Run a Sweepstakes PromotionWith so many ways to get your marketing message out to the world, why should you ever decide to execute a sweepstakes? If you’re one of those marketers who has seen an advertisement for a sweepstakes or contest and said to yourself, “What is the sponsor getting from this?” – you are not alone.

The truth is, the reasons for executing a prize promotion are mostly related to consumer engagement. By engaging the public, you are providing a way to involve them in the message, rather than just talking to them. Sweepstakes with the opportunity to win a great prize, contests providing the opportunity for people to show their stuff, and online games that offer incentives for having fun are all ways to engage current and potential customers in unique and interesting ways.

Below are just a few more ways that sponsors benefit from executing sweepstakes and contests:

Lead Generation / Audience Development
To reach an audience, you must first build an audience. Sweepstakes and contests provide the perfect landscape to cultivate email lists, grow social media followers (see below), and attract new business.

Example: A cereal manufacturer intends to use weekly e-newsletters as a vehicle to inform consumers of offers, coupons, recipes, and new products. However, they are finding it difficult to grow their subscriber list so they launch a sweepstakes where a randomly chosen subscriber receives a prize. In addition to providing an incentive to sign up for the e-newsletter, awarding monthly prizes keeps the subscribers’ attention and gives reason for current subscribers to mention or share the e-newsletter with like-minded friends, family and business connections.

Build Traffic to a Website
Building a website isn’t always an easy task. So, to spend the time and effort needed to create a professional online presence only to receive underwhelming traffic can be frustrating. Launching a sweepstakes and requiring that participants enter by filling out a form on your website will noticeably increase the traffic to your site, and in turn, to your social media profiles and other web entities.

Furthermore, US Sweepstakes will provide you with the traffic analytics necessary to accurately gauge the effectiveness of your campaign, and we will work closely with you to ensure that you understand what the numbers mean, and how they relate to your goals.

Encourage User Generated Content
If you could put your customers to work for you, why wouldn’t you? Contests involving user generated content (“UGC”) such as photos, videos and essays offer a unique opportunity for participants to show off for the chance to win prizes.

Example: A clothing retailer wants to promote their new line of denim jeans and drive traffic into their stores. Through a social media and advertising campaign, the company asks customers to visit their nearest store location, try on and photograph themselves wearing the jeans, then publish the photographs to social media, or upload to a sweepstakes microsite for a chance to win prizes. Once they have submitted their photo, participants have the option to share their entry with friends and family via social media, or by using a link to the microsite gallery which showcases all submissions. Each share brings further reach to the promotion, and provides the unique benefit of having “real people” promote the product for you using actual photos.

Increase and/or Reward Social Followers
Social Media contests and sweepstakes are becoming more popular as social networks continue to gain popularity and add new features. Users frequent social media to interact with others (not to be listeners in a one-sided conversation), so marketers must be creative with their message in order to attract the attention of social media users. Companies certainly have the option of posting status updates everyday hoping that they gain the attention of new followers, but social media users expect more than to simply be talked to by brands.

An interactive promotion with prizing, or a fun game both have much more potential to become viral on social media, and entice new followers to Like and Follow you for future updates. Keep in mind that once someone subscribes to your page, they will see many of your future announcements, so getting their initial interest is half the battle, and executing social media sweepstakes/contests can make that hurdle seem ten times shorter.

Drive Sales
As we covered in a previous blog post entitled “How do I Utilize Sweepstakes to Drive Sales,” there is great opportunity to use sweepstakes as sales drivers. Placing game pieces within your packaging or incentivizing customers to scan their “customer club” card during purchase in exchange for a chance to win a prize are two ways to encourage sales – as long as you also offer a free alternate method of entry (“AMOE”) that does not require a purchase.

AMOEs can come in the form of mail-in entries, an online form that participants can complete for free, or a paper ballot that can be filled out at an event. However, with a “no purchase necessary” AMOE in place, you can offer a method of entry that does require a purchase to drive sales.

Deliver Brand News or Promote a New Product
Have a product launch coming up? What better way to generate buzz than offering your customers the opportunity to learn about the product – and possibly win one for themselves. Sweepstakes and contests have the unmatched ability to garner attention because there is “something in it” for the customer. Rather than just talking to the public, you can involve them and make them feel like they’ve had the opportunity to get in on the ground floor.

Example: A television network has a new series launching so they decide to announce a sweepstakes that asks participants to visit the network’s website, watch a trailer for the new show, and find the Entry Code that appears during the trailer. Participants then use the Entry Code to gain access to a sweepstakes microsite where they can enter for a chance to win a trip package to meet the show’s cast in Hollywood. As a result of this simple sweepstakes premise, the television network has succeeded in raising awareness for the new show, convincing potential viewers to watch marketing material in full (the show trailer), and because the network will likely have media coverage of the winner’s meet-and-greet with the cast, valuable marketing materials have been created for future promotions.

If you’re ready to see how launching a sweepstakes or contest can help your business accomplish its marketing goals, click here to Contact US Sweepstakes today.