3 Do’s & Don’ts In Activating Digital Contests

At SQWAD we see a lot of digital contests, whether our own or others in the field. As you could imagine, we have seen some flop and some succeed.

What we are always in pursuit of is the perfect contest. With that pursuit, we are starting to make some mental models around what makes them successful.

So in that, we created 3 easy do’s & don’ts for you to think about when you are getting your digital contests off the ground. We hope that brings you value when you look to get your digital contests off the ground.

First, there is definitely an overall theme we’ve found…Access is Everything. We’ve talked a lot about this in previous articles but the most valuable asset a fan has is their time.

If you make them take a long time to access & play, they won’t.

This is mainly due to the equation we as humans make in our heads of cost/benefit. Is the cost of my time worth what I’m about to win?

Unless your prize is $1 Million dollars, you need to make sure it is as easy to play (even if it is $1M dollars, you still need to make it easy. Even the lottery makes it easy to play and their prizes are in the hundreds of millions of dollars).

Make sure when you think about your contests, you make sure they are easy to access & play.

Here they are, in all their glory… 3 do’s and 3 don’ts for creating and promoting your digital contests.

Don’t Force A Physical Location, DO Drive Digital Access

As we pointed out, access is the key here. In the old days, we would send fans to a booth or store to enter a contest.

This was the day before digital opened us up to have access anywhere.

If you force fans to go to a location…most of the time they won’t. Why? Because they do the cost/benefit analysis on their time vs. the prize.

If you are able to drive easy access through your fan’s mobile device, which they have on them at all times, you lower that time cost risk and will see more success.

Grab them where you have their attention. For sports teams, this may mean telling fans on the scoreboard in-between gameplay, or maybe you have more attention on social media to drive usage. Wherever you captivate attention, that is how you should approach where you tell them about the contest.

Don’t Force An Extra Download, DO Offer For A Longer Period Of Time.

This comes back to access again. Forcing an extra app download takes commitment & time for the fan. It causes them to do the cost/benefit calculation for their time.

If you have a lot of fans on your app, then adding the contest to that app is fine. They have already downloaded so the time to access is quick.

If you plan on using a contest as a way to drive more app downloads, just understand that may lower the number of players for your contest. If you do this…you are playing the long game and understanding you will miss out on players compared to if you offered it as a web app to your Twitter followers.

This is fine, as long as you understand the long game strategy you have.

On the other side, a big mistake we see is only offering the contest for a short amount of time. This brings down the access you can provide to your fan and cause them to miss it.

The longer you have the contest open, the better chance you have to gain more players. Be sure you offer access for as long as possible to gain the most amount of usage by fans.

DON’T Ask For A Ton Of Info On Onboarding, DO Make Onboarding Fast

This may seem like a no-brainer, but we see this as a big mistake for a lot of contests.

This jumps back to the cost/benefit analysis your fan will do, except it happens when they have already decided to play.

When they open your contest to see a huge onboarding process, their brain does the analysis and decides whether it is still worth it to play.

At SQWAD, we only ask for the fan’s email to play our contests. No password, no address, no long form to fill out.

We do this because we understand that this is all the info we need on the fan to successfully re-target. If we ask for any other info…we run the risk of people not playing with the value not outweighing that risk.

When you run your contests…make sure you run through your onboarding process and ask yourself…would I fill all this info to play?

The Takeaway: Make sure your contests are as EASY as possible to access & play

Remember that your fans are hard-wired to do a cost/benefit analysis of their time with your contests. It is built into our human psychological thought process.

As you build and analyze the contests you run, be sure to think about it in terms of access and reward. Making it as easy as possible to access & play is what sets most contests apart from the others.

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