Brand / PR Competitions & Challenges for Bloggers

photo: Flickr/Search Engine People Blog

photo: Flickr/Search Engine People Blog

Last updated 24th October 2013.

Everybody likes a competition, but often the kind of competitions put together by brands are designed to offer them maximum benefit and exposure, at the expense of a blogger’s time, effort and the goodwill of their followers.  In particular, we are talking about the type of competitions where a blogger is asked to write a post (often also including a recipe) to enter the competition, and is then required to promote their post/the competition/the brand via all their own social media channels.

Key words to watch out for are:

  • exclusive opportunity

  • you have been specially selected

  • a select group of bloggers

  • get your friends to vote

  • we can provide you with exposure to our billions of Facebook/Twitter/RSS subscribers

 What the brand gets from it:

  1. A link to the brand page in the post. (good for their SEO).

  2. A boost to their google rank (because many bloggers will be linking to them in each competition).

  3. Free publicity for their brand/product.

  4. Endorsement of the brand by the blogger.

  5. Free exposure for the brand on social media.

  6. If the brand asks for votes, then blogger’s readers/friends/family will have to link to or follow the brand’s Twitter of Facebook account to enter, thus even more followers for the brand.

  7. Details of a host of new followers to whom they can direct brand advertising.

  8. A big advertising campaign that will ultimately benefit the brand with very little expense, because e.g. for a recipe contest, they do not have to pay a recipe developer, a food stylist, or a photographer – the bloggers provide this valuable content for free.

What the blogger gets from it:

  1. The blogger will have to spend time planning and writing a post, without being paid for their work.

  2. The blogger will often have to develop, photograph and write a recipe, without being paid for their work.

  3. The blogger will promote the brand in their post for free.

  4. The blogger will promote the brand on social media for free.

  5. The blogger will annoy all their readers/friends/families for votes.

  6. The blogger with the biggest family/group of friends/readership are going to win. In competitions where there is a vote, it isn’t the quality of the entry that determines the winner but who has the most friends and the most time to spend promoting their entry.

  7. A very small chance of winning a prize, which is quite often worth less than what you would be paid if you were charging the brand for your time and effort.

  8. A tiny chance of any meaningful exposure on the brand’s social media channels. It may be true that they do have a billion followers – but that is no guarantee at all that any of these followers will end up following YOU!

Additionally there are an increasing number of these challenges where you are signing away all rights to your content just by entering, and the  brand could well ask to feature your recipe at the conclusion of the activity too.

Of course all these challenges / competitions are different, and some brands are more generous than others – being sent a hamper of ingredients worth £50+ (as sometimes happens) is very different from being sent a single product worth a few £.

The more bloggers are willing to participate in these competitions, the less inclined brands will be to pay bloggers to generate content (text, photos, recipes) for them  And even if they are prepared to pay, they are unlikely to pay you what your quality content as they can get so much more work from multiple bloggers at less cost by running these competitions.

Please think carefully before entering these competitions.

Written by : Guest Professor


Post By Blogger School Professor (12 Posts)

Blogger School Staff

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2 comments to Brand / PR Competitions & Challenges for Bloggers

  • Ali

    Despite I rather like a challenge I recently did one which after left me with a nasty taste in my mouth! Actually didn’t involve us getting readers to vote which is why I liked it, but then about 8 bloggers did it, 3 prizes up for grabs and the winner well I don’t know who is was and I suspect neither do the rest of the 7!

    I think if you get a hamper with all the ingredients you weigh it up (pardon the pun!)but yes they do take time (hours especially when you need to think up an original recipe) and the PR’s at the end of the email just sometimes seem to get that sadly!

    • I think it entirely depends what you get in return for taking part – I’d rather have a generous hamper of ingredients to play with, rather than something smaller and complete for a prize. I also hate voting competitions and refuse to take part – but that is another lesson which needs to be written…

      Thanks for commenting.

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