a game of chance from zeldaOne of the best marketing strategies for generating new leads, sales, social media followers, and greater brand exposure is to run giveaway promotions, also known as sweepstakes. Sweepstakes work especially well via social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Well-run sweepstakes promotions usually require entrees to share the promotion, giving it more exposure than other channels.

Why Run Sweepstakes in the First Place?

Many businesses and brands have done very well with sweepstakes. They are incredibly easy to run and do not require a large investment. In addition to the low costs, the return on investment is very high. Some brands are paying five cents per new follower using sweepstakes which required little more than them to put a cash prize aside and buy a big check for the photo op finale. Others are generating qualified leads for far less than other channels like pay per click and display advertising.

But it doesn’t stop there. Sweepstakes work in tandem with product launches, relaunches, holiday events, and other promotions. Many brands like using sweepstakes to create buzz, especially if they can get consumers to share their own content (like a photo highlighting their product or service). This leads to user-generated content and a big lift for the brand’s existing marketing campaigns.

Sweepstakes Explained Through the Lens of a Business

Businesses are always looking for ways to get the most out of their marketing budget. Sweepstakes are a great solution as it can lead to a lot of brand exposure through reposts from social media users. This works by building buzz or supporting a promotional strategy around a product/service. It’s also great for increasing follower audience on social media platforms, therefore fitting into your existing marketing plan tied to digital marketing trends online. While every business will have different goals, the core idea here is that sweepstakes can generate a low acquisition cost per follower, lead, mention, or sale.

It’s important to mention that businesses need to follow the rules of the platform they’re running their giveaway on. For instance, Instagram and Pinterest will have certain guidelines for running these types of promotions as they don’t want to flood their site with spam. Businesses also need to indicate that there is “no purchase necessary” or the sweepstakes is seen as a lottery in the eyes of the law. While the sweepstakes aren’t complex, running them do require some degree of due diligence.

How Consumers Evaluate and Engage with Sweepstakes

It’s also important how consumers engage with sweepstakes. The first thing that the target audience sees is the prize. It needs to be clear that the giveaway event offers something of value to them. Once the consumer has become interested in the prize, they’ll look for information regarding what needs to be done in order to enter your giveaway.

That’s why it’s important for businesses to provide clear directions for consumers. It’s also important to remove the barrier to entry by making it easy for consumers to enter. Something like reposting your social media post with a hashtag will result in greater exposure compared to a process that requires the consumer to submit their name, address, and other personal information.

In conclusion, it pays for small business owners and emerging brands to study successful sweepstakes case studies. Well executed sweepstakes can help enhance their existing marketing strategies while also providing a cost-effective way to hit their business goals.