Contests and giveaways tend to generate a lot of interest and help companies spread the word and gather leads for their business. However any marketing activity needs to be measured by the revenue it returns. With giveaways, it is easy to generate a lot of buzz on social media by offering a free iPad or iWatch to winners. But can you really call this a success when all you have done is get a lot of freebie seekers interested? A large chunk of leads generated this way may never buy or use your product. So while you may have generated social media buzz with your giveaway, it is not technically a marketing success.
Identify Your Objective
The first step in any marketing activity is to identify your objective. Are you looking at making direct sales or is this a branding activity? If you are looking at direct sales, then discount vouchers and ‘refer a friend’ campaigns work well. Giveaways rarely fit these campaigns although you could offer to give it for free with a product purchase. Giveaways are perfect for branding activities since the objective is to spread the word about your product to a niche audience that uses your product or service.
Find The Right Product
Never have branded products for giveaways. The trouble here is that such products take the spotlight away from your own product or service. Finding the right product is a two step process. First, your giveaway should be something niche that your target customers want. For instance, if you are a provider of accounting software services, then your “giveaway” could be a free class to first-time entrepreneurs on how to manage their books better. Remember that giveaways do not always have to be physical products.
Once this is done, the next step is to identify ways to brand your giveaway with your business. In the earlier example, one way to do this will be to serve as a title sponsor for your giveaway. Also, make sure your business branding is prominently displayed across the venue. This includes custom branded water bottles, pens notepads, etc.
Target One Social Media Platform
Once you have identified the giveaway, the next step is to narrow down your campaign to one specific social media platform. You can of course promote your campaign through multiple channels, but it is a good idea to bring all these visitors to the one social media platform. The idea is use the power of this medium to promote your campaign. If you are giving away an experiential product, then Youtube works great. An artistic giveaway is best for Pinterest or Instagram and so on.
Ensure Maximum Branding In Promotions
The objective of a giveaway is branding and targeted lead generation. These objectives won’t be fulfilled unless your social media promotions carry your brand sufficiently. Some examples are promoting videos with sufficient branding in the backdrop or photos with your custom labeled products in the focus. It doesn’t matter how many millions of social media users you reach unless they are your target customers. Also, if your contests involve users sharing pictures or videos, make sure the rules include promoting your brand in some way. The objective is to spread the word about your brand to your target customers as well as their network as much as possible.
Measure. Measure. Measure
Measuring the performance of your campaign is everything. Invest in social media analytics tools that help you understand the demographic of users who engaged with your campaign and benchmark this demographic against your target. If they do not align, go back to the drawing board to tweak the campaign. Measuring the success of a giveaway on social media should not be about the gross reach. Instead, it should be about targeting the right demographic and measuring its impact on your conversions.