Promotional Graphics For Online Contests: Ideas & Design Tips

Customer satisfaction was once the go-to motto for a brand to get better at its marketing. But now, satisfying your customers is not enough. You need to engage them and excite them. One way to do this is through contests. Let’s talk about online contests in particular. And a secret sauce in helping your contests garner momentum is a set of well-planned and well-designed promotional graphics. 

Brands big and small now run contests or as the social media generation popularly calls them, giveaways! These have become crucial elements in the social media growth and performance of brands. But the topic itself can be overwhelming. We get it! And then there is the pressure of coming up with an idea that’s relevant to your brand, something that brings measurable results. Don’t worry, let’s tackle all these details one by one in this blog. We’ll talk about the types of online contests you can run for your brand and some design ideas for promotional graphics for these contests. After all, good design has always been an integral part of all types of marketing campaigns, including promotional contests. 

Types of online contests to try 

1. Tag a friend 
Social media design by Kimp 

You must have come across several contest/giveaway posts on Instagram that requires you to tag a friend or two to be able to enter the contest. The idea here is to:

  • Increase the reach of your campaign and brand 
  • Get more relevant leads through your existing customers 

People who follow you are often those who find your brand to be relevant to them. And when you ask them to tag friends who will find the post or the contest useful, they are tagging other people who might be interested in your brand. In short, you are earning not just more leads but relevant ones! 

Even if the friend that is tagged does not follow your page eventually, they are still introduced to your brand. And this exposure is pretty valuable. 

That’s why “tag-a-friend” contests work.

2. Share a picture 

If you want to drive engagement through user-generated content, then one of the best online contest ideas will be one where you ask your customers to share a picture. This could be a theme-based photo or a photo that features your customer using your products. Either way, you get customers to interact with your brand by sharing content on their respective social media pages and tagging your brand. Again, this helps in increasing the reach of your brand on social media. 

3. Answer and win 

The thrill in fighting for the reward is real. So, customers love it when you have contests that require them to answer a question or two to stand a chance of winning a reward. Answer-and-win contests are timeless trends that have worked on offline advertising channels and they work equally well on social media too. Here is an example:

Answer-and-win contests have three main benefits- 

  • It helps you gauge your customers’ understanding of your product or your brand. 
  • If you find that not many customers know the finer points of your products, you know that you need to improve your brand communication. 
  • And finally, even customers who do not know the answers will make an effort to try and understand your brand or products better and thus find answers. Therefore, this is one way to strengthen brand awareness. 
4. Partnership giveaways 

Partnership giveaways can be partnerships between two brands or partnerships between an influencer and a brand. 

For brand partnerships, you can work with brands that are not your competitors. Look for popular names in the shoulder niches. These are niches that are closely related to your niche. For example, a beauty magazine with a good following will be a good partner for a beauty brand. In this case, you can increase the visibility of your brand by placing it in front of another brand in a related niche. Because the target audience will often be similar for both brands. 

Another opportunity is through influencers. Nearly 40% of Twitter users report having made a purchase after seeing a post from an influencer. People trust other people better than they trust brands. So, a giveaway where you partner with an influencer will be one way to reach out to the influencer’s followers. And this can be fruitful when you work with an influencer with a target audience group similar to that of your brand. 

So, these are a few online contest ideas, to begin with. The list is practically endless! You know your brand and your industry better. So, use these ideas to come up with your own version of one of these or perhaps an idea so creative that your brand gains fame for the idea itself! When it comes to the idea it’s up to you. But when we have to talk about design, we have some suggestions for you. 

Design tips for an online contest promotional graphics 

If you look at online contest posts from most brands there is one crucial element in all of them, the visuals. Some use images and some use videos. Both these can drive engagement and convey the idea quickly and clearly. But the image or video you choose should communicate your message clearly. It should focus on what benefit the customer will get upon taking part in the contest. And it should also tell customers how to take part in the contest. In short, these promotional graphics should convince customers that it is a contest worthy of their time. 

And for these promotional graphics, here are a few things you should remember. 

1. Be double-sure about the image quality 

Whether you use actual photos of your product or a custom graphic to promote the contest, you should avoid the following image quality issues:

  • Pixelated appearance due to resolution issues 
  • Noise 
  • Subject being out of focus 
  • Motion blur
  • Bad lighting

Kimp Tip: 

Social media is now filled with images and videos and so people’s expectations have changed. They do not interact with poor-quality images anymore. After all, you do not even need a professional camera to click pictures. Any good smartphone will do. You might also like our blog on clicking great product photos with a smartphone. So, use these tips and include a good-quality image to promote your contest. 

