Votigo Growth and Product Enhancements

Press Release:  September 9th, 2014

Votigo Sees Exponential Growth with its SaaS Subscription Business and Continues its Product Expansion in first half of 2014

Company nearly triples its Subscription Customer Base and continues to enhance its social marketing and promotions platform with new features. 

Votigo, the complete social media marketing and promotions company, announced today that it grew its Software-as-a-Service subscription customer base by over 280% in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.  That number is up significantly compared to the over 100% year-over-year growth from 2012 to 2013 the company reported earlier in the year.  Several strategic partnerships, changes in the Social Media Marketing vendor landscape, and an increase in demand from Middle-market companies have helped with the growth in subscriber base.  In addition to the SaaS subscription growth the company has continued to serve new and existing clients with full-service and custom promotions and social apps.

At the same time its ever-expanding Social Media Marketing & Promotions Platform continues to be enhanced with new features including Social Campaign Calendar, Social Content Hub, Multi-format UGC Contest templates and increased Mobile capabilities.

“The growth of our subscription customer base and the mass adoption of our always-on self-service promotions platform is very exciting for us!  When we first launched in 2007 we knew marketers needed this kind of easy-to-use tool to create promotions to grow their brand and customer databases.” says co-CEO and Founder, Jim Risner, “Now that marketers fully buy into social, mobile, and web promotions we are seeing the increase in demand of our products and services.”

Q1 and Q2 2014 Highlights:

  • Over 280% growth in SaaS subscription customer base
  • Successful traction with several strategic reseller partnerships
  • Launched new Multi-format UGC Contest template
  • Launched new Social Marketing Calendar
  • Launched new Social Content Aggregator / Galleries

Helping our Customers Achieve their Goals:

  • 45,000 new Facebook Likes per day during a Votigo campaign
  • 10,000 contest / sweepstakes registrations per day
  • 1,000 photos and videos submitted per day
  • 1,000 votes cast per day

Numbers based on aggregate averages across all Votigo campaigns from January 1 through June 30, 2014.

With Votigo’s Social Media Marketing & Promotions Platform, businesses have an unmatched tool for acquiring and engaging customers across social channels, the Web, and Tablet / Mobile devices.  Brands can run promotions, user-generated content contests, sweepstakes, and other marketing engagement apps that activate customers; measure the impact and ROI of a brand’s social marketing efforts; and use Conversation Manager and Social Contacts for handling communications and Social Customer Relationship Management (Social CRM) across multiple users, social networks and geographies.  Votigo also continues to provide custom promotions that integrate with any mobile, web, and social channel, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, and new platforms as they emerge.

About Votigo 

Votigo is a leading social media marketing and promotions company with a Software-as-a-Service platform that supports premium, full-service solutions and easy-to-use self-service tools for brands and their agencies including Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, MasterCard, Live Nation, Sharpie, DreamWorks, Breitling, and GoPro.  Votigo’s technology platform allows brands, agencies and enterprises to acquire, engage, and manage their customers across major Social Networks, the Web, and Mobile.  Votigo’s social marketing suite includes Cross-Channel Promotions, Social Apps, Social Marketing Calendar, Conversation Manager, Contacts, and Analytics. Founded in 2006, Votigo has offices located in Boulder, Colorado; San Francisco Bay Area, and Hyderabad, India.  Votigo made the Inc. 500||5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America in 2013 and 2012.



BREAKING: Wildfire Interactive Turns Off DIY Promotions

Today, Wildfire Interactive Promotions by Google has announced that they are shutting down their DIY Basic, Standard, and Premium promotions primarily targeted to Small and Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs).

Here is a link to their blog post http://blog.wildfireapp.com/2013/04/16/a-new-turn-for-wildfire-promotions/ with details on their decision.  We at Votigo understand how that negatively impacts all of their customers that will now have to find a new solution.  Thankfully we have a great offering that will do just that.

