5 Ways To Make Your Contest A Lead Generating Machine.

Acquiring leads in 2017 isn’t as easy as it used to be. People are more hesitant to take the bait on the usual “enter your email here to download a free hotdog cooking step-by-step guide” (mmmm…hotdogs). So, the big question is how do you get new leads and not come off looking like a robot in the process. After all, the worst thing you can do is appear even remotely salesy, especially to a social media audience who already loves you for being authentic. Answer: give your audience (and new potential followers), a chance to get something of value, and they won’t hesitate to hand over their contact info.

Incorporating a contest into your content marketing mix is a really fun and effective way to get what you want, while still giving the people what they want in return – usually in the form of FREE STUFF!

Recently, we wrapped up a 60 day contest for our friends at Fantastico-Sur called “WIN 5 days/4 nights in Torres Del Paine National Park“. 

Video is king! incorporate a video element into your contest.

Fantástico Sur is a family business located at Torres del Paine National Park, and only one of a few tour companies operating in the park. When we inherited Fantastico’s content marketing business, they already had a very nice social following (13k on Facebook alone). Having a built in captive audience is a big plus, but this also meant a serious retention (and growth) strategy.

Birchbark has been in operation for over a decade, with a focus on film production and content marketing (and now virtual reality content production – exciting stuff!). Like any new business, our early years were full of trial and error – the good news – you can benefit from our years of learning. We now know how to plan and execute a fun, engaging, and effective lead generating contest. So stick around and check out our proven 5 Ways To Make Your Contest A Lead Generating Machine.

Offer Something Of Value

The name of our contest for Fantastico kind of says it all. We approached the client about a contest, and positioned it as “the value of the prize will equal the value of the return”. They came back to us with the option of giving away a 5 day & 4 night stay in Torres Del Paine National Park. Of course, this was perfect – the prize was catering perfectly to their existing audience, while making it attractive to anyone else we could reach, outside of their fan base. In the end, over 600 new leads were generated for use in Fantastico’s targeted outbound marketing efforts. Moral of the story – if you do everything else wrong, but still give people the chance to win something they can’t help but want, your contest will still skate by as a success.

Consistant Branding

Attaching branded content to your contest across all of your digital platforms, is key in positioning your campaign professionally & creatively, while clearly getting the message across. besides the visual elements, creating a hashtag for the contest enables you to tie content together and makes it searchable. It’s also fun to engage those entering the contest by asking them to use it during the contest. Replace you Twitter and Facebook covers with the same branded visual (keeping in mind correct dimensions for each), and share on Instagram where you can get hashtag happy with things like #contestalert #contestalert #contestentry #sweepstakes #[yourbrand]sweepstakes #giveaway #[yourbrandgiveaway] etc. etc.

Celebrity Inspired Dresses
Facebook Header
 Twitter Header


Contest Micro-Site (landing page)

Building a micro-site (aka landing page) for your contest serves a few different purposes. It acts as a home for your entire campaign, where you will direct people in every social post you schedule when promoting the contest. the page should be populated with things like contest rules & regulations, detailed explanation of what you’ll get if you’re the lucky winner, and of course the all important entry form where you capture names and emails from those entering. Feeling a little overwhelmed? Don’t – landing pages are super easy to create. We use Instapage where you can customize your own landing page without a lot of hassle.

Supporting Social Media Strategy

Build it and they will come! Nope – not the case here. Creating the best contest in the world won’t matter if nobody knows about it.  That’s why you need to build contest promotion into your monthly content marketing calendar. In this case, we ran Fantastico’s contest for 60 days (originally planned for 30 days but we were just having too much darn fun with it). We peppered in contest related posts along with the client’s regular content. We use the same content calendar format, customizing it for each of our clients. Wanna give it a try? Download our calendar here




Find A Partner



This is easier said than done, but if you are able to partner with an influencer in the same industry, you will dramatically increase the eyes on your contest. We had a unique situation with the Fantastico contest, where we were able to partner with World Nomad’s, who agreed to provide free travel insurance for the contest winner. This came to us without much effort because World Nomad’s was already the promoted insurance provider for Fantastico Sur travellers. That being said, use your social media super powers to reach out to influencers who might be able to mutually benefit from a campaign partnership – especially if you are already working on behalf of a decent sized client.

We appreciate you stopping by! If you need help getting started with your own lead generating contest machine, we’d love to help! Drop our head hancho a line at Scott@birchbarkmedia

About The Author


No Comments

Leave a Reply