Digital marketing is what you make of it. You could spend hours and hours sending out a barrage of emails, bombarding your social media followers with ad after ad, and targeting too wide an audience with your search engine promotions… or you could do it the right way, with sweepstakes.
Any business, big or small, needs one thing to thrive: respect. And in order to gain the respect of your potential clients, you need to give them a reason to want to know more about you. A reason to sign up to your email newsletters and follow you on social media. A reason to be excited to be notified with your updates.
Too many businesses push advertorial content on their audiences to the point of appearing spammy. They don’t realise that instead, they should be finding ways to up the intrigue and give their customers a reason to care about them. Sweepstakes are one of the easiest ways of organically increasing audience levels in a natural and enticing way that ultimately brings massive reward to a business.
What are sweepstakes?
The internet is awash with sweepstakes, so you will have come across one before even if you are unfamiliar with the name. A sweepstake is essentially a form of marketing in which a business will host a competition, which anyone is free to enter, with an alluring prize available to win. The competition is shared across the business’ online platforms, including its social channels, websites and blogs.
Online users normally have to share some of their details, including their email address and full name, in order to be notified of the sweepstake’s winner. The competition will remain open for a disclosed period of time, after which the winner will be revealed, the prize handed out, and the competition closed.
How can sweepstakes benefit your business?
There is a possibility that a sweepstake will have absolutely zero benefits to your business if you don’t market it correctly. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you do everything in your power to make the most out of the growth potential a sweepstake can offer to your business before, during and after your hosting period.
Here are a few things you should ensure to do during the hosting of your sweepstake, and how they can benefit your business:
1. Take advantage of the entry process and bring in new leads
During the entry stage of your sweepstake, your entrants will need to give a valid email address in order to be notified when the competition has ended, and of the subsequent winner. This is your chance to encourage users to create ties with your business that will remain long after the sweepstake has closed.
It’s very simple to create an option for users to opt in to receiving email newsletters off you in the future by ticking a box before they enter your sweepstake. This will allow you to continue to interact with them long into the future, and, providing your email marketing is a hit, gain new leads using a far more personal method of promotion.
Don’t just stop at email, though. You can also easily increase your social media following if you offer an incentive for your competition entrants that means they have a bigger chance of winning your sweepstake if they follow you on Twitter. Many of your followers will continue to follow you even after the sweepstake has ended, giving you a bigger platform to reach out to.
2. Be clear on where people can find you and increase your popularity
While some of your sweepstake entrants might have found you through your website or social media sweepstakes, others may have seen your competition shared elsewhere. You need to bear this in mind when creating your sweepstake entry page. Make sure you include obvious, easy-to-follow links to your key online platforms for users to follow, rather than simply entering your sweepstake with very little knowledge about who you actually are.
Better yet, host your sweepstake on your website, where there is a high chance of your entrants stopping to take some time to navigate around your website after they’ve entered to win the prize. If your website is looking at its absolute best, and you’re marketing everything as you should be, your entrants may be encouraged to spend time browsing through your products and services, or even make a purchase.
Now that your entrants have a clear idea about who you are as a business, they’re far more likely to return to your website at a later date if they ever feel compelled to purchase your product. Simply making yourself known to an internet user is a marketing feat in itself, and chances are, you’ll reap the benefits of it in the long run.
3. Consider your prize carefully and harness the power of persuasion
Marketing is all about persuasion. Your audience needs to want to hear from you, to learn about your updates, to be the first in the know about your new products and services. This doesn’t always mean you need to have the most enviable product. You just need to know how to market it properly.
The same applies to your sweepstake prize. Some businesses choose to offer a cash prize to their entrants, which, admittedly, does work well – and should be considered if you can’t realistically offer one of your products or services as a prize. But if you can offer your own product, you really should do, for the sake of sweepstake prize fulfilment.
If you want your sweepstake to be appealing enough for users to dedicate a couple of minutes to enter, you need to offer a prize of significant monetary value. You can do this no matter what it is your business is selling. If you only sell bottled iced coffee, offer your winner a years’ supply of the stuff. There has to be enough there for users to want it, even if they don’t need it.
Ultimately, using your own product or service as the prize in your sweepstake is some of the best marketing you can do for yourself. There is nothing more appealing than a high-cost competition prize, after all. Even if your entrants don’t end up winning the sweepstake, they will always associate your business with certain desirability from then on, and they’re far more likely to return to you in the future.