How to Grow Your Active Accounts with Promotions

by Ellen Trunk Second Street

Advertiser Contests

Many SMB advertisers are trying to grow their social presence and generate leads on their own, but they can do this much more effectively with your help. By leveraging your assets to activate your audience with a really strong call to action to engage you can drive measurable ROI for an advertiser.

Jamie Kinnaird, the Manager of Contests and Promotions at BH Media Group, shared that when a new outlet mall in Omaha wanted to build up an email database before their grand opening, they originally planned to run a contest on their own. However, they quickly realized that by partnering with a trusted source like the Omaha World-Herald, they could increase the reach and overall effectiveness of their promotion. The sweepstakes the paper created received 80,000 entries in 10 weeks, and NEX Outlets collected 35,000 new emails addresses. Due to the success of this first promotion, NEX Outlets has continued to run promotions with the Omaha World-Herald.


While at first they might seem like they’re just for fun, quizzes are an unique solution that can connect advertisers with an engaged, highly targeted audience. Quizzes are also incredibly social and shareable, meaning they have the potential to spread virally on social media.

Plus, quizzes can be an exciting form of native content. A local Ford dealership might attach their name to a “What Kind of Car Should You Drive?” quiz, which would collect data about a targeted audience for the advertiser to market to. The quiz results could also center around Ford vehicles – if the answer is “pick-up truck,” the associated image might be a Ford F-150, while the image for “convertible” might be a Mustang V6 and “fuel-efficient sedan” might be illustrated by a Ford Focus.


The people who take the time to vote in a ballot are the people who care about a particular category. They are engaged and likely have money to spend in this category. Selling a business an expanded listing or category sponsorship to the ballot promotion is a great entry point to spending money with your media company.

Sponsored Contests

Photo, video, MP3, and essay contests are viral promotions that advertisers can piggyback on to reach a large niche audience and get people buzzing about your advertisers brand.

Michael Korr, the Local Sales Manager at KVVU-TV, shared that the station’s “Burger Wars, Pizza Wars” custom bracket usually leads to 20% of the sponsors becoming long-term customers! Plus, as a result of a Cutest Baby contest, a local retailer increased their annual contract with WQNU-FM by $20,000.

If you run enough small promotions, over time they will not only bring in meaningful revenue for you, but they will also help you grow your list of active advertisers and expose them to the power of your platform and the results you deliver. Since promotions can be the centerpiece of a larger marketing campaign, once you demonstrate that you can drive results for advertisers, you can continue to grow the relationship.

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