An extremely popular and effective way to boost engagement with your audience, as well as to grow your base, is to create an online contest. Such competitions are often executed on social media platforms, with incentives for users that far outweigh the limited criteria for entering. Combined with a five star rating system, online contests can reach new efficiencies.
In addition to being held on social media platforms, your contest can be run through your website if you use a rating widget. Rating widgets are particularly helpful because the hardest part of setting up and organizing an online competition is not getting the ball rolling. The second hardest part is eventually choosing the winner.
The old-school way of deciding on a winner is to gather a panel of judges who will then select the best submission based on pre-defined criteria. However, few small and medium enterprises have the luxury of time for experts on their team to step away from current projects to work as judges. Furthermore, these same companies rarely have room in their budget to hire professional judges to sift through all the entries.
If you find yourself in the situation where an online competition would be a boon to your company, but you don’t have the extra time or resources for judges, make use of existing technology to fill in the gaps.
Five star ratings systems allow you to run a competition and fairly select a winner without the hassle or costs of living, breathing judges.
The Importance of Contests for Businesses
For decades now, online businesses have been using contests to build brand awareness, develop a community by increasing followers and subscribers, and unearth sales leads. According to research in 2016, 30% of contest participants sign up in part to receive information from brands and their partners.
The bottom line is that consumers love incentives and are more than willing to give up plenty of useful information, as well as click a few social media follow buttons, for the opportunity to win a prize.
The increased brand awareness, in addition to the buzz around a well-composed competition, can very easily lead to increased sales during (or immediately after) the conclusion of a contest. Even if there isn’t an immediate spike in sales, the contest will certainly provide leads, followers, and subscribers that you can then begin to direct down your sales funnel.
Additionally, the online engagement through competition will help you build stronger relationships with your customer base and reinforce their understanding of your commitment to them.
Using Five Star Ratings with Contests
One of the simplest ways to conduct a smooth online competition is by using a bit of code. RatingWidget provides a five star rating system across a broad spectrum of popular content management systems.
A five star rating system for a contest is an easy way to use crowdsourcing as your judge and jury. Those entering the contest will submit their materials, and then users can vote with the five star rating system to express their opinions about the entries.
Once the competition is closed, the final rating for each entry will be the average of the total stars earned. One of the many advantages of this system is that users will be able to express their opinion about multiple entries, rating each from one star to five stars. Incorporating this type of contest judging increases the amount of time a visitor spends on your website, lowering your bounce rate, and giving you more chances to move them into your sales funnel!
As the voting is the responsibility of website visitors, there is an increased incentive for participants to work hard to drive traffic to your site. This allows you to expand your marketing reach and increase your brand awareness beyond those who are simply trying to win a prize.
To avoid spam or fraudulent votes, you can ask for your five star rating system provider to activate a security measure that only allows one vote per entry, per IP address, or registered account.
The five star rating method is used by many brands that run contests for creators and producers, such as videographers, sketch artists, makeup artists, graphic artists, and illustrators.
One of the reasons it is such a popular method is that users are used to, and comfortable with, the system already. In this day and age, it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t used five star ratings on sites like Amazon, IMDB, Yelp, and Goodreads.
Companies That Have Succeeded with Five Star Ratings in Contest Judging
Logo Design Gurus use the five star rating feature on their website, where there are several logo design competitions underway at any given time. To create content, they reach out to graphic designers across the globe and invite them to participate in their competitions, which web-users then rate (vote on).
According to Logo Design Gurus article on Use Star Ratings to Help Your Design Project, not only does the five star rating help clients express satisfaction, it also serves as a motivational tool for the designers, as it provides them with direct feedback from a broad audience.
Image Source: Logo Design Gurus
DesignCrowd also uses five star rating systems for a number of competitions in various categories: from business card and flyer designs to logos and t-shirt designs. However, to vote, you need to register—the perfect opportunity for DesignCrowd to grow their mailing list.
Give Your Contest a Five Star Rating
If you’re planning on running a competition to promote your brand or business online, take advantage of the technology that exists to save you significant amounts of time, money, and hassle.
Use a five star rating system. RatingWidget offers this functionality in the form of a WordPress plugin, jQuery plugin, Squarespace add-on, Shopify app, and more! The familiar layout and icons used with this system are user-friendly, promoting a better visitor experience as contest entrants connect with your brand and begin their trajectory down your sales funnel.
Share your tricks for running online contests (especially if they involve five star ratings!) in the comment section below.