Expanding Your Audience Reach with a Sweepstakes Campaign
There’s nothing quite like the thrill of a win. We see it every year around this time as March Madness takes over TVs across America. We also see it in the excitement of playing the lottery, or in challenging your spouse to a friendly game of Monopoly. Whatever the platform, victory is oh, so sweet.
Over the last decade or so, that sense of thrill has infiltrated the social media sphere. Sweepstakes and other types of social media contests have become a key marketing tactic for increasing brand awareness. When executed properly, they can accomplish three major goals:
- Boosting online engagement – People are willing to take that first step in reaching out and engaging with your post because they know there’s a chance they’ll get something out of it.
- Increasing your email list – Similar to the above, if your followers know there’s something in it for them, they’re more likely to provide you with their email address in exchange for that potential reward.
- Inspiring virality – Contests are fun, and most people like to share fun experiences with their friends, especially when all it takes is a quick click of the mouse or tap of the finger. With enough shares, your sweepstakes could go viral.
How do you successfully run a sweepstakes contest in 2018?
The first step in hosting a successful contest is understanding your audience. Who are they, what will it take to get them to participate, and what sort of reward, or prize, are they looking for? Once you’ve gotten those pieces of the puzzle into place, shift your focus to your own goals. What does your business want to get out of this contest? Most likely you’re looking to expand your reach and your brand awareness, and in that case, you’ll need to identify the right social media platform for reaching that goal – perhaps one, like Facebook, that lends itself to sharing. But there are countless other platforms as well, so before jumping to any particular one, you may want test the waters on a few to determine which one provides the best fit.
Next, you’ll need to identify which type of contest will resonate best with your audience.
For the more interactive followers:
- Video Campaigns – Videos are making a huge splash on social media right now. A Facebook Live-based sweepstakes could be the way to go for a crowd that doesn’t shy away from a little technological interaction.
- Fan Content Campaigns – Loyalists love to support their favorite brands. Asking your followers to share their own content is a great way to engage your most invested followers.
For the more casual followers:
- Comment Giveaway Campaigns – On the other end of the stick, for followers who are less inclined to want to interact with a video or create their own content, a simple comment giveaway campaign is hugely effective. However, if you plan to run such a contest on Facebook, be sure not to use the word “comment” in your post. Facebook has started to crack down on posts that they consider engagement baiting – ones that ask followers to “like,” “comment” or “share.” Instead, ask your audience to answer a question or respond to a poll.
- Social Cause Campaign – Most people love to feel like they’re making a difference in the world. A campaign that targets a philanthropic or socially-minded experience is often impossible for even the most casual social media scroller to ignore.
When is a good time to host a contest?
You want your contest to make sense in the grand scheme of things. Scheduling your sweepstakes around a pre-planned date that aligns with your mission is always a good idea, as it allows you to gather email addresses or other contact information for future promotional purposes. Some notable dates to consider are:
- New product or service launch dates
- The start of a new brand awareness campaign
- Ahead of upcoming events
I think I’m ready to start my contest. Now what?
No matter when or where you host your contest, always be prepared and have a follow-up drip campaign in place. You certainly don’t want to lose all the valuable data you’ve just collected. Instead, you should be working to turn contest entrants into customers. Be ready with a quick “Thank You” email and consider including a coupon or other incentive that encourages your prospects to come back, even if they don’t win the prize.
And always be sure to follow the rules! Click here for a complete guide, compiled by ShortStack.com.
For help running your own social media contest, contact Paradigm Marketing & Design today to schedule a consultation.