7 Ways Online Sweepstakes Grow Your Youth Customer Base

While contests and online sweepstakes are nothing new, they’ve taken on a new life with the continual growth of social media. Now more than ever, online sweepstakes are easy, affordable, and effective. As the marketing landscape continues to evolve, sweepstakes will serve as a helpful strategy to increase the number of people who interact with your brand and deepen existing connections.

When executed correctly, online sweepstakes create a win-win situation for brands and entrants alike. Most often, they are used for the following reasons:

  • Increase brand awareness and generate word-of-mouth “buzz”
  • Deepen engagement
  • Nurture prospective customers through email capture or text opt-in
  • Drive customer conversion and sales

If your brand is trying to engage with Millennials and Gen-Z, you must execute in a way that feels authentic and relevant. Below are eight tips for capturing the attention of these demographics, while also creating a lasting impression that will keep your brand top-of-mind.

1. Make It Easy

Don’t ask for too much from entrants. When utilizing an online entry form, minimize the number of form fields to increase completion rates. Only ask for the information that is absolutely necessary. The more questions you ask, the less likely your participants are to complete the form. When entering an online sweepstakes, your entrants will weigh the amount of effort against the value of the reward, and you want to balance that scale in your favor. Whenever possible, integrate a social sign-in option to further ease the process.

2. Ensure the Prize Feels Attainable

Wondering what factors influence participation? According to a report from HelloWorld, 72% of people will enter an online sweepstakes if the odds of winning are high. Sixty-seven percent of people will enter based on the size and price value of the reward. As you can see, it’s important to structure your sweepstakes in a way that makes the prize seem both attainable and valuable. Consider offering a higher volume of a mid-range prizes to increase the likelihood of participation (as opposed to offering one top-tier prize).

3. Bigger Isn’t Always Better

While second to the odds of winning, the actual prize is important. When choosing between gift cards, physical products, or experiences, it’s important to know who you’re targeting in order to align the prize with potential interest from the desired audience. To help inform your decision, you can simply survey a subset of customers on what types of prizes and incentives would motivate them to participate. And don’t worry if your budget is tight, the prize is not the sole driver of participation—a quality and meaningful prize is key.

4. Bring the Prize to Life

If Millennials and Gen-Z are able to physically see what they might win, it becomes more tangible. Consider announcing or promoting the online sweepstakes at physical events.

5. Lean into the Power of Social

In addition to utilizing your brand-owned channels to promote the online sweepstakes, you should also encourage entrants to share the sweepstakes with their social networks. If your budget allows, utilize relevant, brand-right social influencers to increase awareness within your target audience. Newer or small brands will especially benefit from the automatic validation of being associated with a well-known peer or public figure.

6. Optimize Your Entry Page for Mobile

Millennials and Gen-Z use their phones more frequently than their laptops, so having your sweepstakes’ entry page be mobile-optimized is critical. Don’t make the assumption that participants will be entering the sweepstakes on their laptop, especially if you’re collecting entries at a physical event. Make the entry experience both smooth and intuitive. If your website is confusing, people will likely drop off and participation will decrease.

7. Bit.ly or URL

On the topic of mobile, if collecting entries at a physical activation or extending the reach through social, ensure that the website is easy to access and remember. URL shorteners like Bit.ly allow you to shorten and customize the link, which also makes it easier to share.

Like other tactics, online sweepstakes can be extremely effective when used as a part of your overall marketing strategy. Consumer facing brands, as well as many business-to-business enterprises, can take advantage of sweepstakes by using the seven tips highlighted above.



Want to engage the coveted Millennial and Gen-Z demographics? Finding the right partner is key to your success. Here at YMC, we’ve been helping brands connect with 15- to 29-year-old consumers for two decades—and we’d be happy to share our wealth of knowledge with you. Contact us today!

5 Things to Look for When Recruiting a Campus Rep

Recruiting and selecting campus reps can be tricky business. It doesn’t matter how much strategy and thought went into the campaign—if you select the wrong campus reps, it can be detrimental. With different brands looking for different qualities in campus reps, it’s important to do your research. Here are the five qualities to look for in every campus rep.

1. Brand Fitcampus rep

To effectively represent a brand, it is vital that the student fits the brand. Every brand has its own personality—some are bubbly, pink, and fun, while others are green, wholesome, and all-natural. A campus rep for the former brand should come across as lively, feminine, and confident, while a campus rep for the latter brand should come across as environmentally conscious, inclusive, and genuine. In addition, potential campus reps should have interests and career goals that align with the brand. A student who is studying dermatology would be a great fit to represent a skin care line, while a student athlete would be great fit to represent an athletic wear brand. Finding a campus rep who embodies the brand doesn’t just lead to his or her individual success, it ensures the success of the entire program.

2. On-Campus Involvement

Strong campus reps are deeply involved on campus. Typically, campus reps are not freshmen; most first-year students haven’t yet developed a large enough network or the confidence needed to influence their peers. Upperclassmen tend to be more involved and have had the opportunity to take on leadership roles within their respective organizations.

Involvement in Greek life, in particular, is a major benefit. A sorority or fraternity chapter at a large school can have up to 400 active members, making it easy for members of these organizations to influence fellow members. In addition to Greek life, involvement in other on-campus clubs is very important. The kind of clubs that a student is involved in typically reflect their interests, which can help determine whether a candidate will be a good fit for a particular brand. Whether these clubs are academic, philanthropic, or social, these student groups make up a large and direct network that campus reps are able to influence.

3. Event Planning Experience

Event execution is essential to bringing a brand to life. Campus reps typically host 3-7 events per year to (re)introduce the brand, encourage student engagement, and create memorable moments with peers. For these events to be successful, having the proper experience is a must.

Campus reps must strategically determine where and when to host their events. Events executed in high-traffic foot areas typically perform better, as more students are able to directly interact with the brand and indirectly gain awareness. Prior event planning experience is particularly beneficial to informing these decisions. Students typically gain event planning experience from their involvement in on-campus organizations or through jobs and internships. Campus reps that not only have event planning experience but love the event planning process tend to execute their events at a higher level.

4. Digital Footprint

A great campus rep has a strong presence on campus and online—they’re micro influencers. Through their social networks, they are able to successfully reach and influence hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of their peers at once. This influence is created through an engaged social media following, a strategic and unique posting style, and an informed knowledge of the overall digital landscape gleaned from relevant internships and job experience. High-quality, brand-related posts often motivate and inspire like-minded students to further engage with the brand, increasing perception and purchase consideration for years to come.

5. Interview Skills

An interview further ensures that a potential campus rep is the correct fit for the brand. Interviews help you further understand the individual’s personality, evaluate how their experiences relate to the responsibilities of the position, and gauge their overall excitement towards the brand. The recruitment process is often lengthy, as finding the perfect candidates to meet the needs of both the campaign and the brand takes time. However, the benefits of hiring the correct candidates are exponential—a true influencer creates additional influencers, which can in turn take your brand’s awareness and relevance within the Millennial and Gen-Z market to the next level.

Many campus reps will go above and beyond the responsibilities of the position to ensure that the brand resonates with their peer networks. You’ll be able to easily spot this campus rep because of their outgoing spirit, expressed dedication to the campaign, and how well their aesthetic meshes with the brand. These reps can in fact be so on-brand and add so much value that they move into full-time positions with the brand following the completion of the campaign.



Want to recruit campus reps that are the perfect fit for your brand? Finding the right partner is key to your success. Here at YMC, we’ve been helping brands connect with 15- to 29-year-old consumers for two decades—we’d be happy to share our wealth of knowledge with you. Contact us today!