Never underestimate the power of free! People love free stuff, which is why marketers love giving free stuff away.

Marketers use giveaways and contests to harness the power of free. These campaigns boost engagement, acquire new customers and fans, increase signups, and take your website traffic to new heights.

All of this is probably sounding too good to be true right now. The truth is that giveaways and contests can be challenging to host.

There are a few things that can go wrong which is why it’s crucial that you have the perfect strategy in place before you launch your next campaign.

This guide has 9 essential giveaway and contest tips that will ensure your brand host successful campaigns that deliver the best results.

giveaway and contest tips

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1. Understand Your Objectives

Do you aim to increase your WordPress audience reach by building your audience on different social channels? Is your goal to drive engagement? Do you wish to grow your email list? Or are you trying to boost brand awareness?

Understanding your objectives will help you choose the right campaign, platform, and tools to increase your audience reach.

For instance, 7UP, a popular soft drink brand, intended to increase its outreach on Twitter and reach a wider audience. 

They hosted a giveaway to meet their goals, offering passes to a sought-after music festival. In return, the participants were prompted to follow their Twitter handle and retweet the contest.

7UP Hardfest Tweetstakes
Source: Twitter @7UP

2. Make Your Prize Appealing and Relevant

If you run giveaways, contests, or sweepstakes, you know that prizes play an essential role in enticing your audience to enter. However, not all prizes are created equal.

Not every business will be able to offer a flashy, $10,000+ round-the-world trip for the entire family. Nevertheless, your prize should excite the participants and make them want to take action. Plus, the prize should be related to your brand.

Some great ideas include coupons, discounts, gift cards, branded merchandise, limited edition products, free shipping for a year, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday product giveaway.
Here is an example of an Instagram contest from an artist who gave away exciting prizes to the winner of the contest.

tanya__artistry instagram campaign
Source: Instagram @tanya__artistry

Don’t forget that everyone likes free things, even if they say that they don’t. All you have to do is give your audience what they find relevant or valuable. 

Just like the above example, you can celebrate the release of your new product by giving away the latest edition of your product.

3. Select the Right Tools

Running a giveaway or contest for your blog is a smart way to grow your email list and social media followers, but you have to choose the right tools.

Luckily, there are plenty of tools available to help you run your contest. 

The plugins will let you set up and run all sorts of contests including video contests, sweepstakes, and more. If your business isn’t ready to invest in tools yet, you can always go for the free version of a tool.

Some plugins even have giveaway templates, and allow you to pick a random winner, making your work easy.

Other than that, you can always hire a WordPress developer to help you in your campaign. Besides, there are social media contest tracking tools, such as the HashtagsForLikes tracker, that can help you leverage social media hashtags more effectively.

Hashtag Tracker
Source: Shane Barker

You just have to enter a hashtag into the search box to discover all the relevant information you might require to run a hashtag-based contest. 

4. Promote Your Contest Extensively

You’re hosting a contest, giveaway, or sweepstakes with an amazing prize. It’s free to enter, and the rewards are amazing. But it won’t work unless you take all the right steps to promote your contest or giveaway.

Even though you have come up with the best giveaway and prize, you won’t get much traction without extensive promotion. After all, your target audience needs to be aware of the giveaway in the first place to participate. 

The great idea is to promote the giveaway beforehand to invoke curiosity and increase engagement. 

In fact, you can even ask your social media followers what they want to win in the next giveaway contest.

You can also team up with other companies to offer more prizes and gain more exposure. It will be a win-win for both and a way of cross-promotion. You’ll get traction from their followers, and they’ll enjoy traction from your followers. However, make sure that you collaborate with someone in your own niche. 

Additionally, promote your contests and giveaways on all your social channels, use ads, and consider submitting them to giveaways and sweepstakes directories.

VYPER Free Account Signup Fortnite

5. Have a Post-Giveaway Plan

Developing a post-giveaway plan is one of the top giveaways and contest tips.

A giveaway is a great way to kickstart your blog – and grow your email list – but hate to break it to you, it’s not the end of the story. If you want people to keep coming back and checking out what you have to say, then it’s crucial to put some thought into what happens post-giveaway.

You have put a lot of time and energy into your campaign, and now that you have a winner, you want to let the world see that a real person has won the contest.

Keep on promoting even after the contest ends. It is an excellent opportunity to increase brand awareness by presenting the human side.  

You can create an Instagram story announcing the winner, as in the example below:

Tailgate Challenge Instagram Campaign
Source: Instagram @tailgatingchallenge

Chances are the winner will share the Story with their followers, which will bring a whole new audience to your posts.

6. Set Contest Rules

Contests can be an effective way to increase your outreach on WordPress if you are handling them correctly. 

Setting clear rules and guidelines will increase your chances of getting quality submissions while keeping the attention on your event instead of the drama of the contest process itself.

