How to grow your social engagement using leaderboard contests

leaderboard contests

A guest post by Manuel Fornillos. 

One of the best, easiest, and most effective ways to expand your target audience reach, and keep them engaged and interested in learning more about your business and your brand, is to make use of leaderboard contests.

Leaderboard contests not only allow you to increase your social engagement, but also generate leads and sales, and grow your social following. This marketing tool enables you to engage your audience by gamifying interactions with points and rewards when they share, become your followers, or refer their friends. And the more points they are able to earn, the higher their ranks will be on the leaderboard.

This article will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to create and run a successful leaderboard contest. This will help you to increase your social engagement and convert your users into sales, along with examples of brands that have successfully employed this strategy.

You could also choose email marketing software to optimise your campaign with bulk of emails.

First off, what are leaderboard contests?

In its most basic sense, a leaderboard contest is a competition where participants get points, compete with other players, see their rank, and win rewards. Ideally, a leaderboard contest shows the points received by the players in real time, making it a truly engaging activity for all involved.

But beyond just engaging participants, leaderboard contests present a unique opportunity for marketers to reach specific goals. Vyper’s contest, for example, was able to generate 7,000 B2B leads and 8,000 social followers.

Vyper's contest

And because of the engagement factor of leaderboard contests, they found that only 12% of the emails they collected were unusable – a great number, especially for a B2B campaign.

How to create a successful leaderboard contest?

When it comes to creating leaderboard contests, you have at your disposal many tools to choose from. But before you get started using one of these tools, you’ll need to consider several things, including your goals, your target audience, your prize or giveaway, and the way in which you’re going to promote your contest.

1. Set your goals and know your audience

The first thing you need to build a successful leaderboard contest is to figure out the goals you want to achieve from creating a leaderboard contest. Once this is done, you’ll want to spend time understanding who your target audience is. This will help you figure out what the contest dynamic will be and what prizes you’ll be offering.

Here are some of the goals you can achieve using leaderboard contests:

  • Boost your brand or product engagement
  • Amplify your brand reputation
  • Grow your social media presence
  • Increase your website traffic
  • Build your email list
  • Convert your followers into highly-qualified leads
  • Understand your customers better

When you have a clear idea of your objectives, you will find it easier to develop a well grounded strategy, and an effective leaderboard contest to achieve your desired results.

If you want to identify your target audience, you can analyse your products or services, look at your current customer base, check out your competitors and assess the psychographics of your target market.

When you know who your audience is, you’ll be able to cater according to their needs, keep them engaged, offer relevant giveaways that matter the most to them and achieve your marketing goals.

2. Determine your prize

The second thing you want to do to build a successful leaderboard contest is to determine the prize you want to give out to your contestants. The prize is entirely based on what you want to achieve with your contest, your budget, as well as your target audience.

No matter what your giveaway is, however, you’ll need to be creative and choose one that can make a meaningful impression on the minds of your audience, and motivate them to connect with your brand. Here are some ideas of prizes you can offer to your contestants:

  • Your own products or services
  • A related product from partners
  • A free trip to a popular destination
  • Money or a gift card

It’s important to note, though, that your prize should be enticing, but not too enticing. As Vyper learned, a significant number of people questioned if their contest was real due to the size of the prize. Having a good understanding of your audience will enable you to find a prize which is truly relevant to them.

3. Determine the type of contest

The next thing you want to do after you’ve chosen your giveaway for your contest is to determine the type of contest you want to create for your target audience. Here are some of the most popular types of contest you can launch:

A few things to note:

  • If you decide to go the image-sharing route, make sure you create separate sharing images for each social channel as image sizing is different for each.
  • Set an appropriate time frame and take the time to solidify your terms and conditions. Typically, contests held between 2-6 weeks perform best.
  • Make it as visual as possible. If you really need to include text, use bullets or images to enhance the message.
  • Add code and other tracking tags to your contest. You want data, so make sure you put the elements in place to be able to collect them.

4. Promote your contest

Once you’ve determined your giveaway and the type of contest you want to launch, the next step is to execute a sound promotion strategy.

You can promote your contest in multiple social media networks at once, run your promoted posts in private social media groups, or contest listing sites or use Reddit to advertise your prize.

Moreover, you should make sure you clearly lay out all of the rules for your contest, how the selection process will take place and what your audience needs to do to participate. Promoting your contest is as important as shaping it.

5. Choose the right leaderboard contest tool

Once you’re completed all of the steps above, the last thing you want to do is to choose the right leaderboard contest tool that fits your needs and end goals. There are plenty of tools out there, here some of them:

  • Wishpond
  • Vyper
  • Rafflecopter
  • AgoraPulse
  • Gleam

If you’re searching for a leaderboard contest tool that has everything you need to offer contests, lead generation and email marketing functionalities, then Wishpond can be the best way for you to go. Or if you’re just new to the scene, then Rafflecopter should be your top choice, as it’s very easy and simple to use. Also Gleam is a top tool for running giveaways and contests, I believe it will be useful for your audience.

Now that you know how to start running a successful leaderboard contest to increase your social engagement, it’s time to learn some of the benefits from the actual experiences of brands.

Brands using leaderboard contests

Whether it’s more traffic, leads, sales, or awareness leaderboard contests have been a proven growth hacking tool. It’s also a great exercise to work more creatively, not harder. Below are a couple of examples of brands who managed to successfully leverage leaderboard contests.

Fat Burger

Fat Burger partnered with retail giant Walmart for their joint giveaway contest. This gave the brand the social validation they craved. This is akin to working with an influencer (if that influencer was a billion dollar corporation), as people are often looking for social proof and teaming up with an established brand like Walmart gave Fat Burger just that.

Fatburger contest


Air Asia

Another example of a brand that managed to increase social engagement using leaderboard contests is Air Asia (Australia). The contest giveaway was a free round trip to Malaysia, and the contest managed to generate more than 12,000 entrants, and boosted the company’s social media following by 30%.

Air Asia had a good understanding of what their audience wanted – a chance to travel – and gave them just that.

What experiences have you had?

You can take advantage of leaderboard contests to generate leads and sales, engage with your followers, and stay in constant contact with them. In fact, it’s one of the best and easiest ways for you to gain organic visibility, because contests can help you draw shares, impressions, and likes.

Let us know your thoughts or stories about your experiences of leaderboard contests in the comments below.

About the author

Manuel FornillosHello! I am Manuel Fornillos, the senior author and one of the editors of Design Doxa team. My writing proficiency covers the topics about social media, digital marketing, technology and mobile applications. When I was younger, I fell in love writing my emotions through poems and as years gone by, I used my gift by making informative articles regarding new technologies to reach out my reader’s souls. When I’m not writing you’ll see me in my garden with my plants to refresh with nature.

Alice Elliott
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