Brands and marketers are trying very hard to engage with you! Is it working? As you scroll through your Facebook feed or Google-search the latest news and entertainment, brands are communicating at you but are they communicating with you? As a brand, company, or marketing agency, your goal is to engage with your target audience and attract new customers – whether you’re a small business in Kelowna or a major international brand. One solution that many brands and agencies attempt to use are giveaways or contests.
What is a Giveaway?
Online giveaways and other related promotions and advertising come in many forms. They all have one thing in common, a prize! Hopefully the prize is something attractive to you as the consumer, and entices you to click through or read more… as the aim is always engagement.
There are sweepstakes, of pure random chance or contests where judging takes place (ex. Best Photo Contest). Regardless of the details, a giveaway is only effective if both the brand and the audience gains something of value (as defined by each of them!).
Why Run an Online Giveaway?
Engagement. Engagement. Engagement. Should I say it again? A well done giveaway – cooked just right 😉 – engages with your target audience and offers numerous benefits to your brand. We’ve outlined the top benefits below.
#1 Lead Generation: When someone enters your sweepstake or contest they must enter at least some of their information, otherwise they can’t be contacted if they win. Users expect this. If they win, they want to know! This allows you to ask for their name and email as a minimum, and opens to door to asking for their phone number, address, and other information that you fee valuable and appropriate. Generating leads grows your database, allowing for remarketing initiatives through email campaigns.
#2 Data Collection & Analytics: Running an online contest campaign gives you the opportunity to collect valuable data. The user directly provides you with information, as mentioned in #1, but you can also track and monitor numerous data point such as, clicks, views, shares and more. The data allows you to track the success of the campaign and a greater understanding of your audience (#3).
#3 Insight into Your Audience: Giveaways offer insight into your current audience and potential customers. You can see what type of people are entering. What are they saying on your social accounts? Are they sharing your contest? You can understand your audience better through both a qualitative and quantitative analysis of your contest campaign.
#4: Reward Loyal Customers/Advocates: Giveaways are great ways to reward your current customers. They offer your database and social following an incentive to re-engage with your brand, providing your advocates something valuable to share and talk about. Plus, this could lead to new customers through referrals and word-of-mouth.
#5: Increase in Social Engagement: An attractive giveaway is something worth sharing. A once-in-a-lifetime vacation experience would get almost anyone excited! Users share and engage with offerings that matter to them. The more engagement with your brand, the more exposure too. Check out how some of Hiilite’s clients in Kelowna and across Canada have utilized social media to engage with their audiences.
Secrets to Success
There are some “secrets” to success when running a contest or sweepstake.
First, its important your prizes are exciting and appealing to your target audience. The prize needs to be enticing enough that consumers are willing to give up their information and share it with their friends.
Next, you’ll want to set up your giveaway in way that is simple and straightforward for users to enter. Use clear messaging, and appropriate language and imagery that is relevant to your target audience. Make sure you highlight your amazing prize!
It’s important to design your contest to incentivize users to share it. For example, you may want to reward extra ballots for sharing the contest on Facebook.
Lastly, you must put effort and resources into seeding and distributing your contest. Ideally you have a database you can email it out to, or explore partnering with a brand that does. Share it on all your social accounts and support the distribution with advertising spend through banner ads or social boosts.
When it comes to contests, sweepstakes, and giveaways, you must be aware of the laws and regulations that apply. In Canada, there are various rules you must abide by, including age and geographic limitations. For ease, only open your contest to those that are legal adults, and if you’re including residents of Quebec, your contest must be compliant with the regulatory regime. Be sure to consult with a lawyer or expert if you’re unsure if your contest conflicts with legal regulation.
Giveaways can be a fun and effective way to support your marketing strategy. At Hiilite, we’d love to help you optimize your results, so your next giveaway doesn’t only “give away!”.