Total new social followers
The total audience grown from our engagement campaign.
~Approximately doubled the amount of scheduled platform demos.
in contest email open rate
Open rate on action triggered emails within KickoffLabs contest
exterior email open rate
Open rate for extra reminder emails from our outside blast email platform.
Engagement is key. Find your communication sweet spot and use it to your advantage. We recommend setting up action/point triggered emails in your contest as well as sending your own engaging emails 1-2 times per week through an email service provider.
From the beginning, knowing your goals will be so important because this is how you will be able to comprehend your progress. We knew our priorities were in current client engagement and not necessarily audience growth- so our results were based on engagement statistics, demos scheduled, and link clicks as opposed to referral growth based data.
The best way to stay on track is to make a schedule, goal outline, or draft checklist of some sort. We made one just for this to help you get ready to launch easier and faster. You can find the download link to our checklist here.
It is totally okay to reassess your goals and change them for next time. You can decide if the goals you thought were most beneficial are actually what you want. For example, in our contest we did not get an overwhelming amount of referrals or new leads- that is something we might change for next time if we decide that is more valuable for new contest goals.
Encourage audience engagement on Twitter and our website.
Key Features Used:
"spend the time to think about what you want to get out of the contest going into it. Because if you keep referring back to it, you will just drill home that message." -Josh Ledgard
Josh: Hi everyone, welcome back to the On Growth podcast. I'm Josh Ledgard, with me today is Hannah Denson again, and we're here because we wanted to recap the results of the boss marketing contest she told you about a couple episodes ago. Just to kind of briefly go over that, at KickoffLabs we make it easy to run contests, and we thought, "We haven't run one of our own in a while. Let's run one of our own and talk about how it went." Hannah was the one who organized the contest, put it all up online. So Hannah, I'd love for you to recap so everybody knows, what were our goals, and sort of the initial results we've gotten from the contest.
Yeah, it's been a minute since our last podcast when we talked about it. Our basic goals, so we wanted to engage our current audience, that was really big for us. We want to keep everybody engaged and also have this contest saying like, "We run contests, we did our own contest. We've also been there, done that." And we want to be able to have our firsthand experience. So it wasn't necessarily about growing a new audience. We did have a really big, exciting prize, which brought in some new people, but for the most part, we were sticking with growing our current social media followers, increasing that engagement on Twitter, getting people to actually talk to us so we can talk back, getting that kind of content. Then also just educating people about our product just a little bit more. And then with that, we kind of based our prizes around it. So we did have that big prize, like I said, but then we also kept it very KickoffLabs. We kept our business package as a prize and we had our really fun, this time I brought it, really fun mugs. That kind of was just a fun thing to bring people back to us.
Yeah, absolutely. I thought it was fun to see, to have the mugs. I thought it was a good mix of prizes, especially as you said, since our goal wasn't just to try and broaden out to a new audience, we knew we wanted to mostly market the contests and engage the audience we had. So we knew that those were the right people. So to have a MacBook Air, which was the big grand prize, I wasn't as concerned as I would be telling a customer, "Hey, maybe keep a prize close to your product, if your goal is to grow a new audience out there." And so given that our goal is more on the engagement and kind of that making education about our own product fun, and teaching people about what some of the things that our product could do. How did the growth look like, in terms of our audiences and our social channels and our emails?
Yeah. To go over just some stats for that, we did have 700 plus new leads, which was really cool. And then 300 of those people were brand new. They weren't on our email list before. So we gathered a bunch of new people and they also, the people who won the mugs, funny enough, seemed the most excited to win, which I loved that. So then with Twitter, we had a lot of interaction, which was awesome. We had a lot of conversation. We went up by 30 followers there, 66 on Facebook. YouTube was a surprising, nice, like 51 people came to our YouTube channel from this. Then our podcast went up 30 plus. And we were able to like track that they were actually coming from taking our actions. And then from there we were getting new subscribers, new demos, that kind of thing, which was really awesome.
Yeah. And those numbers, to add a little bit of more context too, because one of my questions when I looked at this was like, is that just the growth we normally would've seen over a month? And it didn't seem to be the case. In most cases where we looked at the previous couple months, it was more like we'd grow 5 to 10 followers in each of these spaces. So to go from growing 5 to 10, to like 66 new followers, or plus 30 on the podcast, or 50 in YouTube, is a big jump for us because you got to think about where we're coming from. We're not coming from a scale where we have millions of followers to go from. And so for us, that short term building that audience and getting people subscribed to us in more places where they can be educated long term, is likely going to be a win for us as well.
