How To Use Contests And Giveaways For Your Business

Contests and giveaways can be powerful tools for boosting brand awareness, engaging your audience, and driving customer participation.

Contests And Giveaways

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to effectively use contests and giveaways for your business:

  1. Define Your Goals:

Begin by clarifying the objectives you want to accomplish through your contest or giveaway. Do you seek to increase brand awareness, drive sales, capture leads, boost social media engagement, or something else? Defining your goals will guide every aspect of your strategy.

  1. Choose the Type of Contest or Giveaway:

Select a format that resonates with your audience and aligns with your goals. Popular options include:

– Photo or Video Contests: Encourage participants to share user-generated content featuring your product or theme.

– Sweepstakes: Allow people to enter with minimal effort, often by providing their contact information.

– Caption Contests: Share an image and invite participants to submit creative captions.

User-Generated Content Challenges: Encourage creativity by asking participants to share original content related to your brand.

– Random Giveaways: Select winners at random from those who enter.

  1. Set the Rules and Guidelines:

Create comprehensive yet concise rules that participants can easily understand. Specify entry requirements, eligibility criteria (age, location, etc.), submission deadlines, and how winners will be selected. Include any legal disclaimers and ensure your rules comply with relevant regulations.

  1. Select a Prize:

Choose a prize that excites your target audience. It should be valuable and aligned with your brand. Consider offering your own products/services, exclusive experiences, gift cards, or collaborations with influencers. The prize's perceived value should justify the participation effort.

  1. Choose a Platform:

Select the platform where you'll host your contest or giveaway. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are popular choices due to their wide reach. Alternatively, you can host it on your website using dedicated landing pages or contest-specific tools.

  1. Create Eye-Catching Graphics and Content:

Develop visually appealing graphics and engaging content that communicate the essence of your contest or giveaway. Craft compelling copy that explains the rules, guidelines, and benefits of participating. Use strong CTAs to guide potential entrants.

  1. Promote Your Contest:

Spread the word across multiple channels to maximize participation:

– Social Media: Post regularly across all relevant platforms, using appropriate hashtags to increase visibility.

– Email Marketing: Send targeted emails to your subscriber list, detailing the contest and its benefits.

– Website and Blog: Create dedicated blog posts or website banners to inform visitors.

– Partnerships: Collaborate with influencers, other brands, or industry-related websites to extend your reach.

  1. Monitor and Engage:

Throughout the contest, actively monitor your chosen platform for comments, questions, and feedback from participants. Respond promptly to engage with entrants, address queries, and create a positive experience.

  1. Announce the Winner:

Once the contest concludes, announce the winner in a transparent manner. Conduct a fair selection process, whether through a random draw, panel of judges, or public voting. Celebrate the winner across your channels and express gratitude to all participants.

  1. Follow Up:

Show appreciation to all who participated, even if they didn't win. Consider providing a consolation prize, discount code, or exclusive content to keep participants engaged and interested in future offerings.

  1. Analyze and Learn:

Evaluate the success of your contest by analyzing key metrics such as engagement rates, website traffic, social media reach, lead capture, and conversion rates. Use these insights to understand what worked well and areas for improvement in future contests.

  1. Stay Compliant:

Ensure your contest adheres to legal requirements and platform guidelines. Clearly outline terms and conditions, privacy policies, and any restrictions. If applicable, obtain the necessary permits or licenses to run the contest.

Here are three in-depth case studies showcasing how businesses have successfully utilized giveaways and contests to achieve their marketing objectives:

Case Study 1: User-Generated Content Contest

Company: Outdoor Gear Retailer “AdventurePeak”

Objective: Increase brand engagement and user-generated content.


AdventurePeak aimed to leverage user-generated content to enhance brand engagement and showcase their outdoor gear products. They launched a photo contest encouraging customers to share their adventure photos on social media using a specific hashtag.


– Promoted the contest on their website, social media platforms, and in-store displays.

– Encouraged participants to use the designated hashtag and tag AdventurePeak in their posts.

– Offered attractive prizes such as a hiking gear bundle and a gift card for the winning entries.


– Received over 1,000 user-generated photos showcasing their products in real-world adventure settings.

– Increased brand engagement on social media with a 50% rise in post likes, comments, and shares during the contest period.

– Gained new followers and boosted brand visibility among outdoor enthusiasts.

Lessons Learned:

By leveraging user-generated content, AdventurePeak not only achieved their engagement goals but also created a sense of community around their brand.

Case Study 2: Email List Growth Giveaway

Company: Online Wellness Platform “WellnessConnect”

Objective: Expand their email subscriber list and increase platform sign-ups.


WellnessConnect aimed to grow its user base by incentivizing sign-ups through a giveaway. They offered participants the chance to win a wellness retreat package in exchange for joining their email list and creating a profile on their platform.


– Promoted the giveaway on their website, social media, and through email marketing.

– Required participants to create an account on their platform and provide basic information.

– Offered additional entries for sharing the giveaway with friends or completing certain tasks on their platform.


– Increased their email subscriber list by 30% within the giveaway's duration.

– Grew their user base with a 25% increase in platform sign-ups.

– Enhanced brand awareness as participants shared the giveaway with their networks.

Lessons Learned:

Combining a valuable prize with platform engagement led to substantial email list growth and user acquisition for WellnessConnect.

Case Study 3: Social Media Engagement Contest

Company: Beauty Brand “GlamAura Cosmetics”

Objective: Boost social media engagement and drive traffic to their online store.


GlamAura Cosmetics wanted to increase its social media engagement while driving traffic to its online store. They launched a “Caption This” contest on Instagram, where participants had to come up with creative captions for a product image.


– Posted the contest image on their Instagram account, encouraging participants to leave their captions in the comments.

– Prompted participants to use a specific hashtag and follow their account to enter.

– Offered a bundle of their latest products as the prize for the most creative caption.


– Received over 1,500 creative captions and comments on the contest post.

– Boosted their Instagram engagement with a 60% increase in post likes, comments, and shares.

– Witnessed a 20% increase in website traffic during the contest period as participants visited their online store.

Lessons Learned:

Engaging social media users through creative contests can result in increased engagement and drive traffic to your online platforms, as seen with GlamAura Cosmetics.

These case studies showcase the diverse ways that businesses can use giveaways and contests to achieve specific marketing objectives, whether it's driving engagement, expanding email lists, or enhancing brand visibility. Each strategy's success depends on aligning the contest with the target audience's interests and preferences while offering compelling prizes.

Incorporating contests and giveaways into your marketing strategy can yield valuable results when executed thoughtfully. Tailor your approach to your audience's preferences, offer genuine value, and create an enjoyable and memorable experience to drive participation and achieve your business objectives.

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