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Using Contests and Sweepstakes as College Marketing Incentives

Using Contests and Sweepstakes as College Marketing Incentives

Building in an incentive in the form of a contest or sweepstakes into your marketing program is a great way to grow an initial base of interest in your brand among college students while actively engaging them.

It’s no secret that people like getting things for free and college students are no different in that regard. Many brands attempt to make their mark on college campuses through traditional sampling and hand-to-hand programs. Although this is an effective way to go about brand integration on campus, an innovative way to incorporate social media into the fray is to have a contest/sweepstakes as a way to drive students to the ‘College specific’ Facebook page by offering perceived value to the student.

The key is to tie in a traditional approach of OOH media (posters, door hangers and other print mediums) to the social media component. The contest/sweepstakes will drive the student traffic to the Facebook site but the QR Code is what will deliver them.

I always suggest that a QR code be placed on the posters and door hangers (or any print media used in the promotion). Also the print materials will contain text explaining the contest/sweepstakes and instructing the student to scan the QR code. The QR code will bring the student the custom designed ‘College specific” Facebook page of the brand. At this point, the client will have a solid base of interest through the ‘likes’ on the product Facebook page and will have generated buzz which could potentially benefit direct sales.

The question then becomes Contest vs. Sweepstakes. Magdalena Georgieva’s insight in her article on Hubspot Blog titled ‘How to Fuel Lead Generation with Facebook Contests’, spells out the pro’s and con’s for each approach relative to the Facebook aspect of the contest:

  • Contests: A contest will increase your community involvement by enabling users to vote. They may also drive more of the entrants’ friends to your page as users ask their friends to vote for them. But if the entry requirements are too involved, you may not get the turnout you had hoped for.
  • Sweepstakes: A sweepstakes is better for growing your Facebook community or email list. Entering the sweepstakes usually requires entrants to enter their name and email address and possibly ‘Liking’ the Page, which is very easy for most people to do. Thus, you will generate more entries, but you may also sacrifice an element of engagement, since people won’t have an incentive to share it with their friends.

The key to success in effectively integrating your brand on college campuses is through a sound print campaign rollout with the QR Code link to College Promotion Facebook page and to have a contest or sweepstakes as the driving force. A contest/sweepstakes is a powerful compliment in achieving this student brand engagement by providing free, perceived value to the student.

Contact Marc Sorel to learn more about using contests and sweepstakes as college marketing incentives!

Click on the following link to read Magdalena Georgieva’s article, How to Fuel Lead Generation with Facebook Contests’

About NAM Youth Marketing

NAM Youth Marketing employs 15+ years of experience connecting with the elusive youth and college markets, alongside proprietary networks and client programs, to reach over 77 Million tweens, teens, young adults, and college students monthly, nationwide. Partnerships with Fortune 500 companies, coupled with mastery of creative OOH, location media, campus postering, freshmen orientation, graduation, athletic marketing, sampling & promotion as well as event, on campus, and proprietary social media student group access, web advertising, event and experiential marketing, sweeps and promotions, café marketing, uniquely enable NAM to carry your brand’s message to the $400 billion youth marketplace. More Information:

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