6 questions you should ask before running a contest with a blogger

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In recent months, I’ve spent a lot of time working with bloggers on contests and giveaways.

Some have been great successes, others miserable failures. Mostly via the failures, I’ve learned a thing or two.

In the interest of sharing these learnings, here are 6 important questions you should ask before running a contest or giveaway with a blogger:

  1. What’s the goal? Simple enough. However, it’s from whence all flows. Do you want exposure, web traffic, to build following on a social media platform, or something else?
  2. Why this blogger? It may be that you want to cozy up to someone because of the sheer size of their audience. There are other valid reasons, too. Perhaps a blogger has a small(ish) audience but is highly influential with her readers. Perhaps she publishes content on several media properties, and a contest on her blog is the first step to scoring coverage in those other outlets. Whatever you do, make sure the “why” is clearly laid out.
  3. How do people enter the contest, and how does the entry mechanism serve YOUR goal? The method of entry is perhaps the most important (and easiest to screw up) part of running a giveaway with a blogger. If you want web traffic, ask a question whose answer is only found on your web site, thereby forcing entrants to go there to find it. If it’s Facebook likes you seek, make sure the blogger clearly states this and links to your brand page.
  4. Are there ways people can get extra entries? Most bloggers will build some kind of extra entry mechanism into contests. This can range from following the sponsor on additional social media platforms, to signing up for an e-newsletter, to answering specific trivia questions. You get the point. Extra entry mechanisms are a great way to generate more value out of the exercise. Ask about them.
  5. How is the blogger tracking entries? There are a number of popular contest management apps out there. The tool the blogger uses is less important than the fact that they have a system in place. Make sure he/she does, so that you don’t end up looking bad.
  6. Who sends the winner the prize? Most bloggers will let the contest sponsor send the prize(s) directly to the winner. This is the only way to fly. Cut out intermediaries who slow things down and can damage your rep.

You probably have things to add. Please do.

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