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What Do Contests Have to Do with Bitcoin?

Op-ed - What Do Contests Have to Do with Bitcoin?

All too often, companies and individuals, especially those who are tech-savvy, get caught up in the ones and zeros, continually evaluating performance based on statistical analysis, instead of simply engaging the customer. How do you tell where and to whom your brand is reaching? Bitcoin payment processor, BitPay, has figured out that the numbers can only tell you so much. Instead, the company held a contest aimed at their merchants across the globe.

The contest, which was aptly named after BitPay’s mascot, was called “Where in the World is Curly?” From December 2013 through January 2014, the company’s nearly 20,000 merchants were given the opportunity to show their creativity. A miniature Curly was sent to to each merchant and participants were instructed to submit photos of Curly representative to where they do business and what they do. The contest spanned the edges of the earth and represented how BitPay helps their merchants accept Bitcoin.

Winners of the contest were announced last week and were truly representative of the worldwide reach of Bitcoin and the BitPay brand. There were three finalists selected with a grand prize of one BTC. Each of the selected images came from all reaches of the world, and depicted every climate. The BitPay mascot was photographed by South Pacific Real Estate in front of a Fiji skyscape, having outdoor fun with a child in England by ByTerminr Limited, and in frigid mountain weather in Slovakia, which was submitted by

Curly in Fiji, photo by South Pacific Real Estate

BitPay VP of Marketing Stephanie Wargo stated in a recent press release, “We received immensely creative entries from all ages and from all types of merchants. Curly is a great representation of the company and the service we provide our merchants each day.”

It is through contests such as this that Bitcoin will continue to grow, not just in business, but in individual adoption. Put simply, widespread adoption is dependent on how something as new and innovative as Bitcoin is brought to the common consumer. From a marketing perspective, contests like “Where in the World is Curly?” bring Bitcoin into the public eye in a manner that is engaging and customer facing.

How do contests help?

Create buzz for products

Word-of-mouth marketing is extremely powerful and consumers seek product recommendations from social outlets more than ever before. How a brand takes advantage of the abundance of information is important. For the Bitcoin community, companies can use contests and the like to increase how their innovations are perceived by businesses and consumers.

Encourage additional website traffic

No matter how technologically advanced or innovative a product, a customer will not know it exists if there is no action taken. Contests give people strong motivation to visit a company’s website, and because Bitcoin is driven by e-commerce, this traffic is of utmost importance to the success of digital currency. Many consumers are apt to spend more time on a site where engagement is present, and in turn, are likely to access their Bitcoin wallet and place an order.

Strengthen relationship between company and consumer

Contests strengthen the company-to-consumer relationship by informing them about the company’s products in a fun and engaging way and by giving customers a benefit for interacting with the company. For BitPay, the photo contest helped create additional brand awareness while expressing how Bitcoin can positively affect businesses. “Where in the World is Curly?” created excitement throughout the Bitcoin community, and further established the relationship between the company and its current and future merchants.

Surely, contests are not for everyone, but in certain cases they can be used to positively impact new technology or innovations. For Bitcoin, contests can help drive consumer and business adoption, create additional customer engagement, and increase knowledge of digital currencies throughout the world.