How to Create a Successful Online Promotion

Here are five key tips to ensure your next online promotion’s success.

In order to accelerate your business growth, you have to increase online awareness and engagement. Online promotions such as contests, giveaways and sweepstakes are one of the best marketing tools you can use to create excitement around your brand and build relationships with your customers in a remarkable way.

Here are five key tips to ensure your next online promotion’s success:

1. Make it easy to participate.

The easier you make it for consumers to engage with your online promotion, and the better the prize(s), the more likely they will do so. For optimal online participation, remove as many barriers to entry as possible. Giving consumers extra, tedious steps like having to log in to access your promotion or having too many form fields on an entry form decrease the likelihood they’ll enter — so just keep it simple.

2. Get people sharing photos.

Integrating photos into your promotion is an easy way to increase audience engagement. In fact, a 2012 study by ROI Research found that consumers enjoy pictures the most when engaging with friends on social media, and 44 percent of respondents were more likely to engage with brands if they posted pictures more than any other form of content.

Not only do consumers love looking at pictures, they love showing off their own skills – increase engagement by asking participants to take action by sharing a photo as part of entering your promotion.

3. Make online promotions mobile-friendly.

Studies indicate that 66 percent of online promotion views are via mobile. Given the fact that consumers are increasingly accessing online promotions on their mobile phones, it’s time to consider how your offers look and feel on mobile devices.

But don’t just shrink to fit — making a promotion mobile-friendly means actually adapting it to the device. For example, one of my clients, social media marketing platform North Social, uses smartlink technology to detect browser size and optimize the promotion for any individual device.

4. Have customers and staff seed the promotion.

In a case study from Extole, for every one person who entered a sweepstakes, an additional 3.6 additional people entered as a result of social recommendations.

So why not ask your customers and staff to share your promotion with their social networks? Twitter contests that require users to retweet to win allow frictionless sharing. Offer a standard Click to Tweet link for your staff to easily spread awareness. If you’re running a Facebook promotion, encourage word-of-mouth with a simple share button. Remember to include a disclosure if you have employees share a promotion.

5. Use paid media to supercharge online promotions.

Invest in the success of your online promotion. Leverage the power of Facebook’s promoted posts, ads, and sponsored stories as an effective and affordable way to reach beyond the people who already like your page.

Promoted tweets, LinkedIn ads and StumbleUpon ads also have the potential to drive increased participation. Case studies have shown that paid media increased promotion participation by 55 percent and reduced cost-per-entry by 42 percent.

Online promotions are a key instrument in any marketer’s tool kit. Make the most of them by ensuring they are simple, engaging, shareable, promoted, and mobile. Of course, optimize your reach to increase your chances of being talked about. More important, be worthy of being talked about.

Dave Kerpen is the co-founder and CEO of Likeable, an award-winning social media agency, and author of New York Times Bestseller, Likeable Social Media and the new book Likeable Business.


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