Why Promotions & Interactive Content Are Essential for Your Digital Strategy

by Julie Foley Second Street

Promotions & interactive content can generate millions of dollars.

Find out how FOX50 drove $200K with a high school lip dub video contest, WISE & WPTA-TV generated over $112K with a golf card, and how Charleston City Paper’s Best of Charleston ballot brought in $170K. Katie Wilson, the former Digital Advertising Director for the Quad-City Times, once said,

“We are always, constantly, every week generating money with promotions. Every single week.”

And this success isn’t limited to large and mid-sized markets. Even small markets can make big money with promotions and interactive content. As Beth Mann, the General Manager at WKDZ-FM said,

“We’re small and may not be able to charge the same rates that companies in larger markets can, but we can still generate significant revenue with promotions.”

Promotions & interactive content can help you grow your email database.

See how Entercom collected 250,000 opt-ins with one group-wide contest. Tim D’Avis, the Director of Digital Media at the Quad-City Times and Lee Enterprises, put it this way:

“Every touch point with a consumer is an opportunity to capture an email.”

Promotions & interactive content can help you increase your social following.

WPSD-TV increased an advertiser’s Facebook Likes by 40% with a grocery giveaway contest. According to Alissa Langford, the former Digital Sales Specialist at the Quad-City Times,

“Contests allow businesses on Facebook to gain huge exposure on social media.”

Promotions & interactive content engage your audience.

WDAF-TV’s “Which Royals Player Are You?” personality quiz was taken 40,000 times in its first week. Alesia Humphries, the Chief of Digital Sales at The Signal, said of the paper’s annual Best of the Santa Clarita Valley ballot,

“It is the most fun time of the year. It includes so much engagement with our clients and readers…We are not just the news during that time. We are a community partner.”

Promotions & interactive content can help you capture audience demographics and consumer interests.

When Suzanne Schlicht, the COO at The World Company, began collecting customer data and building audience profiles, she said,

“It’s amazing what people will reveal about themselves in order to win or get something of value from us, like a coupon. We won’t do another promotion here without also asking a strategic question or two tacked on at the end.”

Promotions & interactive content can help you build closer relationships with advertisers.

Advertiser promotions and interactive content are an unique solution with the ability to directly solve an advertiser’s challenge and deliver measurable results, by generating leads, growing email databases and social engagement, and collect customer data and insights (Entercom New Orleans helped a local bank drive $100,000 in gift card sales and WPSD-TV identified 164 qualified leads for an audiology & hearing center with advertiser-specific Facebook contests). According to Gordon Borrell, the CEO of Borrell Associates,

“Advertisers want results, and you can measure those results with promotions.”

Tim Hall, the Director of Integrated Marketing for Radio One, described his strategy for advertiser-centric promotions this way:

“Develop ideas that engage your audience and weave your client into the fabric of that promotion.”

The key to making the most of promotions and interactive content is to integrate them with all of your digital proposals. These aren’t just a few contests or quizzes you run each year – promotions and interactive convent are every day – you should be pitching them to your clients all the time. Every time you are out making a sale, you should be thinking about how promotions and interactive content could generate more revenue and solve challenges for your advertisers.

To ensure that everyone on your team is on board and staying focused on creating and executing promotions and interactive content, you need a dedicated team that is spearheaded by a Promotions Manager. A Promotions Manager is a promotions and interactive content expert with the insights into both sales and marketing. They support all of the departments at your company that are involved in bringing promotions and interactive content to fruition. They are not only involved in individual promotions or interactive content from inception to deployment, but are also responsible for crafting a high-level strategy for how these fit into your business plan and driving revenue through promotions and interactive content. (See a sample job description and profiles of Promotions Managers from a variety of media companies here).

To see the kind of success that others in local media are having, you need train your team to integrate promotions and interactive content with all of your digital proposals and make them a part of your everyday focus.

After all, as Gordon Borrell put it:

“I doubt we’ll ever see a return to the Era of Advertising we once knew, when a few TV commercials for Purell or Tide or a full-page newspaper ad for Sears were all it took to drive sales. But I am certain that someone who understands how to build a powerful promotional campaign fueled by the right kind of advertising will have local businesses beating a path to the door.”

How will you be taking advantage of the opportunity around promotions and interactive content?