Holding a giveaway may seem like an easy way to promote your e-commerce shop — after all, how hard can it be to give away some cool product or swag?
The answer is that it’s harder than it looks at first glance. The world of marketing is a noisy place, even if you trying to give something away for free! But no worries. We’ll walk you through the steps of running a fantastic giveaway to promote your e-commerce business.
When should you hold a giveaway?
- Before a launch
- Around the holidays (although you may get more engagement if you choose a less busy time)
- To announce a product or partnership
- To celebrate an anniversary
Or just any time to help build your audience. Ready to get started?
Step 1: Set goals for your giveaway
What do you ultimately hope to get out of this giveaway? Maybe your goal is increasing your number of newsletter subscribers, growing your social media following, getting more engagement on a particular platform, or getting people to sign up for your loyalty club.
Try to be more specific than just raising brand awareness, or creating buzz. Ask yourself: what metric will you use to measure whether or not your giveaway campaign was successful?
Knowing your goal will help you understand things like how to market your giveaway, what influencers to contact, and even what you should be giving way in the first place.
Step 2: Choose a unique, targeted prize
As I said before, the Internet is a noisy place. To cut through the chatter, make sure your giveaway prize is something that makes people sit up and pay attention.
A gift certificate or a popular product are totally acceptable prizes. But if you want the maximum amount of engagement, come up with something that people can’t get any other way. This might be a limited edition item, a unique package, or a one-off experience.
One mistake people often make with giveaways is to offer a prize that targets too wide a demographic. A new iPad or a trip to Hawaii will appeal to just about everybody — but do you want just about everybody on your email list or following your social media account?
Do some brainstorming to come up with a prize that your target audience will go rabid for!
Step 3: Identify strategic partners
Regardless of your specific goal, you’ll generally have more success if you think beyond your current audience when promoting your giveaway.
Look at your partner businesses, vendors, and business associates. Can you come up with a good crossover promotion that would allow you to work together? Who else has an audience that you can tap into? What other social media influencers have audiences who appreciate knowing about the giveaway?
The more partners you can bring into promoting this giveaway, the more successful it will be.
Step 4: Spread the word
It’s not enough just to create a giveaway and hope people find out about it. Treat the period of your giveaway as you would a holiday or product launch marketing campaign.
Spread the word on your social media, email newsletter, and even in real life (if you have a retail location or can think of some other creative way to spread the word off-line). Schedule regular updates to highlight the countdown until the giveaways over and create even more buzz.
Along with organic word-of-mouth efforts, use targeted advertising on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram to draw in even more people. And don’t forget to submit your giveaway details to dedicated giveaway sites in your industry!
Step 5: Follow up after the giveaway
Your giveaway campaign isn’t over as soon as the giveaway closes. Budget time and effort for strong follow-up to get the most mileage out of your new followers or subscribers.
Be sure to highlight the winter in order to create social proof for your company. You might encourage them to send you a photo with whatever product they won, or profile them in your email newsletter or social media.
Don’t forget to follow up with everyone who didn’t win, too. If you captured their emails, use an autoresponder series to thank them for entering the contest and offer them a discount code or coupon as a consolation prize. When you take the time to do something special for them, you’ll stand out above the other companies holding giveaways.
Learn more: 3 Lessons for Success from Customer-Centric Brands
Have you grown your e-commerce business through giveaways? We’d love to hear what worked and what didn’t for you. Let us know in the comments!
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