13 free ways to promote your viral contests, giveaways and sweepstakes

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13 free ways to promote your viral contests, giveaways and sweepstakes


A step by step guide on how to get the greatest exposure for your Maître contests, sweepstakes and giveaways.

So, you’ve created your viral contest with Maître (following the principles on how to create a referral campaign that doesn’t suck you found in our Academy) and you are ready to launch it to the world. How do you promote it without breaking the bank? You understand that the more people you’ll be able to attract to your page, the more people will sign up and share it. And the more shares, the greater your campaign success.

You are halfway there: you’ve created your kickass contest. But that’s not enough yet.

Now you must promote it and be effective at it, not to see your potential for growth going lost in vain.

In this article, I’ll explain to you a step by step process to ensure you’re covering every angle of your promotion. It’ll take a bit of work on your part but stick to it and you’ll reap the rewards.

We are going to detail 12 different ways to get traffic to your viral contest/giveaway.

1) Write a blog post to announce your giveaway

Your announcement post has 2 goals:

  1. communicating to your existing reader base why they should take part to your contest. What’s in it for them that makes it irresistible?
  2. serving as traffic magnet and being findable by people interested in contests like yours.

Think of it as both a press release for your giveaway and a call to action aimed at your readers to join in.

Your announcement post should:

  • explain what you are giving out and how to take part in the contest;
  • have a strong call to action to push your readers to go to your contest page and link.

Findability is key, so make sure to optimize it for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

2) Get your contest indexed on Google

The main base keywords you want to target are “{Whatever you are giving away} giveaway” (you can find the best ones for your specific case by using Google Keyword Tool). For example, if you are giving away a Netflix Subscription or an Amazon gift card your keywords will be “Netflix Giveaway” and “Amazon gift card Giveaway”. Plenty of people search on Google for giveaways and they’ll be glad to find your post and join the contest.

This is a compact yet comprehensive SEO checklist for your post:

  • Have your keyword in the title
  • Have your keyword in the H1 tag
  • Have many different variations of it in your body content
  • Publish a picture (or more) and make sure to include in the images ALT tags keyword variations of your main keyword
  • Upload an image (or more) called yourkeyword.jpg (your targeted keyword will be the name of the picture).

3) Announce it to your email list

Once you’ve written your announcement post, it’s time to tell your followers the contest is on!

Do you have an email list of people who signed up for keeping in touch and receive updates from you? If you don’t have one, you should (Mailchimp is an easy provider and it offers a free tier for new, smaller lists). It’s a channel you can use when you need to notify your readers you’ve published something. If you haven’t already, create a mailing list. You can even use Maître to power your Mailchimp Ambassador Program and boost the growth your list with it. Find out here how theHustle went from having 0 subscribers to 300,000 thausands (and beyond) in a few months with their Ambassador Program using Maître.

4) Notify it to your push notifications subscribers

push notifications for viral contests and giveaways

In a similar fashion to a mailing list, you should have push notifications set up on your website. Push notifications are notifications popping up on your subscribers’ desktop or smartphone.

A popular push notification provider is PushCrew. You want to use every tool in the box to let your readers know you’re launching a viral contest and what’s in it for them.

5) Promote your post on your website with pop-ups

popup viral contest

Your visitors may not land on pages related to the contest, so how can you make every one of them aware of it?

You can use different kind of pop-ups:

  • entry pop-ups, asking visitors to join the contest as soon as they get on your website;
  • heads up bars at the top of your website page, inviting them to click and get directed to the contest giveaway page;
  • exit pop-up, prompting visitors exiting your website to join the contest.

The goal is to make sure that every visitor hanging out on your website knows about your contest.

6) Promote your contest on your social media accounts

Social media viral contests

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: this is the holy trinity of social media nowadays. Don’t limit to those 3 though: if your audience uses different social media, you want to post on them as well.

7) Schedule periodic posts on social media

Don’t post on social media once. With so much social media noise, people may or may not see your post about your viral contest. So schedule your social media posts. You don’t want to be doing this manually: use and schedule them.

8) Add a link to your contest in your Twitter and Instagram bios

Social media bio link

It’s especially important on Instagram, where you can’t post links but on your bio. When you post on Instagram, tell your followers to click on the link in your bio.

9) Create a Youtube video

Do you have a Youtube account? Are you regularly posting new videos? Videos are the new posts and Youtube is the new Tv. Content is being consumed through videos more and more so you can’t afford not to be on Youtube. Create a video, post it on your YouTube channel and promote it on your other social media channels. Ask also your readers to sign up to your Youtube channel.

10) Post it on Giveaway sites

Giveaway websites are sites that gather all the active giveaway at any given time. They often have a responsive following always on the lookout for juicy rewards.

They provide a good opportunity for you to get some extra exposure for free. All you have to do is sending your contest to them through their submission forms. You can find a long list of giveaway sites here.

11) Post it on Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups

Facebook groups have a great audience and a great potential to get you lots of exposure. You want to find all the best Facebook groups in your niche and join them.

Once you are a member, refrain from spamming your links away. Sometimes it could be tolerated, most of the times it will be frown upon, your post will be deleted and you may even be banned. No-no.

So, don’t be so eager to post your links and shamelessly self-promoting yourself without providing value first. Be smart about it.

Start posting and adding value to the group. Befriend the admins and offer them some sort of free gift as a bribe in exchange for them to post a link to your contest on the group. Yes, you could ask for permission to post a link yourself. Yet if they’ll post the link instead, the group will be more responsive than if you did.

12) Post it on Reddit Subreddits


The proper Reddit approach is like the one you must have on Facebook. Find relevant subreddits but don’t sign up and start posting like an amateur spammer. Your post will most likely get removed. Instead, post content and comments, get upvoted for the value you provide. The goal is to build up your karma to 30-50 points.

You can also reach out to the subreddit admins and befriend them, offer them some kind of incentive to post a link to your giveaway. Otherwise, post it yourself. But only when your account has enough karma.

Once you’ve published it, get some friends to upvote it for you.

13) Post it on forums and communities where your targeted audience hangs out

The same principles we’ve seen working on Facebook and Reddit works on any community online. Don’t spam. Add value. Try getting the admins’ blessings before posting.

These are 13 free ways to promote your viral contest. Make the best of them and kick ass!

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Daniele Peron

Daniele Peron

Marketing @ Maître
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