Choose Your Programming
When you are planning your watch & win, first figure out which programming you want to boost viewership for, and then design your contest around this programming. For example, if you want to drive viewers to your 10PM news, set up the contest so the code word is always announced during the late news. Just be sure not to announce it at the same time during the news every day, to ensure people will actually watch it and not just tune in for a few minutes to catch the code word.
Find a Sponsor
When you are looking for advertisers to sponsor your watch & win, target businesses who will be interested in ongoing promotion and want to be in front of the desirable demographic of your news audience (and whom your news audience will find compelling).
Offer a Great Prize
Since the barrier to entry for a watch & win contest is high, you need to offer a valuable prize, such as a weekend trip, a new home entertainment system or VIP event tickets. Your viewers will need to be invested in wanting to win in order to put in the effort to enter.
Make Codewords Relevant
When you are selecting your code words, consider making them relevant to your advertiser in order to give them a little extra promotion. You could also choose to make the code words relevant to the programming it appears in.
A watch & win contest is a big event that justifies a lot of promotion, especially since you will also be collecting lots of data and opt-ins from your audience. Create buzz by pre-promoting before the contest starts, and then continue to promote using all of the assets available to you, including online, on air, email, and social media. You can also engage your advertiser to promote the contest by having them send people to watch from their business or their Facebook page.
Watch & win sweepstakes not only drive viewership by incentivizing people to watch your programming, but also drive pageviews as people go to your website in order to actually enter the online contest. Plus, you can use these contests to collect opt-ins and grow your email list.