When it comes to boosting customer engagement or increasing brand awareness, giveaways can always serve as the best business ally. They are affordable and simple to run and if executed properly, they can increase brand visibility and strengthen the relationship with the target customers.
What Is A Giveaway?
A giveaway is something that a company or an organisation offers to its customers for free to improve brand awareness or drive sales. It is a promotional tool that can range greatly in size and value.
Giveaways can be categorized into two types –
- Contests – where the brand offers something of value to the top entry selected based on specific winning criteria.
- Sweepstakes – where there are no winning criteria and the winners are chosen from the luck of the draw.
That being said, a giveaway can be anything from offering the product or service for free to an all-inclusive five-days vacation, depending on the scope and purpose of the giveaway.
Why Are Giveaways Important?
It’s a proven fact that businesses need timely promotional activities to ensure that their visibility among their target customers does not fade away. Below are some of the reasons why running a giveaway as one of those activities is crucial for any business:
Instant Brand Recognition
When you give back to your customers in the form of free gifts or prizes, they easily remember and recognize your brand. According to Sageworld, 89% of consumers can recall a brand from which they have received a promotional product in the last two years.
Running a giveaway is the best way to build social media following on sites like Twitter and Facebook. Most of the giveaways include micro-tasks like liking their page on Facebook and/or following them on Twitter and other social media networks.
These micro-tasks come with points which add up to the winning probability. Since there’s nothing to lose from performing these tasks, people don’t mind doing it.
Low- Cost And Effective Marketing
A giveaway campaign capitalizes on viral marketing and word-of-mouth marketing. If planned right, giveaways prove to be a low-cost-high-benefit marketing strategy than other brand-building strategies like advertising campaigns.
Giveaway contests are a secret weapon to generate leads. They can be very useful to increase email list subscribers and fuel excitement among the customers for your business.
Giveaways result in brand and product promotion as the customers search about the brand organically online and offline to know about the products it deals in and ensure it’s a legit giveaway. It increases both brand awareness and brand equity.
Giveaways are an interactive marketing strategy involving customer participation and brand interaction. It is designed in a way to engage the customers and promote the brand and its offering at the same time.
Advantages of Giveaways
Create Lasting Impressions
Marketing brands through advertisements, SEM, etc may result in sales but do not make a lasting impression. On the other hand, when you give away an item to your customers to promote your brand, it sticks around longer than any other kind of advertisement.
Engagement is more memorable. People who hear information about your brand are less likely to remember it for a long time. But if the same information is engagingly presented to them or rather when some souvenir is given to them, there are fair chances that they will never forget your brand.
Customer loyalty is one thing you cannot compromise while running a business. Giveaways make this task easier by building customers’ trust in your brand as they feel the love and want to keep coming back. Giveaways are thus the best investment you can make in your customers.
Adding a personal touch to your business is never a bad idea. In fact, it is the best technique to boost sales without having to spend much on marketing and advertising. Whether you are a small venture or an established business, giveaways can make your brand noticeable in a way that no other marketing strategy can!
A giveaway is a pull strategy which results in customers looking at your brand’s products organically without you interrupting their daily life with ads.
Stand Out From The Crowd
45% of a brand’s image is directly related to what the brand says and how it says it. While it is very important to have a solid digital presence, it is equally important to deliver something that people can see and feel. Giveaways offer you a chance to be different when it comes to the strategies of growing a business.
How To Host A Giveaway?
A solid strategy is necessary to make a giveaway worthwhile for you and your audience. Below are the crucial points you need to keep in mind while hosting a giveaway:
Decide On A Goal
The goal is chosen totally based on what your current focus is. For some, it is growing email subscribers or social media followers, while for others, it is simply a marketing move to increase sales. Therefore, the first and foremost step is to recognize the goal you want to achieve.
Pick A Relevant Prize
Picking up a suitable prize is the next crucial step while hosting a giveaway. The prize should serve the needs of the target market. Remember to pick something reasonable and interesting to your ideal audience.
Giving away iPhones to the audience which already owns an iPhone won’t really attract many people. While giving them an iPhone accessory bundle which enhances their experience might attract them.
Most businesses choose to give away their product or service for free as it not only attracts the audience but also lets them experience what they are offering to become a customer later on.
Keep It Simple!
Too many variables may cause the audience not to enter a giveaway contest at all. Keep the instructions short and micro-tasks simple to follow.
You can also keep many micro tasks as optional to remove the barriers to entry in your giveaway.
