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15 Super-Effective Contest Promotion Ideas (Most Are Free!)

Last Updated on October 16, 2020 by Editorial Team

Are you looking for contest promotion ideas? If you promote your giveaway contest to the right audience, you’ll not only attract more entries but also build a targeted list of leads for your business.

There are lots of ways to promote your raffle contest, and we’ll share some of the best (and mostly free) contest promotion ideas with you in this article.

Let’s check out these 11 super-effective contest promotion ideas, from planning and creating the contest to getting as many entries as you can before time runs out!

Because this is a long article, we’ve created a handy table of contents of marketing ideas for contest promotion so you can skip to the part that interests you:

  1. Require Sharing on Social Media
  2. Optimize Your Contest Landing Page
  3. Redirect Visitors to Your Contest Landing Page
  4. Send Emails to Your Subscribers
  5. Submit to Sweepstakes and Contest Directories
  6. Add Links to Your Social Media Bios
  7. Post Your Giveaway on Your Facebook Page
  8. Promote Your Contest on Instagram
  9. Share It on Other Social Media Platforms
  10. Share Your Contest in Online Communities
  11. Create and Share a Simple Video
  12. Try Influencer Outreach
  13. Use Facebook and Instagram Ads
  14. Invest in Google Ads
  15. Don’t Forget Offline Marketing

Ready? Let’s get started with the easiest contest promotion ideas to go viral…

1. Require Sharing on Social Media

When you’re building your giveaway with RafflePress, you can require people to share the contest to earn more entries.

Contest promotion idea: Run a viral giveaway with social media sharing

For each person that enters to win, you can multiply your leads if they’re sharing the contest with their friends. This is the easiest way to go viral.

When you’re choosing how people can enter your contest, make sure to keep in mind your main goal.

For example, if your goal is to get leads to sign up for your email address, then you should encourage them to subscribe by giving that action more value in RafflePress.

You can even make it mandatory to subscribe to enter your raffle contest. This way, you can boost your chances to go viral, while still growing your email list.

Grow your email list with viral giveaways

2. Optimize Your Contest Landing Page

Once you’ve designed your giveaway contest, you’ll need to create a contest landing page on your website.

Your landing page is the link you’ll share when promoting your contest using all the tactics below.

Creating a contest landing page is easy with RafflePress. When creating a giveaway with RafflePress, you simply choose a custom URL for your landing page (such as www.example.com/spring-giveaway),  and RafflePress will generate the landing page for you.

You can customize the background color and image of the landing page if you wish.

View your giveaway contest live!

You can create a blog post about your giveaway with all the details, or a dedicated landing page without sidebars or other distracting elements. Read more tips about creating the perfect landing page here.

Some WordPress themes come with landing page templates, but if yours doesn’t, you can easily create a landing page with a drag and drop page builder. Your landing page should include contest details and at least one attention-grabbing image of your contest prize.

Your contest landing page or blog post should include:

  • a description of the contest
  • how to enter the contest
  • what the grand prize is (for example, a gift card)
  • when the giveaway will end
  • how the winners will be selected

For all the details you need to include, see our complete guide on how to create an online contest.

Now that you’ve created your contest landing page, you’re ready to start promoting it with the giveaway contest ideas we share below.

3. Redirect Visitors to Your Contest Landing Page

Everyone who visits your website is a potential lead. You’ll need to let them know about your giveaway so they can enter.

You could do this by adding links to your giveaway contest throughout your site, but links aren’t very noticeable, plus you’ll have to remove them after the contest is over. Adding and removing links for the possibility of a few entries isn’t a good use of your time.

The easiest way to promote your contest on your website is by using OptinMonster to create popups, floating bars, and other campaigns.

This way you can easily grab the attention of all your visitors and entice them to enter your contest.

A floating bar is a great way to do this because it stays in place and doesn’t distract your visitors from reading.

Use a floating bar as a way to promote your contest on your website

But what about if a visitor is going to leave without entering your giveaway?

You can create an exit-intent popup to capture their full attention right before they leave your site for good. For example, KnivesShipFree.com convinced over 8% of their visitors to enter their giveaway using a simple OptinMonster campaign:

an exit intent popup is a proven contest promotion idea

You’ll want to use a countdown timer on your campaigns so visitors know they should enter now, and not wait.

