April 26, 2017 Jaclyn Bickerton
An important part of administering a successful contest or sweepstakes program is promoting it in the right places. Contests and sweepstakes provide a unique opportunity to build your brand, but if nobody can find your contest or sweepstakes, you’re wasting your time. You should always put a plan in place to promote your contest or sweepstakes to ensure you are successful in achieving the goals you set out to achieve by running a contest in the first place.
If executed correctly, a successful contest marketing program will build goodwill with your prospects and customers. We’ve put together a short list of opportunities and channels to promote your contest or sweepstakes program:
Email Marketing: If you already have a CASL complaint email list, you’ve got a great starting place. Send out an e-blast to your existing database promoting the contest with those already familiar with your brand, or include it in your weekly newsletter.
Sponsored Email List: Many companies with established user followings will allow you to sponsor a portion of their regular email with an ad, or takeover an entire email for a nominal fee. If you don’t already have a CASL compliant email list, this is a great option as it will also help you BUILD your CASL compliant email list.
Social Media: May be the most effective way to promote your contest to new people, especially if you have large followings on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube. Pinterest, etc. Contests that encourage social sharing are the most effective as entrants will promote your contest to their friends and family at no cost to you. The most credible source of advertising today are referrals from people we know and trust. 84% of people trust recommendations from family and friends, and 67% of people say they’re at least a little more likely to purchase a product after a friend or family member shared it via social media or email.
Paid Social: Promote or Boost your posts promoting your contest or sweepstakes to ensure your followers don’t miss your announcement, or expand your reach by targeting those who aren’t already familiar with the brand.
Blog: Create a blog post to announce your contest or sweepstakes, especially if you have people that regularly read your blog.
Blogger Outreach: Research and develop a list of bloggers that may be interested in your contest or are part of your niche. Reach out to these people to ask if they would be interested in promoting your contest to their own followings.
Banner/Display Ads: Drive people to your contest or sweepstakes by adding banner ads on your site, or purchase ad space across various sites you feel those interested in your product or service would frequent.
Press Release: In certain cases, a press release can be a great way to announce your contest or sweepstakes and create some excitement around it.
Contest/Sweepstakes Directories: Submit your contest to various contest directories. There are tons of sites to use, and while some require a small fee, many are free. Contest directories are a great way to drive new traffic to the site and increase your opt-ins.
Once the contest or sweepstakes has run its course, avoid the BIG ZERO, don’t forget to promote the winner on any of the various channels you used to promote the contest itself.
If you want more, check out how to create traffic and some contest ideas that utilize the holidays to help assist in building your brand. Don’t miss out on the opportunities available through contest marketing. Everybody loves winning.
Jaclyn Bickerton, RAVEN5, April 2017