Summary – Growth hacking is a hyped word up word. It is loosely defined as generating growth from less effort by working smarter and more creatively, not harder.

Today we are going to show you some pretty awesome growth hack examples to take your marketing to the next level!

We created a list of 13 innovative ways to growth hack with viral contests, leaderboards, and giveaways. These little tricks will help you become an elite growth hacker.

Each of these hacks will help you get more traffic, leads, sales, and brand awareness in some very innovative ways.

13 Ways to Growth Hack Using Viral Leaderboard Contests

Contests, giveaways, sweepstakes and whatever else you can name them have become a key growth hacking acquisition strategy in a lot of online businesses.

Customers are getting smarter and harder to market to. You’ll need to innovate your marketing strategies in order to reach them, and the viral leaderboard contest can help.

Do you need…?

  • More traffic
  • More leads
  • More sales
  • More awareness

Of course you do! Keep reading to find out how viral contests do it.

Basics of a contest

  • Rewarding someone for entering their information and completing an action (like referring a friend).
  • A lot of contests are based on a points system. E.g. do X and get 10 entry points to the contest. These points then rank the entrants on a leaderboard.
  • The more tempting you make this offering (1st place on the leaderboard) the easier the acquisition of will be.
  • Great offer + great audience = viral contest!

So let’s drive in and take a look at all the ways people are growth hacking their way to more leads, traffic, and sales using viral leaderboard contests.

1. Social follower contest

Everyone knows that a large social following is almost a prerequisite for online business validation. We also know that the value of a Facebook follower is decreasing.

So instead of paying thousands of dollars building your social following, you can launch a contest and ask users to follow your social media pages.

By rewarding extra points for entrants to follow your page, you will have a large following in no time.

get more social follower contest

TIP – Make sure what you are giving away is aligned with your business so that your entrants are focused to your niche.

If you’re giving away a $500 cash reward, the chances are you will get a pretty general following that probably doesn’t care about your company.

If you are in the golf niche and offer the latest golf clubs, chances are your entrants are going to be more targeted.


2. Email lead contest

Emails are a vital part of most business, it’s a direct contact with your customer is always a great starting point no matter what you are selling (products, content or services).

Using gamification in the form of a points system sparks the competitiveness in humans.

This email collection contest is the easiest to execute on and it pretty much rewards entrants with more points every time they refer a new person to your contest. Awards are given to people with the most points.

Rewards Dashboard

Giving multiple prizes helps to make your contest even more competitive. A lot of people don’t think they can win 1st place if the winner is too far ahead, but if there are enough consolation prizes to make it interesting, they’re more likely to participate.


3. Joint venture contest

Make your contest more interesting and valuable by introducing a complementary brand, product to partner.

This will give you more to offer in terms of prizes as well as help in the promotion and marketing of your contest.

Walmart + Fatburger Giveaway

TIP – Try using influencers to promote your contest. You are able to leverage their audience as well as use them as a validator that your contest is worth entering. People are much more likely to take a recommendation from a friend, family member, colleague or influencer than the brand itself!

For example, one of our clients, Fatburger, teamed up with Walmart to do a joint giveaway, which landed the brand a lot of social validation (more on social validation in the video below).


4. Waiting list

Waiting is never fun but turns a negative into a positive with a waiting list contest. Promote a page that announces the release of XX (whatever people are waiting for) and have people sign up for the waiting list.

Once they are signed up they can then see where they are in line!

You can incentives people to move up the line by referring others to the list, get them to follow your social media or get them to complete custom actions like watch a video, join a Facebook group or complete a quiz!

This is great for keeping your brand in the spotlight and building hype before your release or launch date.

waiting list

Make sure you send out a reminder close to when you are ready to open the doors to your waiting list to get them excited again.

This is also a great time to reward everyone on the list with a gift (discount, free item, bonus content etc).


5. Product launch

Similar to the contest above but more focused on the release of a product. Since this is a product it allows you to get a little more creative with your rewards.

For example, if you were releasing a new product (e.g. a power bank) you could give the top 10 entrants a free power bank and anyone who reached 5000 pints 50% off!

This incentivizes people to collect more points by sharing your contest, following your social accounts or completing custom actions you set!

TIP – The better you make the grand prize the more people will want to share your contest to get points. We suggest running this about 30 days prior to your release date.

Once you get to your release date you should have a huge list of emails to market to as well!


6. Course launch

This one is pretty self-explanatory after the prior contest type. Use all the same principles but for your course.

You can offer free course chapters, lifetime access or 1on1 training sessions as rewards in your launch contest.

Creators can try and run a few friends through their online courses first to get feedback and get some testimonials to use on the course launch page. This will validate the course and make the prize of winning more enticing.


