I recently launched a contest of sorts that I called “The Blogsmith Freelance Success Grant”.
At stake for the winner: a $1000 cash grant, monthly coaching calls, and access to an online course that I created. In exchange, I asked entrants to answer the question, “How would $1000 change your freelance business?” in a minimum of 300 words.
Launching a contest involves a lot of little tasks that add up to a large chunk of time and energy.
One of the biggest timesucks to ensure that your contest receives enough entries to make your efforts worthwhile? Creating and executing on a giveaway promote plan.
To be sure, you have to be discerning in terms of where your efforts will have the best results.
For instance, cold pitching hundreds of outlets to share your contest, using a template email, will be considerably less successful than getting a warm introduction or personalizing your pitch.
Perhaps the best return on your time involves using your existing connections and relationships with popular industry outlets to get press about your contest.
8 Giveaway Promote Ideas
Here are some of the ways I promoted my contest that I determined to be the best use of my time:
- I pitched WordPress email newsletters that I subscribe to, including MasterWP and BizzaroDevs. This giveaway promote idea works because it’s hard to directly say “no” to a subscriber without a good reason. I provided them with swipe copy to use (focusing on how my contest was relevant to their audience). Here’s how that turned out in BizzaroDevs:
- I asked some individuals in my network to share about my contest on their social media/email newsletters: like Marti Konstant. Marti and I frequently share ideas about business and the contest seemed like a good fit for her audience:
- I paid $49 for a classifieds listing in Dense Discovery, which reaches about 20,000 subscribers — mainly designers. I frequently see other features on their newsletter targeting freelancers specifically. Multiple entrants specifically mentioned being referred from this newsletter in their entries.
- Local networking groups, like Denver Freelancing, shared about my contest on their newsletter:
- Some of my clients shared about my contest without me asking! Kinsta, you’re seriously the best:
- I shared the blog article announcing my contest to relevant content syndication websites, like ManageWP:
- I asked privately for admin permission, then posted about it on relevant freelancer Facebook groups.
- I asked brands I’ve been interviewed by as a podcast guest to post about it (like Clients From Hell did).
This is really cool! Former (and future) guest of the CFH Podcast @MaddyOsman is giving out a grant for freelancers! There’s still time to apply so check it out.— Clients From Hell (@clientsfh) April 26, 2019
And while you’re at it, listen to her episode of the show!https://t.co/UGmneLLVjd https://t.co/QGHdoRcdSE
Coordinating all of these efforts wasn’t easy but it was definitely a good way to flex my marketing muscles to try different things on a budget.
Now that the contest is over and I can look back on how it turned out, I’m considered these additional efforts for the next time I open it up:
- Upping my number of contacts for each type of effort (also, reaching out with more time to spare before the contest entry deadline).
- Testing out Facebook Ads with a small budget.
- Paying to sponsor more related newsletter classified sections (making a more comprehensive pitch list ahead of time)
- Working with more industry influencers/popular freelancers to help spread the word.
Creative Assets You’ll Need to Effectively Promote Your Contest
If you’re going to be pitching your contest to individuals and companies that can help you get (relevant) attention, you’ll want to have a media kit of sorts ready to go — prior to initial outreach efforts.
This media kit should include:
- A social-ready image about your contest. Imprint this image with text that explains the name/nature of the contest and the last day to enter with a short URL to the entry form. Adding this information to your image will help it stand alone as a promotion for your contest.
- The link to a Click-to-Tweet that makes it easy for people to post about your contest without thinking about it.
- Share-ready text copy, formatted for each social network (possibly different sized images for various popular social networks, too).
- An email signup form where interested parties can opt in for email updates and reminders about your contest. With that in mind, you’ll also have to create email content and make sure that it goes out on the right days according to contest deadlines.
- A blog announcement and/or landing page that lays out the reason behind/terms for entering your contest, as well as any rules governing it.
- For bonus points: a video to share the story behind your contest and how to enter. This is ideal for social sharing and generating traffic from YouTube. It’s nice to have a mix of content to promote your contest and to act as reminder advertising.
Use a cloud storage solution like Google Drive or Dropbox to create easy access to these assets. Use folders to thoughtfully organize assets (such as, according to medium) and provide a readme.txt file with your company’s media contact, if necessary.
Taking the time to build a giveaway promote strategy and to create a comprehensive media kit is especially useful when you plan to run the same contest again in the future (or even something similar). It’s so much easier to customize a template than to build all of this from scratch.
Using a Giveaway Plugin to Increase Entries
There’s only so much that you can do on your own, especially if this is your first time taking on the task of giveaway promotion. You can’t anticipate every need or work at an optimal level when you haven’t first established baseline standards.
Another popular tactic for increasing contest entries is to incentivize the act of sharing about a contest. It’s a little counter-intuitive: you’d think that entrants wouldn’t want to reduce their chances of winning by referring sign-ups through custom links. But somehow, the promise of extra entries is enough to compensate — encouraging this behavior.
Of course, to be able to track unique referral
links, you need a system in place. WP Simple Giveaways can handle this and other
important giveaway functionality on your WordPress website.
Final Thoughts: Giveaway Promote Ideas: Using Partnerships to Expand Your Reach
Giveaway marketing is more complex than it might seem at first. One of the most important areas where you’ll need to focus your efforts revolves around promotions.
The specific mix of tactics you use to share your contest with the world will depend on your goals, your entry process, and your industry. If you’ve had a lot of success with a specific method not mentioned here, I’d love to hear from you! Tweet me at @IgorBenić.