Audience Development

Engage engagement to meet seven important goals—and exceed them with promotions

Matt Coen, St. Louis
Matt Coen, St. Louis

As a media executive, you are focused on several initiatives to help you reach your goals. Those goals include revenue growth, audience engagement, increasing pageviews, social media growth, and building an email database amongst a slew of others.

Promotions and interactive content are key to meeting and succeeding all the goals of your media company. The power of these engagement campaigns means one campaign has the ability to achieve a number of great outcomes for you. But while they’re all versatile, different campaigns excel in different areas.

I’ve put together a list here of seven goals you are probably working towards and the promotions and interactive content I’d recommend to reach that goal.

Goal: Grow email database
With a low barrier to entry, sweepstakes are the most efficient way to grow your database. The better the prize, the more entries you will receive, so choose a prize that’s valuable enough to entice a wide audience to enter.

And make sure to add an email opt-in to all your engagement campaigns so you turn any promotion and interactive content into a tool for database growth.

Goal: Generate revenue
To reach your revenue goals, it’s crucial to run campaigns that attract advertisers. Pick’ems and brackets are long-running campaigns that offer a ton of exposure for advertisers. Plus, you can leverage exclusive partnerships and VIP pickers to enhance your sponsorship packages and elevate your revenue potential.

Goal: Improve engagement and time on site
Photo contests, pick’ems, and brackets attract participants that make return visits to the page through different stages of the contest. Quizzes get shared over and over again on social, and the outcome page can include a link directing users to other content on your site. The Arizona Republic ran this U.S. Citizenship trivia quiz that’s been taken nearly 80,000 times!

Goal: Increase ad impressions and page views
Photo contests and galleries keep users clicking through submissions to find and vote for their favorites. With each new click counting as another page view and ad impression, a popular photo gallery can drive tons of great results for your media company. More than 27,000 votes were cast in KRDO annual Fall Colors Photo Contest.

Goal: Market your products and content
Create engagement campaigns to promote products, events, and even your media site as a whole. The prize of a sweeps could be the product you are marketing, or you could use a code word sweepstakes to drive traffic to your content.

Quizzes featuring your company are a great way for people to relate to your brand. Try a quiz like “Which Columnist Are You?,” or “Can You Remember Last Month’s Headlines?” The WSSP-AM Morning Show hosts ran this creative personality quiz featuring themselves as the outcomes! Not only did it get shared on social, but they talked about the quiz on-air with listeners.

Goal: Grow your social following
Harness the power of social media to grow your email database. With each contest you promote on social, you can leverage email opt-ins to pull those users into your database. Not only do quizzes and photo contests often get shared on social, but sweepstakes can actually offer incentives to users who share. The Gift of Magic sweepstakes was incredibly successful on social media and, as a result, led to more than 1,300 opt-ins for the station

Goal: Gain consumer insights
Citywide ballots generate tons of data as users identify which local businesses they prefer within their community – that presents a trove of information that can be valuable for any company or sponsor in the future. For The Commercial Appeal, their annual metro ballot has brought in nearly 500,000 votes cast by over 9,000 registered users—providing a ton of data about their consumers and their community.

Quizzes can be used to understand consumer preferences and generate leads. You can include questions about purchase intent, budgeting, and even tastes to improve your consumer data and leverage that data for future advertiser initiatives. When WPSD created this quiz for a furniture company, they were able to use every question to generate data about the consumers.

Make sure that you’re taking the time to evaluate your goals and choosing the promotions and interactive content that’s best to achieve them. That’s a quick summary to help you get on the path to success.

But don’t be limited by just one single engagement campaign. If you have many goals you’re trying to meet, put together a multi-layered campaign featuring a combination of sweepstakes, quizzes, ballots, or pick’ems. You’ll discover a great way to elevate your promotions and interactive content strategy to the next level.

Matt Coen is president and co-founder of Second Street, a Saint Louis-based provider of private-label online promotions platforms for media companies.