Votigo is pleased to announce that we are here for those tens of thousand of customers that need a new home.  Our Standard DIY Promotions for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Web, and Mobile http://www.votigo.com/products/DIY-contest-app.php are available as low as $30/week or $250/mo for unlimited promotions.  http://www.votigo.com/solutions/pricing-and-plans.php#

During this transition period we are going to offer a 20% discount on our $250 Subscription Plan to anyone who calls us and let’s us know they are coming over from Wildfire Promotions.  Simply visit http://www.votigo.com/register and enter the coupon code “wildfire” to enter.  1.800.519.1850 

And as always, please contact us or call us if you would like to discuss our Premium / Custom Promotions and our Complete Social Marketing Suite.


Votigo Introduces the Essay Contest

We are excited to announce the launch of our Essay Contest app, a new addition to our list of available promotions.  The essay contest is offered cross-channel and available in 10 languages.  Similar to the process of a photo or video contest, users are encouraged to upload an essay for a chance to win.  The essay contest has a few additional fields under entry, including a title, a space for text, a space to provide a character limit, and an optional space for a video or photo.  The essay contest also allows you to enable a voting option for your users, encouraging them to share their entries with friends on their social channels to get more votes.

The essay contest offers the benefit of maximum engagement from your audience.  Unlike the other contest apps, the essay contest evokes the power of written stories.  The contest can be utilized in many creative ways and can encourage original, user-generated content for your brand.  You can create an essay contest prompting your fans to write about their favorite products or a new idea for your brand.  By adding an essay component you are allowing your fans to provide their own ideas about your brand and to tell short stories about how they use your products.  The essay contest can also be used alongside a photo or video, which gives users a chance to further explain their entry.

It is important to keep in mind that an essay contest is more time consuming than a photo contest and requires a good amount of effort from your fans.  For this reason, it is a good idea to allow adequate time for your contest so that all of your fans have an opportunity to participate.  If you are looking for an exciting way to engage fans contact us today about our Essay Contest app!



Introducing Photo Sweepstakes

It’s no secret that photos rule in the world of social media. According to Facebook, posts that include a photo album or picture generate about 180% or 120% more engagement, respectively. Photos create an emotional connection and help personalize your brand. They command more attention in the news feed, and they are a great way to showcase a lifestyle or put your customers on display.

Photo contests have long been used as a way to engage fans and get great quality content from your fans. Fan photos can be used in your marketing materials and on your social channels to help build your brand and tell your brand story.

Now – we’re pleased to introduce Photo Sweepstakes into our Standard DIY apps. Photo sweepstakes incorporate photo engagement in a low-barrier-to-entry giveaway. Unlike a photo contest, photo sweepstakes award a winner randomly, so entrants don’t need to worry about how their photo stacks up against the competition.

If you want to incorporate voting – you’ll want to use a Photo Contest app.  But, if you’re looking for a simple giveaway that awards a random winner, a photo sweepstakes is the way to go.

You can create a photo sweepstakes by logging into your Votigo account, or by creating an account now. In addition to photo sweepstakes, we’ve also recently launched Twitter sweepstakes – which can also incorporate photos or video.

Get started now


5 Steps: Make Your Promotion A Social Campaign

If you’ve experienced success with social promotions-Facebook promotions, YouTube video contests, a photo-driven Twitter giveaway- its time to graduate to the next level of social marketing. Stop running promotions and start running social campaigns!

What’s the difference?

Promotions are a marketing event. Vehicles for generating brand buzz, making an announcement, introducing a product, extending an offer. They are the single best tool for converting social followers to customers, getting them to take action. Countless research efforts have shown that about two-thirds of your audience follows brands on social channels mostly to receive some kind of an offer. So promotions are the fundamental building block of your social strategy

And a promotion is part of a campaign. A campaign includes the components that ensure more people see your promotion, share it, come back to it, and more likely become customers.  A campaign leaves you with a metrics-driven understanding of the promotion’s success, and definitive next steps to continue engaging and monetizing your audience.

We are laser focused on adding the features that help you turn your promotion into a complete campaign. Earlier this week, we released expanded Campaign Analytics into our Standard Apps editions. This is the latest capability we’ve adapted from Votigo’s complete Social Marketing Suite, enabling our DIY users to build a campaign around their promotion.

