What Are the Types of Sweepstakes and Contests?

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All sweepstakes and contests are unique. At Sweepsify, we always recommend that you hire a sweepstakes administrator or sweepstakes lawyer to assist you in defining the guidelines and terms of your promotion.

Only a carefully planned sweepstakes or contest will run smoothly and achieve the specific, measurable goals that you have set forth in targeting a specific audience.

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What Are the Types of Sweepstakes and Contests?

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To help you get started with identifying the type of sweepstakes or contest you want to run, here are the most popular types of sweepstakes and contests:


  • What are different types of sweepstakes and contests?
  • What sweepstakes are the best to attract participants?
  • How do I create a sweepstakes or contest?

Instant Win

These sweepstakes campaigns are designed to instantly reward participants with small prizes. They are perfect for using with customized sweepstakes survey forms to collect demographics, data assets, and behavioral insights.

Also Read: Sweepstakes Legal Documents Checklist


Some sweepstakes or contests may incorporate scratcher tickets that allow them to enter or play in the game.

Text to Win/SMS Sweepstakes

These are SMS platforms that will allow you to run a TCPA-compliant mobile marketing campaign via text message.

» MORE:   When Is It Better to Hire a Sweepstakes Company for Your Giveaway Promotion?


Participants engage with the brand via a toll-free number in order to participant in the promotion.

User-generated Content (UGC) Sweepstakes

UGC campaigns are specifically designed to generate high quality UGC that the brands can repurpose in future marketing efforts for social proof.

Here are some examples of the prize categories for sweepstakes:

  1. Vacation travel sweepstakes
  2. Merch sweepstakes
  3. Car sweepstakes
  4. Large cash prize sweepstakes
  5. Holiday sweepstakes

Sweepers, or people who enter sweepstakes as a hobby, tend to like entering sweepstakes that have lots of prizes because more prizes means that there are more chances to win.

What Are The Different Types of Contest?

There are many ways to use a contest to enhance audience engagement for your brand.

Maybe you’ve considered a contest previously, but you weren’t sure whether to do a sweepstakes or a contest to best engage your specific audience?

Social Media Contests

Social media contests leverage social platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube & others to grow the brand’s audience on that platform and reward followers for engaging with the brand.

Here are the most popular types of contests to help you understand what each is useful for:

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Photo Submission Contest

A photo submission contest is a great way to show how fans are engaging with your brand. When brands run social media contests, they typically ask fans to engage with the product in some form.

This type of contest helps to increase brand awareness while also providing social proof. Your customers will demonstrate how your product has become part of their daily lives.

A photo submission contest can benefit by gaining valuable user feedback on your products as well. People will naturally recommend new features, tell you about the positives and the negatives if you just ask the right follow-up questions.

» MORE:   The Best Sweepstakes and Giveaway Websites for 2024


Photo Caption Contests

In photo caption contests, participants assign a caption to a photo that you provide to them. You may find that the captions reveal some new opportunities for establishing emotional connections with your brand among your most loyal customers.

Video Submission Contents

With video submission contests, participants submit a video for a chance to win a prize. Similar to photo contests, brands typically choose to ask participants to engage with their products and service in the video contest entry.

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This makes video submission contests a useful means to generate UGC for a brand. However, with the significant effort required on behalf of the participants when it comes to creating videos, the prize must be a large cash prize, an exotic vacation, a scholarship or other huge prize.

You’ll need to generate a lot of buzz in order for this type of contest to attract the most serious and creative submissions.

Also Read: 5 Reasons to Run a Social Media Contest for Your Brand

What Are Good Contests?

The best contests help to increase engagement. You can notice them immediately by the number of influencers that are attracted to participant in a social media contest.

It’s not only that brands pay influencers to enter to win. Influencers themselves are drawn to the largest social media contests in the hopes that their entries will be selected, instantly giving them access to new audiences and a larger reach.

What Do All Successful Sweepstakes and Contests Have in Common?

Now if you’re ready to get started on your sweepstakes or contest, the next thing you need to do is follow a few simple steps.

» MORE:   Running a Sweepstakes or Contest? What You Should Know Before You Go Live

This is where sweepstakes and contests can go wrong if not done correctly.

  1. Get Quotes: Get sweepstakes company quotes so that you can learn about the process and what’s involved so that you are aware of the commitment needed.
  2. Set KPIs and Specific Goals: Your sweepstakes or contest needs to have specific goals, such as increasing social media followers, collecting answers to consumer survey questions, helping you reach new leads and customers for remarketing purposes.
  3. The Prize Is Key: The best prizes attract participants, period. Your participants must find it interesting, useful, and worth the effort to enter.

Also Read: Travel Prize Fulfillment: 7 Vacation Prize Tips for a Successful Sweepstakes Winner Experience


Important Things to Know That Apply to ALL Sweepstakes and Contests

All social media platforms have their own rules. We do not recommend creating social media contents for the sole purpose of getting like, share, and comment activity on your posts as this is often directly against the TOS of the social media platform.

Also Read: What Are the Rules for Social Media Contests?

Sweepstakes and contests don’t have to be massive in order to be a success. What matters is the quality and engagement of the participants.

Your most loyal customers are the most likely to join a sweepstakes or contest if you run one.

It’s strongly recommended that you hire a sweepstakes or contest administrator for drafting official rules and legal compliance.

Ready to Get Started?

Need help with sweepstakes marketing or sweepstakes and contest administration? Sweepsify helps you find top sweepstakes companies in seconds. Create your free Premium account now to get started.