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How to Build Brand Loyalty Through Promotional Competitions and Giveaways


How to Build Brand Loyalty Through Promotional Competitions and Giveaways

Maintaining a business, especially as a small business owner, can be time consuming and challenging. Navigating between running the operational logistics and the complex marketing demands of attracting new leads, maintaining engagement with your current customers can be lower down on the priority list. Luckily, in the age of digital marketing, utilising low maintenance channels like social media can be a time, and cost effective way to keep in touch with your current consumers. Delivering interactive and engaging content and implementing popular social media strategies such as competitions and giveaways are bonafide ways to, not only engage current consumers, but also attract new ones. The possibility of winning, no matter how small the prize, taps into the inherent pleasure of receiving something, for virtually nothing, and elicits both a positive brand association, online conversation, increased market presence, and, moreover, brand loyalty.

Generating and driving revenue and brand recognition through competitions is not a new strategy, but social media platforms provide an extended reach into previously untapped potential fanbases and market leads, for relatively little effort. More importantly, well executed competitions are proven to inspire brand loyalty in already engaged customers and can drive them to more valuable levels of interaction, just by making them feel appreciated and rewarded. Through an extensive study, market research firm Ipsos found that competitions can motivate 52% of consumers to stay connected to a brand.

The Benefits of Competitions and Giveaways

Utilising your social media channels by implementing competition and giveaway strategies provides excellent returns on a very low cost investment. By accelerating social media participation through competitions, you can increase brand awareness, drive product sales and encourage your customers to do some of the marketing for you – turning participants into a score of ultimately more authentic, and trustworthy, brand advocates – alongside the following bonuses.

  • Significantly grow your customer base
  • Generate targeted marketing leads
  • Improve audience engagement
  • Curate humanised content
  • Generate brand advocates

How to Run Promotional Competitions and Giveaways

We’ve broken down the essential steps to implementing and running your own promotional social media competition below, just to prove how easy it really is!

1.   Decide on the Purpose of Your Competition

Before you begin to strategize the details of your competition, you need to decide what the primary focus of your competition is going to be.

Thinking about the ultimate goals you’re wanting to achieve, and backtracking your contest-specific objectives from there, can give you an insight into how you should direct the implementation and running of your project, so you can strategically plan content, organise social media schedules and plan promotional strategies.

Focusing on pursuing sales through a competition can only give you so much, as many participants are there simply to win and not to buy. Sales will eventually come through focusing on building consumer relationships and generating market leads, expand your digital footprint first, and the sales should naturally follow suit.

2.   Choose Your Social Media Channel

Whilst cross pollinating your contest across various social media sites can provide a larger reach and invaluable data collection points, it is always more effective to channel your main focus, and point of entry, on a singular channel, and loop in the others as reinforcements.

Certain social media channels are more useful to different styles of competitions and even different businesses. If your goal is to collate email addresses then instagram may not be the best place to run your competition, however, if you’re aiming to spread awareness of a highly visual product with follower photos and shares, instagram is ideal.

Hosting a competition on your website, but marketing it on your facebook and counting social media shares as extra entries, still retains the direct traffic to where you want to be, as well as generating further visibility.

3.   Choose a Platform

While you don’t necessarily need a platform to run a contest, contest platforms can provide a scalable functionality that you wouldn’t necessarily think you need at the beginning of your contest. With many providing essential time saving functions like multiple types of contest entries, quick tallies of the entries, and random selection of the winners can be extremely useful, especially if your competition goes viral.

4.   Decide on Your Prize

If you sell a product, or a service, an obvious, and effective, prize choice is an example of what you’re selling – as, for your existing customers, it serves to reinforce their loyalty, but for a new potential lead, can mean introducing your product to a whole new consumer pool. However, sending out promotional merchandise can be an excellent way to further your brand’s exposure far beyond the lifespan of the competition. Similarly, choosing to send merchandise that is not only useful, but is aligned with your branding – a bespoke makeup bag from a beauty brand, for instance – can positively reinforce your brand image.

5.   Run the Contest

After you’ve scheduled your contest content across your social media plan, all you’ve got left to do now is run it! Remember to keep promoting your competition across your social media channels throughout its duration so it doesn’t lose any traction.

6.   Choose Your Winners

As soon as you, or your competition platform has selected a winner, all you need to do now is decide how to reach out. Ideally, you should announce the winner through the medium of the point of entry, and it’s always best to do it visibly – even over email – to eliminate the mistrust of whether anyone received the prize.

Asking the competition winner to send you back a picture, or an account, enjoying the prize can act as excellent PR and reinforce all the hard work you’ve done so far.

7.   Analyse the Results

The end of the competition is not the end of the work. Just as you do with all your marketing campaigns, bringing your competition, or campaign, to a close, leaves with a massive amount of data to analyze. Study which channel drove the best results in terms of traffic or entries, and which messaging received better results. This, plus the user data collected through entry, can have a direct and meaningful impact on the way you and your brand communicate with your consumers in the future.


Author bio:

Steve Hill is the Director of Bag Workshop, a leading UK supplier in promotional bags and custom branded bags. Having worked in marketing for over a decade, Steve stepped aside to found three separate companies under the Wurlin Promo umbrella, supplying every aspect of bespoke marketing products.


I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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