How to maximize your sponsor's exposure

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Every time an advertiser partners with you is a new opportunity to prove the value of sponsoring your engagement campaigns. It's important to make sure you're doing everything you can to maximize their investment because, we all know, a happy customer is a returning customer.

The following is a comprehensive list of all the assets you should leverage to add value to your sponsorship packages.

On the engagement campaign page:

  • Create a custom page wrapper in the branding.
  • Include images from your advertisers in the contest masthead or graphic.
  • Include sponsor images on the prize page.
  • Include a mobile advertisement for your sponsor in mobile and tablet branding.
  • Add banner ads above, below and/or on either side of your contest.
  • Include images or video from your sponsor on the contest welcome page.
  • Alter the CSS of the contest page to add a background with images from your advertiser, such as a logo.
  • Sell naming rights to the contest. A pet contest sponsored by a particular groomer might be referred to as the "ABC Groomers Cutest Pet Contest" on the contest page and in all other promotional materials.
  • Create a section on the contest page with information about your advertiser, including links back to their website and any relevant offers or coupons.
  • For sports pick'em contests, add your sponsors as VIP pickers, and feature their photos on the welcome page.

Check out this pro football pick'em designed by The Florida Times-Union. The paper's top sponsor, Dream Finders, is featured throughout the contest page, including hyperlinks to its business webpage. Second tier sponsors also are heavily featured.

On your Facebook page:

  • Run the contest on your Facebook page, and promote it on a contests-only Facebook page.
  • Be sure to include a Facebook Like Box to encourage growing Facebook followers.
  • Post about the contest on your Facebook page, including an image with your sponsor's logo and a shortlink to the main contest page.
  • Pin the post to the top of your page and/or feature the post.
  • Make your Facebook contesting tab visible and brand it with your contest's header graphic.
  • Create an index page listing all of the contests you are currently running with clickable images leading to the contest pages.
  • Post again when the contest ends congratulating the winner and linking to your sponsor's site.
  • While you can promote the contest with your Facebook Cover Photo, you are NOT allowed to include the sponsor's logo as this violates Facebook's Terms of Service.

You could also promote the contest on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or other social media if it makes sense – of course, always include sponsor mentions and links to the sponsor's own social media accounts.

WHAM-TV created this "What's Your Tailgate Grilling Personality?" quiz for its sponsor, Palmer's Direct to You Market, a local meat market. The station ran the contest on the advertiser's Facebook Page and totally customized it to produce a ton of value for the sponsor.

In emails:

  • Include sponsor logos – and a coupon or offer, if possible – in an email to your promotional database and past contest players announcing the contest.
  • Send a registration confirmation email with sponsor logos, links to the sponsor's site, and a coupon or offer if possible.
  • Include your sponsor's information in weekly reminder emails for sports pick'em contests or any emails announcing that the submission period is ending or voting beginning.
  • Include the sponsor's information in a follow-up email announcing the winner after the contest. If the prize package came from the sponsor, make this clear.

A strong email campaign led to great success for the Steamboat Pilot's sweepstakes for a local yoga festival. The advertiser was incredibly pleased and over 100 registrations came from the bounceback email.

 

Around your website:

  • Place promo ads for the contest – including the sponsor's logo – around your site.
  • Include your sponsor's logo on any peel-aways, sliding billboards or feature carousels advertising the contest.

Madison Magazine gave its ballot prime real estate all across the website. The promotional strategy led to a windfall of votes from the community.

Traditional media:

  • Place print ads with your sponsor's logo, or include your sponsor's name in any on-air mentions.
  • Place your sponsor's information or an ad for your sponsor in any relevant special sections or programming.
  • Feature VIP pickers – including your sponsor – in print or on-air each week for sports pick'em contests.

Every year, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution dedicates a large portion of its print publication to publicizing its basketball bracket. This is a huge opportunity for branding for the sponsor and drives a ton of awareness about the contest.

Matt Coen is the president and co-founder of Second Street, a leading provider of private-label online promotions platforms and partner success services for media companies based in St. Louis, Mo. He can be reached at (314) 880-4902 or matt@secondstreet.com.

Second Street, Coen

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