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.



Great Ways to Customize your Marketing Campaigns

Customizing your campaigns allows you to connect with your customers on a deeper level. It is a good idea to tailor your campaign to your own company, products, and creativity.  One great way to customize your marketing campaigns and excite your fans is to offer prizes that are targeted to what your fans like, want, and need.  These prizes should also be congruent with your company and your marketing goals.

Another way to customize your marketing campaigns is to leverage social applications to further engage users.  These social apps can include:

  • Galleries for fan photos and videos, which allow users to look through other fan entries and see how other people are using your brand and products and engaging with your company.  This is a great way to create a community among your fans and incorporate user-generated content into your marketing efforts.
  • Signup forms, which allow you to gather contact information from everyone who engages with your campaign.  This is a great way to generate leads and new customers.
  • Surveys, which are a great way to find out more information about your fans and how they interact with your company, brand, or products.
  • Facebook apps, which allows you to customize your Facebook page with Facebook apps that encourage interaction or serve a marketing purpose and speak to your audience.
  • Marketing Pages, which allow you to display marketing messages or promotional graphics in a Facebook app. You can add a hyperlink to the images to direct users to your website.

It is important to customize the conversation you are having with your fans on social media and with the social conversation manager app it is simple to stay connected and to schedule posts and updates to your social media channels.  Scheduled posts are a great way to customize your campaign and create a specific timetable for your content.  You can also tailor your content by targeting your messages to specific locations and managing your global presence with language targeting.

These applications are a great way to individualize your promotions and marketing efforts. For more information on how to customize your campaigns contact us today!



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.


New Viral Features & Apps: DIY Update

More than a year after launching self-service tools for social marketing on Facebook and mobile, we’re proud of the work we’ve done to package our innovative promotions, engagement apps and other tools into a cost-effective, DIY platform.  These tools are being used by start-ups, international brands, small businesses and agencies alike.  If we’ve learned one thing from working with these businesses, it is that there is an unending demand for more viral features, flexible tools and apps that help brands target and activate their growing social audiences.

Here are some of the latest and greatest additions to the Votigo self-service platform:

  • iFrame App: A flexible HTML app with a simple WYSIWYG editor that allows brands to customize a dynamic Facebook tab with multiple elements include text, images, video and other embeddable objects- including Votigo-powered promotions
  • Referral Incentive Sweepstakes: a simple, measurable feature that reinvents the classic promotion, making the sweepstakes app more viral by rewarding entrants who share the promotion with additional entries for each social friend they successfully refer to the sweepstakes
  • Promotions Messenger: A valued-added feature for scheduling posts about promotions to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ audiences. The posts are optimized for mobile users and customized with images and text
  • Mandarin: The 10th language available to self-service customers, who can now choose to launch promotions in English, Spanish, German, French, Portugese, Thai, Japanese, Korean, or Indonesian

Don’t take our word for it:

“Votigo’s new features are important for us in engaging our brand’s growing audience,” said Alexander Hagard Gronwall, Co-Founder and Marketing Director of Pambox, a Thailand-based beauty sample subscription service that recently ran a giveaway promotion in Thai that also tied in the L’Occitane brand. “For a start-up, it is critical for us to be able to target our audience right down to their language preferences.  The viral features are a bonus.”

“In launching our new travel goods web retail brand GoInStyle.com, we needed a way to quickly boast the number of engaged fans in our Facebook audience,” says Kristi Daeda, Internet Marketing Manager of GoInStyle.com.  “We devised a weekly giveaway with all the elements- from great prizes to low barriers to entry. The referral feature was critical, though, in getting our new-but-growing audience to share the promotion with other friends and likely potential customers.”


Viral Social Sweepstakes: Simple Fan Activation

Votigo’s basic sweeps app now has a viral referral feature that makes this simple promotion app even more useful in reaching your social marketing goals.

So…what are the goals of your social marketing?  Most likely they go something like:

  • Engage your fans on all social channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and where ever they are
  • Find new fans- especially through viral influence from your current ones
  • Reward your fans for their attention
  • Improve their awareness of your brand, your products and offerings
  • And ultimately, convert social fans into customers!

That’s a tall order, and it takes a consistent, always-on effort to achieve it. There are no shortcuts.

But if you want to take action today toward these goals, the single most-effective thing you can do is to run a Facebook Sweepstakes, and ask your fans to share it on Facebook, Twitter, email and all relevant channels.

With low barriers to entry, an incentive to share and spread the word, and simple set up, social giveaways are still one of the most effective ways to engage and grow your audience and collect email addresses for future marketing.

Even though we’ve expanded the capabilities of our social marketing platform, we continue to focus on our promotions apps, adding features and flexibility that make them more viral and better for engaging your audience. We believe promotions are the core for engaging your audience.

