Promoting a destination isn’t for the faint of heart. Visitors have many options and are bombarded with beautiful travel photos online. So what’s a tourism marketer to do? Get a bit creative.
This is what the Borough of Seaside Heights, New Jersey did recently when they ran an SMS Sweepstakes. A sweepstakes coupled with other tactics can help a destination get the word out and build excitement.
Known for its miles of sandy beaches and lively boardwalk, Seaside Heights attracts visitors from throughout the Northeast. They were seeing less visitors on rainy days, for obvious reasons, and so wanted to promote free beach passes (or seasonal badges) during the off-season.
They did what we’d recommend for a tourism marketing-related sweepstakes:
Keep it simple and easy to enter (text or SMS is the easiest way to enter a sweepstakes).
Make the most of mobile, which appeals to most Millenials, and post it on social.
Offer a relevant prize. What could be more relevant than free beach badges for a season?
Boost your tourism marketing sweepstakes campaign even further by partnering with influencers.
While Seaside Heights didn’t include influencers in this promotion, it’s a good tactic to boost entries and exposure even further. Influencers with local and regional influence can help get the word out to their audiences. See our post on working with influencers to promote your sweepstakes.
Overall, Seaside Heights did well with their campaign, which was promoted on Facebook.
Goals: Boost rainy-day engagement and build their email and text list
Prize: Two Season Beach Badges with approximate retail value (ARV) of $120
They saw more than 500 entries within the first hour!
The South Dakota Department of Public Safety wanted to increase motorcycle riding safety awareness and educate motorcycle riders on the value of wearing protective gear. The South Dakota Office of Highway Safety and their advertising agency Lawrence & Schiller, leveraged the Sweeppea Text to Win sweepstakes management platform to create and manage this statewide promotion.
The campaign presented a strong and sobering message: “Beat Death. Don’t Cheat It.” It’s meant to bring home the consequences for not wearing protective safety gear in case of an accident.
To incentivize participation and drive the message home, participants entered via text message (SMS) for a chance to win a Harley-Davidson FXRG Riding Jacket.
To generate motorcycle safety awareness
To educate motorcycle riders about the importance of wearing safety gear
To make it as easy as possible to enter the sweepstakes
Hundreds of participants entered
A cost-effective and fun tactic helped get the message across to the public
Prize: One Harley-Davidson FXRG Riding Jacket. Approximate retail value was $600, with the prize donated by Black Hills Harley-Davidson.
The California Cider Company, makers of Ace Cider, partnered with Sweeppea to launch their text to win sweepstakes promotion. The campaign entailed an in-store sweepstakes across multiple retailers with the goal of gaining preferential retail floor space for the product and to promote the brand’s new flavor offerings.
Ace Cider increased orders from retailers and helped those retailers sell more cases by adding a text to win promotion to be featured in endcaps and special displays (see photos below). These end caps and displays help gain attention and boost sales, while the text to win helps bring excitement to the brand and the retailer’s customers. It’s a win-win.
To create a fun and engaging text to win sweepstakes to promote the brand.
To gain preferential end-cap shelf space and product positioning with retailers.
Increase orders from retailers
Case orders increased from Safeway and Albertson’s Supermarkets
Hundreds of participants entered
Prize: Thirteen (13) ACE Beachcruiser bikes. Approximate retail value (ARV) of prize(s) is $3000
To promote the latest blockbuster superhero movie, a studio used Sweeppea to offer a chance to win tickets. This SMS text sweepstakes ran during episodes of the Big Bang Theory—a great audience match for the movie.
Entrants got a chance to win a trip to California to attend the movie’s Hollywood premiere, as well as daily cash prizes and movie admission tickets.
There were multiple entry methods, including text and web, but the majority (80%) entered via text once they saw the message on-screen. In fact, thousands of participants entered per minute during the airing of the show.
The lucky grand prize winner attended the premiere in Hollywood, while many daily winners won cash prizes and movie tickets.
Overall, it was a highly successful text sweepstakes, that ran on the Sweeppea’s platform.
To promote the movie
To build excitement and awareness before the movie’s December debut
TV show tie-in with Big Bang Theory
Website and Social Media promotion
More than 50,000 participants entered
Thousands of new emails were collected
Prizes: The Grand Prize winner received a trip for two to Los Angeles to attend the Hollywood premiere, plus $1,000 cash. Daily prize winners received $500 gift cards and 2 movie admissions.