Sweepstakes are an effective marketing tactic. When boiled down to its most basic description, it is a random drawing. But just because sweepstakes are simple in concept, doesn’t mean they are simple in execution. There is a lot that goes into the strategy and execution of a sweepstakes, which is why partnering with a promotional marketing agency (like MRi) can be crucial for making the process seamless. One of the biggest benefits of sweepstakes is that they provide a fun opportunity for brands to get creative and develop an exciting and memorable experience for their customers. We have put together a list of 6 creative tips that brands can use to liven up their sweepstakes marketing strategy.
Use Humor to boost your Sweepstakes Marketing Strategy
Humor can be a powerful marketing tool, especially with a sweepstakes. Sweepstakes are inherently exciting. Adding an element of humor can increase your sweepstakes engagement and also generate a lot of buzz for your brand.
As an example of a brand who uses humor successfully with their promotional marketing, let’s take a look at Chick-fil-A’s Cow Appreciation Day. One day each year, Chick-fil-A runs an offer where consumers who dress up as a cow can receive free food. This is great for multiple reasons, the first being that consumers love to post about their costumes and experience on social media, which is free marketing for Chick-fil-A’s promotion. In addition the promotion also gathers attention from media outlets.
For your Sweepstakes Marketing Strategy, Ask your Audience
Another creative way to engage consumers with your sweepstakes strategy is to ask a question as a means for an entry. Many sweepstakes are entered by filling out a boring (and sometimes long) form on a sweepstakes microsite. Break the mold by having consumers enter by answering a question, like “What is your favorite color?”. This strategy can be implemented easily and cost effectively with social media. Just be sure if running a Facebook sweepstakes to follow their rules regarding promotions.
This strategy is also a great way to gather user-generated content (or UGC) that can be used in future marketing. For example, you could ask customers what their favorite product is, or why they like your product(s).
Partner Up as part of your Sweepstakes Marketing Strategy
The next creative way to boost your sweepstakes marketing strategy is by partnering with another company. As the saying goes, two is better than one. By partnering with another brand for your sweepstakes, you can essentially double your reach with their customer base.
Before partnering with a brand there is an important consideration you should make; Will that brands audience be interested in your brand or products? This is an important question because increasing your reach with a partnership may not be as meaningful if their audience won’t be interested in your brand. As always there are exceptions, so make sure to use your best judgment and do what is right for your brand.
At MRi, we have had the pleasure of working on many promotions involving brand partnerships. Our most recent, Pepsi’s Hockey’s Back Contest, combines Pepsi Canada’s excited and engaged consumers with the NHL’s loyal following. In addition, this promotion had a dual purpose of helping Pepsi Canada raise awareness of their NHL sponsorship and helping the NHL get consumers excited about the upcoming shortened NHL season (due to COVID-19).
Incorporate Branded Trivia in your Sweepstakes Marketing Strategy
Another sweepstakes marketing strategy is to create branded trivia questions. While similar to asking your consumers a question, branded trivia does not serve to gather UGC. Branded trivia is most useful for educating your consumers about your brand and products.
As an example, if a brand were to release a new product, they might have consumers answer a few trivia questions about the new product as a means for entry to their sweepstakes. An exciting prize is helpful for this sweepstakes strategy, as it involves a little more effort from the consumer with the trivia questions. A compelling prize will make the effort worth their while and should increase participation in your sweepstakes.
Integrate new technologies as part of your Sweepstakes Marketing Strategy
In the past decade or so, many new sweepstakes and promotional technologies have emerged. Among the most popular is augmented reality. Augmented reality is when a virtual image is superimposed into real world view (typically with smartphones).
With augmented reality, brands can create games for users to play for additional sweepstakes entries. Or brands could use augmented reality to make the entry process seamless; Consumers could scan branded packaging or your brand logo with their phones and be taken directly to your sweepstakes microsite.
As an example, the Peel the Love promotion we worked with Raising Cane’s on, involved an Augmented Reality game, Lemon Launch, where fans could receive bonus codes for more chances to win by playing the game!
Tie-in your Sweepstakes Marketing Strategy to an event or holiday
And finally, our last tip for livening up your sweepstakes marketing strategy is to tie-in your sweepstakes with an event. Like with brand partnerships, by running your sweepstakes during an event or holiday, you can increase engagement for your promotion.
You see this a lot with holiday promotions, but not all brands use this strategy with other holidays as a way to freshen up their sweepstakes. The event or holiday doesn’t need to be huge either. You can combine humor and an obscure event to create the needed buzz for your promotion.
With these 6 tips to liven up your sweepstakes marketing strategy, we hope you feel inspired to run a creative sweepstakes. If you’re looking to add that extra element of excitement to your sweepstakes, while also ensuring a successful, secure, and legal promotion, contact MRi. We can help you bring your IDEA to life while overseeing all compliance and security from start to finish. We have over 25 years of experience working with top brands on some very memorable promotions. Our experts will help you identify your promotion’s purpose and select creative tactics to best achieve your goals.