Contests and Giveaways Strengthen Your Marketing Strategy

The website uses one of the most effective strategy online. The hold competitions like a birthday contest wherein they gave many valuable giveaways. Winners were chosen at random, and all you had to do to enter each giveaway was to post a comment to the site, or create a blog post that linked back to the site. Prizes were given away by Problogger, as well as some of the many partners that this professional blog site has created over the years. This strategy certainly added to their site traffic, and raised awareness of the site as well as its ranking in the site ranking engines.

This is not a new strategy – but it is time-honored in its ability to get quick and measureable results. When there is something to “win” – customers and potential partners alike take notice.


For example, many of the seasoned trade show exhibiters offer a raffle. Entry means either dropping your business card into a fishbowl or allowing the exhibiting booth to scan your card. For the exhibiter, many more contacts are gained. For the booth visitor, there is a chance to win a valuable prize.

Another example of a very successfully run contest promotion was the puzzle contest run by Google for the hit movie, “DaVinci Codes”. Every week a new puzzle was created, those who could solve it advanced to the next round. The 25 top winners received a collector’s item Cryptex in the mail – and the first one to solve the puzzle in this device won an all expense paid vacation to the European locations in the movie. This contest had several elements that made it a superb marketing tool:

  1. It was prolonged, and built the excitement and suspense until the movie was released
  2. It drove traffic to the already heavily visited Google home page
  3. It involved many companies, such as the airline who donated the gift, Google, Sony, and of course, the movie makers themselves
  4. It gave the public something to look forward to – in fact, after the contest ended, Google had the puzzle creator continue to post puzzles to give the newly made puzzle addicts something to do!

Not all campaigns can be created as brillantly as this one, but if you, as a marketer, put your thinking cap on, there are certainly elements that can be borrowed from this. Check out

Newsletters and Publications

If you have a newsletter, one idea is to can create a “find the word” search that will actively engage your readers who may otherwise just skim your publication. If you are a trade show exhibitor, why not host a scavenger hunt – published in your newsletter, or on a flyer you hand out?

Software and the Web

If your company creates mobile software, why not host a text messaging contest where clues are given daily, or weekly? Another idea is to run a contest on your website with clues on a daily basis. This should create traffic that returns daily in the spirit of the competition.

The list goes on and on. People enjoy giveaways in which skill, and not just chance, is involved. And we as marketers owe our jobs to our creativity in finding new and unique ways to raise awareness of our products and brands.