How to Market Your Promotions

by Liz Huff Second Street

Best Practices for Core Media


Print is an incredibly valuable asset that can help your promotions reach a much wider audience than they would online only. The focus for print marketing efforts should answer the question: “What’s in it for me?” These ads should emphasize prizes – especially local prizes. The URL should also be prominently featured. Users should be able to easily access your promotion online.



Broadcast has the unique opportunity to leverage on-air talent to market their promotions. This can be in the form of a spot or pre-roll – a 10-15 second ad before streaming video or radio starts. Either way, integrating your on-air talent with a promotion leads to a much more natural way to promote something.

Best Practices for Email

The power of email should not be ignored. A well written and timed email can substantially increase the number of submissions for a promotion.

The subject line is the first thing your recipient reads. It should be short and descriptive – with the first two to four words the most important. If possible, personalize it. Also, keep in mind that it must establish trust. To do so, don’t frequently change the “from name.”

The next most important piece of real estate is the pre-header text. Many people don’t take advantage of this. You typically have two to three seconds to capture the reader’s attention. An eye-catching pre-header could do this.


In the body of the email, be sure to use a blend of text and images for body. With images blocked by default, using a single image could lead to your recipient not seeing anything. The body should also include a one click, one call to action.


Best Practices for Digital

Display ads are the most common form of digital marketing. These, like all ads, should answer the “what’s in it for me?” question. To do this, prominently place the call to action and prize in the ad space.

Utilizing mobile can provide even more spots to market your promotion. Using native advertising in your mobile content feed can capture as many or more clicks as editorial content because they are viewed as fun and engaging


Another mobile marketing tactic is sending SMS. This is highly effective because SMS has REALLY high open rates.


Best Practices for Social Media

Social media is another asset that drives traffic to your promotions. Each platform should be leveraged differently.


Twitter should be used to market your promotions as a real-time network. This means you should tweet updates about your promotions regularly, and with frequency. This is because the lifespan of a tweet on the newsfeed is shorter than posts on other networks.

Also, be sure to tag your sponsor’s Twitter handle. This will help increase traffic to their Twitter profile page.



In contrast to Twitter, Instagram is not a space to post live updates. Users should post once or, at a maximum, twice a day.

Additionally, the content posted on Instagram should include relevant hashtags to increase reach.


If you plan to include a link to your promotions, do so in your bio on your profile page. Many posts will say “see the link in our bio” rather than adding the link in the post. Links don’t work elsewhere on the platform.



Facebook is still a great tool to engage your audience. The best way to do this is speak to people like they are people. Essentially, write like a human! Posts that are overly promotional and that look and sound like an ad, will be downplayed by the Facebook algorithm. Think about how you would post a status update when you’re at home sharing with friends. You write a short description – with a photo! – that reflects a natural emotional reaction.


The next step is key; reply to your comments. This helps you become a part of the community that you want to connect with.


Video has become a hugely important way to market promotions – or any content. Facebook recognized this and even changed their algorithm to prioritized video. Have you noticed videos auto-playing in your News Feed? Experimenting with video will go a long way to increase your reach.

Tools to Easily Create Images and Video

  • Dreamstime: (mostly) free stock photos
  • Canva: create images for social media using templates
  • Tweegram: create photos and videos for Instagram
  • Flipagram: photo-video stories set to music for Instagram
  • WeVideo: (mostly) free video editing for iOS or Android