You can also schedule your campaigns to automatically stop showing when the giveaway ends, saving you a lot of time and effort.

4. Send Emails to Your Subscribers

Your email list has all your biggest fans. These loyal subscribers are the people who are most likely to sign up for your contest and share it with their friends. So, you should send an email to them to promote your sweet giveaway.

With an excellent email marketing service, you can easily design an eye-catching email to promote your contest, much like the simple contest idea below from Anker.

Anker uses email as a way to promote their contest giveaway

We recommend sending at least 2 emails:

  1. Send the first email right when your contest opens
  2. Send another email a day before the contest closes, to give subscribers one more chance to win

Be sure to include a strong call to action with a link to your contest landing page.

Don’t have an email list yet? Build one and start to grow your email list today! That way, when your contest goes live, you already have an engaged audience to promote it to.

Now that you’ve promoted your contest to your existing audience, it’s time to reach new people around the web.

5. Submit to Sweepstakes and Contest Directories

One of the most straightforward contest promotion ideas is to submit to sweepstakes and contest directories. These websites will link directly to your promotion. Plus, they already have a massive audience of their own who check out their sites daily for new freebies.

Submitting your contest to online contest directories will give your giveaway lots of exposure to a new audience. It’s also a great way to find fun contest ideas for your customers while learning how to promote your contest.

Submit your giveaway to contest directories to promote it and find fun contest ideas

Check out these sweepstakes and contest directories where you can promote your contest for free:

It should just take a minute or two to submit your giveaway to each one.

Once you’ve submitted it to the best contest directories, it’s time to take your contest to social media.

Before you get started posting your giveaway on all your social media accounts, take a minute to update your bio.

This is a smart contest marketing idea most people don’t think of, but it can get great results since your bio is so prominent.

Here’s a simple example from Hudson Sutler and their Instagram giveaway contest idea:

Adding a link to your social media bios is a great contest promotion idea

If you have space, try to include some enticing information about your giveaway prizes.

7. Post Your Giveaway on Your Facebook Page

Next, a free and easy way to promote your social media contest is by posting it on your Facebook Business Page.

Create a post to share on your Facebook timeline that includes an eye-catching photo, a brief description of the type of contest, and what people can win. And of course, include a link to enter your contest.

Take a look at how Amir and Aleks – Real Estate Team does it with this Facebook giveaway post. They include a short description of the prize, how to enter, and a link to enter the giveaway. Plus, the use of emojis really grabs the attention of users online.

example of promoting a giveaway on facebook

Also included is a high-quality photo of the prize (image of the restaurant) with text over the top to let users know this is a giveaway post. You can create a similar photo using a free online image editing tool like Canva.

an image to promote a contest on facebook

On your page, you can pin the post so everyone visiting your page will see you’re running a contest.

Pin your contest to the top of your Facebook page to promote your giveaway

Then you can also share it on your personal timeline so your friends and family can help spread the word.

Bonus giveaway contest promotion tip: Aside from creating posts to promote your giveaway, you can also create a custom cover photo to market your contest.

To create your own, head to Canva again and choose the Facebook cover template. You can choose any of their pre-designed templates, upload an image of your prize, and customize the text to create a giveaway Facebook cover that fits your brand.

Note: Make sure to review Facebook’s giveaway policies before you get started since they require you to include certain information in your posts.

For more Facebook contest ideas, check this guide out.

8. Promote Your Contest on Instagram

Instagram is the perfect social media platform to promote your contest because it’s so visual.

You’ll need to create a post on Instagram that includes a beautiful image to catch the attention of users, as well as a description of the contest. You can easily create a nice image like the one below using Canva.

Instagram doesn’t let you link to individual posts, but you can provide instructions on how to enter the contest, or just direct them to click the link in your bio (you did add the link in step 6, right?).

Don’t forget to add hashtags to widen your reach such as #giveaway, #contest, or #freebies. The right giveaway hashtags can make your contest go viral.

You can use up to 30 hashtags on your post, so go wild! Be sure to research each hashtag to see if you’re using it correctly, and make sure it will help you reach the right audience when learning how to promote your contest.

how to promote a giveaway on instagram

Bonus Contest Promotion Tip: Use Instagram Stories

You can also create an Instagram Story to promote your contest to your followers as well. Instagram Stories get a ton of engagement. Instagram Stories are used by 500 million users every day.

One big benefit of Instagram Stories is they include a swipe-up link. So all a user has to do is swipe up on your Story and they’ll go straight to your contest landing page.

9. Share It on Other Social Media Platforms

While Facebook and Instagram are typically the most effective social media platforms for contest marketing, don’t forget about the others.

You can promote your contest to a ton of people on Twitter, Pinterest, and even LinkedIn if you’re running a B2B contest.

Twitter Giveaway Contest Promotion

Twitter can be a great place to promote your contest if you want to build your following on the platform. Promoting your giveaway on Twitter will work best if your target audience is younger. Nearly half of U.S. adults who use Twitter are aged between 18 and 29 years, usage among U.S. adults drops as age increases.

Send out some tweets announcing your giveaway that includes a link to your contest page and a good hashtag such as #WIN or #giveaway. Unlike on Facebook, your posts on Twitter are limited to 280 characters, so keep your tweets short and sweet by only including what’s necessary.

You can learn how to write a viral tweet here.

If you want your tweet to stand out in feeds, be sure to include an image. Tweets with images receive 18% more click throughs, 89% more likes, and 150% more retweets.

Remember, timing is everything when it comes to Twitter. Check out the image below to find out what time of the day your tweet will get the most engagement.

what's the best time to tweet a giveaway?

Pinterest Contest Promotion

Promoting a giveaway on Pinterest is great strategy if you want to attract a female target audience. According to statistics, 79.5% of Pinterest users are female. Pinterest calls these female users “deciders” because they make 80% of the buying decisions in U.S. households. So, if you want to promote a giveaway prize and generate more sales for your business, create a pin on Pinterest.

To grab the attention of users, be sure to create an awesome Pinterest image. You can use the same image for created for your Instagram post in tip #8, but according to Pinterest, the optimal Pinterest image is vertical (taller than it is wide, about 735 X 1102 px). A vertical image is a Pinterest best practice.

You can also learn how to run a Pinterest contest here to go with this great promo idea.

LinkedIn Giveaway Promotion

For B2B contests, LinkedIn is a great place to promote your giveaway to your business connections.

For this promo idea, Include an image to grab the attention of your connections, a brief description of the giveaway, and a link to your giveaway. Don’t forget you can add hashtags on LinkedIn too. Add a hashtag like #giveaway or #contest and consider adding hashtags to attract users in relevant industries.

For instance, in the example below from Lead, they added #datascience and #bigdata to attract an audience interested in and searching for those topics on LinkedIn.

Promoting a giveaway on LinkedIn to get more followers

When promoting your contest on social media, remember to check the contest guidelines for each platform.

10. Share Your Contest in Online Communities

You can promote your contest or giveaway in online communities like subreddits on Reddit

In addition to sharing the contest on social media, share it in online communities. Online communities like Reddit have subtopics like /r/Contest where anyone can promote a contest or giveaway. Find topics relating to your niche and your target audience, check out the rules they have for promoting contests, and promote your giveaway there.

You can also search the internet for other online communities related to your niche. Simply type in something like “knitting forums” (but replace “knitting” with your actual niche) into the Google search bar to find more online communities you can join.

Facebook also has groups dedicated to specific topics where you can find a ton of your target audience to promote your contest to.

11. Create and Share a Simple Video

Promote your giveaway with an announcement video

Did you know 1200% more shares are generated by social videos than text and images combined?

That’s why using video is such an effective contest promotion ideas.

You might think it would be difficult to create a video to promote your contest, but it’s not. When learning how to market your contest, by using only your smartphone, you can easily create a quick video to share on YouTube or your social media accounts.

Your video should include:

  • Prize details
  • Information on how to enter
  • A call-to-action (for example, tell users to click the link in the description to enter the giveaway)

Be sure your video has good lighting whether it’s natural or artificial, is filmed in front of an attractive background (clean your messy room!), and your appearance is camera-ready.

Bonus Contest Promotion Tip: Live Video

Live videos can get great engagement from your audience. With Instagram Live and Facebook Live, you can interact with your viewers in real-time which is a great way to connect with your audience. Plus, a live video announcement will stir up a lot of excitement around your contest.

For your live video, you can include information on how to enter the giveaway, prize details (even better, show the prize itself) and also take questions from your audience.

If you like, you can even run a video contest for a lot more engagement.

