Jake Xu
2 May 2018

Brands run campaigns that include competitions because they’re effective in persuading people to interact.

However, for those looking to create a lasting impression with consumers, it’s not enough anymore just to get people to enter a code or fill out a form. It’s boring, and most people won’t win. So almost as soon as they’ve entered, they’ll forget all about it and you’re back to square one.

Boring Promotional Tactics               (Image: WordPress)

Yes, you can retarget them by email, but really brands need to be bolder. One way to do that is actually making their competitions competitive. Introducing a challenge gives more valuable engagement in the long term, and appealing to their competitive natures can encourage more consumers to take part.

Why get competitive?

Competitions, by nature, are meant to test us. However, entering a code and submitting some personal details doesn’t do that. It might be easy, but where’s the fun in that?

If you’re directing people to a mobile landing page, you’re missing a huge trick if the only engagement is a few seconds of typing and then the grand reveal.

One tactic that works really well here is a game. The colosseum of mobile gaming! Well, not quite that dramatic, but certainly on those lines. People can play games against others or individually, but either way customers aim to be the winner.

Winning Competitions Chess

Our Soap and Glory game ‘Plump ‘Em Up’, that promoted the launch of their new lip plumping gloss, used a leader board to encourage interaction from fans. People could compare their score with others and had a goal beyond just winning the prizes: becoming top of the score board.

In a typical competition the only aim is winning the grand prize, so naturally most people are disappointed when they don’t get anything. A game with a competitive nature, however, means customers aim to complete the game first and winning prizes becomes a bonus.

Breakthrough Tactics Soap & Glory

People like games and enjoy playing them, especially when they’re executed well. Give them a competitive edge and you’ve got high engagement guaranteed.

What are potential risks?

You can’t please everyone. With a game, it’ll either be too difficult or it’ll be too easy, or it won’t be their cup of tea.

Our latest game-based campaign for Quidco, the UK’s leading online cashback website, received comments on Facebook and other social channels from people who found the challenge too difficult.

The key is to respond quickly and in your brand’s tone of voice. In this case, Quidco replied to reassure them that persistence is key and there were prizes still to be won.

Prizes for Promotional Campaigns

It may irritate a minority as something competitive isn’t usually easy. No one will feel that filling in their email is difficult, but they also won’t feel anything. A simple form could be safe, but a brand wanting to break through the noise should be aiming to make a buzz.

Game Competitions Mobile

Besides, the most popular games are never easy to win. Instead they’re just challenging enough, but not impossible. Few people will win first time, which might make them post an annoyed comment. But give them the chance and they’ll try and try again.

It’s because of this that our ‘Hoppy Easter’ game for Quidco racked up 2.8 million plays in the first two weeks of being live!

Worth the rewards!

The games we create for Quidco end up on a lot of websites and forums like HotUKDeals, as Quidco members share tips and tricks to beat the game and win cash.

A simple competition wouldn’t have grown this kind of community spirit. As each game has a certain level of difficulty, people want to discuss them and help each other. They also feel like they’ve really achieved something when they win.

The community has even grown beyond this. As we release the games throughout the year, members anticipate them and discuss ideas on the next theme. This means that the community and communication around our competitions lasts longer than they actually run, which is really valuable for Quidco.

Competitions that don’t aim for that kind of interaction are wasting a serious opportunity.

Competitions Community

Another great way competitions can do more is with prizes. Using product samples or discount coupons is hugely effective, as when users receive them, they feel like they’ve earned it and put much more value on them. Therefore they’re more likely to use them.

In our ‘Wafer Wipeout’ game for baby food brand Kiddylicous, players were commenting when they didn’t instantly receive the coupons they’d won. (Turns out most were just in their Junk folders!)

If they’d received them on the street however, that slip of paper would typically fester at the bottom of a bag. After completing a game though, players feel like they’ve worked for their discount so want to redeem them.

Game Breakthrough Tactics

Having a competitive element increases engagement. Filling in a form or entering a code means only one person is truly engaged, and that’s the final winner. On the other hand, a well-crafted game or challenge is much more likely to reward those who take part even if they don’t ultimately win.

So get your customers competing!

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