30 Ballot Ideas in 30 Minutes


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Discover 30 ideas and strategies that will improve your ballots and strengthen your promotions program as a whole.

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30 Ballot Ideas in 30 Minutes

  1. 1. #PromotionsLab
  2. 2. #PromotionsLab Presenters Julie Foley Director of Affiliate Success Second Street @julie_foley Paul West VP of Customer Relations Second Street Matt Coen President & Co-Founder Second Street @mcoen
  3. 3. #PromotionsLab Who We Are
  4. 4. #PromotionsLab Our Partners
  5. 5. #PromotionsLab Why Online Promotions? Source:BorrellAssociates InBillions $0 $10 $20 $30 $40 $50 $60 $70 $80 $90 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
  6. 6. #PromotionsLab Q&A Follow @secondstreetlab on Twitter! Want to win an exclusive prize? Tweet the most with our hashtag #PromotionsLab Note: We are recording this webinar and you will receive an email with links to the recording.
  7. 7. #PromotionsLab TOP BALLOT CATEGORIES
  8. 8. #PromotionsLab METRO BALLOT1
  9. 9. #PromotionsLab Metro Ballot The ballot generated $170,000 in revenue. Of this, $30,000 was from the category ads on the digital ballot.” -Blair Barna, Advertising Director & Co-Owner “ 1 Charleston City Paper | Charleston, South Carolina
  11. 11. #PromotionsLab High School Sports Awards Ballot The ballot collected more than 1,000 email addresses and received more than 20,000 votes. We believe that it will become an annual event!” -Vince Johnson, Chief Multimedia Officer “ 2 The Signal | Santa Clarita Valley, California
  12. 12. #PromotionsLab HOLIDAY BALLOT3
  13. 13. #PromotionsLab Holiday Ballot The Best of Holiday Shopping ballot generated $70,000. We nearly doubled our revenue from last year!” -Tammy Burdick, Senior Market Analyst “ 3 The Roanoke Times | Roanoke, Virginia
  14. 14. #PromotionsLab WEDDING BALLOT4
  15. 15. #PromotionsLab Wedding Ballot A wedding ballot should cover every aspect of the wedding, from the venues to the florists to the caterers, DJs, accessories, and more. TIP: 4 Charlotte Wedding | Charlotte, North Carolina
  16. 16. #PromotionsLab FOOD BALLOT5
  17. 17. #PromotionsLab Food Ballot5 WBFF-TV | Baltimore, Maryland TIP: Organize the ballot so that the same restaurant could potentially win Best Bakery, Best Cupcakes, and Best Place to Take a Date.
  18. 18. #PromotionsLab SPORTS AWARDS BALLOT6
  19. 19. #PromotionsLab Sports Awards Ballot6 The Elkhart Truth | Elkhart, Indiana Category Ideas: • Best Offensive Player • Best Defensive Player • Best Tailgate Spot • Best Tailgate Food • Best Place to Watch a Game • Best Place to Celebrate a Win • Best Hotel
  20. 20. #PromotionsLab FAMILY FAVORITES BALLOT7
  21. 21. #PromotionsLab Family Favorites Ballot7 MetroFamily Magazine | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma TIP: Honor your finalists and winners with thank you ads. MetroFamily increased their sales 81% over the previous year as a result of thank you ads.
  22. 22. #PromotionsLab LOCAL EVENT BALLOT8
  23. 23. #PromotionsLab Local Event Ballot -Marty Carry, Vice President, Advertising“ 8 State Journal-Register | Springfield, Illinois As a result of the ballot, we were able to secure new partnerships with a local bank and the Springfield Mass Transit District as well as many other small businesses.”
  24. 24. #PromotionsLab BATTLE OF THE BANDS BALLOT9
  25. 25. #PromotionsLab Battle of the Bands Ballot9 Charleston City Paper | Charleston, South Carolina TIP: Offer a prize package that includes an opportunity to perform at an event or venue. It’s a great incentive for local bands.
  26. 26. #PromotionsLab THEMATIC DEEP DIVE10
  27. 27. #PromotionsLab Thematic Deep Dive10 Madison Magazine | Madison, Wisconsin Theme ideas: • Best Bachelor • Blogs • Comics • Food Trucks • Small Business • Surveys
  28. 28. #PromotionsLab REVENUE STRATEGIES
  29. 29. #PromotionsLab RUN YOUR BALLOT ONLINE11
  30. 30. #PromotionsLab 11 The Signal increased the number of votes they received from 2,000 to more than 115,000 when they moved their metro ballot online.Result: Run Your Ballot Online The Signal | Santa Clarita, California
  31. 31. #PromotionsLab CREATE AN INTEGRATED CAMPAIGN12
  32. 32. #PromotionsLab Create an Integrated Campaign12 Found at secondstreetlab.com/packages Include all of your assets: print, online, email campaigns, social media, and mobile. Tip:
  33. 33. #PromotionsLab CATEGORY SPONSORS13
  34. 34. #PromotionsLab 13 In a mid-sized market, you could charge $200/week for this type of sponsorship on your ballot. TIP: Category Sponsor Orlando Weekly | Orlando, Florida
  35. 35. #PromotionsLab UPGRADED LISTING14
  36. 36. #PromotionsLab 14 In a mid-size market, you could charge each sponsor a $149 flat fee for an upgraded listing. This includes an image, phone number, address, website, and Facebook & Twitter buttons. TIP: Upgraded Listing Oklahoma Gazette | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  37. 37. #PromotionsLab TITLE SPONSOR15
