The competition industry is, ironically, a particularly competitive market.
With more and more raffle & contest websites popping up every month, it means that there’s an increasing fight for the same amount of consumer attention. Getting eyes on your prize draws week after week is fundamental for success, but its a goal that’s becoming harder and harder to achieve as the marketplace becomes more saturated.
It’s difficult for newer, less-established businesses within the niche to break through – but not impossible.
Success requires consistent promotional efforts that work to effectively engage potential entrants, generate that all-important revenue and keep users coming back. Of course, this is much easier said than done! That’s why, in this post, we’ll be going over a list of tried-and-tested tips and strategies for promoting your competition website and getting the most out of your prize draws.
Let’s dive in!
For the vast majority of businesses in the competition-raffle-giveaway game, social media is the key to success – and it’s not hard to see why. After all, there are few – if any – other platforms that enable you to find potential entrants, personally engage with them and build a whole community around your prize draws in real time and all from one place. As a bonus, social media platforms typically have paid advertising channels built in, another powerful avenue for promotional efforts – more on that later though.
For now, let’s focus on how to utilise social media to promote your draws organically.
In this context, ‘organic’ posting refers to unpaid usage of social media platforms. While we won’t pretend that posting on social media is some new revolutionary business tactic, we know first hand that the type of content that’s posted makes a substantial difference in the results you’ll see.
Among the top social media of choice for companies in the giveaway niche are Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, both equipped with massive user-bases and a whole toolkit of features to grab attention. Included in these tools is a built-in post scheduler; as the name suggests, this feature is for publishing and scheduling posts to go out to your followers. In time-sensitive situations such as Live Draws, this tool provides the perfect opportunity to plan ahead and schedule relevant & timely content.
For example, a post, Story or Reel reminding your audience that they don’t have long left to enter a prize draw can be timetabled to go live in the final hour before entry closes and help create a sense of urgency that directs traffic towards your website.
That being said, social media shouldn’t be used purely for the hard sales push. Although we do recommend sharing prize draws with followers, you’ll want to avoid coming across as too sales-y at the risk of putting people off wanting to engage with your brand.
So, avoid making all of your posts product-centric and instead ask yourself:
What value do my followers receive from this post?
One way to engage with your audience is to incorporate them into your content.
UGC, or user-generated content, is a great way to showcase your audience and encourage engagement with your brand; Consider sharing positive reviews or messages from your followers about your prize draws, as well as photos of them with their prizes. By doing so, you’ll create a sense of trust and community that will encourage more people to participate.
Another way to build trust and transparency is by providing behind-the-scenes updates or sneak peeks at future prizes. This can be done via social media posts, stories or email newsletters in order to create a sense of excitement and anticipation for upcoming draws.
Buying social media engagement in the form of fake followers, likes or shares may sound like a cheap and tempting way to get the ball rolling and make your business appear more legitimate, but we heavily advise against doing so.
This is because purchasing fake engagement violates the terms of service for most social media platforms. As a result, it’s not uncommon for users that are suspected of having bought follows, likes or shares to frequently log on and find that their accounts have been disabled, restricted or shadowbanned.
Just as fake social media behaviour can get your account flagged as spam, there are unfortunately some real actions that you can take that can also prevent people from being able to see your content. Instagram for example has an undisclosed limit on the amount of users an account can follow in a single day, as well as restrictions on how many likes and comments can be made within the same 24 hour period. For brand new accounts, the degree of scrutiny is even harsher.
So while it might be tempting to engage in heavy activity in a bid to try boost the profile of a new account, the reality of building an audience is that it rarely happens overnight and instead needs time to develop. Hold off on performing the following actions too often, particularly in the same 24 hours:
Text and email marketing can also be a highly effective way to promote giveaways. By sending regular well-timed newsletters and promotional emails to subscribers, you can keep audiences engaged and up-to-date with the latest prize draws and special offers. To take your newsletter marketing to the next level, consider incorporating the following processes:
Target your messaging more effectively by dividing your subscriber list into different segments based on factors such as demographics, past participation in your draws, or interests related to the prizes on offer.
Your email campaign should be designed to grab the attention of subscribers and entice them to participate in the prize draws. Be sure to showcase the prizes on offer and amount of tickets sold, and use persuasive language to highlight the excitement of participating in the draw and encourage recipients to purchase tickets.
Using eye-catching visuals like high-quality images of the prizes or past winners will help your email stand out. Don’t forget to include a clear call-to-action, such as a link to your competition website’s draw page to make it easy for recipients to participate.
A/B testing, AKA split testing, is a technique that involves sending two slightly different versions of an email or newsletter to a sample of subscribers. By analysing the results, you can determine what’s working and what isn’t and use that information to improve future campaigns.
