Marketing trick of the week: 3 steps to successful giveaway campaign

This post is part of our marketing trick of the week series sharing actionable tips for marketers and other entrepreneurs like us.

This week’s trick is inspired by The Fizzle podcast episode where the hosts discuss how to increase your sales and conversion rates.

Most of the marketers have built giveaway campaigns to attract new customers, get rid off their existing inventory or build awareness for a new product. We find them in the corridors of shopping centres and these days we can not avoid seeing them on our Facebook feed on a daily basis. A typical giveaway campaign includes a chance to win a prize, or you’ll get a free sample of the product by sharing your contact details.

Now tell me the truth, how’s your experience been? Have those giveaway campaigns been successful?

Unfortunately, often the outcome is a massive list of contact details, but we struggle to convert them to paying clients later. If you are running a commodity business, say a burger restaurant, and literally, everyone living in a particular area is your customer, getting a huge list of contacts might make sense. But the most of us run niche businesses, and we can define the target customers in detail. Giving away free iPads would probably help you to gather a huge list of contacts, but how many of them are potential buyers of your service?

How to create a successful giveaway campaign?

But done right, giveaway campaigns do work. Here are three simple questions to ask yourself when planning the giveaway campaign:

  1. Qualify: Are you targeting the right people?
  2. Nurture: How warm are the customers?
  3. Create a sense of urgency: Are you giving your customers a reason to buy now?

Question 1: Are you targeting the right people?

At Flockler we provide a free trial of 30 days to attract potential customers. A free trial is a very typical giveaway for a self-service software business – it’s the free Gillette razorblade of the modern day (for more about the topic, we recommend to read Free by Chris Anderson). As more and more businesses are online, instead of giving away the product on the street, they use social ads to drive traffic to their landing pages promoting the free digital sample. At Flockler we are no different, but we’ve found out that promoting the free trial in social channels does not lead to a high number of conversions. Even with all the fantastic targeting options, people browsing their Facebook news feed and posts from their friends are not often ready to sign up immediately. They just do not know enough about the product yet – even if it’s a free trial, people value their time and do not share their email address and contact details careless.

How to find the right people then? Two useful tips:

Tip 1: If you are already doing content marketing and sharing helpful content, get started by promoting the content to your target audience. And here comes the critical part: add a call-to-action at the end of the article and give away something useful that is closely related to the topic. Simply asking the reader to subscribe to your newsletter is too generic – you'll need to provide additional value aligned to the piece of content. It can be a whitepaper, a checklist how to get started or signing up for a webinar. Now you are not just gathering emails, but you already know that these people are interested in a specific topic. Brian Dean from Backlinko calls this content upgrade.

Tip 2: Ask people to share their experiences of using your product on social channels. Don’t just ask them to participate in a competition and post a silly image or comment. Ask them to provide product feedback or ideas how others can use the product too. That will give you a list of people who engaged in your services, and in addition to the fact that they’ve shared their authentic experience to their friends, you’ll be able to use the data to identify the most influential and active participants. Social media aggregator tools like Flockler both help you to gather the content and identify the most engaged customers.

Question 2: How warm are the customers?

Alright, we have a list of right people. What’s the next step?

Not all of them are ready to buy straight away, so we’ll need to start warming them up. Recently we wrote about optimising your email marketing flow, and similarly, you should consider all these leads to be newbies to the topic and provide them with a sequence of content helping them become experts. The key is to give enough information about the topic and your products to convince them you can solve their problem.

An excellent method is to work backwards from your product offering and key features and to list questions that your customers are asking during the buying process. For every product or service, there are roadblock questions that stop people from buying, and if you have not just started your business, creating a list should not be a big effort. Then order that list and use it to build a sequence of content starting from the basics and gradually moving to more advanced topics. Also, if you are familiar with Facebook's retargeting pixel, you’ll be able to use social ads and amplify your message by serving the right content based on the pages they’ve already visited.

If you asked your audience to share their experiences and product feedback on social channels, don’t forget to use that content as well! One of the typical roadblocks is that people do not trust the beautiful and carefully crafted images by the brand. They just look too good to be true, don't they? But when we see another customer, who we can relate to, using the product, the conversion rates increase drastically. Plant the pieces of customer feedback to the sequence of content.

Question 3: Are you creating a sense of urgency?

In the second step and during the flow of educational content you are giving your customers a reason to buy your product, sweeping off the roadblocks. The last step is to create a sense of urgency. A reason to buy now.

It’s the oldest trick in the book, and I already learned that as a young kid following my grandfather to do advertising for their family-owned grocery store. Finns love coffee, so much that they consume the highest amount per capita, and offering a pack of coffee at a discount is a common way to pull in customers. The discount is available only for a limited period, and even if the consumers know similar offer will be there soon again, it creates a sense of urgency and motivates them to buy right now. In the context of a grocery shop, the obvious target is to get people visit the shop more often and draw them to add something with a higher margin to their shopping basket.

Now building from that, think about infomercials and how the commercial video includes layers: the show starts with the basic version of the product and every few minutes there’s an additional component to the offer. Step-by-step making it even better, but only if you order today. It is precisely what you should immerse in your flow of content as well. For each piece of content shared, add a limited offer to spark a reason to buy right now. Don't be too pushy, and align the limited-time offer closely with the topic and point you are trying to make with the content, and the expertise of the user (the specific part of your sequence).

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