Create Online Contests and Facebook Contests

Online Contesting

Why Use Online Promotions?

Contests fit into a big trend regarding promotions and where advertisers are spending money. Changes are occurring in the amount of money spent in Online Advertising v. Online Promotions. Roughly $40 billion is currently spent on Online Advertising, but growth has stagnated. Money spent on Online Promotions, like contests and coupons, is increasing. Online Promotions spending will exceed Online Advertising spending in 2014. By 2016 over $72 billion will be directed to Online Promotions.

Why Contests?

Contests are huge in building an audience and greatly increases page views and visitors. Contest help gain revenue and grow foundation of business.

Reasons to Use Online Contests:

1. Build audience, page views and awareness

2. Generate Revenue through sponsorship and ad revenue, advertisers want to be part of a promotion.

3. Registration builds user database for email marketing generating leads for yourself and your advertisers.

4. Powers your social and mobile strategy, growing your Facebook “likes” and Twitter followers.

What is a Sponsored Contest?

Any contest that has a sponsor attached to it. This is a great way to bring in advertisers. Examples are Sweepstakes or photo contests. It is important to match up correct contest with correct advertisers. Sponsored Contests can generate submissions, registered users, revenue, page views, etc.

 Lessons Learned from Successful Case Studies

The contest MUST resonate with readers. Target your niche in a fun and vibrant way. You MUST find the right advertisers and be sure to tie together print and online promotion. Sponsored Contests create large opportunities and you can run promotions across all your titles.

 8 Steps to Sponsored Contest Success:

1. Define Your Contest Team:
Team needs to be accountable for success. Get the right people involved. No one-size fits all teams.

Standing Members:
Sales Manager
Promotions Sales Expert
Product Manager/Lead

Other Potential Members:
Customer Service Manager
Marketing/Community Relations
Key Traditional Representative
Make sure everyone can execute a successful plan

 2.Understand Your Goals:
Address ALL these questions before embarking on contest:

• What are your goals for each individual contest and your overall goals for year?
• Where have you had the least success? Can contests help you there?
• What are your revenue goals? How much revenue do you want to derive from the contest?
• Do you want to grow specific advertising categories?
• Can contests help you grow a segment you wish to do better with?
• Do you want to grow your email database?
• Do you want to grow your social database?
• Want to grow Facebook “likes” and Twitter followers?

 3. Target the RightAdvertisers:
What advertisers are you looking to work with? Different advertisers make sense for different contests. Create a list of advertisers you want to do business with and develop promotion ideas that would appeal to them.

Finding the right contest to line up with the right advertiser is main goal

4. Develop a Promotions Calendar:
When developing calendar, consider: Your goals, your advertiser’s goals, what advertisers you want to target, special events and sections you sponsor/run throughout the year. Will the contest align? Once calendar is complete, you have a great contest plan set out for the year. Put projected revenue against plan and work backwards. Get in front of advertisers months in advance to give your sales team the best chance.

 5. Choose the Right Sponsorship Model:
3 Main Options:

1. Exclusive Sponsor-The simplest option. Advertiser should pay premium for being the only sponsor. A good fit for large traditional spenders. Contests are built with advertiser in mind.

2. Category Exclusive Sponsors-Multiple sponsors, but only one in each sector. Advertisers need to be motivated to get sponsorship before their competition does. Example: For a pet-related contest: One pet store sponsor, one groomer, one veterinarian, one kennel, etc.

3. Multiple Sponsors-No category exclusivity. Goal is to get as many people as possible to buy into sponsorship. Gives you widest variety of options to meet revenue goals. Often geared toward smaller advertisers. Multiple advertisers can ad up to big revenue

 6. How to Price Sponsorship Packages:
Consider your prospect list and estimate what dollar amount your advertiser will invest in your contest. Consider what you’ll put into the package, what other promotional opportunities are there around the contest? Will it include print, banner, Facebook, Twitter, email promotion? What would be the list value of promotion as whole? What type of sponsorship? Exclusive, Category Exclusive, or Multiple Sponsors? Value of integrated promotional package? Who is offering prizes? Are there naming rights involved for the contest? All factors must go into price.

 7. Develop Integrated Promotions:

Take advantage of different platforms to promote contest. Think about using Online and Print also, using Social Media and E-mail blasts, text alerts. Get promotion out across ALL channels. Drive more participation and value for advertisers.

 8. Build & Monetize Your Email Database:

Think about ways to monetize your email database. Maybe via follow-up emails or deals programs. Sponsored Contests are a great ways to drive revenue and conversations with new and existing advertisers


Learn more about how to create online contests from Second Street and Second Street Labs
To date, UPICKEM has executed:

  • More than 60,000 contests
  • On more than 1,600 local media sites
  • More than 10 million players have participated

Meet our expert:

Matt Coen is the President & Co-Founder of Second Street. Second Street provides private-label online promotions solutions and partner success services to over 2,400 media and marketing partners. Promotions platforms include online and Facebook contesting, deals and email communications.

Matt Coen, President & Co-Founder of Second Street



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Matt Coen

Matt Coen is the Co-founder and President of Second Street, the leading provider of online promotions platforms and partner success services for the media industry. Coen also teaches entrepreneurship at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2006, Coen Co-Wrote and Produced the award winning documentary Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore? Coen began his career in media technology at Pulitzer Technologies as Director of New Business and Product Development. Coen is a native of Rhode Island who loves spending time with his family, sports, politics, travel, and serving on a number of community boards.
Click here to view all of Matt's presentations.
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