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Redbox seeks more customers with mobile giveaways

Video rental service Redbox is offering freebies and giveaways via social media and mobile in an attempt to increase its customer base and drive sales through its application.

The rental service is holding weekly video rental giveaways through its Instagram account, encouraging users to engage with the brand through social media to extend its reach. Redbox is also giving away a free rental for signing up on its mobile app to persuade consumers to download and online reservations.

“Giveaways are significant to brands because social media followers fall into one of two categories; they are either current customers or potential customers,” said Rachel Marshall, social media manager at Vantage. “Increasing social media followers equates to a larger pool of potential customers.

“Engagement with existing social media followers is like nurturing a valuable sales lead and ideally, will take you one step closer to a new, paying customer,” she said. “This is often a slow build, but social media giveaways can and do connect to a company’s bottom line.

Weekly deals
Redbox offers weekly deals on its Instagram account, encouraging users to post responses to questions pertaining to films for a chance to win a free film rental. For instance, this week’s challenge is to post your favorite film based off of a novel, for the chance to win a free rental of the film Inherent Vice.

Users have a week from the posting date to get involved and a winner is chosen at random based off of the comments. To win, entrees must be following the brand.

Encouraging consumers to follow Redbox permits the brand to advertise seamlessly and organically.

“It is our objective to provide utility and value to our customers via mobile and social, as well as drive conversion,” said Kimberlie Christen, senior manager of mobile marketing at Redbox. “Redbox’s mobile offerings provide a personalized experience that caters to when customers receive messages, as well as title recommendations most relevant to them.

“For utility, Redbox offers easy access to view the latest new release movies and games available at local kiosks, user rental history, engaging promotions and the ability to reserve a title on the go,” she said. “Redbox’s social presence serves our fans and customers by addressing questions and concerns within each channel, driving impressions and engagement through title and branded content, and providing traffic and conversion through promotions.”

Currently, customers that download the Redbox app to their mobile device upon registering, receive a free rental, which attracts more users to download.

The brand is looking to reach consumers through their most personal and most used device, allowing for a more significant connection to users. Redbox has access to an array of consumer data through app users as well as the option to reach users through push notifications and emails to advertise deals and new arrivals.

“There is no doubt that consumers love free things and savvy brands know how to tap into this trend,” Ms. Marshall said. “The key here is to offer something valuable enough to outweigh the annoyance factor of downloading yet another app.

“This is an opportunity for brands to let consumers test out their product and hopefully, get hooked,” she said. “For example, it could be a free movie code, or a one-month subscription.

“If offering something for free does not work for your business model, you can offer a $10 credit, or even high-value coupons such as 50 percent off can drive app downloads.”

Fans can also text the word POP to an SMS number to receive deals through messages for the month of June.

Winners of the giveaways can reserve their rentals through the desktop Web site or mobile app, as well as ordering directly from the Kiosk. However, all Redbox rentals must be picked up at a Kiosk location.

These types of call-to-action marketing tactics compel consumers to engage with the brand immediately and mobile takes that a step further by allowing instantaneous access. For Redbox, consumers can reserve a rental through the app with a list of locations in their area where the rental is available.

When a deal or notification is sent to users, they have immediate availability to the app. The less time lapse between interest and purchase, the more likely the sale is.

Mobile freebies
Giveaways and contests through mobile is a highly beneficial tool that can grab consumers’ attention and create a lasting bond.

To benefit from this marketing tactic, Taco Bell recently made a special announcement via live-streaming application Periscope, alerting consumers of a Biscuit Taco giveaway on Cinco de Mayo while testing the latest buzzed-about mobile platform’s ability to drive awareness and store traffic (see more).

Persuading consumers to download branded apps with freebies is huge for retailers.

Recently, women’s lingerie brand Wacoal celebrated its thirtieth anniversary by enticing more consumers to download its mobile application to receive an entry into its ten-month-long sweepstakes, which sees the brand give away 30 bras a week and showcase a new product each month (see more).

“Brands need to be very careful with giveaway rules and regulations,” Ms. Marshall said. “Each social media platform has a specific set of detailed guidelines that must be followed.

“It is simply not worth the risk to break them and hope you do not get caught,” she said. “This is especially true on Facebook.

“We are seeing an increase in giveaways on Instagram, and one of the reasons for that is that there are fewer rules to follow compared to Facebook. A specific example to avoid is to ensure your sweepstakes is not unintentionally classified as an illegal lottery, it’s important to pay close attention to details and consult legal counsel as needed to avoid those pitfalls.

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily