See examples provided by marketing gurus and be inspired when starting your own successful contest.Janet Meiners provides great ideas for small business:
“Clothing company PLNDR gave a unique twist to the NCAA. Instead of basketball teams facing off against each other, they had brands submit T-shirt designs and let them battle on Facebook. The designer with the most “likes” moved to the next round. As a result, PLNDR’s Facebook page grew 800 percent.”
photo from http://blog.plndr.com/
Use a footage from headlines and ask users to find a caption that is relevant to your brand or conversely – use your footage and ask users to comment from perspective of current hot topic. Kim notes that “caption contests are great as they allow your fans to show a little personality; an added bonus is that other entrants will actually enjoy reading other entries!”.
Another idea provides Pamela Vaughan in her article with examples of Pinterest contest held by real brands. Moreover she explains why they work!
High Point Market contest was held during trade shows for the furniture industry. They recruited top home fashion trendsetters to showcase their favorite products and top trends from High Point Market week. Designated participants would pin them to High Point Market pinboards and feature the exhibitor responsible for the item pinned. These “Style Spotters” also gave the exhibitors whose items they pinned a physical sign at the trade show that highlighted the Style Spotter’s name as well as a QR code and URL for the Pinterest board. Event attendees then voted for the Style Spotters by Liking or repinning the pins, earning them various point values. The Style Spotter with the most popular pinboard won a trip to the next High Point Market event.
Another idea is to hold a code word contest. “A well-executed code word contest can be a huge audience-driver” says Matt Hummert from Second Street. He points out that you should add a code word field to the registration page. 2 weeks length would be the best option. So the schedule of the contest would be crucial: your contest can come together with the long-lasting event or end up on an event important for your audience. Matt has some more clues for you: “Announce a new code word and give away a new prize every day. The most successful code word contests give out one code word per day, and offer a chance to win each time a new code word is announced. This encourages people to return to your programming day after day, because the more they watch or listen, the more chances they have to win.
Give the code word during programming you want to grow audience for.”
If you want to find more inspiration Second Street has provided detailed stats and case studies grouped by categories of most popular contest types including sports: football, basketball, auto racing, golf, hockey, occasions: valentines day, mother’s or father’s day, haloween, and many others. Just choose a topic.