I have been doing a lot of work on my new book about radio promotions from around the world – and have basically boiled most competitions down to the follow 7 basic types that will either engage their audience or drive listener loyalty. How much depends on the prize, the length of the competition and more importantly… the resources available to make the competition or promotion work.
1. Call-in contests: Or Cue to Call comps – These contests require listeners to call in to the radio station to participate. Examples include trivia contests, song identification contests, and “caller number X” contests. From answering questions to calling when something happens.
2. Text-to-win contests: These happen less and less now from what I can see, but at their height of popularity listeners entered by sending a text message to the radio station. This is a popular type of contest for mobile-first audiences. Previously these would have been something akin to send in a post card to an envelope with the answer on the back.
3. Social media contests: These contests are run through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. They often require listeners to post a photo or use a specific hashtag to enter. Only certain parts of the listening audience would enter.
4. On-site contests: These contests require listeners to be present at a specific location, such as a sponsored event, business location or a concert, to participate.
5. Online contests: These contests are run through the radio station’s website and often require listeners to fill out a form or complete a task to enter.
6. Scratch-off/Fill-In contests: In these contests, listeners can win prizes by scratching off a card or ticket distributed at sponsor locations. Or fill in some details to be added to a database, sometimes that database would be either owned by the station, or the client (in worst possible cases that raw data would just be thrown out) Sometimes a fill-in contest would include a competition with a crossword, find-the-ball/item, etc.
7. Interactive contests: These contests leverage technology to create an interactive experience for listeners, such as augmented reality games or virtual scavenger hunts. Highly imaginative promotion, but costly to set up and run.
Each type of contest has its own benefits and drawbacks, and the best type of competition for a given radio station depends on the station’s audience, goals, and resources.
You will have to wait and see what the book contains to find out more.