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6 Giveaway Ideas to Generate Leads and Enhance Brand Visibility

By Michelle Martin Reviewed By Mike Lucas
By Michelle Martin Reviewed By Mike Lucas

Giveaways are a useful and cost-effective method to acquire high-quality leads and grow your brand visibility. Plus, people love them.

But how do you come up with good giveaway ideas? Easy: We’ve compiled the best ones.

We’ve done all the hard work so that you can simply steal these 6 giveaway ideas and start generating leads today.

Several hands reach up to an illuminated word sign that reads “Giveaway.”

Why Do Giveaways Work?

1. Giveaways Are Highly Shareable

Giveaways are an easy thing for customers to share. You should build sharing directly into entering the contest, so a user has to share it to complete their entry. Or, you can offer extra points or chances to win for doing so.

Either way, asking someone to share your giveaway is easy and doesn’t take much effort, meaning the chances of a customer doing so are high. This exposes you to a new audience for free.

Instagram is a great place to share a giveaway.
Source: Business2Community

2. The Psychological Desire to Win

The human fight for survival has left an evolutionary imprint on our brains that is still there today. 

According to a study first published by The New York Times in 1983, primates who exhibited socially dominant behavior — in other words, “won” — had higher levels of serotonin in their blood. Serotonin is the reward chemical of the brain. The brain produces it to reward behavior.

Humans are wired the same way as the primates in the study. When we win, we feel happy. When we lose, we feel we’re lacking something.

Giveaways address this primal need by offering that chance at an easy win. “Enter an email address, push a button and I could win,” our primate brain tells us. Our desire for increased social status by winning the giveaway prize is the motivation at work here.

There’s no denying winning feels good. We’re hard-wired to enter giveaways, making them a very effective psychological marketing tool.

3. It Doesn’t Feel Like an Ad

Lastly, a giveaway doesn’t feel like being sold to. A giveaway feels like a brand is giving you something out of the goodness of its heart. Even if you don’t win, the brand is giving you a chance.

What would you rather encounter from a brand? A chance to win awesome prizes or a poster to look at featuring their latest product?

Not only is the giveaway the more “fun” option, but it leaves the entrant with a positive association to your brand.

6 Effective Giveaway Ideas to Get Leads

1. Social Media Contest

A social media giveaway is one of the easiest to execute and most effective options on this list.

Instagram is the perfect network for this, but you can host a giveaway on any social platform of your choice. Whatever network you choose, it’s important to include a disclaimer that your contest isn’t associated with that network to comply with legal rules.

A common disclaimer found on Instagram giveaways is as follows:

Per Instagram rules, this promotion is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm that they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s terms of use.

The easiest way to run an Instagram giveaway is to post a photo of the prize and write in the caption how to enter, which usually consists of:

  1. Liking the photo.
  2. Leaving a comment on the photo.
  3. Tagging friends, one per comment (to drive up your engagement rate).
  4. Sharing the post to the user’s stories for extra entries. (This can be difficult to track if you have a lot of entries. You can also ask people to repost the contest image to their feed using a specific hashtag which is much easier to tally up.)
  5. Saving the post (Instagram’s latest algorithm fuel).

You don’t have to require users to do all of these actions and, in fact, you shouldn’t. Keep your contest entry requirements to 2-3 tasks maximum. More than that and users may think it’s more trouble than it’s worth to enter.

In this example, Fabletics is asking users to do 3 things: like the photo, tag a friend and repost it to their feeds.

In this Instagram post, Fabletics is asking users to do 3 things: like the photo, tag a friend and repost it to their feeds.
Source: Instagram

This can bring in the best kind of leads: customers referred by friends and family (who tag them in the post). According to a study by Nielsen, 83% of people take action when a friend refers a product to them.

2. Raffle Contest

You can sell raffle tickets at an event or in-store or host a virtual raffle on a landing page. Apps such as Rafflecopter or Raffle Creator are popular for this.

Using an app makes it quick to set up and comply with all legal rules for selecting a winner. To users, the contest looks like this:

Using an app makes it quick to set up and comply with all the rules for selecting a winner.
Source: Rafflecopter

You can embed the form into any webpage and have users complete tasks in exchange for entries into your contest (raffle tickets).

Common tasks include:

  • Liking/following your company on social media platforms
  • Signing up for your newsletter
  • Sharing the contest on their own social media pages
  • Leaving a comment on an article
  • Watching a product video

However, the tasks can be anything you want a user to do.

As true for all contests, it’s best to keep the list of tasks short and easy to complete within a few minutes so that more users will be motivated to enter. Be sure to include a sharing option.

