‘Meet the compers’ has proved to be a popular series with SuperLucky readers – and there’s more to come next week! – and now I’m venturing into the world of promoters. Welcome to the first in a series of Q&As with the people on the other side of competitions…
This week my guest is Jessica Maccio, Head of PR at Stickyeyes, a digital marketing agency who work with brands and bloggers on promotions.
What brands do Stickyeyes work with?
We work with enterprise businesses – large companies, spanning multiple countries. These include Hertz, ghd, Staples Europe, Amazon and MTV.
Do your clients prefer competitions to be hosted on their own websites rather than social media?
Most of our clients work with us for our SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services, amongst content marketing, social media and PR, so we always recommend a competition is hosted on their own website where possible, in order to drive new visitors and increase time on site. Signals like these to Google help increase the authority of a website and further push them up the search rankings. We then use the brand’s social channels to drive entries and increase awareness of the campaign through both organic and paid content. If we are working on a influencer engagement campaign and our metrics are purely brand awareness, we recruit bloggers and/or vloggers to run competitions through their own websites and social channels. It’s still important for us to control the T&C’s and competition mechanic, but giving a prize per blogger to give away for example, enables us to reach more people than those who would see a competition on a brand website.
What problems have you encountered when running comps?
There are so many considerations when running a competition across multiple countries. We’ve had to learn how the guidelines and laws differ. For example, in Sweden, you are not permitted to run a promotion where the winner is chosen randomly, like a lottery. Entries must be judged on clear criteria. We’ve found www.promoveritas.com to be an invaluable resource for researching these nuances.
We once learnt the hard way when it came to making the Terms & Conditions clear for a competition we ran in six countries. Social fans had to guess how many 1kg Lindt chocolate bunnies would fit into a specific make and model of a car. We did the maths and had an answer, but obviously got a whole range of guesses. When the answer was revealed there was a bit of a backlash about people not agreeing with our calculations. So from then on we’ve triple checked the wording of T&C’s to cover any potential reactions!
How do Stickyeyes select random winners for Twitter and Facebook promotions?
We don’t do too many of these competitions but when we have, we use a social media listening tool, which enables us to put the entries into a spreadsheet and number them. We then use a random number generator and check the winner is a legitimate account and has followed the rules before we announce them.
How do you choose which bloggers to work with for giveaways?
If a blogger is working with us on running a competition, they will have been involved in a wider campaign which the promotion is just a part of. We have a unique scoring system though our influencer marketing service, Best British Bloggers, which looks at metrics including the authority of a site, traffic, how engaged the readers are – comments and social shares, then take into account the blogger’s social following and audience profile – to best fit with the brand and the individual campaign. We’re looking to reach as many people as possible and we don’t always mean looking for big follower numbers to do this, as we are aware these can be manipulated. We’ve been working with bloggers in this capacity for over five years now, so we think we’re pretty good at spotting genuine influence.
What’s the best prize promotion you’ve been involved with?
The promotions where we have a great prize combined with an interesting mechanic are always the most fun to work on. There was a campaign we ran for 3 years for Motors.co.uk due to its success – based around ‘Most Deserving’ themes, we set out to find people who had genuinely made a difference to other people’s lives, and the winner won a car each time. One year was ‘most deserving student’. Many people would assume students have it pretty easy, but we got hundreds of nominations for people who were looking after young families, working and going to University to open up better opportunities for their future. Reading the entries was so heart-warming and my team loved calling people to tell them they’d been shortlisted and hearing their stories in more detail. It ticked all the boxes for us as it generated a lot of media coverage for each person shortlisted and then the announcement of the winner, as well as traffic to the Motors website and shares on social media channels.
Which prizes are most popular with entrants?
We try to advise our clients that the prizes that will drive the most entries, need to have a wide appeal. Quite often brands want to give away their own products, which is fine, but a GoPro camera is always going to generate more interest. The best promotions combine the brand’s USP (Unique Selling Point) and offer the entrants something they genuinely want.
Do you enter comps yourself – and have you had any success?
I love entering competitions and find it helps a lot with my work and advising brands on what works and what doesn’t. I also host competitions on my personal blog (using Gleam). If I had the time, I could spend all day sending brands the link to Di’s blog post on why Like and share competitions on Facebook aren’t fair! It really annoys me…
My comping hobby started when I got my dog, six years ago. I managed to take a particularly good photo of him when he was a puppy, and spent time entering pet photo competitions and often winning lots of treats and dog food. Since then I’ve had success though blog competitions winning vouchers and blog writing competitions through my site www.velcrodog.co.uk.
My favourite prize has to be £500 worth of ASOS vouchers I won through Twitter. You had to tweet about why you loved their shoe collection. I wrote: ‘From office to party, in sunshine or snow, ASOS shoes are all I need – and £500 to blow!’ (A superb rhyming slogan technique there! – Di)
Finally, what’s your opinion on compers – useful influencers, or unwanted visitors?
It baffles me when brands refer to compers as an unwanted audience. I enter competitions, but I’m also a mother, pet owner and work in PR, who’s to say I’m not the right audience for a promotion? Compers are still consumers and people who can help with word of mouth, so it’s not something we as an agency ever bring up. We’ve got objectives to hit for each campaign and if numbers of entries are one of them, we want them to be from a wide range of people interested in the brand for any number of reasons. What the winner does with their prize is up to them and not something a brand should feel like they can control.
Thank you so much Jessica! Find out more at www.stickyeyes.com.