Creating a competition calendar

| 13th February 2017

| 13th February 2017

Here are some of my favourite national days which I hope will inspire you to create an interesting and varied promotional calendar of prize draws and competitions. National days can generate great customer engagement and keep you relevant.

This Friday 17 February is Random Acts of Kindness Day and my goodness the world could do with a bit of this at the moment. How about giving away a prize every hour on Twitter? You’ll need to make sure your terms clearly state the hourly opening and closing times. Include a # that uses your own brand name to track entries and use Wishpond to pull your entries to prove that not only are you kind, but you're also fair when conducting the draw.

Time for a Cuppa day on 1 March. My husband tells me I make the best cup of tea ever which I know for a fact isn’t true. I make terrible tea. Most people can relate to this day, though. Run an Instagram competition asking participants to share and tag a photo of the office or home tea maker. Remember that Instagram has its own rules for running prize promotions, so make sure you swot up first.

10 April is the start of National Gardening Week. I live in Hackney, London, where gardens tend to be the size of a postage stamp, if you're lucky. Nevertheless I do own a few pot plants and love to see them take shape each season. The purpose of this annual event is to encourage everyone to get gardening regardless of the size of their outside space. Ask your customers to share gardening tips, photos, or stories for the chance to win a prize that reflects your brand. If you need help writing your prize promotion tweets, check out our brilliant blog post.  

National Share a Story Month on 1 May is a great way to encourage kids to write, so why not run a short story competition? You’ll need good criteria so entrants know what you're looking for, and consider splitting the competition into age groups so it's fair on younger children. At Spark & Fuse we have great insights into the do’s and don’ts for running a successful kids’ competition and you can read them here.  

Much like everyone in the UK, I'll be desperate for warmer weather and brighter evenings by 29 May, the official start of National BBQ Week. This isn't simply a monopoly for BBQ and meat companies, it's also a chance for veggie and vegan companies to market their alternatives. Create great engagement with a Facebook prize draw and ask your followers to comment with their BBQ tips and hacks. Don’t forget to include your significant terms even if you're running the promotion on social media.

As a person owned by a dog, my top ten includes Bring Your Dog to Work Day on 23 June. There are infinite ideas to tie in this national day with a prize promotion and you'll also create excellent user generated content. We'll definitely be asking our followers to upload photos of their beloved pooches - watch this space! In the meantime, read our 8 top tips for running a pet competition.

Did you know that bees need a place to rest while they are on their bee hunting missions? Neither did I. Don’t Step on a Bee Day on 10 July seeks to remind us that the fate of the common bee lies in the balance. Help spread this important message through a prize promotion. Don't look to generate large number of entries, instead aim for quality of entries with a judged competition. Make sure you have a clear and concise judging criteria listed in your terms and don’t forget to recruit an independent judge.

It’s National Emoji Day on 17 July. Ask your Twitter followers to write an entire tweet in emoji’s but be mindful of your own output. Last year WKD sent out an emoji-based tweet that was challenged by the Youth Alcohol Council. It complained to the Advertising Standards Authority on the basis that the use of emojis in a tweet irresponsibly appealed to children. WKD provided evidence of emoji’s being used in tweets by a variety of brands, institutions and non-government organisations to prove that emojis appeal to all ages. Although the ASA did not uphold the complaint, it's never good for brand reputation if a participant challenges your campaign, so please stay out of trouble.

Build a campaign around World Smile Day on 6 October. Give away your own products or services, or link up with another brand. I speak to prize winners on a daily basis - I can hear them smiling down the phone. My personal fave prize is a spa break (husband take note). If you decide to give away a holiday or weekend break, consider your prize specific terms and conditions. Missing them out could mean you’ll give away more than you bargained for. And you won’t be smiling then.

I'm into crafts so I particularly like Make a Gift Day on 3 December, the purpose of which is to actively encourage people to make gifts for friends and family. You could ask your customers to share photos of their homemade goodies. Don't limit it to success stories - disaster photos make great content, too. Once you’ve selected your winner, verify the photo to ensure it hasn’t been stolen from the web. We see a lot of stock images uploaded for prize draws and although we go to great lengths to verify winners, many brands have been caught out because they were less mindful.

What national days have you scheduled into your promotional calendar? Let us know below.

The copyright in this post belongs to Spark&Fuse Marketing Ltd. All rights reserved. You are welcome to republish this post provided you contact us for permission first and prominently credit us in any republication.   

Need a hook for your next prize promotion? Get in touch, we have loads of ideas. »

Category: Wonderful World of Promotions

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