How to Promote Your Social Contests to Lure More Subscribers

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How to Promote Your Contests and Sweepstakes to Lure More Subscribers

Ever had this feeling?

You did everything you could. You are racking your brain.

You crafted the perfect copy. Your prizes were a great fit for your ideal customer! You even had the Terms and Conditions written by a real attorney instead of copying it from somewhere.

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!

A beautiful sweepstakes! People can win a bedroom makeover from the company.

A beautiful sweepstakes! People can win a bedroom makeover from the company.

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.

In this contest the conversion of visitors to subscribers is 44%. It’s a great number, and its worth it to invest in paying for more traffic.

In this contest the conversion of visitors to subscribers is 44%. It’s a great number, and its worth it to invest in paying for more traffic.

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.

feather-black-post-entry

The app encourages subscribers to invite friends. This is how a contest can be viral.

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.

Here is a Pinterest contest. Even though this contest runs on Pinterest, you can also use Pinterest to promote your Facebook, website, or microsite contest. Just upload an image, and direct it to your contest.

Here is a Pinterest contest. Even though this contest runs on Pinterest, you can also use Pinterest to promote your Facebook, website, or microsite contest. Just upload an image, and link it to your contest.

Let’s check out some ways you can promote your contests through your own channels.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
This jewelry company promoted their Facebook sweepstakes on Instagram.

This jewelry company promoted their Facebook sweepstakes on Instagram.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Here the company posted a compelling image, and a link to enter the contest. This would make a perfect ad too.

Here the company posted a compelling image, and a link to enter the contest. This would make a perfect ad too.

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!

About the Author:

Zsuzsa Kecsmar

This monthly Social Media Contests column is contributed by Zsuzsa Kecsmar. Zsuzsa is a co-founder of Antavo Viral Contests, a tool that helps to create sweepstakes, contests and giveaways to Facebook, mobile and web. It’s used by small businesses, agencies and marketers from 150+ countries on 27 languages. Zsuzsa is an award winning radio journalist, now responsible for marketing and customer development. +Zsuzsa Kecsmar

Zsuzsa Kecsmar
This monthly Social Media Contests column is contributed by Zsuzsa Kecsmar. Zsuzsa is a co-founder of Antavo Viral Contests, a tool that helps to create sweepstakes, contests and giveaways to Facebook, mobile and web. It’s used by small businesses, agencies and marketers from 150+ countries on 27 languages. Zsuzsa is an award winning radio journalist, now responsible for marketing and customer development. +Zsuzsa Kecsmar
Zsuzsa Kecsmar
Zsuzsa Kecsmar

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