Cutting Through the Noise in 2020: How to Stand Out with Your Social Ads
August 8, 2020 | By Kyle Anderson-De Avila
When it comes to advertising, “noise” is anything that distracts from your advertising message. The average consumer sees up to 10,000 advertisements every day, and standing apart is the key challenge of many marketers.
Contests are a great way to make your brand stand out and be heard. Contests offer value, entice action and grow leads. They lead to more shares, more follows and more brand awareness. When you create an online contest, you get more attention, and your brand becomes more memorable. You’ll also drive traffic to your website, membership site and other platforms to create conversions.
Here are four types of contests to help you stand out on social.
- Hashtag, share or comment to win. Users get the chance to win something by participating and engaging with your brand while risking nothing, and your company gets engagement and new followers. These basic contests can include a call to hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, as well as comment or share-to-win versions. Winners are chosen at random, and that’s made easier when you’re working with a contest administrator like The Seattle Times Media Solutions.
- User-generated content contests. Encourage your audiences to engage with you by submitting their own content (like photos). One client ran a user-generated content contest using the hashtag #TreatYourselfSEA on Instagram. They asked their audience to post pictures of themselves in a “self-care moment,” tagging the client’s Instagram handle and using the hashtag in the caption — with the chance to win a $100 gift card. Then, to double the chances of winning, the client posted a link in the bio of its company Instagram page and asked participants to click through and fill out a form that included a section to add the participant’s Instagram handle.
- Gameify contests. Gameify your contest with a “pick your prize” contest or personality quiz. Collect leads by creating a personality quiz like “What kind of sports car are you?” or “Which 1990s rapper are you?” and then collect an email address before revealing the answer. This again leads to an opportunity to collect valuable information from your target audience. Participants disclose their unique preferences, and that data can be shared for future marketing purposes. This also allows you to increase engagement, and participants can easily share their outcomes anywhere — boosting engagement and leads!
- Instant-win contests. These notify entrants if they’ve won immediately after entering the form. You can increase engagement by encouraging non-winners to try their luck again and asking winners to share the contest with their friends. You can also award multiple prizes or unique codes.
Remember to be innovative with your contest ideas and always tie them back to your brand by giving away a product, gift card, discount or something unexpected that will excite your audience. Contest participation will highly depend on the value and uniqueness of the prize offering.
Your giveaway should live where you want it to: Embed it to drive more traffic to your website, set up a stand-alone/mobile-friendly landing page just for your giveaway, or install it directly on your Facebook page.
Finally, remarket to your leads and new followers! Contests can grow your customer database with valuable prospects for years to come.
Contests can be overwhelming to implement on your own, but The Seattle Times Media Solutions uses technology to easily implement, administer, promote and report success for social contests. Our Content Studio can also create a personality quiz to engage users with a creative approach. Reach out to our team to learn how you can run a contest easily and cost effectively to grow leads and engagement.
Kyle Anderson-De Avila is an account manager for The Seattle Times Media Solutions, representing The Seattle Times, seattletimes.com and Seattle Times Media Solutions, our in-house digital agency. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org