3 Brands Using Action-Gated Social Media Contests Successfully

This content discusses the concept of action-gating and provides three examples of successful action-gated contests using social media promotions.

By Dana Kilroy ・3 min read
Social Media

Lately we've been talking a lot about action-gating. Action-gating is when you ask users for information and then reward your audience after they fill out a form, sign up for a newsletter, vote or perform some other action.

It is different from, and better than, Like-gating. Sometimes it can be hard to visualize something until you see it in action (see what I did there?!), so today we have three examples of successful action-gated contests.

One of the easiest ways to action-gate a campaign is to use a promotion, so all three of these examples are of social media promotions.

Example #1: Multi-Language Photo Vote Contest

In this example FreshBuzz Media, a full-service digital marketing agency, created a multi-language summer photo-vote contest for Jules Wine and Le Grand Cros.

What kind of action-gating was used? Participants were asked to submit a photo and photo caption in one of the following categories:

• Most artistic picture of our products

• Best food pairing with rosé or any of our wines

• Most idyllic place to enjoy rosé or any of our wines

• Most sexy summer rosé shot

Tip: When you collect images from your audience you gain the rights to those images (though you should make clear how you intend to use them when writing the rules of your contest). Collecting images is a great if you're looking for marketing materials for pamphlets, brochures, your website or social media posts. The campaign included a second action-gate that allowed people to vote on their favorite photo.

Tip: Asking your audience to vote on user-generated content provides insight into the interests and likes of your potential customers.

Why was the promotion successful?

• Jules Wine and Le Grand Cos' promotion appealed to both local and international audiences. Entrants could choose to view the promotion in French or English.

• They asked for a minimal amount of information in order to enter, lowering the risk that people would abandon the contest.

• Entrants could upload a photo straight from their computer or from their Instagram account providing multiple uploading options.

• Entrants had the choice to opt in to receive additional offers, contests and updates from Jules Wines and Le Grand Cros.

• The rules and guidelines were clearly stated.

Tip: Asking entrants to opt in to a newsletter in addition to collecting an email address doubles your lead growth. Even if they don't opt-in to your newsletter you can collect their email address and use it to target another marketing campaign.

Example #2: Essay Contest

In this example, online supermarket, Ocado, created an essay contest for their audience.

What kind of action-gating was used?

Ocado required their audience to provide their name, email address, postal code, telephone number and they had to answer the question, "If you were to open a restaurant, what would you call it and why?" Ocado also asked their audience how they heard about the contest and whether they were currently a customer.

Why was the promotion successful?

• Ocado's action-gate asked for relevant information that the audience would be more willing to provide since it related to their brand.

• They offered a valuable (but relevant) prize of a Michelin-starred dinner party.

• Their contest and the steps needed to enter were easy to understand.

• They published their promotion to the web and drove traffic to it from their social networks and blog.

• They asked their audience where they had heard about their promotion, allowing Ocado to see which of their marketing channels were most successful.

Tip: Publishing your Campaign to the web allows your entire online audience to enter with ease. When you restrict your promotions to Facebook, you're held back by Facebook guidelines. We've embedded a copy of this Campaign below.

Click here to see this Campaign on the web!

**Please note that this Campaign is not live and you cannot enter to win.

Example #3: Sweepstakes

In our final example we're going back to FreshBuzz Media and showing a sweepstakes campaign that they recently ran for SunsetSavor The Central Coast.

What kind of action-gating was used?

For this promotion, FreshBuzz Media and Sunset Savor The Central Coast chose a traditional action-gate that included asking for entrants' Name, Email and Zip Code.

Tip: Don't clutter your forms with a lot of entry barriers. The fewer questions you can ask your audience, the better.

Why was the promotion successful?

• Sunset Savor the Central Coast played off of a local event which happens to be their popular food and wine festival in San Luis Obispo.

• The promotion was easy to navigate and well designed.

• They published the Campaign to the web and to Facebook to reach more of their online audience.

• They included opt-in opportunities for entrants.

Tip: Give your audience more chances to win by rewarding them for sharing the promotion or filling out additional form fields.

Click here to see this Campaign on the web!

**Please note that this Campaign is not live and you cannot still enter to win.

Are you running a successful action-gated Campaign? Link us to it in the comments so we can check it out! We're always looking for well-executed Campaigns to feature right here on Socially Stacked.

About the author

By Dana Kilroy ・3 min read

Dana Sullivan Kilroy is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience delivering compelling content. Her work has appeared in national, award-winning publications and sites, including: The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Fast Company, Inc.

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