How to Increase Engagement with Incentives

Would you eat a whole wheel of cheese for a million dollars?


I am sure most people would even if you hated cheese because of the huge incentive. What if you could increase participation and inspire engagement this much because of a sought after incentive? This is what we are trying to help you accomplish with your experiential marketing campaign or event.


Who doesn’t like a free tee shirt or free food? These are easy ways to help increase engagement and spread your brand.

A tee shirt with your name on it can increase your brand visibility to all sorts of different consumers. It will also remind your consumers of your brand every time they see the shirt, whether they realize it or not. Depending on your industry, this could be a good play.

Free food can help create a positive feeling around your brand. After eating a free chocolate chip cookie, a consumer may relate your brand to the delicious cookie that they ate. Being able to have people experience your brand while they are happy is key, because it will leave them with a positive lasting impression. 

Planters 'Shout for Nuts' activation used this brilliantly, and people loved it.

User Generated Marketing.

How do you make a consumer market for you? You give them something in return. This could be a feature on your social media accounts, a product, or even a free subscription. Here are a few of our favorite examples.


Everyone wants something with their name on it, especially those of us with non-traditional names (Good luck finding anything with “Kody” on it). This is what made the Share a Coke campaign so brilliant. Not only did they sell the popular names in stores for people to purchase, but they had a touring van with over 600 stops around the US for people with the less popular names to customize their own bottles. If you couldn’t make one of the stops, you could customize a case of Coke on their website. Here is how the campaign shook out in the U.K. alone: 

Share a Coke 2014 by the numbers:

•  Over a thousand names on bottles

•  998 million impressions on Twitter

•  235,000 tweets from 111,000 fans using the #ShareaCoke hashtag

•  More than 150 million personalized bottles sold

•  Over 730,000 glass bottles personalized via the e-commerce store

•  17,000 virtual name bottles shared online across Europe

This campaign not only inspired engagement on social media, but gave the consumers a reason to seek out and drink Coke. It was also easy to inspire consumers to share their bottle on social media, so this was an added bonus.

The Breakup Letter

T-Mobile’s “The Breakup Letter” is another example of how a company incentivised their consumers to share content while also switching to T-Mobile. T-Mobile created a Facebook application where consumers could fill in a template, similar to those Mad Libs books that we used to do as kids (or still do), to write a breakup letter to their current cell phone carrier. 

In return, if the consumer did go through with switching to T-Mobile, they would pay their switching fees for them. They were highly incentivised to switch, as switching costs can be expensive.

This campaign did surprisingly well. In less than a month into the service, over 100,000 people had created a breakup letter that has been shared, and the application has been viewed over 2 million times. After these letters have been created, over 70% of them are being shared on Facebook. T-Mobile used their incentive to pay switching costs to also create a viral movement of the breakup letters.


Experiential Spaces.

Events that let you experience something new is becoming more and more popular, especially with the rise in VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) technology. Although it is still extremely new, Goldman Sachs predicts the VR industry to be worth $85 billion by 2025.

Check out this VR and AR experience put on by National Geographic at SXSW. 

At this same event, Facebook took a different route to experience. In their push to target businesses, they created a fun atmosphere with photo props, an interactive photo booth, and also a creative space where you can learn about the ways that Facebook can help your small business.

These different exhibits linked together by highlighting what Facebook was about. Not only did they bring a fun and laid back attitude, but were also able to inform their customers about the potential that they had to offer them.


Your options are great in number, you just need to figure out what would work best for your business. Pick one of these, multiple, or none, it's up to you. Just give your consumers something to talk about, and something that they actually want.