Now that you’ve used all your own channels to promote your giveaway, it’s time to reach out for help. Here’s how…

12. Try Influencer Outreach

When you partner up with others to promote your giveaway, it can boost your entries even more.

To get started, you’ll need to find bloggers with a big audience interested in what you’re offering up. For instance, if your contest prize is a new camera, look for photography bloggers. Reach out to the bloggers you find with a personalized email and explain how your contest will benefit the blogger and their readers.

To be successful, it will need to be a win-win-win partnership benefitting you, the blogger, and their audience. Think about how to present those benefits when you reach out to influencers.

Here’s an example of an influencer outreach email posted on Search Engine Journal.

example of a giveaway promotion email

Similar to blogger outreach, you can also partner with YouTubers to promote your contest to a whole new audience. Find YouTube channels related to your niche and reach out to the ones who have a decent amount of subscribers, views, and engagement.

If you know your target audience is very active on a certain social media platform like Pinterest or Instagram, you can reach out to influencers on those platforms as well. If you’re new to the world of influencers, check out this influencer marketing guide for beginners.

Alright, now that you’ve spread the word on your own platforms and also reached out to form partnerships, there’s one more successful contest promotion strategy to try: paid promotion.

Here’s how to get started.

13. Use Facebook and Instagram Ads

To reach an even bigger audience on social media, consider creating Facebook or Instagram ads. Facebook ads will not only allow you to promote your contest to more people online, but they also let you target the exact type of people most interested in your giveaway by criteria such as gender, age, location, interests, and more.

If ads are a little too complicated for you, you can simply boost your contest Facebook post. Boosting your post shows it to more users and costs as little as $5.

Use google ads to promote your giveaway online

Aside from ads on social media, you can also push your contest to more people online with Google Ads. With Google Ads, you can get your contest featured on the Google search results of users who are searching for the exact keywords you want to target. This will make it easier to get more entries from people who have never heard of your business before.

Last but not least, there’s a whole wide world off the internet where you can spread the word about your content! Here’s how:

15. Don’t Forget Offline Marketing

Don’t forget about promoting your contest to people in real life, too!

Consider creating flyers to hand out at local events or posters you can put up in community centers or other businesses. You can also use offline marketing to promote your contest to your existing customers by adding promotional cards to the packages you send out.

Now that you’ve got a ton of awesome contest promotion ideas, your contest is sure to make a splash online. Remember, begin promoting your giveaway before it goes live so you’ll get a ton of entries on day 1.

After you choose the winner or people vote for their favorite entry, don’t leave your audience hanging! Be sure to announce the winner on your website and all of your social media accounts.

With these tips, your contest will be such a success, you’ll want to start brainstorming new contest ideas right away.

And if you’re specifically looking for sports marketing and promotion ideas, this guide should help.


  1. Josep-Oriol Tomas says:

    How the winners are usually selected? Does the plugin include some automation for this?

  2. Steven Schroedl says:

    Thank you for this article. We purchased Raffle Press on Sept 12, 2019, and our first Giveaway ends today. Your product is easy to install and setup, so thank you. I have watched and reviewed your training material, but I am not sure if you have this feature, I am hoping to have an email go out to everyone who has entered to notify of who won, and include a discount code to those who did not win also tell them about the next Giveaway that will be active to keep them engaged. I will use the information about Sweepstakes and Contest Directories to help get more awareness of the Giveaway. Thank you.

    1. Francis says:

      Hi Steven,

      Thanks for the comment. The plugin does not send bulk email. However, if you will use an integration, for example, Mailchimp there is an option to send people straight to your email service provider as soon as they register for the giveaway. You can refer to this article: https://rafflepress.com/docs/mailchimp/

      Article in selecting the random winner: https://rafflepress.com/docs/giveaway-drawing-winners/

  3. KS TAN says:

    Hi, can I type other language other than English? Like Chinese inside the landing page / form

    1. Francis says:


      It will display what you enter and you can translate the plugin like:

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.


  4. Oliver says:

    Hi guys – I would like to send out coupons to our customers, that have a unique, single-use code on the back. The customer would then redeem this code on our website to enter themselves into our prize draw.

    Is there any way to achieve this with rafflepress (for example using other integrations)?

    1. Francis says:


      Unfortunately, there is no option to achieve this with RafflePress. We have added it to our list to look into.

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