6-sweepstake-tactics-max-exposure-more-participants Sweepstakes Marketing

Top 6 Sweepstake Tactics To Max Out Exposure And Get More Participants

February 22, 2024
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Sweepstake tactics are considered one of the most effective ways to grow your business

However, there’s a catch. 

For a sweepstake to have the impact you want, you need to have participants—lots of participants. A well-run sweepstakes encourages users to enter and increases follower count and brand awareness. But achieving those results takes some strategy. 

It all comes down to boosting the visibility of your campaign. The best way to do giveaways is with a solid plan to increase exposure to your sweepstakes and get as many people to participate as possible.

Here are some sweepstake tactics to make sure your campaigns get seen and celebrated. 

Sweepstake tactics #1: Surprise flash giveaways

Surprise giveaways that run for a short period of time are a great way to generate excitement and get people to share quickly. Create a sense of urgency with a flash giveaway that goes on for 24 or 48 hours. Help your sweepstakes go viral by offering bonus entries for completing actions that give entrants a better chance of winning. 

A successful giveaway by FlySafair

Flash sweepstakes are ideally advertised on social media, web banners for first-time visitors, or via SMS. Think through how to make the sweepstakes compelling and easy to enter.


Because a surprise giveaway has a short duration, only collect information that you must have in order to reach out to a customer again in the future. Lengthy entry methods will not net the number of new participants you hope for. 

Sweepstake tactics #2: User-generated content contests

Including user-generated content contests in your sweepstakes tactics is also a great strategy. Run a contest in which participants enter to win by creating and sharing content related to your brand.

For instance, National Geographic Traveller (UK) regularly hosts photo contests on its Instagram that encourage users to submit images for a chance to have their work published in the magazine.

These contests encourage engagement with the page, increasing shares, likes, reposts, and tags. In addition, it helps the brand identify photographer talent they can work with in the future to take photos for the magazine. 

There are dozens of ways to host a user-generated content contest.

Consider running a sweepstakes where users tag their entries with a branded hashtag. Or, ask participants to include your product or logo somewhere in the image. Be creative about showcasing your brand without being too prescriptive on what content you think users should make on your behalf. 

Sweepstake tactics #3: Collaborate with influencers

Influencers can be one of the best ways to do sweepstakes. Partner with influencers who align with your target audience. Ask the influencer group to share the contest with their audience and create some content you can use on your own channels. 

Many brands shy away from using influencers because they can be expensive to work with. Don’t be afraid to work with so-called micro-influencers.

Micro-influencers have 1,000 – 100,000 followers, often in a market niche (such as indoor plant aficionados or baseball card collectors). Their small, tighter community is an advantage; these micro-influencers are trusted by their followers and can help your sweepstake reach the people who will be most receptive to it. 

Most micro-influencers cost less than traditional influencers and, depending on your vertical, can sometimes get you better results. Look for people in your followers and those who use your hashtags who may already be promoting your brand. Encourage customers to share your sweepstakes with their friends via a unique referral link to make this a win-win for everyone. 

Sweepstake tactics #4: Social sharing incentives

Speaking of referrals — anyone can become an influencer when you offer a way to increase your chances of winning by sharing. Encourage participants to share your sweepstakes with their friends and followers by offering additional entries or bonus prizes for each share. 

Bonus entries are vital to helping your sweepstakes go viral.

ViralSweep’s data shows that these additional entries are where a majority of your social profile growth will come from. If you provide extra entries for visiting a specific page on your website, it’s also great for driving traffic to your website.

Sweepstake tactics #5: Gamify your giveaway

Gamifying a giveaway can be one of the best ways to do giveaways that get higher engagement. There are opportunities to gamify everything from the entry method to the prize structure. 

For example, sweepstake tactics like boost entries by rewarding points for different actions, including following your social media profiles, sharing the campaign, commenting on a post, or using your hashtag. More points can translate to more entries or a bigger prize at the end of the event. 

Another option is integrating quizzes, trivia, puzzles, or memory challenges during the giveaway. Challenges or scavenger hunts that give users a chance to win more entries are a fun way to keep engagement high across the duration of the sweepstake. Track participants’ points or entries on a leaderboard to foster friendly competition and encourage participants to stay active. 

If you’re worried about lagging enthusiasm while the giveaway is ongoing, consider offering daily rewards or bonus entries on specific days along the way. For instance, offer exclusive content for those who bring in five new entries in one week. 

Your prize structure should consider how you will reward those who help you max out your campaign exposure. Offer multiple prizes based on points or entries at different levels, catering to diverse motivations.

Ensure that, regardless of the circumstances, your prizes match the level of effort your participants invested in making your sweepstakes so exciting.

Sweepstake tactics #6: Social media challenges

Lastly, no matter where you host your sweepstakes, take full advantage of social media to spread the word. Many brands utilize this as one of the most effective sweepstake tactics.

Some brands host a sweepstakes directly on social media; others use their social media channels to market and direct participants to a landing page. Regardless of your option, social media should form a core component of your sweepstakes marketing strategy.  

Social media is a great place to put into practice the other tactics on this list. Use your Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook pages to spark engagement with interactive elements. For example, host Q&A sessions, run mini-contests related to the sweepstake, and encourage participants to share their excitement using your branded hashtag. 

If you have the budget, it might be worth running targeted ads on social media platforms to reach your ideal demographic and maximize visibility. 

As the sweepstake continues, respond to comments, answer questions, and highlight user-generated content to keep them engaged until the winner is announced. Following these steps will transform your sweepstake into a social media magnet, attracting participants and amplifying your brand awareness.

Try one or all of these tactics to create buzz for your sweepstake and ensure it achieves maximum impact. ViralSweep is here to help. ViralSweep can help ensure your campaigns are well organized, compliant with the rules, and set up to go viral.

Learn more: Get in touch to see how we can take your sweepstakes marketing to the next level.