7. Evergreen funnel

This is one of people’s favorite contest types as it is a constant stream of leads. A contest is set up to run constantly rewarding winners every week/month or quarter.

The idea of this is to keep a constant stream of traffic running to this contest page to keep it alive. Here is an example of how we run an evergreen contest –

evergreen contest

Add a link to your evergreen contest from a website popup/tab/menu item, Facebook page tab, Instagram bio, include it in your email prospecting drip and even in your paid acquisition.


8. Product / Facebook Page Reviews

Getting positive product reviews is a fantastic way to improve your conversion rate.

People love seeing validation on a product they are about to purchase. You can use a custom contest entry to incentivize a product review.

product review contests

It’s best to do this only for people who have actually bought your product, otherwise it’s unethical. You can make this more legitimate by making the custom entry question the receipt number of their purchase or their email they used at time of purchase.


9. Survey/Quiz Contest

Getting customers/browsers feedback can be tricky but we still do it as it is some of the most important information we can obtain to grow our business.

Here are 34 ways to improve your response rate.

Another option is to use contests to incentivize that feedback, everyone needs a little motivation.

Reward points on completing a Google form (can also use apps like SurveyAnyplace) or completing a single answer question (see below for an example), it will help participants get closer to winning the contest and get you your much-needed data.

Survey Custom Entry

TIP – The feedback can be on your website design, product, industry, information about them to help you build personas on the people who are interested in your brand.

Also, think about sweetening the deal by having a discount code at the end of the contest. This also drives a few sales as well 😉


10. Crowd Sourcing (Kickstarter)

Everyone seems to be crowed souring something these days, a trip around the world, a new business venture or new product. But how do you make yours stand out? The hardest part about crowed sourcing is getting eyeballs on your project.

Use a contest to generate hype, drive traffic, collect emails and build audiences. You can award people who back your project, share it, watch your product video & more. The possibilities are endless.

You can also run a contest before even launching your Kickstart so that when you launch you already have an email list to market to.

crowdfunding success rates

Tier your contest rewards similar to how you would for a Kickstarter. Once a contestant gets X amount of points they get Y.

Also, make sure you have some low entry rewards to keep people motivated. E.g. get 10% OFF when you reach 500 points.


11. Social Proof Contest (get cheap likes, shares & comments)

This is one of the most powerful but underutilized features of contests. The ability to incentivize someone to like, share and comment on a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn post is worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Not only does this make your post look extremely popular but you can pin this to the top of your page so when people visit your page it looks like you have some serious engagement. Social engagement is like word of mouth, e.g. “Jack liked this so I should too”.

Unique ways to use viral leaderboard contests

Use this tactic on your Facebook ads to get better quality scores and make your ads look more authoritative. A combination of leaderboard contest + lots of social validation + Facebook ads is a slam dunk for growth!


12. Video engagement contest (YouTube & FB)

YouTube is a huge opportunity that is extremely hard to break into, there are hundreds of minutes of video uploaded every 60 seconds so how do you make your videos stand above the rest? You game the algorithms by incentivizing comments, likes, and subscribers on your videos.

Nothing moves you up the search results in YouTube faster than comment engagement so make sure you also reply to those comments as well to get some conversations started.

In the custom entry of your leaderboard contest ask a question instead of just asking entrants to thumbs up your YouTube video.

E.g. For 100 points, watch this YouTube video and ask 1 question in the comments”. This will make the comments seem a little more organic!


13. Create custom audiences for Facebook

Not enough people use custom audiences on Facebook for hyper-targeted campaigns. Once you please a pixel on the contest landing page and thank you page you can start building an audience in Facebook.

With this audience, you can push specific offers to that targeted audience or create “look-a-like” audiences to find people similar to those who entered your contest.

custom audiences from contests

TIP – once your contest ends, run a Facebook campaign with the messaging. “Thanks for entering our contest, sorry you didn’t win but we don’t want you to miss out. So here is a 50% off coupon code that is valid for the next 48 hours”. The ROI on this campaign will be through the roof!

So by now, your brain should be buzzing with new ideas on how you can use VYPER’s Leaderboard Contests to grow your business.

We have seen time and time again engagement and share-ability take a campaign from 0-100 very quickly. So jump on the viral bandwagon and create your Leaderboard Contest now!

If you have any questions ask them in our Facebook group (full of growth hackers) or in the comments below!

Jack Paxton
Jack Paxton

Jack Paxton is the co-founder of VYPER, a marketing tool that helps brands build email lists, social followings, and revenue using viral giveaways, referral, and reward programs. After millions of dollars spent testing different marketing strategies at his marketing agency. He then also co-founded Hyax a fast, conversion & design-focused course and funnel builder for creators.

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