How to Organize a Giveaway: An SMB’s Guide
If you have ever attended a conference, large event, or a fundraiser, you have probably received a number of “giveaways” from the participants. And if you have been lucky enough to ever attend the “Oscars,” the giveaways total thousands of dollars. And all of the items in that wonderful baskets doled out to celebrities are “branded,” obviously – Gucci, Chanel, etc.
As a small business owner, your giveaways will obviously be on a far smaller scale. But that does not mean they cannot be effective and impactful as a tool to spread your brand.
What is a Giveaway Exactly?
There is no difficulty in understanding this: a giveaway is something provided to a current or potential customer, usually with a promotional purpose, and at no cost to that recipient.
The interpretation of a giveaway, however, is wide. If, for example, a business offers a “buy one, get one free,” promotion, a customer might consider that a giveaway. If a customer receives a “gift” for loyalty, that is also one. If a new customer is given something free as a “thank you,” it also fits the definition. But, if you are interested in generating leads and a wider audience, then your giveaway should include some type of entry or competition for a great prize.
In short, a giveaway is something (a product, a discount or a gift card) that you use as an incentive to promote your brand to a larger audience, and/or through some competition or entry “cost.” The cost of the giveaway/prize is borne by the company.
What are the Benefits of Giveaways?
It will be your job to come up with giveaway item(s) that will be meaningful to a recipient and encourage them to participate in your competition. A pen with your company name is not a particularly meaningful giveaway, even though people may use it many times. But in that use, how many times will they actually stop to look at your logo on that pen and be happily reminded that you gave it to them? Not likely.
For giveaways to reap benefits for a business, they need to be seen as both valuable and meaningful by recipients. And when you do find the right giveaways for your audience, you will reap the following benefits:
- Recipients will see you as a business that does “go the extra mile” to give them something that has true value, if your giveaway is in the form of a thank you.
- If you build in “rules” or a competition, then your giveaway is going to generate new leads. Because those rules should include the giving of contact information (email) or a subscription to your newsletter and/or any other promotional notifications you may want to present.
- You build interest in and recognition of your brand when you promote your giveaway, especially on social media. Followers who see your “giveaway” promotion are likely to share that news with their tribes.
The biggest benefit? Giveaways tend to be more cost-effective than other marketing avenues. Giveaway Promote estimated that the average campaign usually nails the following results:
- Average cost-per-view – 13¢
- Click-through-rate – 82%
- Cost-per-click to giveaway – 18¢
How to Organize Your First Giveaway
If you think you can just publish a giveaway promotion and everything will just fall into place, you are wrong. It takes planning. Here are the steps you should follow:
1. Identify the Prize(s)
To do this, you will have to know your target audience and what they will find most appealing. You will need to spend some time brainstorming and researching.
Consider your business niche. What products are most popular with your target audience – even those that your competitors are selling that you may not be? You should even consider gift cards/certificates with an amount that will grab the attention of your audience.
2. Consider a Collaboration with a Related Business
If the types of giveaways/prizes are steep for your budget, then consider co-sponsoring the giveaway with another small and related business. This is a way for you “trade” customer bases and garner even more ultimate leads.
3. Set the Rules
What must participants do to get in on this giveaway? You know what you want – you want enough personal information or some type of conversion that will achieve some of your goals.
So, how will people participate, what are the qualifications, and how will the winners be selected?
4. Set the Time Frame
How long will this giveaway contest last? Set specific deadlines for participation.
5. Create the Giveaway Itself
There are tools you can use to do this, and many of them are free. Check them out – you will get a well-organized plan for setting it up.
6. Promote Your Giveaway
For this, nothing is better than social media. And here are some tips for using social media to do just that!
How to Do a Giveaway on Facebook
You’ve chosen your prize(s). You’ve set the “conditions” and the time frame. One thing you might want to consider is a “theme.” It could be around a holiday or it could be around an event, such as a change of season. Or perhaps you want to publicize a new product launch.
In any case, find something that gives your giveaway a reason for being. It then sounds more authentic rather than just a promotional ploy.
And here are your next steps:
- Build an amazing contest/giveaway landing page. You’ll want text and especially visuals that will grab attention immediately and engage viewers.
- Create a catchy headline.
- Keep the details simple and clear. And you can even include a link to a landing page on your website for more details rather than try to spell them all out on the post itself.
- You need a simple entry form. If the participant must submit a photo or something, make it really easy for that to be done.
- Include sharing buttons, so that participants can share the giveaway information with one click. You can also provide additional entries for each share.
- Promote the giveaway. If you are a novice at this, it may be worth the money to purchase Facebook ads to promote your giveaway. If you have a larger following already, though, you may want to steer engagement among them. Also leverage your email list and send your subscribers a promotional message, providing a link to your landing page or the Facebook page itself.
- Follow up with the results of the giveaway, publishing the winners, with visuals if possible. This gives the credibility you need.
How to Do a Giveaway on Instagram
Instagram started out as a social media platform for users to share their personal photos. Today, it has turned into a major platform for far more – business accounts, videos, stories, and shopping.
So if you don’t have a business Instagram account, you need to get one now. It has become a huge venue to attract and engage followings and a place where conversions and purchases can take place seamlessly.
Using Instagram for a giveaway should include the following steps:
- Just as with Facebook, you should identify a theme for the giveaway. This provides a purpose for what you are doing and provides credibility. Are you celebrating your 5th year in business? It’s cause for a celebration and a giveaway.
- Develop a hashtag specific to your giveaway. Instagram searches rely heavily on hashtags, and followers use them to share too.
- Provide the rules as simply as possible and focus on the prize(s) with photos. And caption those photos with creative wording.
- Engage with great headlines
- Include a link to the landing page with the entry form – but remember you can only put it in your bio or share in Stories.
- Provide deadline information on the post itself. You want to create some sense of urgency.
- Explore paid options for promoting your giveaway, especially if you do not have a substantial following and email list. And perhaps have a small incentive if your followers/readers share your giveaway with their communities.
How to Do a Giveaway on YouTube
YouTube is a platform that allows you to get creative and enthusiastic about your giveaway. Why? Because it’s a wholly video platform, and you can have fun with this venue while you create your video.
If you are not especially creative or a bit camera-shy, find team members and/or friends who can write a great script and “ham it up.”
- Grab attention with your opener. Whether you sport costumes, make up a short poem, a riddle, or even a short song, do something that will engage immediately.
- Give the same information that you give on other social media platforms – announce the giveaway, the prizes, how to enter, and the deadline.
- Be certain that you add text to reinforce key points and a one-click link to get to that landing page with the same information and entry form.
- Don’t forget sharing buttons
- Show the prizes “in the flesh.”
- Sign off with reminders to access your landing page (another link) and to share. Establish a little intrigue here. Tell them there is something special waiting on that landing page or if they share, and then follow through with what you have promised.
A giveaway, if done right, is a great way to generate some buzz around your brand and improve its recognition among new audiences. Giveaways are also solid lead generator, once you get those participants to provide their contact information and to share the giveaway information with their online communities. Take these tips for you giveaway promotion on social media, and you should get the results you want.
Photo by Negative Space