7 important goals for media (and how to surpass them)


In your paper's fast-paced world, you are focused on several special sections, events and initiatives to help you reach your goals of revenue growth, audience engagement, increasing pageviews, growing your social media following and building an email database amongst a slew of others.

Promotions and interactive content are key to meeting and succeeding all of your paper's goals. The versatility of these engagement campaigns means each one has the ability to achieve a number of great outcomes for you. But while they're all powerful, different campaigns excel in different areas.

Below, I've put together a list of seven goals you are probably working toward and the promotions and interactive content I'd recommend to achieve (or even surpass!) that goal.

1. Grow Your Email Database

With a low barrier to entry, sweepstakes are the most efficient way to grow your database. The better the prize, the more entries you will receive, so choose a prize that's valuable enough to entice a wide audience to enter. (Make sure to add an email opt-in to all your engagement campaigns to turn any promotion and interactive content into a tool for database growth.)

WPSD-TV's Food for Friends sweepstakes offered fifteen lucky winners a $250 grocery gift card – this simple sweepstakes drove over 4,500 opt-ins.

2. Generate Revenue

To reach your revenue goals, it's crucial to run campaigns that attract advertisers. Pick'ems and brackets are long-running campaigns that offer a ton of exposure for advertisers. Plus, you can leverage exclusive partnerships and VIP pickers to enhance your sponsorship packages and elevate your revenue potential.

The State Journal-Register brought in $125,000 in revenue from their Pro Football Pick'em.

3. Improve Engagement and Time on Site

Photo contests, pick'ems and brackets attract participants that make return visits to the page through different stages of the contest. Quizzes get shared over and over again on social, and the outcome page can include a link directing users to other content on your site.

The Arizona Republic ran this U.S. Citizenship trivia quiz that's been taken nearly 80,000 times!

4. Increase Ad Impressions and Page Views

Photo contests and galleries keep users clicking through submissions to find and vote for their favorites. With each new click counting as another page view and ad impression, a popular photo gallery can drive tons of great results for your media company.

More than 27,000 votes were cast in KRDO's annual Fall Colors Photo Contest.

5. Market Your Products and Content

Create engagement campaigns to promote products, events and even your media site as a whole. The prize of a sweeps could be the product you are marketing, or you could use a codeword sweepstakes to drive traffic to your content.

Quizzes featuring your company are a great way for people to relate to your brand. Why not try a quiz like "Which XYZN News Anchor Are You?," "Test Your XYN Station Music IQ," or even "Can You Remember Last Month's Headlines?"

The WSSP-AM Morning Show hosts ran this creative personality quiz featuring themselves as the outcomes! Not only did it get shared on social, but they talked about the quiz on-air with listeners.

6. Grow Your Social Following

Harness the power of social media to grow your email database. With each contest you promote on social, you can leverage email opt-ins to pull those users into your database. Not only do quizzes and photo contests often get shared on social, but sweepstakes can actually offer incentives to users who share.

The Gift of Magic sweepstakes was incredibly successful on social media and, as a result, led to more than 1,300 opt-ins for the station.

7. Gain Consumer Insights

Citywide ballots generate tons of data as users identify which local businesses they prefer within their community – that presents a trove of information that can be valuable for any company or sponsor in the future.

For The Commercial Appeal, their annual metro ballot has brought in nearly 500,000 votes cast by over 9,000 registered users – that means a ton of data about their consumers and their community.

Quizzes can be used to understand consumer preferences and generate leads. You can include questions about purchase intent, budgeting and even tastes to improve your consumer data and leverage that data for future advertiser initiatives.

When WPSD created this quiz for a furniture company, they were able to use every question to generate data about the consumers.

Make sure that you're taking the time to evaluate your goals and choosing the promotions and interactive content that's best to achieve them. Here's a quick summary to help you get on the path to success.

But don't get limited to just one single engagement campaign. If you have many goals you're trying to meet, put together a multi-layered campaign featuring a combination of sweepstakes, quizzes, ballots or pick'ems – this is a great way to elevate your promotions and interactive content strategy to the next level.

Matt Coen is the president and co-founder of Second Street, a leading provider of private-label online promotions platforms and partner success services for media companies based in St. Louis, Mo. He can be reached at (314) 880-4902 or matt@secondstreet.com.

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