Drive Product Trial & Brand Awareness With Online Promotions

If you’re looking to drive product trial and brand awareness, online promotions like Contests or Sweepstakes are a great way to go.  Research shows that a brand’s social media activity contributes to a high level of product trial and un-planned purchase, so why not get in on the action?!

Take this new Facebook sweepstakes by Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water for example. The objective of the promotion is to encourage people to consider changing their daily beverage routine by incorporating Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water for five days, to see the positive change in how they feel. 300 lucky entrants will be rewarded with a free 5-day supply of the water, eliminating a barrier to entry (purchasing the product) that might otherwise diminish engagement. The Brand benefits because they are getting product into the hands of potentially new customers, and the consumer benefits because they get to try a new product at no risk. Screenshot 2016-08-31 09.56.09


What we know for sure is that social media trends suggest that people are far more likely to try or buy a product because their friends do too. So, here are a few other ways you can use contests or sweepstakes to drive product trial and brand awareness to tap into that engagement potential:

  • Run a UGC Contest in which participants are invited to submit a photo or video that shows how they use your product, what it means to them, or why they love it.
  • Run an Essay Contest in order to invite people to try your product and leave a review that shares what they liked about it.
  • Run a basic enter-to-win sweepstakes and reward the first 100, 200 or more entrants with a free sample of your product.

Interested in learning more about how Votigo can help you drive product trial and brand awareness? Contact us today to talk to an Account Representative.


How To Use Psychological Triggers When Writing For Social Media

You can post on social media all day long using images, calls to action, and the right hashtags without ever getting the engagement you had hoped for. The missing ingredient in your social media strategy is leveraging psychological triggers. This is how you can get followers to start engaging right away.


One of the largest social media studies ever took a deep look into the psychology behind social sharing. What they found, in a nutshell, is that emotional posts are the most likely to generate shares – especially happy posts. So, if shares are part of your goal, post about emotional topics – the happier, the better.Untitled [free stock photo from Pexels]


Using the word “because” is one of the most powerful words in sales. It works beautifully in social media as well. You can trigger a reader to engage with a social media post by illustrating the value to them with your words. Don’t just come out and say, “share this post because your friends will want to see it.” Instead, be subtler, sending the same message with clever wordcraft.

There are many giveaways on Facebook everyday. But, this one has over 17K shares. Notice how the value of the giveaway is cleverly illustrated in the description – this viral post was created was no stroke of luck. The original poster understood the importance of including a value statement, “5 members of our team would install it in your house if you win.”


[screenshot source]


The easier it is to accomplish your call to action, the more likely social media followers are to abide. So, when you want someone to subscribe to your newsletter, don’t just tell them, “go over to our website to subscribe.” Instead, include a link to your signup form. When you want readers to comment, ask a question instead of expecting them to guess.

Social media followers – and everyone else on the web, really – want everything to be handed to them on a silver platter. So, it’s your job to do so. You want to make everything as easy as possible for anyone who stumbles upon your post by including the necessary information.


Color increases a reader’s attention span and absorption by 82%. Additionally, visual content will increase the amount of people who see your message by 94%. This makes social media traffic more likely to engage. When sharing on social media, always include an image or video that the reader can associate with the information you’re presenting. Imagery is one psychological trigger you never want to go without.


Creating social media posts can be a waste of time… but, only if you don’t know what you’re doing. Now that you know these psychological triggers, you can start to integrate them into your upcoming social media campaigns. So, go write your next SMM plan today, and come back to tell us how it goes.

This article was originally written by Janice Kersh for the Heyo blog.



Holidays Round 1 – Halloween Promotion Planning Time!

Yep – you heard us right! Even though there’s still a few more weeks to go, Halloween will be here before you know it, so it’s not too early to start getting organized for an engaging social promotion to celebrate the holiday!


Few holidays have such a strong visual component as Halloween, which makes it the perfect opportunity for brands to engage their fans with a UGC Photo Contest or Video Contest. Leverage #hashtag submissions via Instagram and Twitter in addition to allowing contestants to upload photos or videos directly from their computer, smartphones or Facebook albums. The more ways people have to enter, the greater your engagement will be.

More importantly, a brand doesn’t have to be directly associated with Halloween in order to be able to capitalize on the buzz surrounding the holiday. Chances are your audience participates in Halloween anyway, so why not engage them by tapping into behavior they’re already doing, for a chance to win something that IS relevant to your brand?

To help you get started with your own planning, let’s take a look back at one of the most successful Halloween promotions we’ve ever run.


