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How to Grow Your Audience and Promote Your Products with Competitions for WordPress

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Grow Your Audience with Competitions for WordPress

Running a contest on your WordPress website can be very worthwhile, but it can also be hard work. If planned and executed correctly it can help grow your audience, raise brand awareness, and help promote and sell your products.

But what do you need to consider before running a competition and what type of competition is a best fit for your project? In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the different types of contests you can run as well as the best WordPress competition plugins that make growing your audience a breeze.

The Benefits of Running a WordPress Competition

WordPress competition

Running a competition creates excitement and interaction among your website community. The prizes don’t have to be huge but, done correctly, the rewards for your business can be.

Collecting Email Addresses

Competitions are a great way to collect email addresses and one of few times when people are happy to part with them. People love fun contests and more than that they love freebies. Giving an email address to access the possibility of winning a prize is a small price to pay. Meanwhile, your site’s mailing list grows and grows.

Growing Your Audience

An obvious result of a competition is that you can reach a wider audience, especially if you make the most of your social media channels. The more people engage in your contest, discussing and sharing it online with their friends, the more your website will begin cultivating and reaching a new audience.

Improving Your Social Media Presence

Contests are a popular way to improve your social media presence. Share or run your competitions through your social media accounts and your shares, likes, and followers will quickly increase. This will grow your audience on social media, and if you are clever about it, help increase traffic to your site.

Raising Brand Awareness

Social media marketing, as well as reaching a wider audience through running a competition contributes extensively to raising brand awareness. The excitement around your contest and the consequential reach to new consumers that can occur will help raise general awareness of your brand. In conjunction with that, the competition itself and the interaction around it will help position you as a serious brand, and a genuine authority in your industry.

Promoting Your Products

Competitions are also an impressive way to promote your products, particularly if you base a competition around one of your products. This could be using your product as a prize, asking people to comment about a particular product, or share photos displaying one of your products. Let your visitors and customers market your products for you through competitions, sharing images and dialogue about them with a wider audience.

All of the above points should ultimately lead to an increase in traffic to your site and more sales or leads. However, this will only be true if you have thought through the competition and chosen the right type of contest for your site and audience.

Things to Consider BEFORE You Start the Competition


Once you have decided to run a competition of your WordPress website don’t just rush ahead into it without a clear plan or strategy. There are some key points to consider before you get started.

What is the Objective of the Competition?

Think carefully about what you want to achieve from running a WordPress competition. Who you are targeting and consequently what type of contest you should run? Do you want to grow your audience, increase your mailing list, promote your products, or something else? Remember, in the long term, you can run more than one WordPress competition so just pick one or two objectives for the first contest for your site.

Who is the Target Audience?

You need to identify your target audience if you want your competition to achieve its goals. You want the contest to attract the type of people who are likely to become customers, clients, or subscribers, not people who love competitions but have no interest in your niche.

The prize for your contest is important here. It doesn’t need to be expensive but importantly it does need to resonate with your target audience and be related either to your products or industry. This will help attract the right clientele.

What Type of WordPress Competition Will You Run?

The type of competition you choose to run should help tick the boxes for attracting the right audience and realizing the aims of the contest. Think about the type of competition your target audience will be interested in entering. For example, at the most basic level, photographers, run a photography contest. But if your objective is to collect email address, make sure this is a prerequisite of entering the competition.

The Different Types of Competitions You Can Run

Here are some different types of competitions that you could run, as well as some of the best WordPress competition plugins that can help you manage them.

Note: Make sure to research the laws regarding giveaways and lotteries in your country, state, providence, county, city, etc. In some cases there may be age restrictions, tax forms, or other rules and requirements that are your responsibility to follow.

A Photo Competition

Photo Contest WordPress Plugin

It is well known that people engage more with images online than text. So why not take advantage of this and run a photo contest? Sharing images in a competition can be a great way to promote your products, as the competition can be to post an image of one of your products being used or enjoyed. To increase engagement on your site you can ask people to vote on the pictures to determine the winner.

