out the list below for several marketing ideas to consider as you set up your contests.  

1. Collect Email Addresses

Require contest participants to provide their email addresses upon entry. Once the contest is over, you’ll have a database of potential contacts you can convert into customers. To get them interested in your other products, offer them a small discount for participating in the contest.

2. Build a Target Audience

Ideally, your contest will be targeting people who are also interested in your company and products. Don’t give away a huge prize that has nothing to do with your business because you’ll attract people who only care about the prize and not what your company has to offer.

3. Engage Current Customers

By hosting contests regularly, you’re giving your customers a reason to interact with and talk about your company. If they have fun entering your contests, they’ll tell their friends about them. Essentially, your customers can become ambassadors for your brand.

4. Track Metrics

Contests give you a chance to try new things and see how they work. Your marketing metrics can give you an idea for how well a contest boosted sales or engagement during a certain period of time. If it’s successful, you can use that new metric as a baseline and build each time going forward.

5. Increase Consumer Data

Contest entry forms, like Submittable’s, can collect a large variety of information from customers that is valuable when putting together a consumer profile. Ask your questions wisely and use this data to shed light on demographic questions you may have.

6. Reach New People

Get more people involved when you host a giveaway. For example, if you own a bookstore and would like to give away a bundle of books, get permission from a couple of authors who write for your target audience to use their books and ask them to promote the giveaway. You get the benefit of marketing to their followings along with your own.

7. Provide Brand Awareness

If you’re consistently hosting contests, people will begin to recognize your company’s name. You’ll have a sustained awareness surrounding your brand, which can lead to more sales. If a purchasing decision comes down to a consumer knowing your name and not your competition’s, they’ll be more likely to purchase from you.

8. Attract Attention to New Products

If you’re introducing a new product soon, a contest may be just what you need to hype it up. Get people excited by highlighting its features (this works well for new technology), and even if they don’t win, they’ll still want to purchase your product.    

9. Cost-Effective Marketing

Compared to traditional marketing, online contests are more cost-effective. Aside from setup fees and the price of the prize, no more money needs to be spent. From a financial standpoint, contests have the potential to create high profits with minimum losses, so they are definitely worth a shot.  

10. Increase Online Traffic

Since you’re offering a prize, consumers are incentivized to visit your website and social media pages. With enough traffic, your Google page ranking will increase, which will help new consumers find your business easier.

The above ideas are just a few of the ways contests can be invaluable to businesses. They make consumers happy since they have the chance to win something and companies reap the benefits in multiple ways. With proper planning and execution, your contests will become one of the best marketing tools you have.

Keriann Strickland

Keriann Strickland manages content and branding for Submittable's marketing team. She's a recovering journalist, mountain lover, and gifted spiller (and speller).