The Chipotle Boorito Halloween Costume Contest promotion had a fun title and a great Halloween design that was eye-catching and relevant to the Halloween theme.  Chipotle asked fans to enter the contest by submitting a picture of themselves in costume in front of a Chipotle restaurant.  This fun call-to-action encouraged fans to visit Chipotle and participate in the Halloween festivities, which was in turn great for sales!  The promotion created a great way for fans to stay engaged by incorporating a voting process where fans could vote for entries and easily share their favorite photos. The lucky grand prize winner won $2,500, five runner up winners received $1,000, and 20 entrants received the honorable mention prize which consisted of a sponsor-specified burrito party at the winner’s select Chipotle Mexican Grill location for up to 10 people.  The contest did a great job incorporating a holiday theme into their contest and kept fans thinking about Chipotle.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can bring a Halloween promotion to life for your brand.




How Small Businesses Can Make the Most of Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the most popular social media platforms. Ordinary people use them to communicate, share funny pictures, upload their pretty selfies, discuss issues and events, and have fun in every possible way. But small business owners have their own professional aims: they use these websites to engage with their audiences directly.

Social media platforms are essential for successful marketing. However, there is a myth that using them for marketing purposes is simple and fast. Well, good things take time and effort, and so does an effective social media strategy. How to make the process faster and which platform to choose? In this article, we will make a small review of the most widely-used social media websites and share some ideas about how to apply them to your growing business.1

Why should online businesses use social media?

Well-done social media marketing brings:

  • Yes, you can gain traffic from creating the right content and making the right people sharing it within their environment.
  • Better sales. When people talk more and more about you and your product, the sales will grow, too.
  • Brand awareness. Believe it or not, brand awareness can bring your product in front of people’s eyes when they need your services. And social networks can help you with this.

Gaining followers and keeping in touch with them ensures you getting the most of your social media account. You need to reach those potential customers you never hope to achieve before. And the more followers you get, the more chances you have to grow this much. Remember one easy formula: more followers bring more followers.

Which one to choose?

When choosing the most suitable platform for your business purposes, you have to be picky. There are several factors to consider and we have gathered some useful information in this post to help you choose one and use it properly.

Let’s start with some core elements you have to keep in mind. They are:

  • Location and age of your audience
  • Competitor’s activity
  • Your aims
  • The amount of time you can afford

In fact, sometimes it may be the best idea not to be on particular social networks because you may have a lack of time, financial resources, or just because your customers don’t fit with a certain network.

#1 Facebook

2Facebook can attract new potential customers to your website and therefore – promote your business. However, there is one crucial challenge you have to fight: the buzz in your followers’ news feed. However, there are some methods to stick out:

  • Profile picture.

It should be unique and recognizable. Use a small picture of your brand’s logo to let your users recognize, find, and Like you.

  • Fill out the “About” section.

Make sure to include relevant information about your company in the “About” section. This is the first place people will look at when visiting your page! Never leave it blank!

  • Match the basic marketing features.

They include a cover photo, pinned post, and CTAs to promote your campaigns. These things can maximize the engagement with followers and make your marketing message clear. As a good example of page appearance and amazing user experience, visit Threadless on Facebook.

  • Tailor organic posts.

Facebook has one great feature – you can segment your posts by gender, age, education, etc. Use it to present the right content to the right audience.

  • Use compelling visual content.

Remember, multimedia posts generate up to 95% more views. Include visual elements into your Facebook campaign.

#2 Twitter

Twitter is a microblogging tool to post short messages, links, status updates, etc. So the first thing that distinguishes Twitter is that you have to be laconic and informative. Let’s see how you can attract more customers to your service using this platform:

  • Tweet on a regular basis.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter is less noisy and patchwork. When you post too much on Facebook, your users can become annoyed and unsubscribe. However, it is opposite with Twitter – when you stop posting every day, your users will forget you.

  • Interact with right people.

Find experts and influential persons in your target area and follow them. Retweet their tweets, place your Likes and maybe someday they will give you feedback. Attention from an influential persona in the industry is attractive! Twitter search will also help you find competitors, like-minded prospects, and even customers.

  • Benefit from “Twitter love”.

It’s okay to ask your subscribers for Likes and Shares. The more Shares they make, the more people can see your brand. This is a good thing since it lets you reach people you could never reach on your own. Just do your best to generate interesting and useful tweets!

  • Don’t forget about “Follow us on Twitter” button.

