Completions and contests have been a popular marketing tool for many years. They have been successfully used to increase the visibility of a brand or product, as well as create excitement and increased interest amongst the target audience. Thankfully you can now use this tried and tested marketing tactic to promote your website, product or service, without taking on any of the hard work involved in creating and managing such a contest.
These plugins allow you to offer a prize to your readers, in exchange for them entering the contest. Entrance to the contest can be earned by completing an action of your choosing. The action for entrance usually consists of sharing your content somewhere, subscribing to your email list or social network account, or interacting with your site in some way. With some of these WordPress contest plugins, you can award points for each action performed, allowing your readers to increase their chances of winning, while also giving your site more exposure at the same time.
Benefits of Running a Contest
There are a number of benefits associated with running a contest on your WordPress site. The benefits run both ways and site owners, and visitors can gain from engaging with contests. For your audience, the benefits tend to take the form of a reward, which could be an item of value, or free or discounted access to your services. For the site owner the benefits of running such a contest can include:
- Increased Traffic: the allure of wining something can keep visitors coming back to your site as well as helping to draw new visitors to the site.
- Greater Exposure: many online contests require a user to do something to increase the visibility of the contest and the site running it in order to enter. This can include actions like tweeting a link, sharing a post on Facebook or pinning a photo on Pinterest. If 100 people enter your competition, each tweeting your site to their 100 followers, then that is potentially a very large number of people who will have your site’s address in front of them.
- Enhanced Social Proof: the more tweets and likes your content gets, the more credibility it will have in the eyes of your readers and the search engines. Google uses social metrics such as these to determine how to rank sites and anything you can do increase these signals will only help your rankings.
- More Followers: contests are a great way to increase your followers on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Additional Subscribers: many contest service allow you to require subscription to your email list in exchange for entrance to the contest.
- Build Backlinks: each time your content gets shared online, a new link back to your site will be created. Each link back to your site counts as a vote of popularity and indicates to the search engines that your content is worth ranking.
- Giving Back: by giving your readers a chance to win something, you can increase the popularity of your site and promote brand loyalty amongst your audience.
As you can see, there are many benefits to be had from running contests on your website. While the creation and management of such a contest might seem like hard work, the following plugins and services make them a very easy feature to add to your WordPress site.
This is a premium plugin that makes it very easy to manage social contests on your site. Contest Burner gives you plenty of options for configuring the contest. These options cover things like which social networks to use, the action required to gain entry to the contest, and adding different point values for each type of social action that can be performed to join the contest.
It is also possible to create bonuses which act as contests within a contest, and allow you to award additional prizes for other actions alongside the main goals. This could include things like rewarding the best comment or most insightful tweet.
The Contest Burner plugin settings are very detailed so you can really set the contest up exactly how you want it. The settings include options such as:
- Start and end dates
- Contest specific taxonomies (categories)
- Creating a contest page
- Displaying a contest entrants leader board
- Set the points for each action, such as 10 points for a tweet
- Limit the maximum amount of points that an entrant can earn in a day
Contest Burner has everything you could need for running a contest, all that’s left for you to do is select a prize to award the winner. The prize could be something such as product related to your sites topic, or free access to the service you provide such as coaching, web design, or some other service.
This plugin has been built by an online marketer and the focus is very much on helping you with your marketing efforts. If you want to increase the visibility of your site and increase subscribers and followers then Contest Burner is a great choice. However, it is a premium plugin and will set you back $147 for access.
Social Contests by Wishpond
This is another premium contest service for WordPress that can be integrated with your site via a free plugin. Although this is a premium service, it does offer a free 14 day trial in order to let you give it a try before you buy. Social Contests is pretty flexible and allows you to run multiple different types of competitions on your WordPress site.
Amongst the contest options are the ability to run a sweepstake; hold a photo contest; submit an essay; vote on music or video submissions; a referral promotion; and many, many more. The service also includes a Facebook Ads Tool that allows you to create Facebook ads to promote your contest to those using the network. The tool will determine the best target audience for your site and its topic.
The service is also mobile compatible and the entry pages are designed for use on small screen devices and desktops alike in order to appeal to users on the go. When setting up a contest, you can also require the submission of an email address for entry. This makes Social Contests a great tool for building your subscriber mailing list. Another good feature is the ability to view real-time tracking data on your contests to see how your audience is interacting with them.
Further options include the ability to easily customise the appearance of the service via CSS to match the design of your website, as well as adding a custom header banner.
By using this plugin you can get access to all the powerful features of the Wishpond Social Contests service through your WordPress site. There is a free 14 day trial available, and after that prices start from $19 a month, although the plans are all billed annually.
This free plugin integrates the Incentivibe contest management service with your WordPress site. This service is slightly different from the others in the sense that it manages the prizes of the contest for you and by paying just $25, you can offer your readers the chance to win a prize worth $500.
The prize management system works by combining the entrants from a number of sites into one pool, from which the winner will be selected. This means that one of your readers might not be the lucky winner, but with just an outlay $25, you can still offer them the chance of winning a $500 prize.
The prizes on offer with Incentivibe include items such as a $500 gift card, jewellery, Apple products, and many others, despite it only costing your $25 to co-host the giveaway. When setting up your contest you can select the prize you want to offer your readers, as well as the requirement for entry. To enter the giveaway, your readers must complete an action of your choice. The action could be subscribing to your newsletter, sharing your site on a social network, following you on Twitter or becoming a fan of your Facebook page to name just a few.
Once the contest starts, you can then view live data showing how it is progressing. This data includes the number of email submissions, tweets, fans and followers the contest is generating. The contests run for 30 days, and once over, a winner is automatically chosen from all the entrants from the co-hosting sites. Incentivibe will also send an email to all contestants stating the winner’s name for full transparency.
Setup is very easy and you can literally have a $500 giveaway up and running on your site in next to no time at all. The Incentivibe service offers a free 14 day trial so you can run the contest and gauge the interest before signing up as a paid member.
This service is a very cost effective way to offer high-value prizes on your site to your readers and in the process increase your followers, fans, email subscribers and boost your social media presence.
If you want to give something back to your readers then offering them the chance to win a prize or free access to your services is a great way to do so. These contest plugins for WordPress might not be free, but they do give you access to some powerful features which can benefit not only your readers, but also your website. Thanks to the ease with which these plugins can increase your sites exposure on social networks, as well as growing your list of email subscribers, followers and fans, you can kick-start the growth of your site’s audience with little effort.
If you want to try running a contest on your site with little financial outlay or use of your time, then the Incentivibe service is the best choice for getting started. For just $25, you can offer your readers the chance of winning a prize worth $500, with the whole contest being managed offsite.