Sweepstakes marketing can be very successful. It is challenging, has pitfalls, and requires a comprehensive strategy. It can form a key part of a marketing strategy.
Answering your questions:
Yes we run giveaways, we use the platform viralsweep.com integrating to aweber.com to build awareness of our shopify store.
We give away product and also coupon codes.
They run on FB and IG, and also outside of social media.
We run about 1 giveaway per month, and we have one that has been running for a few months continuously (instant-win prize).
Prizes can be $100 gift card, $500 gift card (for our ecom store), product, or coupon codes.
The purpose is to keep our sales funnel busy with new leads. This is a lead magnet, part of our funnel. Our primary goal is to build our email list.
Social Media is part of the solution, but not our end-goal. Our end-goal is product exposure, and building our contact list. Money in the bank is the end-goal.
Sometimes we require a survey completion, which forces the entrant to browse our product and comment on the items, to give feedback and select the item they prefer to win. This creates consumer awareness and engagement. Usually they can gain more entries via “viral” activities, refer a friend etc.
Sometimes the sweepstakes is not on our social media. Sometimes we use paid advertising with FB, IG and others. Sometime the sweepstakes is completely off-line (operating in the physical world, face-to-face). Often we get tons of FREE website traffic from non-social media sources during these events.
Yes, these contacts are generally low quality, because they are responding to an incentive. They they are not active shoppers, as you might get from a google shopping keyword. However, we sell many products that almost any female would like to wear. So if we capture their email, one day they might want to purchase our product. Our challenge is to provide engaging opportunities to them via our sales funnel.
Once you determine how to succeed (you need to define “success”), you can benefit from this marketing strategy. Be creative. For example: to preserve engagement on your main Social Media accounts, you may consider having separate social media accounts for sweepstakes marketing.
Many people underestimate Sweepstakes, and have limited thinking on the topic. Yes all the negative points are correct, and should be respected. You will not succeed at sweepstakes marketing with a negative perspective. If you have the right products (broad appeal items), you can find marketing solutions.
I quickly browsed a few competitors who also use sweepstakes to show a working example on Instagram. I’ll send you a link via PM. If you read the tags/comments, and look at the profiles of the Instagram commenters, you will see that they are generally shoppers. These are solid leads for their business.
It’s a challenging and rewarding path. Good luck, wishing you lots of fun and success!
tldr; Sweepstakes can be an excellent tool for successful marketing.