With that, here are 5 Steps for Turning Your Promotion Into A Social Campaign- plus which Votigo features you should count on at each step.

1) Pre-Cultivate Your Audience

It’s not ideal to START with a promotion. If you’re just getting into social marketing, or a new social channel (Pinterest for example), begin by inviting people to follow you there. Your email list, your in-store customers, your website visitors.  Then, engage them for a while. Offer great content, free ideas, photos and more.  Post, ask questions and respond. There’s no substitute for this fundamental, authentic work.

>Social Conversation Manageravailable in Votigo’s suite- makes it easy for you to schedule, moderate and respond to posts and messages with your audience on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

2) Build a Great Promotion.

Think of the promotion as the core of your campaign.  Come up with a compelling theme, a great prize, awesome design and crystal-clear calls to action. We continue to introduce innovative, viral features to make our promotions apps more effective (check out our Twitter Sweepstakes).

>Votigo Standard Promotions Apps include viral contests and sweepstakes for Facebook, Twitter, mobile and the web.  Additionally, our Premium Apps integrate YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and virtually any digital destination where your audience congregates.

3) Seed The Message

Too often, we see social brands set-it-and-forget-it.  They build a great promotion, publish it to Facebook and leave it at that.  You want to get the message out in any forum you can. Facebook posts, tweets, emails, your homepage, word-of-mouth, in-store and more.  Don’t be shy and don’t be afraid of letting current customers see it- if anything, they deserve a reward for being in your customer base already.

>Promotions Messenger is a dead-simple tool for scheduling mobile-optimized posts, with messaging and visuals of your choice, to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Find it under “New Posts” on the Publish tab. Power users:  Ask our Premium Promotions team about integrating your ads services, from AdWords to Facebook Ads, into your promotion.

4) Follow Through

When your promotion is over, there’s still work to do. First, celebrate the winner. Announce them, interview them, get a testimonial. If the promotion included photos or videos, post those in a gallery, on a blog post, or on your webpage.  More importantly- send an email to all participants.  Offer them a reward just for engaging- a discount code, a sneak preview, a coupon, an invitation.

>Standard Promotions Apps already include several key features that help you follow through. Customize the confirmation page for sweeps and contest entrants- sharing a coupon code or sending them directly to a special landing page. Engagement Apps include several useful tools for follow-through. Post top submissions in a Photo or Video Gallery.  Or build an iFrame app to announce your winner, thank your participants, and share an offer for all entrants. Also, right from the Manage tab of your Votigo-powered promotion, you can download data and email addresses from all entrants and plug them into your email software  (ConstactContact, MailChimp, MadMimi), inbound marketing software (Marketo, Hubspot), and your CRM database (Salesforce, Nimble), too. Do it from day one of your campaign, and treat these new social contacts as the potential customers they are.

5) Measure & Repeat

Wrap up your campaign by studying the metrics of your promotion. How many people entered and voted?  Who engaged the most new participants by sharing their entry or your sweeps?  What are the basic demos and geos of your participating audience? Knowing more about your customers is as valuable as the direct benefits of the promotion.

>Campaign Analytics are our brand-new, expanded metrics offerings. They are included in every Votigo-powered promotion, including our Standard Apps. Power users: Premium Promotions offer the capability to integrate with virtual any third-party data source, from your social ads provider to Analytics to other leading data services to your CRM system.

Now you’ve run a successful Social Campaign, anchored by an audience-engaging, participant-rewarding, customer-generating promotion, but supported by a host of useful tools and features that give you a more comprehensive result. Better knowledge of your audience.  More clarity about what works best for your social brand. Please let us know how it’s working for you.


Twitter Sweepstakes Are Here

We’ve always been proud to power cross-channel promotions on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, mobile. Wherever your social customers are, we have a solution for reaching them. To date, cross-channel Votigo-powered promotions beyond Facebook and mobile have required a Premium App or a custom project. Today we’re proud to release a new Twitter Sweepstakes into our Standard Apps editions.  (Twitter Apps, and much more, are of course still available in our Premium Apps with additional power and features). Log-in (or create a free account) and get started.

