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3 Contest Strategies Guaranteed to Boost Customer Engagement [Infographic]

Don’t let your contest fall on deaf hears. Learn 3 effective contest strategies that we guarantee will boost customer engagement and brand recognition. 

Whether you’re running a contest for the first time, or looking to try something new, these methods will take your engagement strategy to the next level. For example, leading brands such as Dr. Oetker, Sportchek, Hershey’s and others, are constantly implementing these tactics in their engagement programs, and have seen great results with them.

However, oftentimes, marketers focus too closely on each individual campaign, that they loose sight of the big picture. It’s important to remember that contests are in fact “engagement programs”. They are for engaging and incentivizing consumers, and the really good ones inevitably drive consumers to make a purchase. Although contests seem like a fun way to drive attention to your brand, your efforts may be in vain without the correct strategy in place.

The Problem with Contests: Consumer Indifference

In fact, the impact of your contest may be affected by customer indifference or motives. In many cases, consumers fill out a form, and drop it in a box without paying attention to the product or brand giving away the promotion. This is the opposite of what you want when running a contest. Ensuring your brand achieves the attention it deserves means designing a program that resonates with consumers.

Make sure your contest is more than just a flash in the pan. Here are 3 simple yet proven contest strategies that will engage customers, and keep them coming back for more:

At WILY, we execute thousands of contests for top brands and agencies. We recognize that a contest is an opportunity to attract, engage, and activate consumers to purchase. Additionally, contests are incredibly important for data acquisition. Contest entries are leads, or potential buyers, and the impression you leave on them could turn them into brand advocates. Therefore, developing memorable digital experiences helps to build lasting connections with your customers, increases brand affinity, and drives sales.

Earlier, we mentioned a few brands implementing the contest strategies. Let’s look at how some of them are using them to achieve their goals:

1. Instant Prizing

Campaign: Sport Chek’s “Game Night” Contest

Sport Chek used instant prizing, as well as engagement mechanics to drive consumers to their website during a live arena game with the Edmonton Oilers. The attendance that night was 18,347 and the number of contest entries totalled 6,934. That’s 38% of fans — a significant statistic for a single event activation.

To see how they did it and to test the contest yourself, download the case study: How Sport Chek Activated Fans In-Arena with a Flick Mechanic and Instant Prizing

2. Engagement Mechanics

Campaign: Hershey’s “For the Love of the Cup”

Fans were invited to digitally peel back the wrapper of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to reveal whether or not they were a winner. Successful participants revealed Peanut Butter Cups with three Stanley Cups. Hershey’s succeeded in achieving over 40,000 entries into this contest.

To see how they did it and to test the contest yourself, download the case study: How Engagement Mechanics Helped Hershey’s Activate their NHL Sponsorship

3. Make It Shareable

Campaign: Dr. Oetker’s “Find Giuseppe” Contest

Consumers were invited to purchase participating Giuseppe Pizzeria products to acquire a PIN Code and enter it on the contest microsite. Consumers could also enter by digitally searching for Giuseppe onscreen using a digital magnifying glass. The contest earned 81,200 entries, and a whopping 127,589 shares on social media.

To see how they did it and to test the contest yourself, download the case study: How Dr. Oetker Engaged 80,000+ Consumers with their Viral, Digital “Find Giuseppe” Contest

We hope you have a better understanding of how the contest strategies above can help improve your long-term consumer engagement strategy. If you’re a time-crunched marketer looking for help executing your next campaign, we’d love to help, so be sure to drop us a line.

White Paper: Consumer Engagement Trends Report

In this age of digital transformation, businesses need to take creative risks when it comes to their engagement strategy. Explore the top 10 marketing trends that are disrupting the way we engage consumers.


  • Personalizing the Experience with Artificial Intelligence
  • Getting Immersive with Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
  • Winning Over Your Customer with Contests and Sweepstakes
  • Interactive Case Studies from Dr. Oetker and adidas
  • Plus So Much More!

Download the FREE 17 page report today!