Facebook is the first place you should turn to when deciding where to
promote your contest. As your audience here is used to this type of engagement,
it is an easy place to start to build up the excitement around the
promotion. Often times your contest might even live within Facebook,
which makes it an even more sensible place to start your promotion.
In general I'd say 2-3 posts per week about the contest is suitable.
You don't want to overdo it, as that will annoy your fan base. Keep your
contest updates different and varied to avoid social media overload. As
always, include a photo with your contest update, as photos get more
views, likes and comments.
Twitter is also a great place to promote your contest. As your
audience is already familiar with who you are, this is a safe place to
promote. 1-2 tweets about your contest is fine. As there is more noise on twitter,
make sure you space them out to avoid twitter clutter. You want to
reach as many people as you can, so back to back is not a good idea. You
can also do a little search on twitter for people talking about
contests or about your prize and inform them of your awesome contest to
encourage them to enter.
As I have mentioned many times before, the key to success on
Pinterest is strong visuals. Make sure you have strong graphic elements
before trying to promote your contest on Pinterest. If you are hosting a
PinItToWinIt contest then this is a no-brainer. However, you can
promote your other contests here as well. Keep in mind what the Pinterest audience
is like so you can create something that suits them. Food, Beauty,
Health, & Fashion work best here, so try to tailor your photo to
capture that trend.
Google Plus is a good place to promote your contest if you have a techy prize. As the Google+ audience
skews male and tech oriented, you are likely to have better luck if
your prize makes sense for this audience. Keep in mind that Google
indexes your G+ posts, so even if your audience is not there right now,
they might find you through Google search.
If your contest relates to your B2B service, then LinkedIn is a good
place to promote. You can promote your contest on your personal page and
your company page. You can even go one step further and promote your
contest with groups and individuals. Have I told you that I love
LinkedIn? I do.
Your blog is a perfect place to promote your post because it is an
entity that you own. People will search for information about your
contest and they should be able to find it on your blog. The blog post
should include all the rules and details about entering. It should be
clear and focused. And, of course, it should be followed up with my rules for blog promotion for maximum reach.
Never underestimate the value of an inbox. It is still one of the
most powerful ways to get information in front of your customers.
Depending on what you use your newsletter list for, you might be able to
get more eyeballs than you might with a sales promotion. As contests
don't require any purchase, and since you aren't selling the reader
anything, you are likely to see an increase in open rates as well.
PPC & Social Ads
If your contest is a driving force behind reaching your sales &
marketing goals, then you might want to consider throwing a little money
behind it. You can consider a Facebook or Twitter Ad as an option. Or
you can go a more traditional route with Pay-Per-Click advertising. Your
results will vary, but, depending on your budget, it may be worth it to
drive extra awareness and traction for your contest. A more affordable
option is promoted posts on Facebook. I am a big fan of Promoted Posts
and recommend doing this if you have a small budget behind your contest.
I'll talk more about promoted posts in a future post.
Contest & Sweepstakes Listing Sites
This tactic has proven to be super successful for me. I have been
employing this around contests for the past 8 years (since I started in
Internet & Social Media Marketing). There are tons of sites that
list contests and sweepstakes. To find them, do a search for "Submit
Contest," "Submit a Sweepstakes," and other related terms. Some of them
do require you to pay a small fee, but the contest community is gung ho
and you will see a spike in entries. My favorite directory is
SweepstakesAdvantage; I usually opt for the $40 sponsored post, which
usually gets me about 200 new signups.
Another way to get increased visibility for your contest is to
contact blogs that talk about contests, your prize, or other related
items. This is a great way to build a relationship with the blogger as
well. I have found that bloggers appreciate good content and incentives.
If you can do as much work for them as possible, then the likelihood
that they will post goes up. Don't forget to provide them with as much
info as possible. This can include photos, videos, links, and even a
little write up that they can use word for word. Once you send the
contest details to them, make sure you follow up. Sometimes a little
persistence can go a long way. Good luck with your blogger outreach!
Advantage boasts having the largest directory of free online
sweepstakes, freebies and contests. There is a special category for blog
contests, and it's free to register and submit your blog contests. Just
select the "Add Listing" tab in the left navigation bar. You'll be
prompted te create a new account if you don't already have one, and then
you can submit your blog contest free-of-charge.
About.com Web Logs Forum
can enter your blog contests for free right here in the About.com Web
Logs Forum. Simply register for an account then start a new post in the Blog Contests folder, and provide the details about your contest.
About.com Contests Forum
is a folder dedicated to sharing news and information about contests
and sweepstakes, including blog contests, in the About.com Guide to