Promotions help businesses collect data, drive traffic to their online marketing channels, and engage with their online audience. While promotions continue to be one of the most successful forms of online engagement, there's an art to creating a promotion that will resonate with your followers and maximise response.
One of the most important things to remember when building a promotion is to keep it simple. Why? Because the average attention span of a human is now eight seconds. Even goldfish have longer attention spans. Our collective attention span keeps getting shorter (in 2000 it was 12 seconds), and that fact can be traced to the influx of information and technology available at our fingertips. When you're attempting to catch the attention of your online followers, you have a very small window of opportunity to grab them and engage with them.
This is why simplicity is so important in promotions. The fewer distractions your entrants have, the better you'll keep their attention and be more likely to reach your goal.
Here are four ideas to help simplify your next promotion:
1. Focus on One Goal
Don't feel pressured to get everything done with one single promotion. Our numbers show that businesses that run ongoing promotions see better results than those that just a single promotion. This is because you are communicating with your audience throughout an extended period of time instead of just once.
The first step in simplifying your promotion is to pick a single goal to focus on. Maybe it's to collect email addresses, maybe it's to get an opinion on a new product, or maybe you want to drive more traffic to your website. Having a single goal will simplify the amount of data you collect from your users, and the layout of your promotion.
2. Display One Step at a Time
In general, the elements of a promotion include information on the campaign and how to enter, the rules, an entry form, a "thank you for entering" message, share buttons and maybe even a voting feature. Each of these "elements" is a step that you have to display for your entrants.
To simplify your promotion, display each of these steps one at a time. This is especially important for mobile users, where crowded and complicated campaigns can become difficult to access via a cell phone or tablet.
Let's say you're giving away a coupon to your fans and the process you want them to go through includes coming to your promotion and reading about the coupon and how to receive it including a "claim my coupon" button, then they must provide their email address, then they receive a "thanks for entering" note and then they're asked to share the coupon with their friends. You can use action-gating to have the email collection form appear once the "claim my coupon" button is clicked. Once the email is collected a "thanks for entering" message will pop up and when the thanks for entering message appears the share buttons appear. Every step requires a previous step to be completed before it's displayed, streamlining the entry process for the best user experience.
3. Use Less Text
With an eight-second attention span, most online surfers aren't looking to read a novel before they're allowed to enter a promotion.
We always recommend that you use your follow-up marketing to educate your entrants and keep your promotion focused on one thing: getting people to enter. This means you should only include necessary text that explains what your promotion is, how someone can enter and what they'll win.
There are exceptions to this rule. If you're running a fundraising campaign and trying to get people to donate money towards a cause, for example, you want to include a compelling story to help people feel connected to your cause.
This is another tip that's crucial for mobile users: When you're building your promotion, test how it looks on your mobile device to see whether the text needs to be stripped down. Promotions that are built with third-party platforms like ShortStack are automatically mobile friendly, but there are still a variety of mobile best practices you can follow.
4. Publish as a Landing Page
Promotions have evolved a lot during the last several years. Today, there are more options than ever for publishing and promoting promotions. For example, you can embed the campaign on your website or blog, you can host it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Google+, or you can make it function as a standalone landing page.
The most important step in a promotion is entry. Simplifying the entry process requires making it possible for as many of your online followers as possible to enter your promotion. However, your online followers are coming to your promotion from many different devices and platforms, so how do you make sure the experience is as seamless as possible for all of your online followers? The answer is, don't attach your promotion to a single social network. You can use social media to help promote your promotion but allow people to enter through a landing page or an embed on your website so they're not hindered by a social networks guidelines.
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