Promoting your business using giveaways

Ces Loftus is graphic designer at Creatively Minded, owner of Supportive Business Mums and she’s a familiar face around the UK mum-in-business community. When I noticed she was using an unusual method  to market her business (giveaways, but of products from other businesses rather than her own) , I asked her to share it with us here at Business Plus Baby. Over to you Ces!

You may have thought of running giveaways to attract new customers but find yourself asking “does it really work?” or “will I get enough new business to cover the cost of my giveaway?”

Over the years I have run lots of giveaways and I can give you some of my top tips for running a successful one.

Firstly, notice I choose to advertise my promotions as giveaways rather than competitions. This is because there are a lot of rules to adhere to when running competitions and with a giveaway you have a little more freedom to tailor it to really meet your marketing needs.

notice I choose to advertise my promotions as giveaways rather than competitions…

If you are planning to run a give away through Facebook or Twitter you can use Rafflecopter or similar. My advice though is to run your giveaway from your own website or blog and just use Facebook and Twitter as one of a few ways of sharing news of your give away. (Note: Facebook has strict rules on running/promoting competitions through their site.)

There’s a risk that your giveaway will attract people who are just after a freebie and won’t go on to be paying customers. Obviously serial ‘compers’ who search out give aways online might not be your ideal customers, however if you look at your give away as just another form of advertising and those who share your giveaway for you as your unpaid marketing team then this suddenly becomes an even more valuable exercise. There are a high number of compers with huge networks who are loyal to supporting and helping promote small businesses who run giveaways.

It is important to remember to promote your giveaway with the widest reach possible and pay specific attention to promoting in places your ideal customers may frequent. For example:

  • putting posters up in places such as shops, play groups, networking groups, cafes and so on
  • sending out features and press releases to websites / blogs / online magazines with links to your industry or target market
  • adding articles that link to your give away on certain sites, sending press releases to printed magazines and local papers
  • promoting in different relevant Facebook groups, using multiple hash tags to promote via Twitter
  • directly asking certain people with an interest / large network to retweet your link on Twitter
  • sharing in different ways and using different images online via various social media sites such as Twitter/FB/Pinterest/GooglePlus/Flickr and so on.

There are a lot of opportunities to get your business in front of a new audience of potential customers and advocates. All these opportunities are created around the prize giveaway before even taking into account actual sales that may result from people finding you and your business through your give away.

The bigger the prize the more people you will attract. I have been running gift guides and prize bundle give aways through my site with great success. I gain a massive amount of traffic to my site, multiplying the already high average number of visits per day by five, sometimes even more. I do this by:

  • Collaborating with multiple other business who all donate a prize and so have a vested interest in the give away and so are also promoting the give away. On average I link 50 small businesses through a promotion such as Supportive Business Mums Christmas 2012 Prize Bundle Giveaways. We have four prize bundles up for grabs and all you need to do to be in with a chance of winning gifts for mums, gifts for dads, gifts for kids, uk handmade gifts, toys, chocolates, pamper products, stationery, jewellery, bags, homewares and much more is to BROWSE our gift guide and SHARE the features on Facebook/Twitter
  • Running other targeted giveaways along side the main one. For example for Christmas 2012 I have teamed up with IcedJems to bring you some great ‘Easy To Make – Christmas Baking’ ideas of things to bake with your kids. You can win a lovely prize bundle by submitting a photo of what you and your child make. Click here for more info.
  • Another example is our Christmas 2012 ‘Kids Colouring Fun Activities’ giveaway where you can win a £25 FireStarToys gift voucher and a fab art set from Supportive Business Mums.

By running additional targeted  giveaways that encourage engagement with your ideal customers along side the main one, you will make the most of the extra traffic being driven to your site and have a bigger over all prize offering to attract people to visit with.

For more info on how you can get involved or enter, click here to go to Supportive Business Mums.

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