A sweeps might be the simplest type of promotion to launch. Here are a few other reasons to consider a Sweeps:

Easy For You: If you have a prize, simple rules, and a header graphic, you can set up a sweeps in minutes

Easy For Them: Sweeps have the lowest barriers to entry. You’re asking very little of your audience…although you should take advantage of the opportunity to ask them Custom Registration questions to gain feedback or further demographic data

Great Ice Breaker: Not really engaging your fans, or struggling to find things to Post or Tweet about? A sweeps gives you a natural hook and something to post about

Viral: Sweepstakes aren’t naturally viral, but with Referral Incentive feature like the one we just added to our basic sweeps, participants now have a reason to share your branded sweeps with their friends: every entry they refer automatically gains them an additional entry

Cross Channel: It’s really easy to create a Facebook Sweepstakes that is also mobile-optimized, embedded onto your website or blog, and shared from Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and your other key channels. From some premium work, you can easily integrate Instagram and other social channels, too

Like-Gated: Votigo’s basic sweeps include this Facebook sweeps option; we still see it as the simplest way to expand your Facebook audience

A Gateway to Activation: As an ice breaker, it’s natural to follow a short giveaway with more elaborate social promotions, like a user-generated photo contest.  Meanwhile, you can directly activate anyone who enters your sweeps by sending them a coupon, sneak preview, invitation or whatever else will help you convert social fans as customers

Sweepstakes have been a marketing staple for decades.  It’s no surprise they’re equally effective on social media. So as you expand your always-on social marketing strategy, plan more elaborate campaigns and increase your analysis of social marketing ROI, don’t forget this staple of social activation.



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!


Design Tips for Contests and Sweepstakes

Running a Facebook contest or sweepstakes is a great way to boost engagement on social channels and grow your audience. There are many variables to consider when you decide to run contests and sweepstakes. One of the biggest opportunities for making your promotion standout is with your design. Great design can increase the number of entries you receive, improve engagement and help your promotion get noticed. We’ve put together some design tips for contests and sweepstakes that will ensure your promotion is a success. Download the free tip sheet now!



Why Mobile Marketing Matters

With the increasing popularity of mobile marketing, making your contest or sweepstakes mobile optimized is becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity. Most people have at least one type of mobile device that they carry with them on a regular basis. As more brands adopt mobile websites and applications, people have increasingly higher expectations of the mobile experience that brands provide them.  In order to make the most of your promotion, make sure you make it easy for your audience to engage with your contest or sweepstakes on their mobile device.  By doing so you will increase entries and satisfaction among your fans.

There is a large number of people and businesses that run promotions on Facebook, as it is one of the most popular social media channels. There are 78 million Americans eighteen and older who access their Facebook accounts via their mobile devices so making sure your Facebook contest or sweepstakes is mobile optimized is critical. This enables your promotion to be on the go with your customers.  Your fans will be able to access your promotion at their own convenience and participate whether they are at home, commuting on a train, or waiting in line at the grocery store.

In order to effectively run a promotion on a mobile device it is important to build a campaign that is user friendly and intuitive.  The promotion should be easy to navigate on a mobile device and make uploading entries and participating in the promotion seamless. You can do this with a mobile optimized version of a contest microsite or with a custom mobile design. Make sure that your promotion will work and be easily visible on all kinds of mobile devices including phones and tablets. Make the design and graphics simple to avoid any user-experience issues that could cause you to lose potential fans and customers.

By creating a mobile optimized promotion, you’ll allow your fans to engage with the promotion at their convenience wherever they please.  It is a great way to cater to mobile users and to create a fun way to interact with your fans.  If you are interested in creating a mobile promotion visit our website at www.votigo.com to get the details or contact us today.


Like-Gating: Tips for a Great Design

When running a Facebook contest or sweepstakes, one important consideration for brands and agencies to keep in mind is whether or not to have a Like-Gate. Like-Gating, also referred to as Fan-Gating or Like-Wall, is a low barrier to entry requiring that a user first “Like” a brand’s Facebook page before they can access certain content on that page. This is a feature that will simultaneously increase your fan base and get your social marketing messages onto fans’ newsfeeds!  There are several types and styles of like-gates that brands can use. It is an optional feature that may seem like a no-brainer for most brands, but it simply depends on what the brand’s overall goals are.

Once you’ve decided like-gating is for you, you need to start thinking about the design of the like-gate. Something to keep in mind is while simple in concept and beneficial to fan growth; a poor like-gate graphic can seriously confuse and hinder fans from entering your promotion. Not to worry! Votigo is here to provide tips and best practices for customers who value like-gating and would like more information on the process and role that it plays.




A quality Like-Gate graphic image should contain the following:

  • A dynamic/unique/inspiring custom image that captures your brands personality and the theme of the campaign.
  • A call-to-action! This is a very important because you want to clearly define what the user has to do in order to enter the promotion. If you simply have a beautiful graphic image with no instruction such as, “Like us to enter this promotion!” then the entrant will be confused and possibly not enter all together. So, make sure to include instructional text on your custom image.
  • Take advantage of the Timeline Optimization and design your Like-Gate custom image to be the full 810px. Votigo’s platform allows for the max file size of 5MB and supported formats include: jpg, jpeg, gif. The platform allows you to preview the image before it is  published.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It is important to keep in mind that although Facebook Timeline did away with default landing tabs, the fundamentals have not changed at all. Brands can still promote their campaigns by directing their audience directly to their unique app url. Votigo further simplified this process for you with our recent platform release.You now have the ability to schedule posts and tweets about the campaign from your Votigo dashboard to social network channels and direct people straight to that unique app URL. When you have a like-gate attached to the campaign, then you are driving users to like your page. This is a win-win! So, if you are a brand or business who is focused on engaging fans on Facebook—why not try a promotion? You can add a Like-Gate to your unique app and simultaneously build your fan base. Visit our website at www.votigo.com for more details or create an account and start engaging your fans today!