July FB Screen GrabAlmost any small business can benefit from the buzz a great contest builds.  A well executed contest engages clients, prospects and sometimes even the media.  Powerful tools to build brand awareness and generate prospect lists, contests can often be tedious, time consuming, and challenging to administer.

In the past, the effort involved often discouraged my small business clients from taking on the challenge of a contest.  The we discovered Wildfire.  This is a terrific, cost effective online contest application.

What I like About using Wildfire:

  • It was relatively easy to build the campaign.  (Depending on how much time you want to spend on the graphics you can be up in less than an hour)
  • Options: Sweepstakes, coupons, photos and essay contests
  • Easy Promotion
    • Inserts easily into a Facebook Fan page.
    • Facebook is not required -Wildfire also offers simply widget for website and a microsite you can direct contestants to as well.
    • It creates a banner which can be a part of your website and drives entrants to microsite or Facebook page.
  • The simple user interface makes it easy for people to invite their friends and expand the contest virally.
  • Reasonable Price:  Depending on the length of the campaign, and the amount of customization you require, your administration budget will be a fraction of what it used to cost to run a program like this. Typically under $200

What I don’t like about Wildfire: ( Lets face it, nothing is perfect)

  • You can only share with 6 people a day through Facebook – Maybe this is a Facebook thing.  You can send emails, but I really like the viral nature of Facebook, and it is a shame to limit it.
  • In some campaigns we can capture emails of everyone who submits, but not everyone who votes.   To accomplish this, we created a two part campaign using  Formstack for the voting

In general, I am excited about Wildfire, we are testing a number of the variations for clients in the coming months.  Including our own : Biz Card Makeover

Have you used Wildfire?  What experiences have you had with the product?

Don’t forget to – enter your child or grandchild to win a ride on a helicopter, zamboni machine and more!