Make sure you have a link to your Twitter account on the main page of your website. For instance, StudentShare has a Twitter bird logo at the bottom of the main page in their block “follow us”. This helps users find more information about the service and stay updated.

#3 Instagram

Instagram is all about photos and visuals, so you have to build a recognizable brand identity. Not every small business needs to have an Instagram account. However, any service connected with aesthetics somehow, let it be beauty industry (barbershop or manicure), clothes, arts, etc. needs to demonstrate itself with the help of visual appeal.

  • Your brand’s style and visual representation.

Instagram has a range of filters you can apply to your photos. The task is to choose one filter or a couple of them and use them for most of your photos. Use the same set of filters and you will create a recognizable style. For instance, check 33 Acres Brewing Company’s Instagram. They use white color pallets and white borders for most of their photos. When scrolling a News Feed, users recognize the brand by their photos and associate similar images with Acres Brewing Company.

  • Follow people.

As well as Twitter, Instagram account will become popular if you will follow targeted persons. Comment on their photos, push the “Like” button, take part in discussions and you will be surprised how quickly you’ll get more subscribers.

  • Use relevant hashtags for your posts.

Using right industry-related hashtags will help your potential customers find you.

  • Organize contests.

Many users follow brand’s pages on Instagram specifically to take part in contests. So don’t be shy to ask them for comments, shares, and hashtags. Try out something like this and use the analytics to find out whether it helps you promote your brand.

If you are a small business owner, you don’t have to push yourself and try to become a king of all social media platforms at once. Step back, consider the special features of your business and think how a certain network can help your business show the best sides. Check your audience, study analytics, and don’t be afraid to experiment. If you have any ideas about using other networks for business, come and share your thoughts in the comments.

This article was originally written by Veronica Hunt for the Heyo blog.


How to Engage Your Audience with WOW Content

In today’s digital world, people can find any piece of information in a matter of seconds. If you want to make your online project successful, you need to compete with many other providers. Content is the ultimate weapon that can drive you to victory.

No marketing campaign can achieve success without promoting content of high quality. It’s the tool that attracts and engages the target audience, boosts the awareness for your brand, and brings you to more leads and sales.

This Is How Awesome Content Is

According to the 2016 survey conducted by Content Marketing Institute, the percentage of B2B marketers who consider their content marketing campaigns to be effective is only 30% (that’s 8% lower when compared to last year’s results). 44% of the marketers meet daily or weekly with the purpose to discuss the progress of their content marketing programs.

Here’s the most important data that shows how crucial content marketing is: 88% of all B2B respondents to the same survey said they were using content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.”

Granted, that’s a survey focused on B2B marketing, but we can safely state that all businesses benefit from content promotion. The communication channels are more diverse than ever, so there are no limits to the number of visits, likes, shares, and comments that a single piece of content can achieve.

Not All Content Is Awesome, Though

The main purpose of content marketing is reaching out to the target audience by offering value and uniqueness. It seems like there’s a rule: it doesn’t matter what business you’re into; you have to be a publisher if you want to be competitive.

Successful content must be unique, focused, and well-written, but it also needs to be optimized for the search engines. Most of all, it has to be engaging. How exactly do you achieve such level of quality? There are proven techniques that will guide you there.

Engaging Your Audience with WOW Content: Tips and Tricks

Content marketing is more than writing posts on random topics related to your niche. You need to invest more effort in research and development if you want it to result with success. Now that we clarified how important content marketing was, let’s get to the tips that will help you turn it to your advantage.

  1. Make the Headline Worthy of a WOW

Think about it: what’s the first thing that grabs your attention when you see articles shared on social media? Exactly; it’s the headline! It’s the factor that attracts people towards a website, and it’s often the only thing the visitors read before liking or sharing.

Here are few things to keep in mind when you’re trying to think of a great headline:

  • Make it specific

Headlines like How to Live Your Life don’t work, since they are too generic. How to Live Your Life without Romance, on the other hand, is a potential trigger of visits, comments, and shares. Your headline needs to offer enough information for the reader to understand what the post is about.

  • Don’t mislead your audience

Click baits work for websites that feature tons of ads on their pages. People click the sensational titles only to find content that has nothing to do with the implications those statements made. This strategy results with income from the ads, but it also gets you a frustrated audience. It’s completely the opposite of what great content marketing is about. The title needs to be relevant to the post, so don’t even think about misleading the readers.

  • Make it unique

What theme do you have in mind? Search Google and check out the most popular posts. You don’t want to offer something too similar. Your headline and the entire post should be unique, so the readers will get value with the time they spend on it.

