4 Keys to Capturing Attention with Promotions
Most brands can’t give everyone in the world free stuff once a year like Santa, but a well thought out promotion can grab people’s attention in a similar way. Promotions trump traditional advertising by getting people involved with a brand – from sweepstakes and event sponsorships, to sampling experiences or cause-related activities. It’s the difference between getting an invitation to a party and actually being at a party.
Remember these four things as you plan your next “party."
1. Stay true to your brand personality
The best promotions seem like natural extensions of a brand. It wouldn’t make sense for Santa to wrap a promotion around MMA fights, but it made perfect sense for Pepto Bismal to partner with Nathan’s July 4th Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest and Major League Eating (MLE).
Even cause-related promotions work better if they relate more directly to what a brand stands for. Loads of Hope is a long-running Tide promotion that neatly connects the product with a bigger mission – helping disaster-ridden families by washing their clothes.
2. Play to your audience
The more you know about your audience, the better “party” you can throw for them. For example, Skinny Cow wrapped their sampling promotion for new single serve cups around the fact that most women wear the wrong bra size. Sampling was combined with a free bra fitting to create a one-of-a-kind experience.
But you don’t have to host an event to get people involved. EA Sports partnered with Doritos to generate interest in Madden NFL 11, months before the game was launched. Part of the promotion involved fans voting for the player to make the cover of the video game.
3. Promote your promotion
Don’t get so focused on the promotion that you forget to tell people about it. You can build it, but they won’t come unless you invite them. Big brands may spend more than a million dollars advertising a single promotion, but even a modest budget can get the word out by getting creative. The History Channel spent less than $250,000 to tout the premiere of Swamp People on Thursday nights with a Taste of the Bayou food truck experience in New York City. And for a fraction of that budget, The Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau supported their Getaway Giveaways promotion with email and social media to drive visitors to their new website.
With a tight budget, the key is using all the touchpoints you already control to support the promotion.
4. Build a deeper connection
Good promotions deliver a lot of measurable data – number of entries, attendance figures, units sampled, microsite traffic – and all of it should lead to goals like increased awareness, qualified lead generation or sales spikes. But great promotions build in long-term measurables, too. Things like becoming a Facebook fan, opting into an email program, or becoming part of a brand advisory group create more permanent connections between people and brands. These connections then create a community of vocal brand advocates, people who write glowing online reviews, post about the brand on social media sites and tell their friends and family about it.
In other words, great promotions create great promoters. And what brand wouldn’t want that?
See more examples of great promotions at Promo.