Who doesn’t love a contest? I’ve been even more inspired to enter contests after knowing Tara. She seems to have a knack for winning contests! She recently won admission to Sandy Krakowski’s conference in December (including conference fees, airfare, and hotel). She’s won tickets to see Keith Urban (twice!) — and that’s just scratching the surface!
Contests are fun, and they can be great publicity. Here are some contests that I thought were just incredibly cool and that are feasible for small to midsized businesses:
The “Destroy Your Printer” Video Contest
What annoying, frustrating catalyst is driving your prospect to seek out your products and services? Expert Laser Services Inc., a company that repairs and services laser printers, is keenly aware of why people call on them for service judging by their “Destroy your Printer” video contest. I don’t know about you, but my experience with printers is about the same as my experience with vacuum cleaners — it seems I’m buying a new one every year! I currently have two print/scan/copy/fax machines — because it takes two to be able to perform all of the necessary functions.
It seems like I’m not the only one. These contestants were frustrated enough to pull out their video camera and blow up their old printers with dynamite, run over them with tractors, toss them out of windows, crush them to death with heavy machinery, and more for the chance to win a new laser printer from Expert Laser Services. The results? Some very funny original viral content which naturally results in lots of inbound links!
What catalyst brings your customers to you?
Pear Tree Greetings “BOO-tiful Halloween” Photo Contest
Here’s another great example of a company that knows its target audience. Pear Tree Greetings, creator and retailer of creative holiday photo cards and announcements, appeals to a demographic that is creative, fun, and that likes to share that creativity with others. Their BOO-tiful Halloween photo contest asked people to take photos of their cute kids in their cute Halloween costumes to be voted on. The owner of the photo with the most votes would not only win bragging rights, but also a $100 Visa gift card.
The result? A page of wonderful photos of super adorable kids in costumes and families all across the nation emailing friends, relatives, and neighbors with a link to the Pear Tree Greetings blog asking them to vote. (Take a look at the 861 comments!) Curious to see the winners? Here they are!
Shoffee’s Good Coffee, Good Life Contest
In the company’s contest press release Joe Simonovich, co-founder of Shoffee.com says, “The idea of getting a chance to spend a weekend living like a celebrity is the perfect prize for someone who enjoys these fantastic coffees.” Boy does he know his audience! A coffee junkie myself, the idea of winning a weekend trip to Beverly Hills, including round-trip airfare for two to LA, transportation to and from the airport, a two night stay at the famous Beverly Hills Hotel, and dinner for two at one of Wolfgang Puck’s Beverly Hills restaurants, is enough to get me clicking and filling out my most personal info. They didn’t ask for much — only my name, email, address, and phone number – likely so that they can send me offers — which will be welcome since I’m always interested in coffee. And even if I weren’t a coffee nut, it is likely I would at least “like” coffee or know someone who does (hint from a coffee fan, interesting coffee is a great gift for the holiday!)
The result? A mailing list full of new people who willingly handed over their information that they can now introduce to new products.
More Fun Business Contests
Have you won or entered any contests? What would be your idea of a great contest for a small business?