Clever campaigns will always have a place on social platforms, but there’s no denying that many brands are using sweepstakes to attract leads and draw them through the funnel.
Games and contests can capture the attention of even distracted readers and act as a powerful catalyst for spreading a brand’s message where it matters most.
It’s obvious that when measured and adjusted properly, a sweepstakes can be a powerful social media marketing asset, driving massive conversions. And because it’s measureable, it offers marketers a convenient way to identify both actions for greater performance and the smartest allocation of their budget.
But not all social contests are launched or evaluated strategically, and it’s entirely possible to find even a sweepstakes with an expensive giveaway performing poorly.
The secret? Tracking social leads all the way through the funnel, measuring campaign performance, and adjusting accordingly at every stage of the lead lifecycle. Here’s how to do it right.
Collecting the Data
Boosting engagement and brand visibility is great, but ultimately you want to turn your “likes” into leads. This means structuring your contest as a lead generation doorway. One fitness center owner did this not only by posting a variety of content, but through tactics that captured valuable lead data such as:
- Requiring contestants to enter their email address after they “liked” the contest page
- Linking entry forms to his marketing automation system so that all contestant data was immediately imported with relevant tags
- Asking contestants to complete their sweepstakes registration by a completing a form asking about fitness interests
By the time he was done with this step, he had a rich pipeline of qualified leads and segmentation data for future nurture campaigns.
Measuring The Return
While it’s true that some forms of return are hard to quantify, such as an uptick in brand awareness, other kinds of performance can be measured quite easily. For instance, the Kettlebell Fever fitness center owner found that his photographs overwhelmingly outperformed his text content, with the average text-only post generating 5-15 “likes” and comments compared to the 50-60 per post generated by photos. Facebook Insights data also revealed his most effective posting times, which guided his posting strategy and helped him drive maximum sweepstakes participation.
What can you measure in a sweepstakes? Consider the following:
- Social activity metrics are simple to measure, such as the number of new leads or the number of people who watched your sweepstakes video
- Website analytics will show how often people visited your website as a result of the contest; they can also be compared against your pay per click (PPC) campaigns
- Shares and tagged URLs will reveal who’s responding to your content
Finally you’ll want to measure how much of this participation fed lead generation and how many of those leads converted. By tracking your leads all the way from the start of the funnel to actual sale, you can calculate the hours and resources invested and compare that to the revenue produced by your new customers. You’ll have benchmarks against which to measure future contest results – and more importantly, by stacking up your revenue per customer next to your spend per customer, you’ll know the true dollar value of your sweepstakes.
Putting Measurements Into a Marketing Context
While watching your fans and followers grow through a social contest will no doubt feel impressive, you’ll ultimately need to compare your sweepstakes ROI to that of other marketing initiatives. Understanding that your contest delivered a certain dollar amount in sales can feel satisfying, but that alone won’t tell you if it was a wise investment of your time and budget.
For instance, the Kettlebell Fever owner knew that his sweepstakes had increased his Facebook following from 4,000 to 13,000 fans, with 150-250 new “likes” every day – and that 93 percent of his customers were now originating from Facebook.
The final result of his hard work: his sweepstakes helped him triple his revenue in just six months.
Your own sweepstakes might not deliver the same profit margin as your other campaigns – or maybe it will. Either way, careful measurements will help you make informed decisions about allocating your marketing dollars. You might even go back to the drawing board and figure out how to optimize future contests, such as offering a less expensive giveaway.
In the end, a clever sweepstakes is proof that in the social media universe, strategy trumps spend – and that can be a powerful advantage for any business. With the right tactics and careful measurement, just one initiative can transform social engagement into real revenue.