Test different subject lines, images, and calls to action to see what gets the best results. Don’t forget to test only one variable at a time! This will help isolate the impact of that variable on your results.
As mentioned earlier, social media platforms have built-in paid advertising channels that prove particularly beneficial for competition businesses. Also known as Paid Social, some of these unique benefits include:
Meta’s Facebook provides one of the most powerful tools a marketer can have in their arsenal: Incredibly robust targeting capabilities.
What does this mean? Well, social media platforms gather a ton of data on the behaviour of their user bases. This data includes information on demographics, likes and dislikes, hobbies, purchase habits, etc. Digital marketers use this information to ‘target’ ads towards the audience types that are most likely to convert into customers in a process referred to as ‘interest-based targeting’.
Put simply, this makes it possible to reach the people that are most likely to be interested in your prize draws and drive ticket sales. For competition sites that operate within a particular niche – e.g. specialist hobbies like cars, golfing, metal detecting, etc – this is especially valuable as it becomes possible to cultivate a highly relevant audience that’s more likely to convert into ticket sales.
The downside of this feature, however, is that interest-based targeting can be a complex system. This is especially true for those who aren’t already familiar with the digital advertising process. Without prior knowledge of how to utilise audiences and keywords, you run the risk of wasting money by showing your ads to irrelevant or too-small audiences and being drowned out by larger brands.
Social media advertising is often much more cost-effective than traditional advertising pathways like print or TV. This is because you can set very specific budgets, even as little as £1 per day on some channels – in addition to implementing bidding strategies in order to optimise ad spend and ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment.
It’s even possible to arrange a campaign so you’ll only pay when somebody sees your ad and takes a specific action, such as clicking a link or liking your page. Plus, should circumstances require it, paid social provides the option to instantly pause all paid digital advertising at the click of a button. No need for prior notice or waiting around!
Similarly, you can easily edit or reactivate your campaigns to get them up and running within a matter of minutes.
One of the biggest advantages of paid social is the level of control and flexibility afforded to advertisers. We’ve already mentioned the high amount of control allowed over ad spend, but this freedom extends to other aspects too.
For instance, marketing goals shift naturally over time. For a business that is just starting up, their goal will be to find that initial target market and develop a following. In this situation, a Brand Awareness campaign centred on gathering Page Likes may prove the best path here, while an older company with a pre-established audience will have different objectives in mind.
Paid social provides the ideal solution for all, equipped with an array of campaign types to help achieve whatever unique goal you may have in mind. Want to spread the word about a particular competition and get ticket sales rolling? Choose a Sales-focused ‘Purchase’ campaign to maximise customer conversions. Have a new app that’s in need of sign-ups? Grab the attention of mobile-only users with an ‘App Install’-focused campaign.
What’s more, every SM platform offers their own unique library of creative ad formats. For Facebook (the top choice of most competition businesses), this primarily includes single image ads, video ads and product carousel ads. Each format has its own pros and cons depending on a variety of factors, such as the result type of the campaign, timing & length of the campaign, the specific product being sold, ticket price, etc. – allowing you to experiment with different formats and find the ones that work best for your competition & target audience.
There really is no other advertising channel that can offer the same level of reach, flexibility and precision than social media.
Practically anyone can choose to start up their own competition site, but advertising that business is a slightly trickier beast.
If you didn’t already know, competition websites located in the United Kingdom come under the legal remit of the Gambling Commission. As such, advertising platforms are required to follow strict guidelines when it comes to the promotion of any gambling-related product or service. For competition sites, this means you’ll need to acquire something called an RMG License before you can start advertising on channels like Facebook or Instagram. Also known as an Online Real Money Gaming licence, this is a form of prior permission from the ad platform that confirms the legitimacy of a business and permits them to advertise using their channels.
Advertising without gaining this permission beforehand will lead to the permanent suspension of the ad account, with the added likelihood of the sites’ URL being blacklisted from that ad platform also. This includes the paid ‘boosting’ of posts on platforms such as Facebook.
Obtaining an RMG licence requires the aid of a solicitor that can supply a legal memorandum detailing the compliance of your website with UK gambling law. This can be an expensive venture, but is a 100% necessary initial step in every competition business journey.
At Visionary Hub Space, we specialise in the development of competition-style websites right from the start all the way through to the finish line. From website design, build & hosting to advertising services and social media management, there’s no area that our talented team can’t assist with. In fact, we’re even able to help with obtaining RMG approval and finding a payment processor that will work with your ‘high-risk’ business.
Ready to work with us? Complete this form and brace yourself for an epic partnership. We’ll be in touch in no time to bring your vision to life.
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