The giveaway structure should be such that it should really impact the target audience, and there are as few restrictions as possible in the process.
Something For Everyone
Try to keep something for everyone who takes part in the giveaway. It increases the number of participants.
Simply creating a giveaway won’t help until you promote it seriously. Make wise use of digital platforms if you really want to reach the widest range of people.
Use relevant hashtags and keywords and run ads to reach the desired target market. You can also include some promotion-related micro-tasks to encourage the participants to promote it on their end too.
Nobody likes a spammer. Spam drives people away from you, your brand and your site. Spamming creates ill will at best and can get you banned from certain services at worst.
Giveaway Best practices
While there are numerous common ways to host and run a giveaway, you need a hack that stands out. Below are some essential points that you need to keep in mind and that many brands often miss while running a campaign:
Make The Most Of Your Email List
Email is a channel that offers a precious opportunity for businesses to have a one-on-one conversation with subscribers. It is good if you send an announcement mail to your list in the period of 24-36 hours after you have launched your giveaway. This is done to ping your subscribers who haven’t participated in the contest yet, to remind them that they can still participate.
Send A Loser Email
Many companies that host a giveaway send emails to only contest winners. The people who have lost do not get notified at all, and thus they start losing interest in the brand.
When you first notify the non-winners, they will get disappointed at not winning the contest. So your goal with the email is to provide them with consolation by thanking them for participating and telling them that though they could not win this time, there is something for them to – say discounted products for example.
This will boost their trust in your brand and they will want to come back.
Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Referrals
When it comes to the best marketing strategies, ‘word of mouth’ tops the list. There’s nothing that could ever replace the power of personal recommendations. Nielsen research has shown that 92% of people trust referrals from people they know. This is how the network effect is created. Therefore, you should promote your giveaway by using referrals.
Using appropriate hashtags on Twitter will help you attract the right audience to your giveaway and your brand at large. Useful tools such as Hashtagify can help you determine the popularity of a certain hashtag and complete it with other relevant ones to increase your giveaway’s visibility.
Use The Scarcity Principle To Attract More People
The fact that something might end really soon and people might not be able to become a part of it in future gives rise to fear of missing out which increases the chances of them applying for it as soon as they can.
Always use a countdown on your giveaway landing page to get more participants by capitalizing on the scarcity principle.
Examples of Giveaways
Running a giveaway contest is not as easy as it seems. Your idea must be unique enough to attract an audience and keep them interested in your campaign throughout. Below are some awesome contests run by big brands that can give you major giveaway goals!
Dove is known for its two missions: supporting young girls’ self-esteem and fostering an appreciation for ‘real beauty’. Their contest Love your curls, was inspired by the same idea. In the contest, the participants were asked to submit a poem or story about why they love their curls, encouraging them to embrace instead of subduing their natural look. The winner received $100 gift card, blow dryer, curling wand, Dove products and the opportunity to contribute to the ‘Dove Love your curls ebook’. Later, the poems and stories were compiled and transformed into a piece of dynamic content.
This is the perfect example of how incorporating user-generated content can amplify the effect of your contest.
Appsumo is a daily deals site that is specifically designed to deliver digital goods and services. It was created with one idea: the tools that businesses need to grow should not put them out of business. Therefore, the team of Appsumo works each day to provide the best software solutions at the most affordable price.
In their Ultimate Hustler Giveaway contest, Appsumo offered participants the following prize package worth Rs $2000 for free, which consisted of:
- 11 books handpicked by the Appsumo team
- One-on-one coaching calls with the team
- A beautiful desk set made by Grovemade
- $500 in Appsumo credit.
The entry in the contest was 100% free; the participants had to register using their email ids or Facebook account and wait for the lucky draw result.
Amazon lets its merchants hold giveaways and more exposure and increase sales. Here are some examples of the same –
Platforms like Gleam and Kingsumo have made it really easy for anyone to run a giveaway with just a few taps. Here’s an example of modern giveaways which aim at increasing awareness and followership of the brand-
It’s a proven fact that we all love a good game. The chance of winning something big brings anticipation and the opportunity to daydream. And that is why a Giveaway contest is such a tried and true marketing method. You have nothing to lose, but if you succeed, you can do a lot of good to your brand. The popularity and visibility of your brand can touch the skies in just minutes! All you need to have is a unique idea!
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A keen researcher of marketing, social entrepreneurship trends, and literature. Anannya is an experienced startup writer, business developer, and digital marketer.