We’ve said it before but it bears repeating: People love freebies! Free items, or giveaways, are an incredibly powerful tool to build brand awareness, engage with fans and create a memorable brand experience. Giveaway contests are also very flexible by nature, which allows your business to set a budget and spend as little or as much as you want, when you want.

However, making the most of your campaign and your giveaway items does require some strategy. With the right planning, you can build a giveaway campaign that is high-impact, memorable and cost-effective. In this post, we share our tips for planning a killer giveaway campaign for your business.

1. Determine the goal of the giveaway.

Have you heard the saying, a goal without a plan is just a wish? Before you launch a giveaway campaign, ask yourself: What is the purpose? What is the goal of this campaign? For example, you might want to build overall brand awareness, introduce a new product or increase your social media presence. Honing in on your goal at the onset will help you determine key factors, including the type of contest you run, where you run it and how much you spend on it. Identifying clear goals will save you time and money down the road and will help you measure the success of your campaign and make improvements for the next one.

Part of the goal planning process is also thinking about your key audience. One tip is to identify your ideal “persona”. This could be based on someone’s age, gender, location or interests. Articulating who it is you’re trying to reach will help you identify the best type of contest to run and the right merchandise to give away.

2. Select the right giveaway item.

Which leads us to our next tip: selecting the perfect giveaway item! Now that you know your goals and your target audience, what type of product will appeal to them? In general, giveaway items are typically low in cost to manufacture, but have a high perceived value.

One of the most popular giveaway items that we make is button badges. Button badges are low in cost to produce, yet highly collectable and coveted, making them a perfect giveaway tool. If your campaign goal is brand awareness, buttons are a great choice because they get noticed – people of all ages collect and wear them on coats, hats and accessories. Which means that with every button you give away, you’re helping to spread the word on your product, service or message.

Button badges are also speedy. They can be designed, created and shipped in minimal time – the lead time is just five short days from the time of art approval. So, if you’re running short on time for a fast-approaching campaign, we suggest you consider a bespoke button badge! For more, see this earlier post on three reasons button badges are the perfect promotional item.

 

 

Another tip is to be creative! We offer many other low-cost, high-value items beyond button badges. One strategy is to think about something practical, like keyrings, fridge magnets, reusable bags or even air fresheners. Selecting highly functional items ensures that people will actually use your merchandise, which will help keep your business top of mind for time to come.

3. Plan your giveaway

During the planning process, you’ll also want to articulate exactly how you’ll promote and execute your giveaway campaign. The exciting thing about a giveaway campaign is that it can take many different shapes, all of which can be quite successful, from social media contests to more “guerilla-style” in-person events.

If you’d like to plan a giveaway contest on social media, one of the first steps is to establish and use an appropriate hashtag. Consider creating special social media graphics or web banners to run during the entirety of your campaign, and then take these down at the end of the contest. Struggling for ideas? One source lists 20 clever ideas for giveaway campaigns on social media, from photo contests to prize packages.

Another effective strategy is to plan a guerilla campaign to give away buttons or other items at popular public places like the gym, coffee shop or library. Again, think back to your target audience and where they’re likely to live, work or play. Events are also a great place to host giveaway contests as they’re highly trafficked and giveaways can help entice people to your booth. Experiment with a fun take on the contest, such as a trivia question or quick scavenger hunt to receive the giveaway.

Another tip is to time your giveaway contest around key moments, like seasons, holidays, concerts, marathons and other large events. If you’re still stuck for ideas, consider doing some research on what others are up to. You can search sites like the Prize Finder to see what contests are running and seek further inspiration.  

4. Promote your giveaway.

If people don’t know about your giveaway contest, you’ll likely struggle to accomplish your identified goals. As you plan your contest, think about how you’ll promote it over time, be it one day or over the course of a month. You should promote it via your website and established social media channels, but also consider creative approaches like reaching out to bloggers or press to help spread the message. Make it easy for them to share the news by providing a press release or media share kit with prepared messaging and graphics. You could also connect with complementary brands or businesses for a more collaborative approach to your contest.

Outside of helping you accomplish your defined goals, a giveaway campaign is a great opportunity to collect helpful data about your customers. You could ask for information like an email address in exchange for a fun giveaway item, which will help you build a robust contact list that you can use for other marketing campaigns down the road.

What other interesting giveaway campaigns have you seen out there? We’d love to hear more about them and help you devise the perfect product for a killer giveaway campaign this year. Please get in touch with us today to get started!