Best of Montana Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Best of Montana Contest? 

Best of Montana is a statewide contest where our audience (and your customers) nominate and vote on the best businesses across a range of groups and categories. There are three phases: 1) Nomination 2) Voting and 3) Winners.

During the nomination phase, people will nominate their favorite businesses. Participants are allowed to nominate one business for each category every day. The top 5 businesses from each category with the most votes will advance to the voting phase. One random participant will receive a $500 cash prize at the end of the nomination phase, with the winner announced via our email list. 

During the voting phase, participants will vote for their favorite businesses and can do so once per category each day. Another random participant will receive a $500 cash prize at the end of the voting phase, with the winner announced via our email list. 

During the winner's phase, after voting has closed, votes will be tallied. One winner and two finalists for each category (the top 3) will be permanently listed on our Best of Montana page. Throughout all phases, we will leverage every aspect of our marketing platform to drive traffic to the contest and increase participation. We also help enable you to encourage your customers to participate by nominating and voting for your business (details below). 

How Can I Advertise My Business On the Ballot? 

Advertising partners are invited to sponsor the ballot with several different types of ads. You will dramatically increase the number of nominations and votes that you get if your ads are displayed on the ballot.

Each phase of the Best of Montana contest aligns with the publication schedule of our print magazine to allow for print ads promoting your business. Marketing packages for each phase of the contest are sold and purchased separately. 

If you would like to advertise your business in any of the Best of Montana phases, please email [email protected] or call Chris at 406-595-8208, and we'll help you get going right away! 

Where Can I Find Ad Specifications? 

What is the schedule?

  • Nomination Phase: March 15 through April 20
  • Voting Phase: June 15 through July 20
  • Winners will be Announced online on August 1st and featured in a special section of our Fall issue, published on September 15. 

How do I get Nominations & Votes?

  1. The absolutely best way that you can get more nominations and votes is to sign up for one of our Best of Montana marketing packages. Please email us at [email protected] or call Chris at 406-595-8208. 
  2. Ask for them! Download our business toolkit below for free graphics to use on your website, email newsletters, and in your email signature! Put a link to your category (using the links below) everywhere you can think of! 
  3. Leverage Your Social Posts: Use the #BestOfMontana and #DistinctlyMontana hashtags in your social posts when you ask for nominations and votes! On Instagram, tag @distinctlymontana - to leverage our huge following!  
  4. Send reminders: Post regularly on your social media accounts, asking your followers to nominate your business, and provide this link:
  5. Repeat: Send emails to your customer database/newsletter on these recommended dates: 
    1. March 15: Nominations are open! 
    2. April 1: Friendly Reminder to nominate. 
    3. April 18: Last call to nominate - nominations end on 4/20. 
    4. June 15: Voting is Open! 
    5. June 30: Friendly Reminder to Vote
    6. July 17: Last Call - Voting Ends on July 20. 
  6. Speak Up: Tell your customers which categories you want votes in. Download the business toolkit and put up posters everywhere, put a link and our email signature logos in your email signature with the links below and ask for votes everywhere you can think of!
  7. Let Us Help: We will be promoting the contest, but you can also promote it using the many free resources available in our business toolkit below for use in all of your print and digital marketing campaigns. 

Where can I find short links to the categories?

Here are some handy short links to each of the categories. You can also create QR codes from these links for your promotional materials. 

Business Marketing Toolkit  

Our business marketing toolkit is a comprehensive marketing kit that includes PDF posters with QR Codes to display by your cash register, tables, and anywhere your customers are, web banners of various sizes, social media graphics of all sizes, and more! 

Click Here To Download Your Free Business Marketing Toolkit! 

Note: Distinctly Montana owns all copyright, including Best of Montana images and other intellectual property rights in materials that are created by Distinctly Montana for our advertisers. Reproduction of those materials without our expressed consent is a violation of copyright law. All Best of Montana images must include the "Nominate Us" or "Vote for Us" verbiage; use of the blank contest logo is prohibited. If you have any questions, please contact Chris Muhlenfeld at 406-595-8208.