I know we’ve talked about giveaways with you before and how they can be a great way to increase your readership and gain exposure, but what we forgot to talk about were the ways that you can host a giveaway on your site or blog to get the most out of them.
There are two important questions you need to think about before hosting a giveaway:
- Does the item I am giving away make sense with my brand/blog/website?
- What goal am I trying to achieve with this giveaway.
First of all, if you got a really awesome item to giveaway but it makes no sense with your brand aesthetic it won’t make sense for you to give away. Here’s why: Let’s say you somehow managed to get an iPad as a giveaway item. Great right? Well it’s only great if you’re a tech writer or blog about computers. If you’re a craft blogger, it’s not going to help you a whole lot because you’re going to get a bunch of entries from people that love iPads, but not crafting. This means that as soon as the winner is picked you’ll lose your brand new flood of fans, followers, and subscribers. Sure, crafters like iPads too, but so do lots and lots of other people. What you want to do here is giveaway an awesome prize that relates to your subject matter and readers, like a yarn bundle or a fabric stash.
Secondly, you want to make sure you have a set goal in mind with the giveaway before you run it. Is the goal simply to get comments? Is it to get new Facebook fans? More Twitter followers? All of the above? The way you answer this question will determine how you’ll be running your giveaway.
There are a few services that help you gather entries one of these specific ways. For example Offerpop and WooBox offer ways to run Facebook only giveaways. They also generate a winner for you and have analytics if you’re interested in seeing the breakdown of entries.
A service that I’m a fan of and use on my personal blog is Rafflecopter. It’s easy to set up and allows you to ask for several different types of entries like comments, Facebook fan page likes, and tweet mentions. There is a great article on CrafterMinds that talks about how to set up and use Rafflecopter for your blog or site giveaway.
Or you can keep it super simple and type up a blog post where you explain the prize and how readers can enter. Then you can generate a winner using Random.org and verify that they did all you asked themselves. Just remember to include the giveaway rules labeled clearly on the post.
Whatever you do, keep the method of entry simple. Maybe just to like you on Facebook and leave a comment and then they can tweet for extra entries. If you ask readers to do too many things at once, they will give up after a few steps. I know I would.