How To Run A Giveaway: From Asking To Tools

 Zoe Summers July 15th, 2015 



Giveaways are an excellent means to draw attention to a product, increase brand awareness and get some quality traffic coming your way. They are also used to gain followers and build a large community on the social media scene. But, there are several rules, etiquette and steps one has to follow in order to have a successful experience. Here’s a detailed guide about to how run a giveaway.

Getting The Prizes

1. Decide On The Prize

Narrowing down to the right prizes for a campaign requires a bit of homework as well as experimentation. You need to sit down and determine what items move well on your blog or site.

Search around for particular prizes and giveaways to see what other people have done and worked. It’s also advisable to pick prizes that do complement your business in some way.

Consider partnership marketing deals. (What is partnership marketing?)

2. Choose The Company

You should carefully select the companies or brands that offer the prices.

There’s nothing worse as having to deal with angry readers or followers for failing to come through with your promises. Consider several brands and make sure to have a backup plan so that the winner goes home with a prize. If you can it’s a good idea to get a contract with the particular company that you chose to sponsor the giveaway.

3. Get The Prize

Once you’ve identified an item and vendor, you need to obtain the prize that you will offer the winner. There are various ways you can do this. One way is to email the company and tell them about a possible partnered giveaway. Show them previous posts and reviews you’ve generated about their own products or similar ones. Try to convince them about the benefits of teaming up with you.

Another way to get an item for your contest is working with smaller shops as they are eager to be known and a lot more willing to spend a little in order to get promoted.

If all else fails, you can also think of purchasing the prize with your own money. Consider it as an advertising expense and then decide whether it’s worth it in exchange for a boost in traffic or whatever your main objective is.

Running The Giveaway

1. Know The Relevant Laws

Brands may not be familiar with the legal issues involved in running a giveaways so it’s important to take up the responsibility and find out what regulations are in place. Some may include tax regulations, age restriction of participants and even prizes depending on where you’re located in the world.

2. Decide On What You Want To Gain From This Giveaway

You need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your giveaway, whether it’s more followers, to grow your email list, to get a new product out, or simply get traffic to your site. Don’t make the mistake of trying to achieve more of them at the same time as most of the times this will fail and you won’t know why. Set a goal in mind and only go for that one.

3. Have An Attractive Post

Never make the mistake of doing just a basic post and then give away the prizes. Instead, create an interesting, pinnable piece that can actually go viral. For example, you can write a topic on a common problem and have the giveaway item as part of the solution. With high quality content on your post, you will continue to draw traffic even when you remove the giveaway as part of the post.

Visitors will see that you have quality, interesting content which they might share, or even choose to follow you. In addition, you will please the brand owners and create goodwill as they’ll still be getting traffic even after the contest ends.

4. Put Up Some Great Photos

Photos can help catch the eye of the reader and direct them to the post. One way to use them is to customize your sidebar so that you showcase the top posts with attractive images. The top posts are simply those that bring traffic to your site or those that you want to attract traffic.

Be sure to ask the vendor providing you with the prize to send a couple of pictures that can fit perfectly inside your post. You should, however, avoid filling up your content with tons of photos. You might end up boring your readers. Simply pick three or so among the best and keep things simple.

How To Get The Word Out

Simply publishing your giveaway is not enough. People won’t just land on it. You need to get the word out there and draw attention. Promote it on Facebook, Twitter and all other social sites you’re on. Use hashtags such as #giveaway and schedule posts so that you announce during peak times of the day when it can have the maximum exposure. You can also enter it in contest linkups (these can be free or paid). You should, however, avoid promoting it on sweepstakes sites as you might end up with entrants who are just there for the prize.

How Should Participants Join

The method your visitors will use to enter the contest will be determined by your own goals. If you want:

  • To increase Facebook followers, then you should put up a requirement that entrants must “Like” your page for them to be entered.
  • To increase Twitter followers, include a requirement for them to follow you to be entered.
  • More email subscribers, simply have entrants sign up for the newsletter.

Try to keep it very simple. If, for instance, you’re looking to add Facebook followers, avoid including other requirements like following your Twitter profile and Pinterest. Your visitors will feel more flustered if there are more options and they might not take any action at all. You should also avoid tagging the sponsor or company without their permission.

Other Things You Need To Know About Giveaways

1. How To Track Participation

The easiest way to track entries is to ask participants to leave comments (it’s also an easy way to contact the winner) on the post announcing the giveaway. This can create even more buzz and activity for the post itself.

If you’re going for email subscribers just create a new list that you can merge into your main one later and you have a complete record of everyone that entered.

2. How To Draw The Winner

There are a number of tools you can use to draw a winner in the contest. One such as is Rafflecopter which allows you to randomly select winners from the entrants pool , verify the entries and announce the winners .Other tools are Randompicker and PromoSimple. You can also go through the entries and pick a winner especially if the giveaway was not a random draw and you want to pick the best that did an action that you requested.

3. How To Reach The Winner

When the promotion ends and you’ve selected a winner it is time to contact them and give them the prize. Write them an email detailing who you are and reasons for contacting them. Try to be clear and precise. You can also write posts on social media channels. The winner (s) might see them and recall participating in the contest. Believe it or not, especially if the giveaway spreads over a longer period of time people can forget they ever entered.

4. How To Give The Win

When it comes to giving the win, you should let everyone know that someone actually won. There’s no limit to how you can do this. You can, for instance, have the winning contestant participate by sharing some pictures of them or even with them and the prize ( if they already received it ). Another way is to update the entry form to congratulate the winner. This can help encourage participation from more people in the future and serve as a testimonial that participating in your giveaways is worth all the time and effort.

5. Share The Winner(s) Information

Once the promotion has ended, let your sponsor or brand know and also share the winner’s information with them such as name, address and mailing address, this is especially important if the sponsor will be sending the prize. It can help cut down on shipping costs and other related expenses as well as delivery time as the item will be sent directly to the winning contestant. You may want to copy the winner on your email in case the company wants to send some tracking number or they need additional info from them.

Thank The Sponsor

You should also send a follow-up email to the sponsor, thanking them for the giveaway and sharing your giveaway link. Remember to mention that you would like to work with them in the near future. It’s a good way to bring an end to the project and open doors for future opportunities.

Get A Report

If you want to better track how well everything worked, tools such as Rafflecopter allow you to get valuable information about the contest. They can tell you how many entrants are there in each method of winning as well as provide you with a list of e-mail addresses (excellent if you’re planning of starting a mailing list).

Information from these reports, such as number of new Facebook likes, number of new Twitter followers and number of comments can also be useful for sponsors as they are able to know the benefits they’ve derived from a particular promotion. They can then be able to make wise decisions about future partnerships.

Businesses, marketers and blog owners often turn to giveaways as tactics to build their audience. They can help you market a particular product in the target market, increase brand awareness and establish yourself as an authority. However, these targets can only be realized if you do the right things from the planning to the goal setting to the selection of the winner(s).

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Zoe Summers

Zoe Summers is an experienced Social Media Consultant. One of the Co-Founders of Mass Planner, a social automation software. Before joining the startup world, she worked with big corporations, helping them change the world one step at a time. She loves writing, exploring new sunnier places and sometimes, when she wears the artistic hat, she fancies painting and sketching.

How To Run A Giveaway: From Asking To Tools
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