Online promotions are an effective way for our company to achieve different and interesting marketing objectives. For example:
- Increase brand awareness
- Attract new followers to our social networks
- Increase fan loyalty
- Increase the “engagement” of our brand with our fans
- Promote increased conversions and sales
In this post, we will look at the various considerations we should keep in mind to make our promotions a success.
Creating the promotion
There are basically two ways to create a promotion:
- Hire a programmer/designer to create the promotion for us. This option has the advantage of being adaptable to match 100% of our needs. However, this option also has some major downsides:
- Increased costs
- Long implementation time
- Unproven solutions, error-prone
- Less features
- It can’t be adapted to new requirements
- It can’t be adapted to changes in the social network rules and regulations
- Use of an external tool. It is true that this type of platform does not offer solutions for specific needs, but it does have the benefit of solving the problems outlined above. HiSocial offers a white-label solution that enables you, at the design-level, to fully tailor the “look & feel” of the promotions to be consistent with your online and corporate identity. This is achieved through personalized CSS access, where you can configure all aspects of the promotions graphics.
Setting targets and time frames
It is important to establish a timetable governing how we will implement and disseminate our promotion before launching it. Better yet, the ideal is to design an annual plan that can be rolled out over the following year and that includes: the types of promotions we are going to make, what form they are going to take and how they will be organized. Another post talks about creating a road map for a social media strategy. I refer you to this post, so that you can see how it can be applied specifically to online promotions. To summarize the main idea of that post: you need to set clear goals (you can see more about here)
The scope of the online promotion
We should be clear that, when we talk about online promotions, we should not restrict ourselves to social media promotions, since we can use the promotions directly on our own website. There is no doubt that the social networks are very important, but as I always say, our own website is equally important if not more so. In fact, the ideal solution would be cross-platform, and would distribute our promotion through various channels.
Types of online promotion
There are many types of promotion, but the most common are:
Competitions: A competition is a form of promotion characterized by the winner being chosen on “merit”. The following link will lay out some of the things to keep in mind when organizing a competition, how to create an online competition. Alternatively, we also have a guide to creating online contests with HiSocial.
Sweepstakes: In contrast to competitions, in a sweepstake the winner is chosen randomly. Here at HiSocial, we are currently working on the sweepstake module, which will be available shortly.
Coupons and offers: This type of promotion is particularly attractive as it can have a great impact on possible future sales. We must clearly distinguish between printable coupons (for “physical”shops) and electronic coupons (for e-commerce). At HiSocial, we offer specific solutions for each. To learn more about this topic I recommend you read this post: online coupons.
Digital downloads: Under this heading we include all those promotions that offer a gift to the user in digital format (white papers, pictures, wallpapers, songs, demos etc) These promotions, while often neglected, are very effective. We encourage you to read this instructive post: virtual gifts.
There should be little need to stress the importance of this issue. Generally, every country establishes its own set of rules that we must follow. Obviously, it is impossible to study each piece of existing legislation in detail here, so we will limit ourselves to giving some general recommendations, and advise you to consult your lawyer about any specifics that may be applicable to you:
- Be transparent: State exactly what you are offering and all the requirements needed to enter the promotion. For example, if you organize a contest or sweepstake, lay out in great detail the terms and conditions.
- Identify yourself: Provide all the relevant data surrounding your company, so that users know exactly who is offering the promotion.
- Carry out to the letter everything promised in your promotion, otherwise the image of your company will be severely tarnished, and obviously, there could be legal consequences for noncompliance.
Social media rules and regulations
Along with the points made in the previous section, if your promotion is spread over a range of social networks, you must consider the different regulations for each of them in turn. In these links you can find information for some of the most popular networks:
Terms of Service
Policies & Principles
It is outside the scope of this post to go over the specifics of each network.: We will instead discuss one common mistake on Facebook. Facebook clearly states that “Promotions on Facebook must be Administered Within Apps on Facebook.com, Either on a Canvas Page or a Page App”, which means that we can not make promotions directly on our Facebook page, but must instead use an external application. There are many companies around today that completely ignore this fact, and are in danger of being “banned” from the network.
Distribution and virality
A promotion that nobody can sees is useless Thats why we must strive to properly disseminate all of our online promotions. A good idea is to carry out some kind of advertising campaign to help spread the promotion. To compliment this, we must ensure that our promotion creates Virality, as this will greatly contribute to the dissemination. At HiSocial, we do a lot of work specifically on this issue, as we feel it is of special importance.