How to Drive Traffic to Your Game-Based Promotion


When’s the last time you just showed up at a stadium?

You didn’t know what was going on. Didn’t see a poster, or hear about an event. You just showed up.

If you’re thinking, Nicole, what the hell are you talking about, who does that?

Thank you. You’ve made my point.

People don’t just show up willy-nilly to things. You have to (a) let them know it exists, and (b) why they should go.

This is true of stadium events, family reunions, work parties —  and yes, game-based promotions.

If you want people to register, play, or otherwise interact with your game you have to promote it.

It won’t just “go viral.”

You’ve got to do the work.

Today I thought I’d go over some different ways you can promote a game-based promotion. But first, let’s go over 3 best practices you should follow — regardless of the promotion technique you’re using.

3 Best Practices for Promoting Your Game-Based Promotion

1. Focus Messaging on Your Game — Not Your Brand

This is the big one.

Yes, improving brand engagement is probably part of the reason you’re running a promo. But that doesn’t mean you should focus on your brand in your ads.

Focus your ad messaging on why your consumer should register. Think: what’s in it for them?  

You can put as much brand messaging inside the promo as you want. But unless you get people to play, you may as well have just run an ad and skipped the promo part all together.

2) Don’t Wait Too Long to Book House Media

If you wait too long to book house media, you can end up with no spots at all. And that means you could miss a whole group of consumers who already engage with your brand.  

Start early to get your promo on as many of your house media channels as possible. Consumers who interact with your brand during the promotion should hear about it and be encouraged to participate — whether they visit your website, your social media pages or your store.

3) Promote Your Promotion In-Store

Consumers don’t see the difference between online and offline interactions with your brand. And providing inconsistent experiences can result in decreased loyalty, lost sales, and hurt your brand’s reputation.

Promoting your promotion in-store ensures your consumers have a positive, consistent experience with your brand.  But it doesn’t just keep customers happy. It also drives better results.

10+ Ways to Promote Your Game-Based Promotion

Keeping those three best practices in mind, here are 10+ ways you can promote your game-based promotion. You can also download a checklist of these ideas (and a few extras) here.

Download the media checklist >>

Paid Media

Banner Ads

While banner ads have fallen out of favour with marketers in recent years, banners for game-based promotions still tend to see higher CTRs because they offer immediate value to the customer (fun + prizes).

Video Ads

Video ads can make a big statement. Just keep the focus of the video on things customers care about: like how fun the game-play is, or the cool stuff they could win. Save your brand messaging for inside the promotion itself.

TV & Radio Ads

No, I’m not suggesting you build an entire dedicated TV ad for your campaign. But tagging your existing creative with a game-based promotion link can be a good way to drive awareness.


Live events can be a great way to drive traffic to your promo. You can create booth signage promoting your game-based campaign, and handout flyers with the promotion URL. Another tip: give event attendees an extra benefit if they register — like more game-plays. This gives them an added incentive to try out the game.

Free & Earned Media

Organic Shares

You can build organic sharing into your campaign — just reward players who share the campaign with their friends and family. While this is by no means a magic bullet, every click counts — and this does help increase the presence of your campaign on social media.


Securing a prize partner can help you tap into a whole new audience. Get your partner to promote your campaign on their website and social — even ask them to send out a dedicated email blast.  Increasing traffic is good for them too, so they’ll likely be willing to take on some of the promotion.

House Media

Brand/Corporate Website

Use the assets you have to promote the campaign to your existing customer base. Add banners and links to your promotion on a variety of pages on your website — like your homepage, product pages, or an exit pop up.

Email Blast

Getting a spot on your email newsletter can be a pain. Make sure to reserve some space well in advance. Ideally you could send a dedicated blast about the promotion — but if that’s not on the table, you can also add a banner to a regular newsletter email.

Brand/Corporate Social

Don’t forget to promote your campaign on your own social networks. Beyond just posting about it, or using a branded hashtag, you can drive engagement (and registrations) by posting game-codes on your social. This’ll give your followers an added incentive to sign up (and make them feel a little bit special!)


Think of your stores like media channels — every customer who goes into one should hear about the promotion. You can promote the campaign on receipts, handout cards at cash, put up posters or signage, and create display units.


Don’t forget to get your employees on-board. They can talk about the promotion to customers, and even promote it to their friends and family. Running an internal contest can help get employees excited about promoting your campaign. Just offer prizes for the store/person who drives the most registrations.

The Bottom Line

Build it and they will come doesn’t work.

To get consumers to register for your promo, you have to let them know it exists and why they should check it out.

Use the ideas above to promote your program to customers. Keep the messaging about the promotion, NOT your brand. And don’t forget to start planning early so you get those house media slots.