If you are running a small business, looking for opportunities to help that business grow in the marketplace is essential.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is to offer your audience something unique. People love free stuff, so a giveaway is an excellent way to increase brand awareness and grow your business.
Hosting a giveaway may sound easy, but there’s undoubtedly more to it. So, where do you start?
Well, like almost everything, it all starts with a good idea!
An effective giveaway idea tailored to your brand and audience will allow you to host a successful giveaway that runs smoothly and delivers the desired results.
We have 15 Exceptional Business Giveaway Ideas to help you get started with your next giveaway. We hope our business giveaway ideas help you create excellent new campaigns to supercharge your business.
- How a Giveaway Can Help Grow Your Business
- 15 Business Giveaway Ideas for Your Company
- 1. Photo Submission Contest
- 2. “Caption This Photo” Contest
- 3. Share Your Story Contest
- 4. Design a Product
- 5. Spin-the-Wheel Giveaway
- 6. Scavenger Hunts
- 7. Online Quizzes
- 8. Customer Loyalty Program Giveaways
- 9. Guess the Product
- 10. Nominate a Friend Giveaway
- 11. Returning Customer Giveaway
- 12. Offer Gifts With Each Purchase
- 13. Referral Giveaways
- 14. Frequent Purchase Giveaways
- 15. User-Generated Content Giveaways
- How To Decide What You’re Giving Away
- TL;DR: Business Giveaway Ideas
FREE DOWNLOAD: Get all Our Contest & Giveaway Marketing Guides, Checklists, and tutorials that have helped 100’s of brands collect 15k+ emails in under 21 days!
How a Giveaway Can Help Grow Your Business
One of the critical ways a giveaway can help your small business grow is through brand awareness. Create and share a giveaway post that shows off your content to an all-new audience.
A typical entry guideline for giveaways online is sharing branded content. That means people already seeing your content will take it and put it before a new audience that might not otherwise have seen it.
If members of that audience like what they see, they will also share it. And on and on, the wheel turns.
Our Business Giveaway Ideas Are Only the Beginning
Remember, when organizing giveaways to boost brand awareness, it’s crucial to have precise entry requirements for the campaign. Additionally, if you incorporate images in your promotional post, ensure they align with your company’s aesthetic.
Maintaining a consistent visual style will make followers more likely to engage with your content. Finally, offering prizes that resonate with your target audience is essential. This tactic will generate greater traction and exposure.
A noteworthy example is House of Joppa, which sells Catholic rosary beads and jewelry online. It executed a giveaway following these best practices, resulting in an impressive response of nearly 1,600 likes.
In the marketing world, this kind of giveaway is farming. You’re planting seeds in the form of brand awareness that will hopefully someday grow into loyal repeat customers.
Building Leads and Growing Your Business
Then, there are lead generation-driven giveaways. These are contests where a potential customer has to offer contact information like their name, phone number, email address, Etc. to enter.
So, the cost of entry is simply an email address, which most people are OK with handing over for a chance of winning something.
So, how can a giveaway help your business? It all depends on your goals. You could be trying to raise brand awareness, capture leads, or close sales. It all depends on where your giveaway falls in the customer journey.
If you’re targeting people early on, maybe you’re just trying to generate awareness or leads. If your target audience consists of established customers, a giveaway focused on financial conversion would be the way to go.
15 Business Giveaway Ideas for Your Company
Now, it’s time to get onto the main event. We’ll present you with 15 of the best modern business giveaway ideas companies worldwide use to increase their brand awareness.
Let’s dive in!
1. Photo Submission Contest
Our first giveaway idea is one of the most fun campaigns you can host.
A photo submission contest urges customers to take photos that go along with the theme of your giveaway and post them to social media. Typically, to make this worth your while, they must tag your business in the post and use a branded hashtag.
Why should you choose this for your next giveaway?
Photos are one of the most shareable forms of media. Not only will your participants get a kick out of sharing their creative photos, but their followers might also feel inclined to share them.
This giveaway also presents an opportunity to share that content as well. User-generated content is worth its weight in gold in the marketing world.
But we’ll touch on that more later.
2. “Caption This Photo” Contest
A photo caption contest can bring out the creative side of people. In this dynamic and engaging contest, you’ll encourage participants to create fun captions for your shared photo.
Ideally, this should be something related to your business. Typically, these contests occur in the comments section of your giveaway post. It’s also a good idea to follow your page and like and share the post before entering.
This giveaway type is an engagement machine. First, you get participants to engage with and share the post. But the kind of content it generates also encourages others to comment.
3. Share Your Story Contest
Social proof can be a powerful driver of sales for a small business. Consumers tend to distrust corporate messaging but put a lot of faith in peer reviews and stories.
When you run a “share your story” contest, you encourage the creation of social proof.
Have your customers start talking about their experiences with your company and how it made a difference in their lives.
For example, let’s say you’ve just opened up a small private physical therapy office.
Encourage patients to share stories of their pain and how they improved their quality of life by working with you. It shines a spotlight on your success for potential new patients.
Also, if these stories are exceptionally well written or moving, you could ask the creators if they’d post them as user reviews.
4. Design a Product
By having followers design a version of your products, it puts your company center stage while also giving you a valuable window into the minds of your target audience.
They’re telling you what they want to see.
What’s more, if you make this the kind of giveaway that users vote on, you can tell what the most popular design is. It’s then easy to roll into future product releases and marketing campaigns.
In a way, you’re getting the audience to participate in your development process. They get the opportunity to win a prize, and you get some invaluable data.
5. Spin-the-Wheel Giveaway
The concept of spinning a wheel to win a prize has been in the minds of the American audience since Wheel of Fortune first hit the airwaves in 1975. But even before that, spin-the-wheel games were a staple of carnivals worldwide.
The spin-the-wheel giveaway allows you to inject an element of chance into your giveaway. It creates a carnival or game show-like atmosphere around what you offer and also allows you to present multiple prizes. There can be one huge prize and a lot of smaller prizes.
Of course, this isn’t a giveaway you can run on social media or any online platform. People tend to mistrust virtual spin-the-wheel games. But if you have an old-fashioned brick-and-mortar store, this activity could be just what you need.
6. Scavenger Hunts
Scavenger hunts are always fun activities that promote teamwork. By holding a scavenger hunt in a physical location like your storefront, you get people in the door and encourage them to explore every nook and cranny of your location.
You can still hold an online scavenger hunt if you don’t have a physical location. Encourage participants to review your old social media posts for specific words and photos. They can enter these items into the scavenger hunt by sharing them on their social media pages.
When hosting an online scavenger hunt, you must create quality posts on your social media platforms. Leveraging an AI writing tool can help you create and plan content throughout the giveaway period.
7. Online Quizzes
You can use online quizzes to get a deeper look into the preferences of your target audience.
When creating an online quiz, remember to keep your focus front of mind. Then, pick the right kind of quiz for your customers. Your options could be a personality quiz, an educational quiz, or a knowledge-based quiz.
It could even be a personal shopping quiz. By asking questions in the quiz about what kind of products a specific customer prefers, you can personalize their shopping experience through your website.
The result is a smarter platform that your customers feel comfortable on. It already knows what they like, meaning they’ll waste much less time. Personalization is one of the easiest ways to build repeat customers, the backbone of profitability.
So where does the giveaway come in? They automatically enter your giveaway by simply filling out the quiz and providing you with this data. Give them another entry if they refer a friend to take the quiz.
Doing this doubles their chances of winning and encourages them to send more potential customers your way.
8. Customer Loyalty Program Giveaways
Not all giveaways are part of a contest. Sometimes, rather than seeking out new customers, rewarding the ones you already have is best. It’s a nice way to recognize their continued business and loyalty.
A customer loyalty program encourages someone who walks through your door and makes a purchase to come back. With every purchase, they earn points to redeem later for various prizes.
You’re starting to see this with fast-food chains with their own apps. A company like McDonald’s encourages you to use a mobile app to order. Each time you do, you earn points that you can later redeem for menu items.
You can cash these menu items in quickly and earn something small like a four-piece Chicken McNugget. You can also save your points and cash them in for something more extensive like a Big Mac.
These are obviously massive companies, but small businesses like yours can take this concept and make it work. Invest in a point-of-sale system that supports loyalty programs. You’ll then be able to offer a program that keeps your customers loyal and recurring.
9. Guess the Product
A simple yet fun game that customers can play on social media platforms is “Guess the product.”
You first share a post that has a blacked-out photo of one of your products. You then encourage followers to guess which product it is. All correct answers go into a random drawing for fabulous prizes. You can also play the engagement game with this one, requiring all entrants to follow your page and like the post.
That also has the advantage of forcing entrants to visit your website and click around your products to find the answer.
10. Nominate a Friend Giveaway
Sometimes, customers aren’t looking to gain something for themselves. Instead, their motives are more altruistic, and they want to do something nice for a friend.
Run a giveaway where you offer a prize, but tell your customers they can’t nominate themselves. Instead, they should nominate a friend or family member who deserves it.
First, encouraging customers to say nice things about their friends is good for general morale.
Secondly, the friend they nominate might not already be your customer. Plus, if they’re moved enough by what their friend said about them on your post, they’ll share it with followers.
11. Returning Customer Giveaway
If you have a customer who hasn’t purchased in a while, offer them a free giveaway item or discount to come back.
You can communicate this offer through a special email. Compile your elapsed customers into a dedicated email list that periodically sends them personalized marketing messages.
Reach out to the customer and tell them that you miss them. Offer them a free small gift if they come in and make a minimum purchase. Usually, something around $25 does the trick.