Why run a promotion for your brand on Twitter? It is an incredibly engaging, hyper-attentive vehicle for sharing updates, links, messages, and offers.  200M active active users post, read and share over 340M tweets per day- often on mobile.  Twitter is a powerful social network, and a one-of-a-kind channel for generating instant action among your followers.

Odds are, if your brand is on Twitter, there are plenty of unique potential customers that you haven’t been able to engage yet. Now it’s easy and cost-effective- as low as $30/week.

Create your Twitter Sweeps just like you create any other Votigo-powered contest or sweepstakes.  If you have a theme, a prize, rules and a graphic, it should take less than 20 minutes. Build a viral sweeps and specifiy a #hashtag and a @TwitterHandle that entrants must include in their tweet to enter- ensuring additional mentions of your brand on Twitter.

Optionally you may choose to:

Go Across: Publish Twitter Sweeps app to your Facebook page: Entrants can enter via Facebook, allowing engagement across the two largest social channels

Gain Followers: Use Follow-gate to require entrants to follow you on Twitter (available at $65/week option.

Inspire Content: Require entrants to include a photo or video using any standard photo or video sharing tool as usual on Twitter (Flickr, TwitPic, Yfrog for photos; links from YouTube, Vimeo, TwitVid and more for video). Photos will be displayed in the Twitter Stream in your app- a tremendous visual effect for showing your audience’s visual engagement in real-time. (Yes, you can moderate photo entries and the Stream.)

Votigo-powered Twitter Sweeps also include:

  • Responsive Design for a great user experience on any screen- with only one CSS to edit
  • 7 Design Templates, plus an option to edit the CSS for further design customization
  • 10 Languages available for each single-language sweepstakes
  • Promotions Messenger: Schedule and customize posts to seed your campaign on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn
  • Campaign Analytics: enhanced Engagement and Traffic metrics now available

Log in or create a free account to start building your first Twitter Sweeps.


Search for a Champion Video Contest

Wondersauce, a digital agency, came together with Champion Spark Plugs to launch the Search for a Champion video contest. Champion utilizes Votigo’s API technology and integrates it into their own custom website.  The video contest encourages fans to enter a two-minute video for a chance to become one of the fifteen winners to receive a $5,000 Champion sponsorship and to compete for the grand prize sponsorship of $50,000.  Champion makes the deal even sweeter by rewarding the first 250 entrants with a free Champion Swag Bag including one 2013 Search for a Champion t-shirt, one Champion hat, one Search for a Champion decal and one Champion decal. The custom website shows pictures of each prize that comes in the bag so entrants can see what they will be winning.  The site also provides a spot to sign up to win a free weekly giveaway consisting of a free Champion product.

The custom online video contest is easy to navigate and well organized with information including tips on how to create a winning entry video, advice from the 2012 contest winners, and a contest timeline providing all of the important contest dates and deadlines.  Full-width, HD video capabilities are also included to push each video entry to the next level.  There is a video entry gallery that allows fans to browse the entries and gives entrants the tools to promote their entry all the way to the top by sharing entries on Facebook, posting to Twitter, and emailing friends.  This is especially important because the contest winners will be chosen by a series of public votes.  Fans can register as a voter and vote for their favorite videos.  Champion encourages fans to vote for their favorite racer by offering a voting sweepstakes prize. Two hundred lucky voters will receive a free Champion t-shirt and a poster autographed by Kevin Harvick.

Champion does great job engaging fans with their custom site and offers generous and relevant prizes to the fans with the best videos.  For more information on how to integrate API technology into a custom site for your contest contact us today!


PetSmart Halloween Photo Contest

Halloween is near and what better way to celebrate than to run a Halloween promotion! Holidays are a great time to run a promotion and engage your fans!

To kick off the Halloween season, PetSmart launched their Monster Cute Photo Contest powered by GREENIES® encouraging fans to submit a photo of their pet to the Facebook photo contest.