And then that leads me to a little bit more on the engagement side too. So do people besides just following us, get engaged with us and it seemed like that was the case as well. So usually a measure, I got this from Hootsuite. So Hootsuite we use to measure and post to some of our social channels, usually says that on our average 30 days we see about 60, what they call standard engagement model, which is likes, mentions, you know, people engaging with the content in some way. And then we went from 60, during the month of the contest, because we ran it for 30 days, from 60 to 180. So that was like triple the standard engagement. And then, what did we do for the engagement? So specifically we asked people to tweet at us and request a landing page review.
Now this is where I'm going to say there's pros and cons to what we did, because it felt to me it was a little bit complicated for people. Because what we started seeing was a lot of people were willing to tweet at us, or just tweet a random statement that we had in the competition. And that provided people linking to us, or it got our audience in front of their audience, or got our message in front of their audience. But the problem was what we were asking them to do was fill in the blank basically of, "Can you please review my landing page or my contest?" And a lot of people didn't have a landing page or a contest they currently wanted any feedback on is my sense, but they wanted the points for the action in the contest. So they would tweet, but then not change the text from that, "Can you review my landing page?" And so I remember I replied to a lot of people on Twitter saying like, "Sure, we'd love to, share the page with us." And then you realize that they probably didn't have a page they wanted to share, they just wanted the rewards for tweeting out or getting the extra entries in the contest, which is fine.
And I think it's fine to bribe people that way. But I think in the future, if we did a contest like this again, I'd probably think about maybe two different types of engagement there of one, is just the really basic here, like, "Give us a shout out on Twitter, that's all we're asking for." Versus like, "Post this complicated thing." And if we did the complicated thing, it might be more of the rewards. So just something as a reward for somebody that wants it, that we would spend time reviewing the page. And that would probably help, because then those messages that the tweets could have been tweaked more, like we would've had them say like, "Use KickoffLabs for your next contest," instead of, "Review my landing page," to have been more on message for us. So that's definitely something that I learned running this. We also asked people to request demos of KickoffLabs and our request for demos doubled over time. But again, this is where, because we were giving points and entries for people, the demos, I'd say realistically we didn't actually see a hundred percent improvement in our demos or two times the demo requests. I'd say, realistically, we got 25 or 50% more valid demo requests over the course of the month because a lot of people, again, they were taking the action, but they didn't follow through with joining the demo.
But we did see a lot of people join. So this is again where you have to balance like, you know people are going to take action in a contest. And so are you pointing them in direction where you're okay if some of the action that they take is not necessarily directly tied to the demo, because some of it was, we did get demos from people that we wouldn't have heard from without running the contest. But we also got demo requests from people that just never followed up on the demo request. And so is that worth your time? I think it's worth our time because there's not much we do. We just sort of have a templated set of emails we send them. So it didn't take too much off of our time to do it. So Hannah, you were responsible for looking at some of the advertising and experimenting with some of the advertising, and I'll say before I introduce that bit, again, our goal was mostly the people on our list, but we did want to see like, "Okay, what happens if we spent some money on Facebook? What kind of visuals should we do?" What did you learn from the advertising spend for the contest?
Well, like you said, our content is so specific that we weren't looking for this insane amount of people coming in because the people that are following us and interacting with our content are specifically, like they are interested in building their own contest. They are actually using us. So there's not as much pull to listen to these kinds of things unless they're interested in running a contest at some point. So we were looking again, just for that very, very clear engagement with the people that are interacting and maybe seeing new people say, "Hey, I wanted to build a contest. That would be really cool. I'm going to engage now." As opposed to just like, "It'd be really awesome to have a ton of followers and ton of interaction." So I feel like our stats are different than what a lot of people look for too, and they're thinking like, viral campaign. But when we were setting up our ads, I think a lot of our interaction comes from Facebook. So we did Facebook reach campaigns and we did A/B testing with that. The only thing that we changed in that A/B test was our audience. So we went from one audience that was a lookalike audience, to just people that are in our vision already. And then the other one-
That had our interest, right. You used Facebook's interest alignment. So you were testing the lookalike of our existing audience, versus who we think might be in our audience on the interest. Yeah.