  • Make it useful

Offer articles that solve the readers’ problems, suggest tips on lifestyle improvements, or simply improve their knowledge on a matter. The headline should convey that usefulness in a simple statement, such as 10 Tips that Make Spring Cleaning a Breeze.

  1. Write informative, detailed content

There are two types of content marketers: those who frequently publish brief articles within the 250-500 word count range, and those who spend more time developing high-quality content that provides greater value.

According to the data provided by the Capsicum Mediaworks, the posts with at least 1500 words achieved better results in Google search when compared to short posts.

You may wonder why most blogs and websites are full of brief 400-word posts, then? Because they are cheap and simple. Longer content does take more effort, since it mustn’t be repetitive and it takes more work for you to make it engaging. However, that effort definitely pays off in terms of audience engagement.

  1. Find the influencers. Use them to your advantage

No matter how awesome your content is, you need to rely on influencers when it comes to its promotion. Identify extremely popular users on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and other networks. Then, contact them with a request to feature their opinion in your article. Ask strategic questions, and then infuse their comments within the post you’re writing.

There are two main benefits you’ll gain by featuring an influencer’s opinion in your article:

  • You’ll make it more relevant and authoritative.
  • You’ll get free promotion. The influencer will share that article with their social media followers, so you’ll get plenty of visits to your website.

  1. Turn Your Posts into Tutorials

People use the Internet for various reasons, but there’s something they all have in common: learning. It doesn’t matter what your niche is; you can always think of a way to educate your audience through the content you write. That’s a smart way for promoting websites, products, and services.

This tip is straightforward: think of different themes that teach your audience how to do something related to the things you promote. If, for example, you’re promoting a site that sells makeup, you won’t focus the campaign solely on reviews and recommendations. You will also post textual and visual tutorials that teach people how to apply that makeup.

If you’re promoting a website from the niche of technology, you can post tutorials that teach the target audience how to setup a particular TV set.

  1. Use the right tools

Content marketing is a complex category. You need to pay attention to multiple factors, such as timing, calls to action, choice of headline, communicating with the audience, social media activity, and much more. When you have the right tools at hand, everything becomes easier. Here are few you can try:

This tool will help you locate the influencers in your niche. Your dashboard will list possible advocates ranked by influencer score. You can easily reach out to them and discuss the way you’ll use their authority for the sake of your campaign.


Sometimes it’s hard to be a website owner, marketer, and content writer at the same time. If you don’t have enough space for all responsibilities, the simple solution is to outsource. The writers and editors from this team will listen to your instructions and deliver the work you need.


Plagiarism can be detrimental to the success of your content marketing efforts. That’s why you need to make sure each piece you publish is absolutely unique. This plagiarism detection software will keep you safe.4

A platform that lets you plan, organize, and produce content through collaboration.


Now, are you ready to start wowing your audience through great content? You’ll be on your way if you follow the tips above. Try them and share your achievements with us.

This article was originally written by Julie Petersen for the Heyo blog.

Julie Petersen is a freelance writer and a content marketing specialist. She is a founder of writing blog, where she regularly creates helpful guides, articles and writing services reviews for students. You may contact Julie via Linkedin.



New UGC Contest from Nature’s Bounty Brings Audience Into the Brand Conversation

When it comes to engaging your audience and involving them in the larger conversation for your brand, UGC contests are a great way to go. This past week, Nature’s Bounty launched a promotion specifically designed to give their audience a way to share what the brand means to them.  Entrants are invited to submit a photo with a caption that represents their commitment to a healthy future.

Screenshot 2016-08-15 09.01.07

Participants can enter via Direct Upload on Desktop, Smartphone or Tablet or with the campaign hashtag #DearFutureMe on Twitter or Instagram. Allowing users to choose their preferred entry method ensures that anyone can enter, maximizing the reach of the promotion. Additionally, the promotion is embedded into Nature’s Bounty’s main site offering a seamless user experience while benefiting their SEO.

Screenshot 2016-08-15 09.16.12

This contest was built by Votigo’s talented full-service development team and features fully responsive design, a custom header image carousel and viral ‘share’ functionality to increase campaign reach.  Adding to the personalized user experience is functionality that generates a message out to approved entrants 30 days after their submission to check in on the progress of their commitment to live a healthier life. The team had so much fun working on this campaign, and hope you enjoy it too!

Want to learn more about our products, services or platform level offerings? Click here to schedule a live demo with an Account Representative.





