With marketing and promotional events cancelled across the board, which is impacting face-to-face engagement with players especially during the prime summer event season, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery (ASL) is ramping up digital engagement through social media and contests.

During the stay-at-home for the months of March, April and May, the ASL’s social media channel switched from ticket sales to entertainment and engagement, mostly in the form of contests. “Through a series of overlapping contests lasting the entire quarantine period, the ASL set new all-time engagement records, garnering more than 100,000 engagements in April alone and 200,000 over the three-month period, a 114% gain over the previous quarter. Engagement rates for contests ranged from 3.2% to 8.8%,” reported Donna Bragg, Director, Advertising/Marketing, ASL.

Since humor may be the easiest way to get attention, the lottery posted a hilarious photo of a man looked disheveled with the caption—“Quarantine Hair DON’T CARE!” The contest asked players to show the best pic of their quarantine hair in the comments area and tag their favorite Arkansas hair salon. The lottery’s favorites would win a $100 gift card to the salon of their choice.

In addition to engaging its audience, a secondary goal was to support local businesses through Lottery-owned content and brand partnerships. “To accomplish this on lottery channels, we bought dozens of gift cards from local restaurants, salons and businesses to give away as contest prizes on ASL channels. During our ‘FoodiePalooza’ contest, we gave away more than $1,000 in gift cards to locally owned restaurants around the state. Across all contests, prizes totaled roughly $5,000, with more than a third going to local businesses,” said Bragg.

One post asked Arkansas Foodies to “Tag Your Favorite Arkansas Restaurant.” The hashtag? #ThisIsWinning

For brand partnerships, ASL teamed up with three Arkansas restaurants for gift card and instant ticket giveaways on Instagram and Facebook. “Overall, these organic contest posts reached 13,901 social accounts and received more than 3,377 engagements (likes, comments, shares, saves). In addition, we saw an increase in followers on both Facebook and Instagram, with Instagram seeing a net growth of 156%,” said Bragg.

For the next 3 days leading up to La Fleur’s Final-e-Conference (September 1-2), La Fleur’s Magazine is spotlighting various U.S. lotteries which organized special marketing programs, digital promotions and social media events during 1Q of FY21.

La Fleur’s Final-e-Conference is two-day virtual conference which will be held September 1-2. Registration is free for lottery employees. A vendor’s 2-day registration price is $449.99. Here is link to register: https://lafleurs.com/registration-redirect-dc/