Yeah. The secondary one was more targeted towards specific groups they run and things like that, where it just pulled a little bit different of a crowd, but very similar results between the two. So we didn't spend a ton on the ads, I think we did about $5 a day for 30 days. And we reached almost 30,000 people. We did get 200 plus for engagement and link clicks. So our cost per link click was 73 cents, average, not crazy, nothing insane, but that did, I think boost a lot of our social engagement. I think it brought a lot of people from Facebook. I think that was a really successful route as opposed to, I think, Google ads in this particular contest. And what we did was just change up the photos, change up the carousel, I think it was every week or two, we were changing it up just enough to kind of have something different that shows up. Because statistically people need to see something like eight times before they really notice it. So hopefully they were seeing it over and over again in a little bit different way. But yeah, from our social perspective of our advertising, it was incredibly beneficial to also have not just felt like we needed to spend $500 on pulling all these people in, just enough that we're saying like, "Let's grab some more people that aren't already in our target audience, but close to it."
Yeah, exactly. No, I was happy with that. It was a good experiment, but we weren't relying on it for, I don't think we would've done great with the contest if we'd relied just on Facebook advertising. If we hadn't looked for our existing audience plus trying to find other places to promote the contest. So what else, when it comes to the existing audience, you've got a list of things I can see. So what were we doing with our existing audience to get most of the people joining and then telling their friends about it?
Well, for the most part with our existing audience, we were just aggressively going at posting, talking saying, "Hey, reshare this. Hey, I'm trying to be engaging." We continued our content, but we focused more on our campaign engagement with it. We definitely tried to keep them engaged on Facebook and Twitter, especially. And throughout it, I think if there was something learned from it, I think I probably still would have engaged more before just emails. I do think emails were our highest engagement honestly. I think communicating with people through the emails constantly, that was where I was getting the most response, but I did notice our Facebook posts, our reminders, that was really, really helpful. But I think for a future adjustment, the post could be maybe more specific, more targeted and a little bit different. I notice now that video is more popular and things like that. So instead of just changing photos and items like that throughout our post, we've added in audiograms and stuff like that for podcasts. And I think bringing in that aspect, that video visual or sound bite aspect, would've probably been really neat if we had maybe recorded something beforehand and shared that. I think that would've been a cool, that's a really interesting lesson, I think for the next time around that kind of, would've probably been taken better and noticed just a little bit more.
Yeah. I'm with you there that, when you said that I was thinking about some of our customer case studies we've gone through, we've interviewed, where they've done the videos, both in the ads, but also just on the contest page itself to introduce the contest, like a one minute video that introduces the contest. And I think I would definitely do that in our next contest is just have one of us do a quick intro of explaining the contest, because no matter how simply you make it, there's always room to just explain why you're doing it, how you enter and how people can earn extra entries. Because it may look obvious, it certainly looks obvious to us because we work in this product, but I think to most people that come to a page, it's not always obvious what they can do on the contest page. And so being really clear and direct with people, the video messages on the page and in the ads, I think would definitely be something we would take with us next time.
And the video message helps into that first lesson that I wrote down here, which was just simplify and focus the action. So you can say specifically telling them, "Hey, do this," because people will if you give them some direction. But I don't think we gave people quite as much direction as we should have. I'd say another takeaway was, I was happy with the results of the people who signed up because I didn't see a lot of people coming from contest sites or the sites that just promote contests to get freebies, because we've always had people ask us like, "Can I give away a big, like a MacBook or iPad or something." And we really hesitant to tell people yes, but we've never really tried it ourselves. And so I was like, "Well, let's just try it and see what happens as an experiment for our audience." And what I learned is that you can give a big prize like that, as long as I think the periphery prizes are fun and branded, which like you said, it was surprising that the most positive reactions came from the people who got the mugs each week.
Yes, it was nice.