So, contest rules and logistics are crucial for a successful campaign. 

Here are some essential giveaway and contest tips to consider while setting your contest rules:

  • Choose the type of contest you want to run. Do you want to run a contest where you offer people a chance to win for entering? Or do you need something from the contest participants?

For instance, you can create a contest where people need to submit their email addresses to enter. 

Here’s an example from Buffer.

buffer contest
Source: Campaign Monitor

In one of their giveaways, people were made to enter their email addresses for a chance of winning a Plan for Life worth $6,000. You can use WordPress plugins like KingSumo to create such giveaways.

Here are some other rules you must consider: 

  • Decide who can enter the contest. For instance, age limit or location limit.
  • Set start and end days.
  • Decide upon the entry methods, such as how participants can enter or how often they can enter your giveaway.
  • Choose a method to pick the winner. Will you use a vote or random draw? 
  • See that the entry methods you implement align with your goals. 

A contest is a great way to spread your brand, whether on Twitter, Facebook, or the forum. Just make sure you follow these contest rules, and you’ll be good to go.

7. Leverage UGC

A user-generated content giveaway is a great way to increase engagement. You will also have lots of unique content to post after the contest.

You could post a picture, a drawing, or a mockup of upcoming development and challenge your followers to create a caption for it. The winning entry will be used in place of the original image, with credit given to the user who created it. 

This creates an opportunity for users to get involved with your brand and foster engagement on social media by creating relevant content.

Or you could ask entrants to post a photo with your product. Or ask them to post a photo that adheres to a theme.

Contests as such will also help you collect testimonials. Consider asking your users to share their personal stories surrounding the product, brand, or stories relating to your page’s ethos. 

Here’s a great example:

funsnax_nigeria instagram campaign
Source: Instagram @funsnax_nigeria

They asked the participants to take photos with their favorite Fun Snax Cereals and follow their account and tag them in their photo post using the hashtag #breakfastwithfunsnax.

All things considered, benefits to your business of UGC promotion are many, including improved search rankings, potential free traffic, and increased social media mentions for your company. If there’s anything that can skyrocket your WordPress outreach, it’s UGC.

8. Consider Offering Limited Edition Products As Rewards

Offer limited edition products as rewards to stir up a ton of engagement. The engagement comes from people who are interested in the product. You can also show them the value of being part of your audience.

And it’s easy to see why: if you offer a limited edition t-shirt as a reward in your contest, you’ll get people signing up to win, simply because they don’t know where else they could get such a terrific product.

​It works as your products feel like a rarity that only a selected few can know about. Your limited edition products could be your existing products with an advanced feature or a preview of a new product that is yet to be released.

Here’s an excellent example from Starbucks:

Starbucks Limited Series merch
Source: The ODM Group

For example, they released the limited series merchandise just in time for the Dragon Boat Festival that originated in China.

Limited edition products are very attractive to customers and create demand. If a product is unique and has limited availability, it is likely to increase in value to the customer, which will naturally lead to more engagement for your contest.

9. Gamified Contest

Gamification isn’t just for online games — online contests are a great way to “gamify” your business, get more customers and improve your brand image.

Running a gamified contest or sweepstakes can also be a great way to increase your WordPress outreach. 

In general, a gamified experience has the following elements: a point system that tracks participant progress and performance; achievement badges for earning certain milestones or feats; and leaderboards for seeing how you stack up against other participants of the contest.

A great example of a gamified contest is McDonald’s Monopoly challenge.

McDonalds Gamified Contest
Source: Cosmopolitan

McDonald’s let customers gather game pieces whenever they make qualified purchases. The basic premise is that players collect game pieces with hopes of completing a common set and receiving a prize.

They give instant prizes such as free food or beverages from McDonald’s and also valuable prizes.

This results in increased press and also leads to incentivized purchases. After all, rewards and gamification are a powerful combination. The thrill of reward for hitting a goal, milestone, or target is a compelling motivation technique.

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TL;DR: Giveaway and Contest Tips

So, these were some of the best giveaway and contest tips to help you increase your WordPress outreach. 

Giveaways and contests are a great way to increase your WordPress outreach and brand awareness. They can also help you improve your site’s organic traffic and search engine ranking, and they can even be used to build pre-launch buzz for your new products. 

As they say, nothing succeeds like success, and giveaways and contests are effective ways to ensure that yours is a successful campaign.

Tell us, what are your favorite giveaway and contest tips listed here? Let us know in the comments below.

About The Author

Lucy is a creative content writer and strategist at Marketing Digest. She specializes in writing about digital marketing, technology, entrepreneurship, and education. When she is not writing or editing, she spends time reading books, cooking and traveling.
Jack Paxton
Jack Paxton

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.

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