11 years ago, I received the very first prize I had won in an online contest. It was very special because I had won the Kenzo Perfume (which I have been using since High School), and it was timely since I was already squeezing my last perfume bottle for the last few drops when we received a claim card from the post office.
The site which hosted the contest was MTV Asia (there wasn't MTV Asia Philippines that time yet). The mechanics as I clearly remember it is to look for the Kenzo bottle in the site, and answer the questions (one is to describe the perfume in three words). Everyday, I searched through the site despite slow dial-up internet connection.
I was ecstatic when I received the prize. Since then, I started joining online contests - when there was not much competition, because not alot of people have access to the internet. I love contests, as evident in my previous posts. It is easy, accessible, and there is no need to write down your name in a piece of paper and tuck in a legal size envelope.
I even joined contests hosted by known magazines which require me to just email the entries. I have won twice from a known female magazine but I haven't received the prize. I don't know if I should blame the post office or the management, but the thought of winning and knowing that everything is real made me joined more contests.
I cannot count the number of contests and my number winnings - from raffles, blog contests, comment contests, and first-one-to-post contests. But there is one blogger and netizen who had joined hundreds of online contests in 2010 and have won major prizes, including a trip to an Asian Country. I am not surprised, his name is always visible in every Facebook page I check and encounter telling me that Jayson Biadog (yes, he's the famous contest guy) liked the same page.
Check out his interview with Janette Toral about his views on Online Contests.
Making an Online Contest Click from Janette Toral on Vimeo.
Jayson mentioned that for an online contest to click, one must have Content, Marketing and Advocacy.
On Content - I agree. Whether it is to convey the message that the company is trying to spread, or to get an insight from the contestants (great example would be blogging contests, or comment contests), a contest must have a content. It is when the decision point occurs for a contestant if he/she would join the contest. Say, a photography contest, most likely photo enthusiasts would join the contest, but these photo enthusiasts must also tap their creativity and not just take pictures and submit them.
Blogging contests are the most appealing for me since I am a blogger, and I love to express my views. I usually read the rules and understand the content of the contests before opening my blogger and publishing my entry. Aside from blogging contests, I love joining contests which ask for readers insights and comments, or ones which make contestants think. I recently won from the Go Nuts Donuts Contest for sharing how I would want to spend the Valentine's Day.
Three delicious donuts for sharing my views; and I hope my twit would somehow touch other readers' heart.
On Marketing - Most of the companies use Facebook to hold contests and market their products and services. Thanks to Facebook Developers. The alerts and your friends' activities are updated real time in the Facebook Homepage, thus one friend who Liked a certain page and joined its contest would send an alert to every friend's wall, and it spreads like virus.
Although Facebook Contests are fun, easy and cheap (all you need is pc and internet connection - lucky you, if you are in a wifi zone!), Most Likes contests turn me off. Sometimes you would wonder how one could have hundreds of likes. The truth is, most of these contestants have multiple email addresses, or campaign for swap likes.
I once joined a Facebook Contest and one of the criteria is to get as many likes. My entry received a comment saying that she had liked my entry, and in return, I have to like hers too. She even mentioned that she have 10 more likes to share if I am willing to campaign for her entry in another contest. I didn't like her entry. I never asked for her to like mine, so I don't want to think I was unfair. The dangerous thing on this swap likes is once you have liked their entry, they would go back to your entry and click Unlike; and you can now say goodbye to the precious prize.
I am just happy when the winners were announced, and I got the runner up prize. Eventhough the price is only a good Php500 worth of GC, that gives me more respect to the organizers of the contest. Sometimes I feel that Most Likes contests are companies' way to reach out to the market. But they never realized that they are only reaching out to dummy accounts.
On Advocacy - It is important that companies have a goal more than giving away prizes and promoting their brand. Our country and the world are dealing with too much issues like poverty, Global warming and health concerns. Brands and companies which products and services are used by consumers in their everyday lives should incorporate awareness to these issues, and the best way to promote such is through contests. Take for example the blog contest I have joined which aims to save 3M Hectares of Forest. When I joined the contest, I am not aiming to win the prize, but to take part in promoting the advocacy - because that is the simplest way I can help (I have won 3rd place, I just have to share!) I wish I could visit the forest and plant more trees, but facility and time would not permit me. Sending an entry as simple as a comment, or just by sharing it would spread the word and awareness. Besides, companies who are involved in community and health projects are more respected than those which only aim for more sales and profit.
I may not be as visible as Jayson Biadog when it comes to joining contests. I felt that I am not yet ready to show myself like creating video or photo entries, but through my blog, and occasional comments in websites and Facebook pages, I am making a difference in supporting the product, promoting its advocacy, and encouraging others to join. Now, I have to end this blog, as I have more contests to join. ;)
This is my official entry to DigitalFilipino.com's Talks Blog Contest. Be part of the conversation. Visit the contest page to join. Feel free to comment on my blog post and share your views.