Hosting a giveaway is a great way to get people to discover your content. People get the chance to win something for free in exchange for either their email address or subscribing/following you on certain social media platforms.
Let’s be honest, it’s 2018 and the internet is crowded. You need to be very strategic about what you do so you can get on people's radar. Giveaways are a great way to get people to stop for a few minutes and take notice of your content.
To be fair, I’m not a huge advocate of frequent giveaways but I see their value and when done right, I do believe that they *can* be valuable. I’ve hosted a few giveaways in the past and paired it with information I've gotten from people who've hosted their own giveaways to put together this comprehensive list of things you can do to make your first or next giveaway, a successful one!
Use a giveaway service like Gleam or Rafflecopter |
If you’ve entered a giveaway in the last year or two, chances are you’ve had experience entering them through one of these services. I’ve used both behind the scenes and liked them, with a preference for Gleam.
Both have a free and premium version which is awesome but what really sets these services apart from just asking people to subscribe and leave a comment is how easy it makes it for people who enter to SHARE the giveaway with their family and friends.
The more people share your giveaway with the people they know via email and/or their social media accounts...the more EXPOSURE your content is going to get. I’ve personally come across people who make really amazing content because someone I know has shared their giveaway on Twitter.
As I mentioned, I prefer Gleam for one major reason...they allow the ‘viral giveaway option’ (the ability for entrants to share your giveaway) in their FREE option. If you want to be able to collect email addresses, you will have to pay for the upgraded version but it is cheaper than Rafflecopter and they have a month-to-month option so it’s a relatively small investment.
Another major reason why I suggest using giveaway platforms is help choosing the giveaway winner. With the click of a button, the program randomly chooses who wins your giveaway for you. All you need to do is let them know and send them their prize. It genuinely makes finishing up a giveaway so.much.easier. The randomizer within these programs (available in their free versions) also protects you from people saying that you were biased in who you chose to win the giveaway.
Pick a giveaway prize that is enticing to the kind of viewer that you want watching or reading your content |
Use your giveaway prize as a way to attract your ideal type of viewer/reader to your content. For example, giving away a pair of men’s sneakers is not a great giveaway idea for someone who has a beauty blog. Instead, giveaway something like a really popular eyeshadow palette that everyone is talking about within the beauty community.
This does several things.
First, you’ll benefit from the frequent searches that people will already be making for this item, increasing the likelihood that people will stumble upon your video or blog post and decide to enter your giveaway. It also increases the likelihood that they’ll actually enter because it’s something they will likely want. Lastly, using a giveaway prize that your target audience actually likes, will decrease the number of subscribers you’ll lose after the giveaway.
Yes, you’ll lose subscribers after a giveaway. It’s an unfortunate reality because there will be people who enter who are ‘professional giveaway’ people (they search the internet for giveaways as a regular part of their day). Giving away an iPad is something that just about anyone would want to win, while this will encourage lots of people to enter your giveaway, it will guarantee that most of the people entering will likely be people who just want to win an iPad.
Further reading: Niche Definition & Why Your Niche Is Too Broad
Have a purpose for the giveaway |
Do you have a lot of followers on Instagram and you want them to subscribe to you on youtube? A giveaway is an excellent way to get them to finally do this. Ultimately, the purpose of most giveaways is to get more subscribers, but I’ve found that most effective use of a giveaway is to encourage your audience in one space to follow you another space.
Don’t have it run for too long |
You would think that the longer you run a giveaway, the more opportunity you give people to find the giveaway and enter, right? But what a long giveaway *actually* does is give people a reason not to enter right away...they figure they can enter ‘later’. Making a giveaway shorter in length gives people a sense of urgency to take action. You want that. You want them to come across your content, get excited and immediately enter and share the giveaway with their nearest and dearest.
The sweet spot, in my opinion, is between 1 and 3 weeks (and even that is stretching it a bit). When you run a giveaway and communicate with the people who entered quickly afterward, you come back into the mind of those who entered quickly. This helps you establish credibility as someone they can count on for content and you give them a reason to come back to you. Establishing a pattern of behaviour is really important as a content creator so doing things quickly and predictably will go a long way in transitioning people from randomly discovering you through a giveaway to longtime consumers of your content.
Don’t do them too often |
I’ve seen people do giveaways as often as once a month for an entire year and the results can be disastrous. Why? Because you’ll become known as a "giveaway" blog/youtube channel versus someone who is known for their creative content. Your giveaway posts/videos will always get lots of views but what about your other stuff? Giveaways are supposed to be a tool for exposing your content to new eyes, not a regular part of your content strategy.
Real life example: I worked with a YouTuber who ran a series of giveaways for 3 months. She regrets it to this day (this happened well over a year ago) because people ended up harassing her for not choosing a giveaway winner quickly enough. What do I mean by harassing? Repeated comments on every video, daily emails and attacking her on Instagram and Twitter.
By the way, she did choose a giveaway winner in a timely manner, unfortunately, these people didn’t take the time to watch that video and see that she had. It was a truly unfortunate situation for her.
Do include a way (and incentive) for people to share the giveaway with people that they know |
This is why using a giveaway service is so amazing. They make it easy for people to click a button and share your giveaway by email, on Facebook, Twitter etc. Making it easy for people to share your giveaway is integral to creating virality in your giveaway.
Why would people want to share your giveaway with others? With a giveaway platform, once a person shares the giveaway with their followers/friends, they get extra entries into that giveaway. A lot more people will share your giveaway with others (more exposure for you) when there is something in it for them (more entries, more chances to win). It’s truly a win-win and nearly impossible to emulate without a giveaway platform to help.
Allow people who enter your giveaway to gain extra entries, by taking a look at your other content (and commenting!) |
This is a great way to get people familiar with your content and how amazing it is. By encouraging people to take a look at another blog post or video, you’re getting them in the habit of looking at your content.
Remember, the whole point of a giveaway is to get people to fall in love with YOU! Increase the likelihood that this will happen by encouraging them to see the fantastic (and helpful) content you create that isn’t giveaway related.
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