If you are working with a designer to create custom graphics, ensure that your designer understands the social media platform that you want to target. And provide a detailed creative brief that helps the designer understand the objectives and the ideas behind your contest. 

2. Maintain consistency across ads

Based on different target audience groups or based on the social media platform you might have a set of ads that you run for your contest. Ensure that all of these promotional graphics look cohesive. Consistent visuals make the most impact. And if the same customer sees the ads on different platforms, he would still know that it is the same ad about the same contest. This increases the chances of the customer responding to the ad. 

Kimp Tip: 

When you work with different designers for each design, visual consistency feels like a tough goal to reach. Try working with the same designer for all your marketing designs. At least work with the same designer for all the promotional graphics for a particular contest or campaign. 

With Kimp subscriptions, you work with a designated design team. They help you create consistent-looking designs for your campaigns. 

3. Use videos where possible 

67% of marketers report that they earn the biggest ROI from sharing videos on social media. Videos are interactive and they make it easier to break endless scrolling. So, to get people to notice your contest and actually gather information about it, a video can be pretty useful.

Kimp Tip: 

Short-form videos are the top choice when it comes to lead generation. So, to show your command over the particular social media channel and to keep customers engaged, you need to come up with short-form videos regularly.

If that sounds tedious, leave it to the Kimp team. One Kimp Video subscription can cover all your short-form video requirements. 

4. Bridge the gap between online and offline content

Online contests are great. But if you find a way to link them back to your offline branding and marketing designs it gets even better. Here is an example. 

In the above campaign, there is contest-related content both on the app and on the packaging. This way, customers buy the product from the stores and interact with the brand online. 

That’s a solid strategy to boost conversions. 

Kimp Tip:

When you have such contests you wish to promote, adding small changes to your packaging design is one way to take the promotion offline. But again, visual consistency is something you cannot ignore. 

That’s where a feature-packed design subscription like Kimp can make a difference. Because the same design team handles all your online and offline promotional graphics. 

5. Keep the design relevant to your brand and campaign 

Just because visuals make an impact you cannot use any random image to promote your contest. There should be a strong reason why you chose the design. The easiest idea is to use product photos. This includes products that are in focus or the ones that will be rewarded to customers who win the contest. 

If you do not want the cliched concept of using product photos you can create custom graphics or illustrations to back your message. Remember that your customers will be sharing this post on their page or with their friends. You will want these posts to paint a good picture of your brand everywhere. So, choose strongly relevant graphics. 

Finally, you should also ensure that the design is on-brand. This includes colors, fonts, and the overall mood. They all should align with what you have defined in your brand style guide

Social media design by Kimp 

The above design shows the product that is given away and also an image of the product actually being used. This just makes the whole design a little bit more impactful than a traditional product image. And finally, the catchy color palette capturing the brand colors ensures brand relevance too. 

6. Create and use the right hashtags 

Hashtags have become like the headlines of social media posts. Well, this is not technically a design tip but we would like to emphasize the need for creating a hashtag here. Because for your contest to be successful you need to regularly track engagement and frequently post about the contest. How will customers know that two different posts on your page are talking about the same contest? One is with visually coherent images and the other is with the hashtag. 

Get creative with your hashtag. It should be unique and catchy and yet relevant to your contest. And try to squeeze in your brand name in the hashtag if that’s possible without making it too long. This way your customers will easily link it back to your brand. 

Wondering how to come up with a relevant hashtag strategy for your campaign? We have a post on hashtag that might help. 

One Kimp subscription for all the promotional graphics for your online contest 

You cannot be cutting corners when it comes to marketing designs. That’s particularly true in the case of promotional graphics for contests. Because you want scroll-stopping designs to actually see results. Otherwise, your ad might appear in front of the right people but not succeed in earning their full attention. And when that does not happen, your conversions drop! Thanks to the options like unlimited graphic design subscriptions like Kimp, good designs now do not cost too much nor do they eat up your time.

Still not convinced? Consider this – Kimp has been selected among the Top Graphic Design Companies in Canada by Designrush. 

Give us a try by signing up for our 7-day free trial. No strings attached!