9 Strategies for Promoting Your Promotion


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Imagine you’ve built a great, engaging digital promotion.

It’s awesome, the best thing ever. But no one’s playing it.

Why? Because you forgot an important step in the process: promoting your promotion.

Promotions are like events — in order for them to be successful you have to get people to attend. While the quality of your promotion will determine if people stick around and engage, you’ve got to do the leg work to get them there in the first place.

That’s why a good media plan is so important. Here are some promotion tactics you should consider:

Paid Media

1 – Digital
Okay we know, banner ads kind of suck. In fact you’re 475 times more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad.

But you shouldn’t discount them as part of your promotion strategy just yet. Banner ads are actually way more effective when they’re promoting a sweepstakes or contest. We’ve seen click rates increase from 0.08 to as high as 0.54 for banner ads promoting digital promotions.

Where you’ll run into issues with banner ads is if you focus too much on your brand and not on driving traffic to the promotion. Focus on words that have high value to the consumer — like “play” and “win” — and put those in your ad copy!

2 – Traditional
Don’t forget about promoting offline as well. You can use hashtags and a compelling call to action to drive people to the promotion. Consider adding ads for your promotion to existing creative in these media channels:
– TV
– Radio
– Print
– Billboards
– Out of Home

Just remember, if you’re going to tag your promo onto existing creative, you need to start planning well in advance!

3 – Event and Trade Shows
Running a launch event or attending a trade show lets you connect with people in-person. You can get attendees to sign up for the promo while they’re at your event/booth, converting them into members of your email lists or loyalty program.
Plus you can prompt them to share the promotion with their friends and family by giving out handouts or swag with your hashtag and QR code on it. Don’t forget to put your hashtag or QR code on your booth signage too!

Free and Earned Media

1 – Digital
More and more promotional emails are getting caught in spam filters or being reported as spam and even viral emails yield a pretty low registration rate. Having a dedicated link that registrants can share helps solve this problem — and you can even promote sharing it within the promotion!

You can also prompt social sharing from within your promotion to keep the buzz going after you launch. If social sharing is high on your list of goals, there are certain types of promotions that work better than others. Collection games in particular do really well on social media.

2 – Partners
Partnering with another brand is not only a great way to secure free prizing — it’s also an awesome way to promote your promotion to more people!

Get your partner to promote the promotion in their email blasts, place it on their website and post about it on social media.

House Media

1 – Digital
Promote your promotion on all of your digital assets. Put a slider ad on your home page, post about it in your blog, send out a press release, and push it on social media. Just make sure to include a compelling call to action and a link to the promotion on everything you send or post!

2 – Email Blasts
Make sure to reserve space in your email campaigns well in advance — it can be tricky to get a spot sometimes! Ideally you want to try for a dedicated email about the promotion, but if not, try putting an ad in a newsletter.

3 – In-Store
Every customer who walks into your stores should hear about your promotion! Put your promotion details on receipts, game cards, posters, packaging, display units, and sampling materials.

4 – Employees
You’ve got a team of ambassadors — so use them! Get your employees to tell shoppers about the promotion while they’re working and offer rewards for sharing it with their friends and family or posting about it on social media.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of which tactics you use, make sure you’re focusing on driving traffic to your promotion. Rather than focusing on your brand messaging make sure your collateral highlights what’s important to the customer (Play, Win!).

Once you’ve got people engaged with your promotion you’ll have plenty of time for brand messaging.

John Findlay
John is a founding partner of the digital engagement agency, Launchfire (est. 1999). In his too-many years in the business he's developed gamified digital engagement strategies & promotions for a mighty impressive list of leading marketers.


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