The Solopress 12 guides of Christmas – No.4: Running a Christmas competition

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It’s the time for giving, and a Christmas competition could be just the thing to embrace the Christmas spirit, capture your audience’s imagination, and maintain the momentum of your Christmas campaign. Plus, it marks you out as a generous business partner and associates your brand with good times.

Have a look at our 7 reasons why a competition could benefit your business, check out our DOs and DON’Ts of holding a competition, and even enter our own festive challenge!

 

7 reason to run a Christmas competition

39% have entered a Christmas competition
39% have entered a Christmas competition

1. It’s in keeping with the season

In the Solopress Christmas Survey, 39% of people asked said that they’d taken part in a Christmas themed competition. That’s a strong precedent. It demonstrates that people have an experience and expectation of competitions around Christmas, so you can be reasonably confident of a strong uptake.

44% tempted by a competition to use a business at Christmas
44% tempted by a competition

2. It’s effective inbound marketing

A significant chunk of the market that might not otherwise have shown interest in your business could be enticed by an attractive prize promotion. 44% of respondents in our survey felt that a competition would tempt them to use a business at Christmas time.

 

3. Keep up momentum

If you analyse previous years’ performances you may be able to identify a particular week, or audience segment, where you could bring performance up. Google Analytics is a particularly useful tool in this regard for online businesses. A piece of promotional activity like a targeted competition could be just the ticket.

4. Positive press

A competition also represents a brilliant opportunity for some positive press & PR. Let the local or national press know what you’re up to, invite local bloggers and YouTubers down to take your challenge. A fun and engaging competition can attract organic publicity that helps to spread your message.

5. A bit of theatre

If you have a Mini Cooper filled with Christmas baubles in your window with a banner inviting passers-by to “Guess the number of baubles in our Mini” – that’s guaranteed to cause a stir on the high-street, but something more modest can be just as effective. It will help with our last point about Press and PR, too. If your competition is striking, imaginative or focused on local themes, circulate a press release to generate interest.

6. Boost your social

You can use social media to boost your competition – and the competition will boost your social media! Our own experience at Solopress certainly bears this out. When a social post features a competition, it’s not uncommon for us to see an 8-fold uplift in engagements versus a post with no competition element. That uplift is partly brought about with the ­­­­­support of emails directing subscribers to the post – a great way to put a rocket under your engagements!

7. Prizes as presents

Christmas and gift-giving have gone hand-in-hand since the Three Wise Men popped in for some last-minute gold, frankincense and myrrh. Giving something away as part of a competition is a good fit with the spirit of the season. Christmas is also a time when people might be feeling money pressures. The promise of a prize might hold extra appeal.

 

DOs & DON’Ts

With plenty of great reasons out there to consider setting up a Christmas competition, here are a few tips on how to make it a success.

DON’T forget the power of print

Print something for people to take away. It’ll mean your competition, literally stays with them. If you’re busy on site, it means your contenders can participate at time and place that’s convenient for them. Get creative with print. A competition can appear on a poster, a flyer, a map or a placemat. You could even use foil printing to create a “golden ticket” for customers to find. If you ship goods, a printed flyer in order boxes will spread the message about your competition without increasing postage costs.

DO make the internet work for you

Spread the word on sites that collate lucrative competition such as Competition Database or even, if your promotion has broad appeal, Martin Lewis’ celebrated Money Saving Expert site. If you want to run an online competition but lack the digital infrastructure, sites like Rafflecopter or Gleam can host the competition for you.

DON’T fall foul of the law

We’re printers, not lawyers, so we wouldn’t dream of offering specific legal advice – sufficed to say that it can be a fine line between running a legitimate competition and holding an illegal lottery. Prize competitions and free draws are generally exempt from control under the Gambling Act 2005, but if you’re in any doubt whatsoever, it’s best to consult the Gambling Commission or seek legal advice.

DO take the opportunity to showcase your business

Enhance audience engagement with a challenge that’s centred around your brand. If you want to cement your product offer and USPs in the minds of your audience, ask quiz questions on those subjects. They’ll end up doing a lot of the hard work for you as they research the all-important answers – everyone’s a winner!

DO involve kids

Christmas, as we know, is all about the marketing. But some feel that children should also be acknowledged. So be it. Print a sheet of stimulating puzzles or a tricky treasure hunt for them to complete and submit, or get them involved with a creative competition, as we did with our “Make Your Mark” competition – but be prepared to judge the entries, which brings us on to…

DON’T over complicate it

Be mindful of the fact that, once your competition entries come flooding in, you’re going to have to commit resources to processing all those entries. If it’s a creative competition, you’ll have to whittle down the field and judge the finalists. If Christmas is peak trading for your business, it might be best to choose a mechanic like a prize draw that makes life as easy as possible.

DO harness New Year Aspirations

Maybe your brand has a focus that lends itself to life changes – to improving health, changing career or seizing control of personal finances. You could ride on that New Year upswing of hope and resolve with a competition. Invite your audience to share their aspirations – most ambitious wins!

 

A competition is a proven way of generating interest in your brand. If you need any support to produce materials that help get your Christmas competition off the ground, call us on 01702 460047 or use Live Chat now.

 

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