3. User-Generated Content Contest

This type of giveaway is more complex for users and best suited to larger prizes, such as a high monetary value item or exclusive experience (backstage concert experience, vacation, etc).

This contest gives users an assignment they complete to enter. This is usually in the form of a photo uploaded to social media using a specific hashtag. You need to use a hashtag so that you can track all the entries.

However, you can get creative and even use the contest as a way of developing new product ideas, like Lay’s did in 2017 with its “Do Us a Flavor” contest.

Users had to pitch a new chip flavor and design what the bag would look like to be entered to win $1 million. This is a big ask, especially in designing a bag. However, the prize amount is enticing enough for someone to spend the time necessary to enter.

You can get creative and even use the contest as a way of developing new product ideas, like Lay's did in 2017 with its "Do Us a Flavor" contest.
Source: RafflePress

A million may be over your budget, but you can still ask users to snap a photo or create artwork around your brand for a smaller prize.

4. Gift Card Giveaway

Giving away your own gift cards is easy, cost-effective for you and ensures someone will be placing an order with you, further exposing new customers to your brand.

This is a great contest idea for startups or if you don’t have much of a marketing budget.

The only drawback with this is that it’s likely to resonate the most with your existing audience, who already know and love your brand. It can be difficult to get new leads excited about winning a gift card to a company they’ve likely never heard of.

To combat this, you can host a “Buy 1 Get 1” contest.

Run it like the social media contest mentioned above: post a photo and ask your existing audience to tag a friend in the comments. However, when choosing the winner, award a gift card to both the person who left a comment and the person they tagged.

This provides an incentive for your existing fans to win a gift card, but ensures the new person they tagged will shop with you as well. Additionally, at least a few of the people tagged who didn’t win will probably check out your profile, too.

This isn’t the quickest way to grow overall, but it is cheap and easily repeatable to slowly build your customer base and get referrals coming in.

5. Combine A Giveaway With Influencer Marketing

Have a little bit more of a marketing budget?

Hire social media influencers to spread the word about your contest and direct people over to your social media post or contest landing page.

The key for success here is choosing the right influencers. Not simply popular ones, but ones whose audiences resemble your ideal customers.

Don’t think an influencer needs 100,000 followers to have an impact on your lead generation contest. Sometimes nano-influencers — people with under 10,000 followers — can have a bigger impact.

According to Social Media Today, nano-influencers have deeper relationships with their audiences and can result in a higher conversion rate overall than influencers with huge followings. Plus, they’re a lot more affordable to work with.

According to Social Media Today, nano-influencers have deeper relationships with their audiences and can result in a higher conversion rate overall than influencers with huge followings.
Source: Social Media Today

6. Partner With Other Companies

The best way to get qualified new leads is to partner with a complementary business and “switch” audiences.

That means host a giveaway together and share all the leads you get.

For example, if you’re a fitness center, partner with a nearby smoothie or lunch spot. Give away a membership package and gift card to the restaurant. Or, if you’re a jeweler, partner up with a clothing brand for a co-sponsored giveaway, such as the one Ringly hosted with apparel brand Naadam.

If you're a jeweler, partner up with a clothing brand for a co-sponsored giveaway, such as the one Ringly hosted with apparel brand Naadam.
Source: Shopify

Each brand in the partnership publicizes the contest, linking back to one central post or webpage for users to enter.

If your goal is to grow your social media following, linking back to a social media post to enter and requiring users to follow all the brands participating works well.

If your goal is to build your email list, be sure to link to a website-based contest page where users have to enter their emails. All brands in the giveaway should share the emails that are collected so that each brand can add the entries to their lists for future email marketing campaigns.

Start Raking in the Leads With These Giveaway Ideas

Coming up with giveaway ideas can be tough, but it’s well worth the effort. Giveaways bring you high-quality leads that can significantly increase your conversions.

For the greatest impact, be sure to collect users’ email addresses as part of the entry requirements. Email marketing is still king of ROI. According to a study by Litmus, email marketing generates $42 for every $1 invested in it.

Start with a simple Instagram contest. Snap a photo of a prize, ask people to comment or sign up for your newsletter. It doesn’t need to be a huge prize or part of a larger campaign. Start small with giveaways, as you can always scale them up as you go.

But the important thing? Starting. Don’t let this lead-generating machine pass you by: Create a giveaway today.

Michelle Martin Contributing Writer, Fast Capital 360
Michelle Martin is a freelance copywriter for business-to-business, software-as-a-service companies looking to stand out and scale up. She is an ex-agency producer and marketing strategist known for quickly understanding and distilling complicated technical topics into conversational copy that gets results.
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