So I was like, I thought I'd be the only one excited to get a KickoffLabs mug, but apparently I wasn't. And the other thing was that the people who signed up, it didn't attract basically what I was saying, it didn't attract a bunch of the people who would not be in our audience. And so it can work as long as you're branding it, as long as it's tied to your existing audience a bit. And then, I'd say we didn't get as much sharing as I was hoping to see from the contest. But I think that really wasn't our goal, when we outlined our goals in the beginning, it was more just getting our existing people to follow us in new channels and get engaged. So if we're running this again, the next contest I would try, like, "Okay, what can we do to amp up the sharing a little bit more of the competition amongst people?" And gamify that a little bit more. And then as a bonus, it was fun, we did have, running the product, we get to make improvements to the product. So the things that, just a small list of things, there were lots of small little improvements we made that I was going through and saying like, "Oh yeah, we should make this better because it's would be helpful for us."
So we added a report for lead action. So that the actions you take, to having people take in terms of tweet at you or follow you here, or visit your store, or visit this podcast post. We added a report so you could more clearly see like, "Okay, what are all the things I'm getting people to do in the contest?" So we added a lead actions report to our reports, the pick a winner, it's funny things come in bunches. So I had to, when we ran the pick a winner, I had to click into each one to grab the email address, to send you the email address. And then right after I did that, I had a customer write us back and say, "Hey, this is really annoying to have to do for a hundred people." And I said, "I'm right there with you." I didn't like doing it for five. So the pick a winner report will, it shows the email address as a small improvement.
And then we were sending contest updates, because we tell people to send a contest update to the people that are in it each week. And we were using our own broadcast emails from KickoffLabs to send that update, which was great for small campaigns, but we just wanted to send the same update, like a similar update, again, like, "This week's mug winner, this week's you know," and to keep people engaged and we didn't have an easy way to copy your previous messages. And so now we added away just to be able to more easily copy your previous messages so you can send them again. Not that you should just send people the same exact message every week, but the general flow and format of these updates can be the same. Once you have a good template that's working for your update. And so we added that to the product as well. So that was a huge win, at least a specific win for us that I think could even apply to other people. If they're just asking people in the contest about like, "Hey, you've got our free sample of our product, what do you think?" And get feedback from people, and you can improve your product as well. Is there anything else that you took away?
Yeah, I think that it's really important when you're ending your contest to remember what your goals were, just because your contest results are going to reflect those goals. And so sometimes you'll look at it and you'll be like, "Man, I didn't get all of those referrals," and stuff like that. And then you have to think, it really does matter how much focus you're putting on each action. So it's interesting, the way that the success of every campaign is going to be different, even if it is one organization doing several different campaigns, whatever they've decided, which is why it's so important at the very beginning to set your goals. Whatever they've decided is that focus, people will subconsciously notice and they'll focus on whatever that goal is and that's going to be where your outcome and the thing that you're looking at is going to come from. Like for example, our email engagement, it was great throughout the contest, things like that, things that we wanted to continue. So it's just as an end thought, just interesting to track your success throughout, based on what exactly you decided that was going to be important to your contest this singular time.
Yeah. A hundred percent. So we were asking people the whole time, if our goal was engagement, we were asking people on these update mails because we just stuck with that goal in the beginning. So we weren't asking people like, "Oh, go share this with your friends." We were asking people, "Tweet at us, tweet your landing pages for review." Like that was the focus, we just kept telling people to do that. And we did have, we got some great content. We got five people to post their landing pages for review. We did kind of these long Twitter threads that did that, and we'll link to those in the show notes. You can get the feedback we gave other people on their contests throughout this. But you know, if our goal had been to get referrals, those update mails probably would've reflected it saying like, "Tell your friends, tell your friends." We would've been reminding them of that action constantly over time as well. So I think that's a really good point is just, spend the time to think about what you want to get out of the contest going into it. Because if you keep referring back to it, you will just drill home that message. And that's what we saw in ours. We had those three goals and we drilled those three things home, and that's kind of what we got back out of the contest.
Yeah. We are 100% what you make of it.
That's what I want to drill in.
Absolutely. So if anybody has any questions, feel free to reach out to us, reach out to KickoffLabs on Twitter, reach out to Josh or Hannah at KickoffLabs, reply to the mail you'll get about this podcast, and let us know what you think. And if you want us to give any feedback on your contest, we're happy to do that as well. This has been a lot of fun and I can't wait to run the next one with you.
Yeah, for sure. We'll do it again.
All right. Thanks Hannah.