12. Offer Gifts With Each Purchase
Small business owners should always network with other businesses. If you encounter another small business owner offering something relevant without being a direct competitor, look for cross-promotion opportunities.
Consider offering a gift to their customers when they purchase from your new friend. See if the other business owner will offer a free prize to your customers when they buy from you. This prize could be something as simple as a coupon or gift card.
It could also be something more substantial, as long as it’s cost-effective.
For example, a partnership with YUPLAY for a video game giveaway could be an excellent fit if your business operates in the gaming or tech industries.
Offering popular games or gift cards as prizes can attract a broad audience. That’s especially true for any gaming enthusiast among your customers. This strategy can successfully promote engagement and loyalty towards your brand.
If these partnerships prove fruitful, your now overlapping audiences will look forward to your next joint promotion.
13. Referral Giveaways
Referrals make up the backbone of a strong business. But it’s not always easy to convince your existing customers that they should be bringing their friends and family members through the door.
That’s why sometimes you must sweeten the deal with a referral giveaway. Make an offer to your existing customers. Tell them they’ll get a free item or discount if they bring a friend who makes a minimum purchase.
This giveaway program is common among health clubs or other subscription or membership-based businesses.
14. Frequent Purchase Giveaways
Incorporating coupon giveaways can be an effective strategy when growing a small business. Coupons provide a win-win situation, enticing hesitant customers to make their first purchase while allowing businesses to showcase their products or services. The allure of saving money is a powerful incentive to build trust with new customers and drive sales for your business.
Custom Frame Store serves as an excellent example of this strategy. It offers an enticing 50% off coupon on a customer’s first order to instill assurance in new potential clients for its wholesale picture frames.
With the proper marketing and distribution strategy, coupon giveaways can generate buzz around your small business, expand your customer base, and foster long-term loyalty. Custom Frame Store’s savvy use of generous discounts shows how well-implemented coupons can significantly impact business growth.
If you want creative ways to propel your small business forward, incorporating coupon giveaways like Custom Frame Stores can be an excellent addition to your marketing arsenal.
15. User-Generated Content Giveaways
One of the most effective giveaway contests you can run is a user-generated content giveaway.
User-generated content is creative content developed by users for users.
It’s content that carries added trust. When potential customers see you talking only positively about your products and services, they’ll disregard you. The average internet user sees far too many ads every day. As such, we as a people have grown numb to corporate messaging.
But when a prospective customer sees content generated by peers who praise your business, there’s a lot more trust developed.
Also, content is expensive to create. You must pay graphic designers, writers, and brilliant marketing minds to devise the messaging.
User-generated content comes to you for free. The only cost you may have is the price of your giveaway item. It’s a win-win situation.
Want to know more about user-generated content? We have a complete guide on UGC.
How To Decide What You’re Giving Away
Before determining what kind of giveaway to offer, you must decide what to give away.
When making this all-important choice, you must ask yourself two questions:
- What kind of prize will drive your target audience into action?
- What type of prize can you reasonably afford to give out without eating into your profits?
That first part is easy. You should already have a firm idea of what your target audience is looking for. This insight comes from a lot of demographic research before you launch your first marketing campaign.
What will capture their attention based on the pain points your target audience has?
However, it would be best if you still considered some financial matters. For example, how much does this item cost to acquire, produce, and ship? Compare that with the average value of a lead. If your average value per lead is $200, but your giveaway item costs $100, you’ve just eaten up 50% of your revenue.
However, if you’re offering something that comes at no cost, like an e-book, everything you generate from your giveaway is pure profit. So while it might be a great idea, in theory, to offer a brand new car as some fabulous grand prize, it doesn’t make financial sense for your business.
TL;DR: Business Giveaway Ideas
As a small business owner, you can’t afford to just sit back and wait for people to come to you. It’s not going to happen.
Take the initiative by coming up with creative marketing ventures like the 15 business giveaway ideas listed above. Show potential customers that they have something to gain by giving you their attention. You’ll ultimately create a foundation of loyal recurring customers who’ll keep you afloat even in the slowest times.
If you found this content valuable, we only ask that you share it on social media. If you have an idea for a giveaway that we haven’t discussed, sound off in the comments section below.
About The AuthorJoanne Camarce grows and strategizes B2B marketing and PR efforts. She loves slaying outreach campaigns and connecting with brands like G2, Wordstream, Process Street, and others.
When she’s not wearing her marketing hat, you’ll find Joanne admiring Japanese music and art or just being a dog mom.
Jack Paxton is the co-founder of VYPER, a marketing tool that helps brands build email lists, social followings, and revenue using viral giveaways, referral, and reward programs. After millions of dollars spent testing different marketing strategies at his marketing agency. He then also co-founded Hyax a fast, conversion & design-focused course and funnel builder for creators.