  38. 38. #PromotionsLab Title Sponsor15 The Commercial Appeal | Memphis, Tennessee TIP: In a mid-size market, you could charge a title sponsor $499/week for the duration of the ballot.
  39. 39. #PromotionsLab TIE IN WITH SPECIAL SECTION16
  40. 40. #PromotionsLab 16 Publish a special section or issue announcing the winners of your ballot. Members of your audience will save it to refer back to throughout the year. TIP: Tie in with Special Section Charlotte Wedding | Charlotte, North Carolina
  41. 41. #PromotionsLab HOST A LIVE EVENT17
  42. 42. #PromotionsLab Host a Live Event17 Charlotte Wedding | Charlotte, North Carolina TIP: Invite your winning advertisers to your event. It celebrates their accomplishments while showcasing your product. Photo by: BlueSky Studios"
  43. 43. #PromotionsLab RUN AN ECOMMERCE STORE18
  44. 44. #PromotionsLab Run an Ecommerce Store18 Record-Journal | Meriden, Connecticut Running this special deals store for one week generated an impressive $18,229 in gross revenue – 23% more than the previous month’s revenue. Result:
  45. 45. #PromotionsLab ACTIVATE NEW ADVERTISERS19
  46. 46. #PromotionsLab 19 Activate New Advertisers MetroFamily Magazine | Oklahoma City, Oklhoma Utilize the list of write-ins generated during the nomination period as a list of advertiser leads for the sales team to use to sell sponsorships and expanded listings for your ballot. TIP:
  48. 48. #PromotionsLab 20 Sell Upgraded Listings to Winners The Signal | Santa Clarita, California Sell the winning merchants an upgraded listing to include on your ballot’s winners page. TIP:
  49. 49. #PromotionsLab PROMOTIONAL STRATEGIES
  50. 50. #PromotionsLab PLAN AHEAD21
  51. 51. #PromotionsLab Plan Ahead21 Found at secondstreetlab.com/calendar TIP: Start planning your ballot a year in advance. This will give your team time to strategize, sell, and execute your ballot.
  52. 52. #PromotionsLab NOMINATION PERIOD22
  53. 53. #PromotionsLab 22 Nomination Period Charleston City Paper | Charleston, South Carolina The nomination period added an extra four weeks to the ballot, and meant that by the time we got to the official voting period there was already a huge amount of buzz.” -Blair Barna, Advertising Director & Co-Owner“
  54. 54. #PromotionsLab PROMOTE WITH EVERYTHING23
  55. 55. #PromotionsLab Promote with Everything23 The Signal | Santa Clarita, California Tip: A mix of banner ads, emails, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, Tweets, and Instagram posts helped to reach the target audience.
  56. 56. #PromotionsLab CREATE A HASHTAG24
  57. 57. #PromotionsLab 24 Create a Hashtag Charleston City Paper | Charleston, South Carolina Create a unique #hashtag so users can find all of the tweets related to the promotion. TIP:
  58. 58. #PromotionsLab EMBED CONTENT INTO YOUR BALLOT25
  59. 59. #PromotionsLab Embed Content Into Your Ballot25 Charleston City Paper | Charleston, South Carolina Embedded content – such as videos from YouTube and Vimeo – adds a high level of social engagement to your ballot. TIP:
  61. 61. #PromotionsLab Merchant Marketing Materials26 NUVO | Indianapolis, Indiana Create “Vote for Me” ads that your merchants can post to social media or print out and place in their business.TIP:
  63. 63. #PromotionsLab Enter Your Voters Into a Sweepstakes27 Quad-City Times | Davenport, Iowa TIP: Offering a daily prize encourages voters to return to your ballot to vote each day of the voting period.
  64. 64. #PromotionsLab HAVE CRITICS’ & PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNERS28
  65. 65. #PromotionsLab 28 Have Critics’ & People’s Choice Winners Charleston City Paper | Charleston, South Carolina TIP: Give your critics the opportunity to weigh in on each category. This can help preserve the integrity of your ballot.
  66. 66. #PromotionsLab CREATE WINNERS MATERIALS29
  67. 67. #PromotionsLab Create Winners Materials29 The Southern Illinoisan | Carbondale, Illinois TIP: Award certificates displaying your ballots logo to the top three winners – not just the winner – for each category.
  69. 69. #PromotionsLab Make Your Ballot a Year Round Destination30 San Diego Union-Tribune | San Diego, California TIP: Sell upgraded listings for your winners page. It is not only a great resource for your audience, but it drives revenue all year.
  70. 70. #PromotionsLab WHAT NOW?
  71. 71. #PromotionsLab Getting Started: Commitment Make a commitment to run ballots online. Ballots attract local SMBs, reach niche audiences, and encourage social sharing.
  72. 72. #PromotionsLab Don’t miss out on potential revenue by waiting too long to start planning and selling your ballot. Getting Started: Plan Ahead
  73. 73. #PromotionsLab Getting Started: Digital Revenue Selling sponsorships and upgraded listings on your digital ballot can double your revenue!
  74. 74. #PromotionsLab Additional Resources Download our Playbooks at secondstreetlab.com/voters-choice
  75. 75. #PromotionsLab 30in30 webinar series secondstreetlab.com/30in30 August 14th 1PM ET August 21st 1PM ET