Everybody loves free stuff, it’s a fact, a universal truth if you want. A giveaway contest works based exactly on this idea, but with something extra for your business, a benefit: it expands your customer/fan base. In other words, if you will give some of your products for free, chances are to win some gratitude from your followers, if not gain lots of newcomers that will support your business projects.
Oprah Winfrey, back when she still had the homonym TV show, was known to be the Queen of giveaways, she was giving VW Beetles, tickets to exotic countries, Nikon cameras, lots of cosmetics, hundred dollar vouchers. Everybody in the audience was utterly delighted, to say the least.
For a more clear view upon the whole “how to create a giveaway” idea, let me provide you with some examples found on company websites. Let us begin with the GoPro cameras, so popular nowadays:
The GoPro “Everything We Make Daily” giveaway: by simply submitting a form that states your name, email and location you enter the race for wining GoPro gear. The amazing part of this contest is that it has not one, nor two, but 365 winners, one per day. The chance to attract people to visit your website, share, like and subscribe, even buy some of your products while waiting for the giveaway’s results grows exponentially.
But, even more, this type of contest has a highly psychological impact upon the possible customers, creating the idea of respect and professionalism. Having an everyday chance of winning is a sign of generosity and friendliness from the GoPro Company. Also, having a Facebook contest page increases their reach to a maximum, due to the traffic offered by the intrinsic nature of social networks.
Up next we have the Elle magazine’s extraordinary giveaway, a prize of $100,000, to pay your bills, as it is advertised on their website. The particularity of this contest consists in the huge amount of money given away. As in the majority of giveaways, all you have to do is complete a form and submit it.
But what’s more is that you have the chance to buy 12 Elle issues for $10.00, that is, more than 80% off the regular price. So, in other words, you can benefit from two giveaways in one. With this immense sum of money up and running, chances are that Elle is going to get an impressive amount of male fans during this giveaway.
Stepping in Oprah’s footsteps, Ellen is giving away a car, the new and improved method allowing fans to apply to this contest from home, via Internet. In this way all of the show’s audience members feel included and have the same chance to win the grand prize.
Another amazing feature of this giveaway is that in the “Select Country” field, you can choose any country in the world, permitting everybody to participate. So, this is what we can call a pretty impressive idea of a giveaway.
Small but significant giveaways can be also found in the gaming area, where companies that develop new games usually offer free Beta Keys, game related plushies or early access codes. But the example that we chose is a pretty good deal, consisting of a high range gaming PC, valued at $3000, a really big gift for a gamer, or for anyone who prizes new technologies. This contest is a Global one, as it is advertised on the gamingtribe.com, so each and every one can take part and hope to be the winner. The idea is very interesting, since the prizes are divided into three categories as seen below:
Match your giveaways with what you do
What you always have to keep in mind is that your giveaway prizes should always match the niche that you find yourself in. If you are a cosmetics company, a make-up kit should do the trick, but if you are a YouTube star that hosts movie review shows, what should you give away? In this case, you can think about making a pack of newly released films, a DVD player even, if you have the financial means, or a bunch of tickets to that week’s premieres.
As a company that deals in real estate a good giveaway idea would be to offer some furniture pieces, such as a set of funky chairs, a designer coffee table or even a full kitchen set. This could be achieved at your own financial expense or in collaboration with a furniture company, such as IKEA.
Try to avoid giving dull, outdated novelties, like mugs with the company logo and slogan, pens, lighters, notebooks, calendars, etc. Instead, maybe, you can offer an iPhone or iPad case, a tablet sleeve or a cool headset, all of the above can be engraved with your company’s colors. They are much more useful than other company swag items and appeal to the possible customer in a more personal way.
Gift cards are also an option when it comes to presents given to your customers, they can vary in value and can be used as a discount for the next purchase. Companies usually give $25.00-$200.00 cards that are to be used next time someone buys something from them.
When in doubt, give cute things, such as plushies, mascots, key chains, something to warm people’s hearts, especially if they have children. When dealing with families, think about what would make the kid happy, that particular thing will also do the trick for the parents, and for your business, too. Maybe a well-known superhero action figure or a Disney princess doll are valuable allies when you try to close a deal on a house sale.
Successfully promoting your giveaway
After you have established what items are the most appropriate to use for your giveaway campaign, the next step is very important, representing the promotion of your contest. With nowadays’ social networks it’s much easier to advertise such an event, but you have to take into consideration everything you can in order to spread the word out as much as possible.
For example, not only Facebook is an important social platform, Twitter, Google Plus, even YouTube or Instagram are also on the list. Ideally, you can share your event on all of the above for a better audience reach.
If you have a Facebook page, the first step is to make what is known as an “event”, through which you announce your contest, its signup terms and conditions, the prize and the period of time it spreads over. It is truly important to explain very clear, simple and concise so as everybody understands how the giveaway works. Easy, short phrases, less epithets, many powerful verbs and bullet points for a more visually organized content are recommended.
Also, on your company’s webpage or your own website it is advisable to create a new category or tab that can be easily recognized by the user, named: “Big Giveaway”, “Win Today” or, simply, “Giveaway!”
This way the access to the contest is at hand for everyone and you avoid confusions from the users that are not very skilled in searching topics on a website. Use an eye-popping color, highlight the title and write with bolded, bigger fonts so as to raise attention upon the new category of your site, the one that announces the giveaway.
On YouTube you can make a special, short video in which you talk about the contest, as you speak of the contest’s signup steps, it would be great if the main ideas would appear on the right side of your clip, as if they were jotted down by the watchers themselves, as seen in the example below, that I snapped from a random YouTube giveaway video:
When talking about timing, the most appropriate time to organize a giveaway is around the Holidays: Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, also on Black Friday is a good idea. Around these times of the year people are prone to spend more money and pay more attention to certain deals and methods through which they can purchase various cheap gifts, either for their family, friends, or themselves. Thus, a giveaway, that offers them free stuff, becomes very appealing.
Also remember there are sites that accept other people’s giveaways, they have traffic and followers, so if you can try to submit your giveaway to as many of those as possible. There are a lot of them that you can find with a simple google search and some are niche specific so it will depend what you giveaway is all about. Here is a list of 18 great giveaway sites where you can add yours :
And, finally, the conclusions of our small guide of “How to create the perfect Social Media Giveaway Contest”:
- a giveaway is the best way to promote yourself and keep your fans/customers happy and close by
- gift cards, special and innovative company swag items (iPhone cases, tablet sleeves, cool headsets), creative and useful gifts are the new deal (a car, furniture, money), cute plushies included
- advertise everywhere and anywhere, use bright colors, bombastic titles but always stay true to the content of your giveaway, don’t false advertise, under any circumstance!
- state clearly the conditions of your contest, say to which states and countries it appeals to, say if there are age restrictions or any other peculiarities
- stay positive and share the event on various platforms and several times during the giveaway period, just to make sure that everyone knows about your big contest.