5 Tips for a Mother’s Day Contest That Will Melt Mom’s Heart

A fun and engaging online competition can be a great way to celebrate Mom while increasing awareness of your brand.
To get the most bang from your online contest, you must give away a prize that's worth the effort of entering. (Photo: VGstockstudio/Shutterstock)

Everyone loves to celebrate their mom, which makes Mother’s Day a great opportunity for small businesses. Leveraging the power of love, games and friendly competition can be a powerful way for you to increase online engagement and boost awareness for your brand.

“Online contests are a great way to bring some fun and excitement to your online presence as a business,” said Natalie Maniscalco, founder and CEO of public relations firm Retro Media NYC.

If you’re wanting to create an engaging Mother’s Day contest to promote your small business this year, now is the time to get started. Here are five tips to help you create a fun promotion sure to melt Mom’s heart.

Create a compelling offer

According to Lara Rios, marketing lead for hashtag analytics tool Keyhole, the key to any winning contest is identifying a prize that will grab customers’ attention.

“The promise of a reward naturally engages people that want whatever you are offering, even if they are not familiar with your brand. Plus, it will make their first engagement with your brand positive,” she said.

Consumers today are inundated online by news, videos and images vying for their attention, so in order for your brand to stand out from the clutter, your offer must be worth the effort of entry.

“The prize is everything,” said Maniscalco. “You need to be able to give away something that is going to move people to make an effort to enter your contest.”

Take a restaurant for example. Holding a sweepstakes for a free coffee mug with your logo on it will not likely get much of a response. You’ll get far more engagement by offering a more rewarding prize, such as a free brunch for Mom and one guest on the day of her choosing. Even though this may reflect a greater cost, the attention your brand will get by giving away a coveted prize will be worth it.

Related: 6 Ways to Offer Discounts and Still Make a Profit

Make the rules clear

You also want to make it as easy as possible for people to compete. The less confusing the entry process, the more participation you’ll get, said Maniscalco.

“The contest rules should be easy to follow and easy to execute by the end user, such as tagging a friend, using a specific hashtag or posting a photo or short video.”

Janil Jean, head of overseas operations for contest-based design marketplace ZillionDesigns.com, also advised business owners to think strategically about their contest rules and try to anticipate any potential mishaps or elements that could be confusing or frustrating for participants.

Related: How to Make Your Customers Aware of Warnings & Disclaimers

Leverage fan engagement


Everyone loves to celebrate their mom, so find ways to leverage social media sharing to boost your contest’s promotional capabilities. (Photo: kikovic/Shutterstock)

The true power of an online contest is that it lets your fans and followers do the promotional legwork for you, Rios explained.

“Simply viewing an ad is passive. Engaging in a contest takes something, and this action makes people more connected with your brand,” she said. “If there’s a trip or cool product out there up for grabs, we want to get in on it, and we want our friends or family to be in on it, too.”

A great way to leverage this power in your own online contests is to incentivize social sharing, suggested David James, founder of Business Growth Digital Marketing. Perhaps the entry requires a simple photo post to your Facebook page, but contestants can rack up extra entries for sharing the post with their own social networks — in turn, boosting awareness of your brand.

For example, last year Olympus Women’s Spa Inc. in Lakewood, Washington, hosted a mother-daughter look-alike contest for Mother’s Day, where fans could submit their best photos for a grand-prize $300 gift certificate and two tickets to a local Major League Baseball game. After submitting their pictures, fans were encouraged to vote for and share their favorites through the company’s Facebook page.

Related: 10 Facebook Tips to Increase Engagement on Your Small Business Page

Get in on the larger conversation

Online contests are also a great way to expose your brand to new audiences by becoming part of larger online conversations around Mother’s Day, said Rios.

“For instance, by using #MothersDay or #MothersDay2018 in your post, you are anchoring your contest to a huge volume of conversations happening about this event and making it discoverable by people you aren’t even consciously targeting,” she explained.

Maniscalco said leveraging strategic partnerships and collaborating with other brands and businesses can also broaden your promotional reach.

“Contests are great for collaborations with a similar brand to bring double the exposure and audience,” she explained. “You can also double up the prize when you collaborate, and that adds more [stakes] to the overall contest.”

For instance, if you own a retail store that sells a popular brand, talk to the vendor about chipping in to help create a branded grand-prize bundle. They may even be willing to promote your contest to their own social networks.

Related: How to Recruit an Online Influencer to Promote Your Small Business

Think outside the box

As always, one of the best ways to create a captivating promotion is to think creatively. Doing something different and unique is always a better approach than copying a competitor’s idea. For example, a yoga studio or baby boutique could create a contest specifically for mothers-to-be. Or if your business caters to senior citizens, think about holding a sweepstakes focused on grandmothers.

“Also, consider doing a contest for ‘fur-baby’ mamas,” suggested Maniscalco. “People who own dogs love to post photos of their fur babies, and if your business makes sense, like a restaurant that allows dogs in the outside seating area, why not?”

Whatever you do, make sure your Mother’s Day contest is all about celebrating the joys (and hard work) of motherhood, and you’ll be sure to melt Mom’s heart.

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