8 Ways to Use Facebook to Increase Sales

By 2017, ad spending on social networks is predicted to represent 16% of all digital ad spending. Companies all over the world are seeing the value of social media as a selling platform. But with so many social networks, it can be difficult to know where to start. A fact to consider is that Shopify determined that Facebook had the highest conversion rate out of all the social networks considered.



Simply posting company updates on Facebook is not enough to generate new sales. It is important to cultivate a marketing plan for social media the way you would any other channel in your arsenal. Here are some tips to keep in mind when using Facebook to increase sales:

  1. Keep the process simple: Every extra click or additional page that a consumer has to interact with reduces conversion by 15%. If you can, have a built-in “F-Commerce” Facebook store right within your page. If this is not possible, make sure to directly link to the page you want consumers to buy from to reduce the amount of unnecessary clicks.

  2. Leverage sharing contests: Contests that garner likes and comments are great. But what’s better is contests where you ask contestants to share something on their own personal timelines involving your product. This way your company can have the chance to reach a whole new network of people. You can get help running these with the team at Heyo if you aren’t sure how.

  3. Take advantage of messaging features: It is faster and more convenient for your consumer if they can message you directly on Facebook. Treat this as seriously as you would other forms of communication and it can help you close sales.

  4. Host a “flash sale”: The key to a flash sale is to keep it short and at a semi-unknown time. Let people know they have to keep checking back to your page for the announcement of a flash sale within a given period of time, such as a week. This will increase traffic as people get used to checking your page for the flash sale announcement.

  5. Avoid “curiosity clicks”: If you are paying per click on a Facebook ad, every click counts. So you want these clicks to convert, not just visit and look around. You can do this by prequalifying leads. What this means is providing all the basic “curiosity” information a customer might need, such as price, the countries you ship to, and a picture of the product. If they click after knowing all this information, they probably want to buy.

  1. Lead consumers through a process: If you’re going to be having a special sale or discount, don’t just post about it day-of. This helps create buzz for your product, provides you feedback on which products your customer base is most excited about, and gives a chance for more people to be reached then could by just one post.

  2. Show practical pictures: If your product is a physical one people can “use”, take out the mystery. Show someone ACTUALLY using the product. In some cases, video could be even more useful. For example, seeing a stain cleaner clear up a carpet stain is a lot more compelling than a picture of a spray bottle.

  3. Make careful use of targeting: You can target your ad to an extremely specific audience- take advantage of this. If you know women aged 20-24 who have gone to college and live in rural areas are most likely to buy your hat – make sure they see the ad and not anyone else. It’s easy to fall into the trap “the more people who see this ad the better”, but in reality you want quality over quantity.


Nothing on Facebook is going to happen overnight. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. But if you focus on testing different campaigns, tracking, and evaluating, then you can build on what works until you turn Facebook into a profit machine for your business. And if you have success, don’t forget to try some of these tactics on your other social networks!

This article was originally written by Jonathon Ohayon for the Heyo blog.



Get Inspired: New Promotions from Frigo Cheeseheads & Wet Ones

UGC Essay Contests and #Hashtag campaigns are a great way to engage and activate your audience while curating meaningful and relevant brand content. Here are two new examples from Frigo Cheeseheads and Wet Ones to help inspire you as you start thinking about your next promotion.

Frigo Cheeseheads’ “Build a Bright Future” Essay Contest

Screenshot 2016-08-03 14.29.57For the 3rd year in a row, Frigo Cheeseheads is inviting parents, teachers, school administrators and other friends to tell them why their favorite K-8 school should receive a $10,000 donation to build a brighter future for its students. This contest was built by Votigo’s talented full-service development team and features fully responsive design, animated homepage GIF’s, custom entry flow and dynamic age-gate functionality that auto-populates the age field at registration.


Wet Ones #WishIHadAWetOnes Hashtag Campaign 

Screenshot 2016-08-03 14.31.08

Wet Ones is on a search to find the Messiest Kid in America! To enter, participants simply need to upload a photo via Instagram or Twitter with the campaign hashtag #wishihadawetones and Votigo’s technology pulls all entries into a moderated content gallery where people can vote for their favorites. This contest was built by Wet Ones’ agency, InMarketing, using Votigo’s Developer API, and features direct upload in addition to hashtag entry, a featured entry module and fully responsive design.

Want to learn more about our products and services, or brainstorm with a member of our team on your next promotion? Click here to schedule a live demo with an Account Representative.