Campaign Ideas No. 4 - Lotteries and Sweepstakes


The very simple concept is to give an influencer a number of free products which they can use in a sweepstake for their audience. Influencers love giving something to their audience as it increases their engagement and your brand will benefit from the positive exposure. This article tries to answer 2 very basic questions on the topic: WHY and HOW?

Why do a lottery in 2020?

Brands have used sweepstakes, lotteries and contests on social media to engage with consumers and fans for years now. It's thus fair to ask oneself: Are sweepstakes still a winning strategy in 2020?

The reciprocity principle is one of the basic laws of social psychology and basically says that in many social situations, we pay back what we've received from others. Simply spoken, if John does you a favour, you're highly likely to return that favour to him. In turn, if you give today's customer something they appreciate, they likely feel that they should give you something in return too. In an environment, where consumers have moved beyond traditional service transactions to personal interactions and prefer organic discovery over the traditional purchase process, that principle is more relevant than ever.

Ok, first question answered - still relevant in 2020! But why would you want to run a sweepstake on social media anyways?

With social media sweepstakes, you can:

  1. Boost Engagement

  2. Grow your Social Media Following

  3. Build up an eMail List

  4. Increase overall brand awareness

If any of the above mentioned align with your goals, you should continue reading ;-)

How to do it?

It's a crowded space! Almost every business out there is using social media within their marketing mix. In other words, you'll have to try to stand out from that crowd if you want your campaign to be a success. Here are some tips, tricks and good advice:

Know your audience

When targeting a predominantly younger audience on e.g. Instagram, you need to make sure your sweepstake appeals to things valued by that audience. Generally, millennials value experiences higher than possession. Having that in mind, you might wanna rethink the prizes of your sweepstakes. Free iPads or gift cards probably no longer have the appeal they once had.

Swapping a physical price for an experience might not only be valued higher by your target audience but might lead to higher engagement on top.

Address your audience

What seems obvious but is nonetheless often forgotten is that your sweepstake should appeal to potential customers of yours, not just entrants to the sweepstake. Thus, try to address your target audience directly. If you're a fashion brand, you might want to say something along the lines of "Fashionista? Join in and win an evening outfit!"

Pick the right influencers to work with

Make sure to work with influencers who's following aligns with your target audience. Don't be blinded by pure reach but do consider things such as relevancy and authenticity when looking at followers.

Less is more

Keep the entry barrier low by not requiring entrants to provide extensive contact information. Make sure to not ask for anything more than name and email address (potentially one more optional field).

Keep it short

Don't set lengthy campaign periods. If there is no sense of urgency, people tend to plan to come later, when they have more time at hand - they usually don't.

Pick the right time

A study from newscred shows when people are most active on social media throughout the week. Truth be told though, these are just best average times for each platform. What works best for you and your brand is subject to a broad range of factors, some of which you can't control. At the end of the day, closely monitoring engagement over time and tailoring your social posting schedule around derived findings is the most effective approach here.

Don't break the rules

Subject to the platform you choose for your sweepstake, there are certain rules you need to make sure to adhere to if you don't want to see your campaign kicked off that platform. What's ok on e.g. YouTube might violate Instagram's platform policy.

Sweepstakes on social media still deliver great results if done right. You need to make sure to stand out in a rather crowded environment if you want your campaign to be a success. Knowing your audience and their values as well as a basic understanding of the legal framework for different social platforms are key. The campaign wizard on linkr can help you to get your sweepstake setup and published.


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