From Retail Stores to Beauty Brands to FMCG Brands, there are many small and big brands that have used and continue to use Sweepstakes as a part of their marketing mix, successfully. Sweepstakes are a type of contest where one grand prize or multiple smaller spot prizes are given away, to people as part of a marketing campaign. Call it scratch-n-win or raffle draw or the new age ‘digital draws’

  1. It is a great tool to engage with the audience: In addition to increasing the sheer number of people who interact with the brand, a contest provides the means to deepen the connection as well. It gives the brand the needed ‘buzz’ factor
  2. Sweepstakes may be a great way for sponsors to collect fan information during activation or an event leading to data capture that they will be beneficial for future campaigns. It provides valuable Market Research and strengthens the relationship between brand and consumer
  3. With the lure of a prize, many people are prepared to share information as part of the entry process. Remember that what you ask should be commensurate with what you offer in return. In addition to collecting data as part of the entry process, you can also learn a great deal from the interaction and conversation that takes place around your contest, so be sure to listen in
  4. Contests and sweepstakes are lucrative in every market situation, but these have to be planned in advance to be executed successfully
  5. Creating a set of predetermined goals will allow you to determine whether your campaign was successful once it done

Tracking your goals can be in the form of a simple spreadsheet, tracking your progress so far.

Use eye catching imagery to spread awareness and promote the campaign along with call to action.

Depending upon the value of the prize, you may want to consider drawing more than one Winner. Having more than one winner motivates people to enter as it increases the chances of winning.  Even instant winners is a big draw

When choosing the Duration of your sweepstakes, keep a few things in mind –  If you run it for a short period of time, less people will have a chance to enter. If you run it for too long, people will may lose interest or forget about the contest. It’s worth testing different time periods for your contest to identify what works best for your audience.

To take it one step further brands are now jumping on the ‘video content’ bandwagon as video contests are predicted to lead the sweepstake trend this year.

One of our brands recently executed a contest that asked fans to create 30 seconds videos explaining how they will help create a better world as part of the campaign. Now that’s a contest to engage customers.

Given the continual rise of social media and Google’s ever-changing algorithm, quality content play an integral role in these activities especially for companies looking to leverage the interweb as an effective marketing and communications channel.

Fortunately, contests that rely on user-generated content can help companies rapidly scale and promote original content in a fun ways that benefits both you and your audience.

Besides great content this can result in long-term relationships with your audience and customers as well.

Here is an example of a Sweepstakes contest done right.

Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Should Be Shared” contest on Facebook hit the branding bull’s-eye. They ran a fill-in-the-blank contest with photos. They asked their Fans to tell them why they think their friend “represents Real Beauty,” by filling in their friend’s name and two things that make them beautiful.

Prize – In keeping with their brand, they did not offer an iPad, or extravagant prizes. The winners got to become the next faces of Dove.

This is a brilliantly-branded campaign. Not only does Dove get a real, genuine face for further in-store marketing campaigns, but their brand is further associated with real people sharing – making their slogan more than just words.

If you do it right with a creative angle, Sweepstakes can be a tactic that can be effective and can give the results that you are looking for with a small price tag.

And lastly, don’t forget to take necessary approvals to run the activity.


Author: Ganesh Iyer