The nature of competitions have changed throughout the years. From competitive sports to art competitions and intellectual challenges, contests have now taken a more mutually beneficial perspective. Some contests now aim to promote advocacies, charities, and sometimes even a new way of thinking.
Such is the case with the 43North business plan contest, an initiative backed by the state of New York to promote the state’s StartUpNY tax-free zone. As reported in The Buffalo News, the contest calls for entrepreneurs from all over the country to submit plans for a new business, and the best plan gets a prize of $1 million in funding. The contest has been very well received so far, with about 1,000 entries already submitted after only a month of its launch.
The news report also highlights how social media has been crucial in spreading word about the contest throughout the country:
Social media is a big part of the effort, too. It’s relatively inexpensive. It’s instant, and it’s a preferred method of communication for the younger and more tech-savvy generations that probably are most likely to have an idea for a new business that needs a big chunk of cash to get started.
Indeed, social media and other Internet-based platforms have become very effective yet inexpensive venues for promoting events, like the 43North contest. Additionally, social media by itself can also be used as a platform for online business competitions. In fact, online contests have recently been very successful in promoting many businesses across various industries.
As the number of Internet users continues to grow at very rapid rates, more and more companies and institutions now aim for a strong Web presence. Online contests have been proven to be effective in bringing customers to business’ websites and social media pages and increasing the return rate of existing customers to these pages. However, not all online contests are successful.
Many contests fail to attract a good number of participants for various reasons, including bad promotions, unattractive prizes, and complicated mechanics. The failure of many online contests lie in other areas—while they may have been successful in bringing in a sizeable number of participants, they were unable to create the proper branding for the business they were promoting.
To avoid these pitfalls, the right planning is essential. Admittedly, not all businesses have the savvy to manage online contests, and will thus benefit greatly from the services of online business contest management services like Skild, Inc. These companies can help interested clients come up with an effective business competition using online tools and creative strategies.
(Source: Contest could make us all winners, The Buffalo News, 23 March, 2014)