by Mark Levy, Revenue Development Resources
Make sure the campaign is worth it.
A live event needs to be worth the effort, so before you decide to put one on, consider the scope of your promotion or interactive content. While it’s probably not worth it for a simple $10 value ticket giveaway, a live event can be a great way to activate a segment of your core audience for a larger-scale or multi-faceted campaign.
The best live events are well-planned and have equal buy-in from the programming and sales teams. It’s a good idea to start planning at least two-months in advance of the actual event.
Keep it simple.
If the promotion or interactive content is too confusing, people will give up or not come because don’t understand how to play. The best campaigns – whether they are online, on air, or on site – don’t need to be complicated in order to be wildly successful.
Ask your audience what they want.
In order to encourage maximum engagement with your live event, you need a desirable prize. In order to have a desirable prize, it’s crucial to understand your audience. Who are they? What do they want? How to they like to interact – what makes it easy for them to participate? The best way to find out is to ask them! Here are a few ideas for simple survey questions you could send out to your audience in order to figure out how to put together the most effective promotion possible:
- If you could win a prize valued between $10 and $20, what would it be?
- If you could win a prize valued between $20 and $50, what would it be?
- If you could win a prize valued between $50 and $100, what would it be?
- Would you prefer a contest to have one winner of a grand prize, several winners of medium prizes, or lots of winners of small prizes?
Keep your prize credible.
When the Powerball hit $200 million, there was a huge rush to buy tickets. However, when it later ballooned up to $400 million, there wasn’t as much of one as was expected. Why? Because it was such an impossibly large sum that no one felt that they could win – and perhaps more importantly, it was harder for people to conceptualize what they could do with a sum that large anyway. The best prizes certainly have a WOW factor – but in order to encourage more people to participate they also need to seem within reach.
Get people talking.
In order for a live event to be as successful as possible, you need to promote it as much as possible. Your campaign should build both awareness and excitement. One of the best ways to do this is with on-air promos. Just remember – if your announcers aren’t excited about the campaign, your audience won’t be either. Finally, the best promos are written for the ear, not the page. Make it natural – after all, while we may not write it very often, “gonna” is a word when we speak.
Check in with your legal team.
Once you know what you want to do, the first and most important thing you need to do is reach out to your legal department or state broadcast association to make sure that everything about the promotion or interactive content is in order.
Big giveaways, like this car giveaway from Billings Gazette and this dream wedding giveaway from WSB-FM, work particularly well as live events, but you can also easily integrate an online engagement campaign with an event you are already involved in, such a home show or wedding expo, as well.