Giveaway marketing: How to run contests that will help you reach your business goals

The prospect of winning prizes speaks to our competitive human nature and creates a sense of urgency that inspires users to throw their name into the ring for a chance to win a great prize.

In recent years, giveaway marketing has become an increasingly popular way for brands to increase their digital marketing strategies’ reach and build brand awareness to help make sales. 

Let’s take a deeper look at the world of giveaway marketing, what it looks like, and how you can run contests that will excite your ideal customers and help you reach your business goals. 

What is giveaway marketing? 

Giveaway marketing at its core involves the distribution of free goods to promote your brand. Typically, companies will give away everyday items with their brand logo on, gift cards, or complimentary products and services in exchange for their customers’ Facebook likes or email addresses. Many brands have found this to be a cost-effective marketing technique because all it costs is the value of the prize. At the same time, it gets their customers to engage with them and helps collect customer information that can be used in future marketing efforts.

A giveaway can take on several different forms depending on how creative you get. Here are some ideas for how you can structure your giveaway marketing campaign: 

  • Tag a friend: Give participants an entry for every friend they tag in your post
  • Use a hashtag: Encourage participants to use your unique hashtag in their posts to enter the giveaway
  • Enter your email: Have participants fill out a simple form with their contact information to enter the contest
  • Retweet/share this: Ask for retweets and shares of specific content to be entered into a giveaway
  • App downloads: Encourage followers to download an app and randomly choose a winner. 

A giveaway marketing campaign can help you build engagement with your customers and increase the reach of your message. So, it can be a very fruitful approach for raising awareness of your brand. 

How can you run contests that will help you reach your goals? 

Let’s look at the steps you need to take to create an outstanding giveaway marketing campaign that boosts your website traffic, increases your brand exposure, and propels your business forward to help you reach your goals. 

Start by defining your goals

You will struggle to reach any business goals if you don’t know precisely what they are before launching your giveaway marketing campaign. Brands can have different goals when setting up a giveaway, depending on their size and industry. You may hope to:

  • Drive more organic traffic to your website by requiring participants to visit a specific page on your website
  • Increase your social media following by requiring participants to follow you on Facebook or Instagram. You can easily do this by launching Ad campaigns. With Visme’s ad maker you can easily do that.
  • Increase the size of your email list by asking participants to include their email addresses in their entries

Start by brainstorming what you hope to achieve at the end of your campaign. What is your team’s vision? Once you answer that question, double back and ensure your goals are realistic. 

For example, a single giveaway marketing campaign may not help you add 100,000 followers to your Instagram account, but it may help you increase your number of followers by 15%. 

The goals of your giveaway campaign should always match your business objectives, so make sure you identify what you are trying to accomplish before launching the campaign to make sure it’s planned out accordingly. 

Ensure you choose a prize your audience will love

The success of your giveaway will center around the prize you choose because more people will participate in the giveaway campaign for more enticing prizes. If it’s not something your target audience wants, you’ll struggle to see the participation needed to achieve your goals. 

Think about what your brand stands for and what your target audience may want. You should also choose a prize associated with your company, so winners will remember your brand even after they win the giveaway contest. 

Don’t be afraid to administer a quick survey with three or four ideas and let your followers choose the prize. This is a great way to build credibility because you’re asking for your audience’s input so you can be sure that you choose a prize that meets the needs of your audience and drive more participation throughout the contest. 

Use referral entry methods to spread the word

Next, you’ll need to pick how people will enter your giveaway. There are many approaches, and what works best for your contest will depend on the goals you set earlier. However, it’s worth incorporating referral methods if you’re looking to build brand awareness, since this will help spread the word of the contest and drive more engagement without additional effort on your part. 

In other words, you can encourage people to share your giveaway with their friends and followers to get additional entries. There are different ways you can implement this, such as by: 

  • Asking entrants to tag their friends in a social media comment
  • Asking participants to share a link on Twitter or Facebook as part of the entry process
  • Requiring people to share or retweet a specific piece of content and tag your company

By offering additional entries for spreading the word about your contest and brand, you’ll create a word-of-mouth digital marketing loop that can help increase the contest’s reach and boost your brand’s visibility online. Because people’s followers usually share similar interests, you’ll likely see an influx of new qualified leads and followers who are genuinely interested in your brand. 

Give people a reason to visit your website

If you can convince people to visit your website, either to read more about your giveaway or enter, you can help them learn more about your brand. And this might just convince them to spend money while they’re there.

Drive traffic to our website using your giveaway by creating a landing page dedicated to the rules and procedures of your contest. There, you can provide potential entrants with all the information they need to understand your giveaway. Here are some tips for creating an effective giveaway page: 

  • Make it easy to enter with a simple form that only asks for vital information like someone’s name and email address
  • Provide all the necessary details about the giveaway in an easy-to-read format so people can easily understand the terms and conditions
  • Give a clear and convincing call to action, or CTA, showing visitors exactly how to enter the contest

Let’s look at a company that does a great job of providing a page on their site where participants can learn more about their contest. 

DontPayFull, an online shopping savings website, has a page on their website to promote their Amazon gift card giveaway. 

Notice how their giveaway landing page gives all the essential information, such as how to enter, what the winner will receive, and how to find out if you’ve won. 

They have also incorporated a clear CTA that reads “Enter Giveaway” to direct participants in the right direction to register for the contest. Further down the page, the company has included contest FAQs that answer questions like who is eligible to enter and how long the contest will run. This information informs their readers about the contest and provides transparency, which can increase participation and help their audience to trust the sweepstakes process. 

You can use the same approach to creating your giveaway page by providing all the essential information your visitors will need to know before entering. Be clear with the terms and conditions while making it super simple for visitors to enter your contest


Giveaway marketing is a lucrative and inexpensive way to increase your web traffic, attract new customers, and engage existing ones. Be thoughtful about your prize and approach to ensure you get the most out of this fun marketing technique. 

Remember that results will vary depending on your current brand reach and audience. However, if you play your cards right, your giveaway will help propel your business forward and make it easier to reach your goals. 

Author bio & headshot:

Adam Steele has been writing about digital marketing and SEO for 11 years. He’s consulted for businesses small and large, including several of the largest companies in the world. If you liked this post, follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more like it.


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