Photo Contest Plugin is a premium WordPress competition plugin. It enables you to set up a photography competition on your WordPress site and offers a variety of options so you can tailor the contest to suit your needs. It tallies the votes and identifies the winner for you, taking all the difficulty out of organising and running a competition online with WordPress.

A WordPress Comment Contest

Pick Giveaway Winner Plugin

If you want to create a competition that encourages excitement, discussion, and engagement amongst your website’s community you should install and run the free WordPress plugin Pick Giveaway Winner. This plugin enables you to run a contest on your site that is based on people commenting on a blog post.

Simply choose which blog post you want people to discuss and then offer a chance of winning, selected at random by the plugin, for anyone who chooses to comment. This type of contest encourages discourse on your site and creates a strong interactive community.

Sharing Competition on Social Media

Wishpond Social Contests

An impressive way to encourage people to generate brand awareness and gain new followers is to run a sharing competition on social media. This involves creating some type of image or text and asking people to share and like it, to be in with a chance of winning.

Wishpond Social Contests is a great free WordPress competition plugin that enables you to set up a sharing contest on Facebook and Twitter. It runs and monitors the competition for you and even chooses the winner at random.

Refer a Friend Competition

Invitebox WordPress Competition Plugin

InviteBox is a premium refer-a-friend type WordPress contest plugin that makes it possible to run referral competitions. But it does come with a 14 day free trial (which you could use to help launch a new website, then use different contest plugins later on).

By setting up a referral campaign with InviteBox you can run your competition by rewarding those who refer their friends. People are usually happy to refer a friend if they stand a chance of winning a prize. In the meantime, your site benefits from the promotion and sharing of your business with a new audience.

A Video Contest

Video Contest WordPress Pugin

Videos online are the thing everyone is interested in at the moment so try tapping into that. Video Contest WordPress Plugin is a premium competition plugin that will help set up and manage a video contest for you. Through video competitions, you can promote your brand and products. Hopefully, people will also share the competition and videos on social media, helping to grow your audience.

WooCommerce Lottery

WooCommerce Lottery

Or you Could run an old fashioned lottery. WooCommerce Lottery lets you run your own WordPress lotteries by utilizing the power of WooCommerce.

After installation, you’ll be able to create a lottery in the same way you’d create any other WooCommerce product page. You can set a price tag for each ticket, which users pay for using any of the WooCommerce-approved payment gateways you’ve installed on your website.

You can also control all the important details for each lottery. This includes start/finish times, the maximum number of tickets per user, and the number of winners. You can also specify the absolute maximum number of tickets available. To drum up extra excitement, there’s even a range of animated widgets, counting down to the next draw.

When the lottery finish time hits, the plugin will also take care of all the behind-the-scenes stuff, including picking the winning tickets at random. After the draw, WooCommerce Lottery will also send out email notifications to the winner/s – and, if you want, to those who didn’t win.

While you can’t use the plugin for cash draws, it can be used to give away cool prizes – for example, products stocked in your eCommerce store.

Of course, there are a lot more types of contest services and plugins that you can use, but the ones mentioned in this article are definitely a good place to start. Think carefully about your type of website or business, the audience you want to attract, and most importantly what you want to achieve through your competition. Then choose the type of contest accordingly. Good Luck!

How will you use competitions to promote and grow your website? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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  1. Megan Jones

    Thanks, this is a really interesting read.

  2. shakergeek

    Never occurred to me to run a contest thru WP. Thanks. I see the Pick Giveaway Plugin hasn’t been updated in 8 months. Has anyone here used it? I’m always hesitant to try plugins that don’t have active development.

  3. Emily Johns

    One of the precised article I have came across. I am looking forward to implement these points and working on the same. 🙂

  4. jtibbles

    Great article Joe, I’d love you to check out my competition plugin called No Frills Prize Draw. It’s free to download at . There’s a pro version with lots more features (for only €10), let me know if you would like to review it and I’ll send you a free copy. Both the free and pro version have received some great reviews. Playstation even use it for their internal office competitions.

    Hoping to release my business directory plugin early 2017 too.

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