Sweepstakes are a popular method of attracting traffic and encouraging consumers to engage with your business. Different from contests, sweepstakes do not require much from participants; they usually only need to provide their information to enter, or sometimes contribute a small donation if the event is for a nonprofit organization. Winners are selected lottery-style, but many people are wary of sweepstakes because they believe their chances of winning are too low even to bother signing up. If you are using sweepstakes to garner traffic, bring attention to a new product, or for some other reason, here are a few tips for encouraging people to enter their names.
One post on your website and a few links on your social media channels are not enough. You do not want to overwhelm or bombard your followers with a constant stream of entries, of course, but you do want to remind them regularly (and gently) of what you are hosting. Compose all of your tweets, Facebook links, Instagram captions, and other posts so that they are different from one another, or risk your followers becoming annoyed with you.
Some businesses abuse sweepstakes, so consumers are often cautious about what they click. Try your best to avoid baiting phrases like “Here’s your chance to win….!” Be more personable than that: customers are not fond of faceless companies out for their information, so remind them that there are people on your end of the business. Aim for social media posts that acknowledge why you are doing what you are doing, such as “Hey followers! We are hosting sweepstakes to raise awareness for our *product*,” and let them know what the deadline is.
Sweepstakes are subject to specific laws and individual platform policies. Make sure you read each social media channel’s regulations: some promotions require licenses, some platforms ask that you note that they are not involved with your event, and you might need to link to your official terms and conditions.
Be on the right platforms
Besides using your own social accounts, you may want to consider submitting your sweepstakes to a promotional website. BigCommerce recommends platforms including AnyLuckyDay, Sweepstakes Advantage, Crokki, Contestgirl, SweetiesSweeps, and others. However, keep in mind that many of the people who frequent these sites are on the lookout for free goods. If you are trying to target a specific audience, build one, or provide privileges for your loyal followers, then submitting to these platforms may be unwise.
Search engine optimization is an essential method for marketing anything. Do you have a blog? Write a least one article about your sweepstakes and several more that mention it. Reach out to other bloggers and ask if they will write about you or if you can publish on their sites. Research commonly used keywords and incorporate them into your content. Search engines often prioritize websites that update regularly, so be consistent without being pushy.
There are also technical aspects of SEO you may not be prepared to navigate yourself. Partnering with an SEO firm like Ulku Logistics can help you make data-driven decisions to get Google and Yahoo’s attention.
Influencer marketing and endorsements
Consumers feel more comfortable buying or participating in something when they see other people doing it. Not just anyone, but individuals whom they respect. Getting a high-ranking or prominent figure in your industry to endorse your sweepstakes will establish necessary legitimacy and credibility. Maybe you can ask for an endorsement in video form to dispel the notion that you are lying about it.
Legitimacy is also where influencer marketing comes in: if there is a popular blogger, YouTuber, social media star, or other celebrity that is willing to help you out (probably for a price), then you can reach their audiences as well as yours. Their fans are likely to follow their lead, so influencers can put concerns to rest and encourage participation.
People that are hesitant to participate in sweepstakes may require a little extra goading. Give them other reasons to enter: is there a small prize for everyone who signs up, not just the winner? If they refer friends to submit their information, will you enter their names more than once to increase their chances of winning? If you do so, establish rules to prevent people from taking too much advantage over you (someone who refers 50 peers has an unfair advantage), but providing additional incentives gives people more reason to both participate and do your marketing for you.
Sweepstakes can be fun for everyone involved, but no one will take the opportunity unless you put it in front of them with available tools. How will you promote your next giveaway?