Votigo created a custom Facebook contest app that requires users to “like” the page before entering. The app allows fans to easily upload, browse, and vote on entries of the cutest and scariest pets.

Fans are asked to submit a photo of their pet in one of the 5 categories by October 21st:

  • Scariest
  • Cutest
  • Healthiest Smile powered by GREENIES®
  • Rockstar Pets
  • Funniest

PetSmart is rewarding those who engage with the Facebook contest by sending each entrant a coupon to save on GREENIES® dental chews.  This is a great way to show appreciation to fans!

The final Grand Prize winner will receive $10,000, a year supply of GREENIES® Dental Chews, and a PetSmart treat bag loaded with Halloween toys. PetSmart will also choose 25 runner up winners who will receive a PetSmart gift card and GREENIES® Dental Chews. Weekly winners will be chosen, with a total of 6 winners who will receive a $50 PetSmart gift card.  PeSmart does a great job keeping the prizes relevant to the brand and the Halloween theme of the contest.

For more inspiration and promotion ideas, follow @votigo on Twitter and follow the #bestofvotigo hashtag.



Be Vital Twitter Sweepstakes

Johnson & Johnson wanted to spread the “Be Vital” message to their fans and customers through a Twitter promotion. Working with their agency Baldwin & Obenauf, Votigo created a custom Twitter sweeptakes that allows users to submit a tweet for a weekly chance to win a $100 prize.  By creating a Twitter promotion Johnson & Johnson is encouraging their fans to follow their Twitter page and to engage with the brand through tweeting.  Fans are asked to follow @JNJUniversity on twitter before submitting a tweet.  Once users are successfully following the twitter page they are asked to tell Johnson & Johnson what being vital means to them and how they define being vital in their life, their community, and in our world.  Users are able to enter their own stories in 140 characters or less.  Tweets are asked to be directed to @JNJUniversity with the hashtag #BeVital in order to be eligible to win. All of the tweets are displayed on a custom landing page, where uses can also submit tweets directly.

Each week, between the dates of August 27 and November 2, one winner will be selected at random to receive a $100 gift voucher for Amazon.com.  All of the winners are announced on the Twitter page with a total of ten winners.

The Twitter sweepstakes runs alongside the Be Vital Challenge, which asks student organizations to upload a video showcasing how they play a vital role in their community.

The unique idea behind using Twitter as a part of their promotion is that Johnson & Johnson is able to have their fans help spread their message of what being vital means and why it is important.  Their fans are also able to follow what other fans are tweeting.  This is a great way to engage fans with a campaign.  If you are looking for a simple and fun way to keep your customers engaged contact us today about running a Twitter sweepstakes!


SOCIAL LUMAscape & Social Marketing Management

LUMA Partners have refreshed their signature Social LUMAScape, one of the most valuable resources in our hyper-evolving industry. LUMA puts these infographics out for a variety of digital industries. As evidenced by the 1M+ hits on the Social LUMAScape, I am not alone in finding it to be an incredibly valuable resource for staying on top of key segments of social marketing technology providers.

We’re proud at Votigo to move up from Social Promotions to the Social Marketing Management category of the LUMAScape. For us, it’s a different kind of validation: that our technology (and team’s expertise) have evolved beyond the cross-channel, feature-packed, audience-engaging social promotions that we are known for, to a complete suite of tools that help brands like yours do the day-to-day work of finding, engaging, and activating customers from within your social audience.

The latest edition also features more red-dotted boxes- symbolic of this summer’s increased pace of consolidation among our peers in the Social Marketing Management category- Buddy Media, Vitrue, Involver and Wildfire.

As Votigo co-CEO and Founder Mike La Rotonda said recently at MediaPost’s Social Media Insider Summit, all of the consolidation validates something that your company and ours have known for a long time: Social Marketing is here to stay, entrenched as a key component of the full marketing lifecycle for most businesses. (You can catch video of the entire consolidation-themed panel here.)

It is absolutely an exciting time in the social marketing industry. Don’t expect this LUMAScape to stay current for more than a few months. But study up and choose your technology partners carefully.