8 Trends in Online Contests and Promotions that we’ll see in 2019

Carles Bonfill
Carles Bonfill
We finished 2018 with some great news: brands are taking big steps forward in data security for contest participants, following the new data protection laws in the EU. And we're seeing better quality contests and giveaways as a result. Check out our infographic for more 2019 trends in online contests, and scroll down for a detailed analysis.

Since the GDPR took effect, brands are obliged to identify themselves clearly, provide contact details, and tell people how their data gets used. Online contests finish on time, and with no loose ends, because participants know where to file a complaint. And at the same time, contest platform providers (that’s us!) have implemented better security measures.

In 2019, users’ trust in contests on social media and digital media is set to increase. When brands take their responsibilities seriously, customers notice, and participation in their online contests will grow.

Trends in Online Contests

Recurring sweepstakes to capture leads

There are three digital strategies that every marketer, brand and agency has by heart: inbound, content, and automated marketing.

These 3 strategies have a single aim in common. The goal is always to attract a user’s attention, then capture their contact info. Next, each lead is qualified, and moved down the sales funnel.

So how does a simple prize giveaway with registration form fit in? Running regular contests, and sharing them on social media, has been proved to lead to:

  1. More leads and more info
  2. Increased user trust and brand loyalty
  3. Easier automation and CRM integration

Once you’ve set up your contest, it becomes an automatic lead generation machine. And once the machine has started up, there’s no stopping it. Prepare to see more brands using giveaways in 2019.

Giveaways based on interactions on social media

The professionalization of social media has pushed brands to create more sophisticated content plans if they want to succeed. These content plans cover a range of social networks and channels. They include news, entertainment, product highlights, and contests based on interactions on social media.

But why contests? Social media giveaways are easy to launch, and highly effective at the same time. On average, giveaways posts have 500% more reach than standard posts.

Here’s a simple example. A brand asks a question on their social media profiles, and everyone who answers has the chance to win a prize. Even Facebook recommends this simple mechanism. It’s an easy but effective way to increase reach and followers.

We especially recommend this strategy for new businesses, or anyone who’s new to social media marketing. However, for more established brands, it’s also a good way to diversify social media content.

Interactive product presentation campaigns

Whenever you run a social media campaign, you should have a very specific objective. One popular goal is product presentation. Brands are constantly looking for ways to highlight their products, without becoming too spammy or losing followers.

In 2019, more brands will use gamification to present their products. Here are two good reasons why:

  1. Gamification increases the time that people spend interacting with the campaign.
  2. Gamification increases the likelihood that people will share the campaign.

So it’s an ideal method to present new products and services. Add the fact that thistechnology has become much more affordable, and it’s clear that gamified campaigns will be a big trend in 2019.

Social media giveaways combining several networks

Facebook and Twitter have long been big players on the social media stage. Now Instagram has become another essential channel, and YouTube is catching up fast.

So if brands want to succeed on social media, they need a clear strategy for each platform. But at the same time, this brings new challenges for management and productivity.

What’s the simplest strategy to increase productivity? Launch the same giveaway on multiple social networks at the same time.

Get ready to see more online giveaways, on more networks, from more brands in 2019. Here’s everything you need to know about your first multi-network giveaway. It’s easier than you think!

New audience with contest collaborations

Influencer marketing is a trend from 2018 that shows no signs of stopping. In particular, YouTube and Instagram have allowed content creators to exploit their creative abilities and create a community around them.

Influencers are attractive to brands because of their apparently authentic connection with users.Users respond better to influencer recommendations than to ads, seeing them as more spontaneous and natural.

If you want to connect your brand with an influencer’s audience, then contests are an easy shortcut to create a joint campaign or collaboration.

But don’t limit yourself to large-scale, celebrity influencers – especially if you’re on a budget! Take a look at micro-influencers and even nano-influencers. You can team up with other brands, too.

Engagement on Twitter revives

In the last two years, Twitter has finally found its place in the world of social media. So much so, that in 2018, Twitter became consistently profitable and even added more users. Its stock has been rising since mid-2017.

People use Twitter to stay informed and updated. Recent changes to the app are focused on highlighting new content. And Twitter has finally updated its APIs, which should give developers more access and grow the ecosystem of Twitter apps.

At the same time, many brands have seen engagement drop on Facebook. So they’ve started to look to other networks, such as Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Twitter giveaways based on replies, retweets, or mentions are a powerful way to increase engagement and interactions. So we confidently expect to see more Twitter contests in 2019.

The number of prizes per contest increases

At Easypromos, we regularly monitor trends in online contests. But one thing which took us by surprise is that the average number of prizes per contest is increasing.

There are two main reasons why:

  1. The use of digital prizes such as coupons, vouchers and promo codes. Marketing and sales teams need simple tools to incentivize consumers. Digital prizes such as promotional codes or gift vouchers are ideal. They encourage sales, reward loyalty, and are easy to deliver to winners.
  2. The more prizes, the more users participate. People love prizes! When users feel they have more chances of winning a prize, they are more likely to participate. Their excitement generates more engagement with the brand and more positive feedback online. Try to diversify with a variety of prizes.

At Easypromos, we work hard to keep up with trends in online contests. That’s why we launched a prize engine for contests. Brands can easily manage multiple prizes, direct prizes, and discount coupons for participating, answering surveys, or voting in contests.

Stories: present in every contest

Stories, specially on Instagram, are very popular. Right now, this format generates unprecedented engagement and visibility for brand content. Users like to watch them, and they give marketers endless customization options.

So it’s no surprise when brands ask us how to organize online contests and promotions with Stories.

Currently, Stories are most useful as a traffic source for contests. They can drive traffic to a campaign, with giveaway announcements, updates, and live streams. For many brands, Instagram Stories have already become their most important traffic source.

Some brands have created original  Stories with their own GIFs and graphic design packs. This is a great initiative, and shows just how creative marketers can be with social media.

But it’s much more complicated to run giveaways based on interactions with Stories. So far, Facebook and Instagram don’t provide tools to measure mentions, hashtags or other actions in Stories.

In 2019, we’ll be watching and waiting to see if Facebook offers more options for brands using Stories. But in the meantime, here’s everything you can do with Stories for online contests.

Have you thought about organizing a contest, giveaway or online promotion in 2019… but you’re not sure how? Chat with us and we’re sure we can help: We LOVE chat.