If you’re using an inbound marketing strategy to garner more leads, nurture customers and drive sales, offering exclusive giveaways is an effective way to drive awareness to your campaigns. These giveaways often result in stronger word-of-mouth connections than other methods of advertising as they create an experience with your brand and give your audience a tangible piece of your brand to take with them. However, to create a giveaway strategy with the most effective return, you need to keep a few things in mind. Here’s how these steps break down and why you’ll want to use them in your campaign.
Defining Your Target Audience
You’ll need to understand all the stages of an inbound marketing campaign in order to make the best use of your giveaway promos. According to Envision Creative, there are a couple of basic stages to this type of marketing campaign. First and foremost, the fundamental goal of inbound marketing is making sure your campaign gets noticed by your target audience. In other words, how will you attract visitors to your campaign site and tell them about your exclusive giveaways? This is related to the type of content you use to attract them.
Before you start planning out the stages of your marketing campaign, it's important for you to define who your target audience is. Understanding the demographic of who you are trying to attract will set the stage for the type of custom merchandise or promotional products that will be the most effective. Even the best items (in your opinion) might not be appealing to your target audience, and could potentially resonate with the wrong crowd.
Inc.com gives entrepreneurs some useful ideas about how to figure out who is in their target audience. To do this, you can:
- Look at your product or service. What challenges or problems does it provide a solution to? Which groups find the most value out of what you are offering? Do some market research to find the answer to this question.
- If you are in regular contact with your customers, ask yourself about their common characteristics. What age demographic or job roles do they primarily fall into? What issues do they need solved? Why do they buy your products instead of someone else’s? What merchandise and apparel is on trend within that demographic?
- Who are your competitors? What types of custom or branded merchandise do they have? Knowing this helps you further define your niche and the items your choose for your giveaways.
Inbound marketing, to put simply, is the method in which you get people to come to your website or social media page so that they can sign up for/find out more about your promotion. Inbound marketers use several different types of lead-generating and content-promoting tools. Some of which include:
- Niche-related blogs
- Videos on YouTube and Vimeo
- Email newsletters
- Social media sites
- Books on Amazon
- Online advertising on Google and other sites
- Case studies
Additionally, bringing in visitors is only the first part of the equation. The second thing you need to keep in mind is that you want to nurture your visitors, to qualify and convert them into leads. This helps build your potential client list and mailing list so that you have qualified buyers to sell your goods and services to. This is where a powerful giveaway can help you.
For this to work, you’ll want a giveaway promo that makes it worthwhile to enter your contest. According to Shopify, some possible giveaway items include gift cards, travel packages, or a limited edition product. Though, to really be successful in attracting your target audience, offering branded items that resonate with your ideal consumer and add an emotional element to your campaign is proven to be the most effective method (more on this in a bit.)
Shopify goes on to explain why you should offer giveaways as part of an effective marketing strategy. For example, a short viral marketing plan/giveaway - say 10 days - can add as many as 1500 (or more) new subscribers to your list and net you $5,000 in sales.
Distribution Channels and Methods
You’ll also notice that your content, in some respects, also dictates or defines your distribution methods/channels. For example, you can distribute the information about your brand merchandise and giveaways via your niche blogs. Say that you write a blog about gourmet coffee and you are offering a high-quality coffee mug for your promotion. You provide coffee recipes, coffee-source information, and branded products on your website. All of these elements could be topics for your blogs.
But the savvy marketer knows that information that’s researched and curated once can be used a number of ways. For example, after you write your blog post, you can create an infographic about the post for sites like Pinterest or Twitter. This infographic can include information about your current exclusive giveaways with a link back to your giveaway landing page.
Once you have enough blog posts, you can additionally create eBooks from them and sell the content on Amazon or another book-selling site. You can put links to an on-going giveaway in the front of the digital version of the book. People can sign up for your giveaway and receive cool branded gear for doing so.
Basically, the content you curate for your blog post can become the basis for a number of types of content to be distributed via your targeted channels. When you’re creating your content, always be asking yourself if there’s another way you can convey this information in another medium.
Using Offers and Branded Merchandise
Custom merchandise like T-shirts or shoulder bags with your company name on it can be big giveaway draws. If you’re uncertain about this, just think of how successful brands like Disney or the Hard Rock Cafe are in selling branded merchandise.
For avid fans of brands like these, being gifted with free merchandise would be worth the “price” to join the giveaway. Remember, in this case, the price doesn’t mean they pay money to participate in the giveaway. Rather, they will be adding their names and contact information to your mailing list in exchange for a chance to enter and win the giveaway.
But there’s an even more practical side to giveaways, according to TIME.com. Word-of-mouth advertising has been shown to be the most effective kind of advertising. It usually costs less, too. So the question is, then, how do you get people to talk about your product? TIME.com says that the easiest way is to offer a freebie - and the site has stats to back this claim up. People who are excited about a giveaway will chat it up with their friends at a 15% higher rate than other promos.
Finally, you’ll want to know that you’re getting a good ROI (rate of return) on your giveaway. Growth Hacking Pro suggests that when you’re running a giveaway as a marketing strategy, look for some key performance indicators (KPI.) These could be a large number of downloads for a product, an increase in the number of subscribers that you have to your newsletter, or additional sales, to name a few.
Final Thoughts on Giveaways
Exclusive giveaways can be excellent marketing promo items for your brand. Well-designed, branded T-shirts or pair of rad custom socks can be just the thing you need to encourage more people to join your website or to follow you on social media to grow your community of advocates. To create a successful campaign, you’ll need to create content to promote the contest. This creates the basis for your inbound marketing strategy. Finally, you’ll want to know that what you’re doing is creating a good ROI, which you can measure by an increase in sales or in your email list.
Ready to get started on exclusive giveaways for your next inbound campaign? Contact us to speak to a branding expert about branded merchandise that will resonate with your target audience. Let's create something together.