Sunday, September 23, 2012
Marketing & Promo: Running a Contest by Stephanie Burkhart
People love free and a lot of people will show up for a contest if your contest has a free prize. Now there's a pro and con here. The pro: by offering a prize for your contest, Internet lurkers will come, check it out, and even enter. You've exposed yourself to a broader audience and maybe even picked up a follower or fan. The con: they come, they go.
Say you decide to run a contest. Here are some things to consider:
Where will you run it?
On Twitter? Your Facebook Fan Page? Your website? Your blog?
Once you determine the location, what is the prize?
Popular items include:
A copy of your book, print/ebook
Gift cards to: Amazon, B&N, Sony, Target, Starbucks, Panera
If you make items like book bags or jewelry you could offer that
3rd, determine the criteria for an "entry"
Answer a trivia question
Leave a comment on a blog/FB Fan page
Answer a specific question (for example: who is your favorite author and why?)
Fill in a form (Google Docs)
Make sure you list the RULES.
How long will the contest last?
What is the prize?
How will you choose the winner?
I usually place everyone's name on a sticky note, fold it, put it in a hat and draw out a random name to pick the winner.
Lastly, don't forget to tell people about your contest. Send out announcements on your FB page, Twitter, Linked in, Google +, networks and your Yahoo Groups. Put up notices and news items on websites – Manic Readers is a great one that reaches a larger audiences. I also have pages on Deep In the Heart of Romance and Romance 4 Us where I put my announcements.
I'd love to hear what works for you. What prizes do you offer? How long do you run your contest for? How often do you have contests? Do you have a contest for Christmas?
Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. A native of New Hampshire, she spent 11 years in the US Army and now lives in California. She's married with two young sons. Her books with 4RV Publishing include: The Giving Meadow and First Flag of New Hampshire.
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