Ever had this feeling?
You did everything you could. You are racking your brain.
Still, it didn’t work, despite your best efforts. You are at your wit’s end.
Most social media contests fail because of the lack of promotion. The more traffic you bring to the contest app, the better results you will have.
Read about some excellent tactics to drive traffic to your app, and make your contest a success!
First, Bring Traffic Only Where It’s Worth It
The very first step before you start promoting your contest or sweepstakes is to test it on a smaller sample, and see how its conversion is doing.
According to our experience among the Antavo Contest Platform users a 30+% conversion rate is good.
If you have a suspiciously low conversion rate, then double-check the user flow (whether your app works well technically, and people always know what the next step is). See if the prizes are attractive enough.
If you’ve managed to polish your numbers, go ahead, and use the methods below to drive traffic to your campaign.
Use Your Own Marketing Channels
Start promoting your contest on the channels you already own.
Wait, shouldn’t you attract new people instead of sending the contest to those you already reach?
Well, successful contests and sweepstakes have viral mechanics built in. For example with sweepstakes where prizes are randomly drawn, subscribers can earn bonus points if they invite their friends and their friends enter. The more points they earn, the better chances they have to win.
And with contests?
Just imagine that if someone enters your photo contest from your email list, then to earn more votes, he will share the image with all his friends. And those friends become visible to you. Yay! New people to reach.
See? The bottom line is:
You can reach new people through those you already know, as contests and sweepstakes are viral by nature.
Let’s check out some ways you can promote your contests through your own channels.
- Write a blog post about it. If you have traffic flowing to your blog, why not direct it to the app? It’s a great way to capture readers’ email addresses.
- Put a banner or a hello-bar to your website. It’s like advertising yourself on your own website. Similarly to a blog post where you already have the traffic, you direct them to your apps. (Make sure that if people click on the banner, it opens in a new browser window, and visitors can come back to your site. So you don’t work against yourself.)
- Send it to your newsletter list. Yes, your list is what you really own. And your list can help you to grow your list! As contests are viral, they suck in new people.
- Share on social channels. Use the channels you manage: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. All channels have their own challenges. While Facebook can be picky about your content (it will show your content to a small portion of your fans), your posts at Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest might get lost because users don’t scroll down. Nothing is certain until you pay for it.
Rent Channels From Others
And now we’ve entered the endless and exciting world of paid advertising!
Facebook has helped us before, and it has a place here too.
Moreover, it might have a better place here. We think we own our Facebook Page fans, but don’t be so sure about that. In fact no … Facebook makes it much harder and harder to reach them.
Here is how you can promote your contests and sweepstakes through rented channels.
- Run Facebook ads. You can target your fans, or exclude fans. You can upload your newsletter list and make them see your ads, or exclude them. Or based on certain criteria you can just put together who is your ideal customer, and advertise to them. The opportunities are endless. Facebook always updates their ads system, so follow Jon Loomer’s blog to stay in the loop.
- Pay for ads. Depending on which social channels work the best for you, you can sponsor Tweets or encourage Stumbles. Soon Pinterest will release its sponsored Pins. Some of our customers advertised their contests with banner ads too, but only when their ad was running on their own website.
- Team up with bloggers. Sponsoring bloggers to write about your contest not only brings traffic, but creates endorsement from the blogger to your company. In this case study a travel company teamed up with 6 bloggers who wrote about the contest.
Promotion Is Key
There are multiple ways of promoting your contest. Some of them are more effective than others, some of them are a better value than others.
As your business is unique, you need to experiment to see which works the best for you.
The most sustainable promotion is to grow the channels you own, especially your newsletter list. And here is the kicker: your newsletter list is useful to promote your contests, but at the same time contests help to grow your email list!
A virtuous circle!