There are several factors that play a role in the success challenges designed for your brand’s community of advocates. As members of the marketing or communication departments, it is your responsibility to design the challenge in a way that engages more people and inspires more users to participate in it. One of the most important factors is the timing of the challenge. The timing of the challenge is important because the start date, end date, and duration of the challenge matter to people who want to participate in it. For example, if you plan a challenge with a short duration, people will not find enough time to create meaningful content to participate in it. On the other hand, if the duration of a challenge becomes too long, people might lose their motivation as there is no urgency.
In this article, we are going to talk about three different factors related to the timing of a challenge. These factors can play a significant role in a challenge’s success among your brand’s community of advocates. If you are specifically looking for one of these three factors, use the following list to jump to the part you want to learn more about:
So, let’s dive in and learn more about the three different factors in a challenge’s success.
When to start a challenge
When trying to receive the most engagement from your community of advocates, the day you choose to start your challenge matters significantly. Typically, like any other challenge or campaign, you should start on a day that gets the most attention, meaning that you should pick a date on which your community has enough time to receive the message you are trying to send with a peace of mind.
Therefore, the beginning of a week (Mondays) is not typically the best day to start a challenge. On the other hand, people usually spend time with their family and friends on weekends. Therefore, they are not really active on Saturdays and Sundays. Moreover, on Fridays, people try to wrap up the working week and get ready for the weekend. Therefore, the best days to start a challenge to get the best attention are Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Please also bear in mind these assumptions are not set in stone, and the behaviour of your brand’s community of advocates might differ. Thus, you need to adapt these points to your community and their needs.
When to end a challenge
Optimizing every detail is the best way to get better results. One of the details you can optimize is the day on which your challenge ends.
There are a lot of procrastinators out there (and in your community of advocates, too) that love to participate in your challenges but just cannot start working on creating content unless they feel the urgency of a deadline! So, we suggest that you end your challenge on a weekend so that these last-minute participants can have the time to contribute to your challenge.
How long should a typical challenge be?
As mentioned in the introduction, the duration of the challenge very much matters. It is important that you know how long your challenge is going to be. You need to give your community of advocates enough time to think about the challenge, be inspired, ideate, create, and publish their content. However, the duration of your challenge should not be too long to demotivate your community members from taking part.
Based on experience, challenges that are shorter than three weeks are considered too short. In this type of challenges, most of the users in your community of advocates cannot find enough time to create high-quality and meaningful content. However, if you need to have your challenge in short periods there are some ways to help you. One of the best ways to motivate users to participate in your challenge and boost engagement is to provide your community with several examples and a few ideas of the content you wish to receive. When you provide some ideas, the members of your community of advocates have some ground to build their ideas on.
Remind your community of advocates (but do not spam them!)
Almost all of us have busy lives. We have only had 24 hours in our days and all the tasks we need to take care of. It is only natural that we are becoming more forgetful than ever. Some of us might not even remember our loved ones’ birthdays, let alone remembering to take a photo and participate in a challenge on Instagram! This is why reminding is essential when you are trying to engage more users in a challenge.
How often you need to remind your advocates depends on the characteristics of your brand and the timing of the challenge. If the duration of your challenge is long, say three months, then you do not have to send reminders every couple of days; bi-weekly or weekly reminders are sufficient. On the other hand, if your challenge is shorter, you need to remind your community of advocates more frequently.
These are important factors you need to know when trying to create a challenge to engage your community of advocates. The main takeaway is that you always need to put yourself in community members’ shoes. Start your challenge on a day that is convenient for your advocates. And end it on a weekend so that those procrastinators can have enough time to participate at the last minute! Give people enough time to think about the challenge and come up with creative and fun ideas. And do not forget to remind them every few days!
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