Hosting a giveaway event can be a little overwhelming and scary if you are just starting out. It can seem counter-productive to give away something for free when you could be getting paid for it. However, think of it as developing loyalty and good branding so you have to think of it like you’re walking through the supermarket for groceries and someone hands you a bite-sized taste (I especially love it when they hand out cheese samples…..).
You have to eliminate your stingy mindset and think in terms of providing your list with a valuable opportunity.
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Research Other Thought Leaders in Your Niche
Once you decide you want to host a giveaway event with other marketers, you have to find who you want to line up with. If you don’t already have a group of people in mind, you have to start finding them. Try to find ones that align with your business philosophy goals. This way you are likely to have similar audiences who want the same products.
Places to find your giveaway co-hosts
- Put on your super sleuthing hat, pull out your magnifying glass and spy on others who are on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Look for the people your followers follow and see if you see any candidates. See who is talking about the same topics and who are the leaders who have people sharing their content.
- Look on Amazon to see which Kindle self-published authors are on there using Kindle to attract a new audience. Look inside their book to see if you like what and how they teach and look for ways to contact them.
- SEO (search engine optimization) rank is another way to find thought leaders in your niche. If you are a leader, chances are you have stability in the search engines, and people are sharing your links and helping fortify your position, so reach out to those people who have earned that ranking.
How to tell if they are your ideal co-hosts
Check to see the size of their followers. Ideally, you want those with a similar or larger audience than you so that you have the opportunity to grow your own list.
Sign up to their list to see what they offer, how they interact with their audience and the types of emails they send. This is the ideal way to see if they are scammers, unethical or don’t align with your own business model. You want those that are similar to you in the way that they operate.
If your audience exists, and you already have a list going to some extent, then ask them who they align you with. You’ll usually have people responding to tell you that they know of 1-2 other people similar to you who they respect. You can use a free tool such as survey monkey to ask your audience this.
Contact each person you vet for viability and then ask if they’d be interested in forming a joint giveaway with you. Gauge general interest at first or, go ahead to the next step and create your guidelines and email your prospects the guidelines along with your initial request.
Create Guidelines for the Giveaway
Once you have a list of prospectives, you will need to create a list of guidelines for the participants.
Things to consider
- The size (like the number of pages for example) of the product. For instance, it might be a 50+ page eBook or 5-page short report. Maybe it’s an article pack or even five hours of video or audio tutorials.
- Maybe you’ll want to put a dollar limit on it and make it value based. For example, “Must be something you normally sell for at least $27.” You’ll want to put the value on the offers to show the visitors everything they’re getting free.
- Topics might be a consideration, too. You’ll already be honing in on people who are in the same niche, but you might want to go one step further. For example, let’s say you are in the diet niche. Your giveaway event might be built around one topic, like nutrition. So everyone has to submit a product for the event about nutrition. They can’t focus on diet drugs or exercise.
- Themes are similar to this concept, and you might want to create a theme for your giveaway event. Using the diet niche as an example again, you might use something like 7 Ways to Kickstart Your Diet, Eliminating the Quitter Mindset or 14-Days to a Trimmer Waist. This means that everyone who submits for a certain theme must produce something that helps back up that concept.
- You might also want to set guidelines on whether the submission has to be something 100% brand new or if it can be older products that they already have on the market.
- Figure out how people will get each offer. Will they go to a squeeze page and opt in to the person’s list to receive their download? Or will you not make opt-ins a requirement, but instead add promotions to the download area or zip files?
Let participants know your timeline, especially if people will need to create something unique for the giveaway. Give them plenty of time to create something, the less time you give them to prepare, the worse the quality of the product will be and fewer people are likely to join in. Plan well in advance of your event.
Set Up the Page for the Giveaway Event
Like sales copy, the giveaway event should have copy that promotes the offer. You want to inform, educate and excite your audience about what they’re about to receive. Make sure to include some simple instructions for what the need to do to get their free goodies. Try not to overcomplicate things or you might just put people off but do make sure to include some terms and rights.
- Start with a catchy headline and maybe a subheadline before launching into a bit of storyline for the sale.
- Include each offer so people know exactly what they are getting. Beside each offer, include a picture of the marketer, what their offer is, give the specifications or details of their offer, and provide the link to where they grab it.
The promotion should have some sort of time limit. You don’t want to leave it wide open forever. If you have plenty of advanced notice and build a lot of buzz, then you should be fine doing a 24 hour to 7-day giveaway event. I personally wouldn’t go over 7-days, the longer you have your offer open, the less urgency your audience will feel and are more likely to put it off as they will feel they have plenty of time to sign up.
You can create graphics for the sale just as if you were launching an info product. That means a minisite feel, ecovers for the offers if applicable, pins for Pinterest and social media platforms and even promo banners for the event.
You might want to create a set of swipe files for the event too. This makes it easy for the participants to either use it as is or as springboard content that they can tweak and blast out to their list. Be careful with swipe files though. Nothing makes someone distrust marketers more than receiving the same email over and over from different email lists.
Promote the Event
Don’t expect to make your event go live and people to magically find it. You need to put your head down and start promoting. Building a buzz should take place shortly before the event and every day during by every member who is onboard for the special giveaway event, not just by one person.
Some promotion ideas include:
- Come up with a daily promo idea such as asking people (your list, your social networking followers), “Who’s your favourite?” Discuss the various participants and get their feedback on which offer blew them away. Share that feedback with your audience online and bill that favourite as a “can’t miss” free download to drive more traffic to the giveaway.
- Discuss specific offers in more depth such as a review or a tutorial. You’re showing your people how to get more mileage out of this event, and that will hook the people who heard about the offer but passed over it because they were unsure how to put it to good use.
- Social networking sites will need to have a buzz about your event. Whip up posts for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and pins for Pinterest. Make sure you provide a call to action that says they should visit the event and share the post with others!
- Host a webinar with the participants of the giveaway. Invite everyone’s list to the event and then have each person do a short presentation. If you want to up the ante a bit, do a Q&A afterwards.
- Have everyone in the event blog about it. Each person should email their list a link to their blog to read about the event and get more details, in addition to linking directly to the event itself.
Choosing a Cross Promo Instead of a Giveaway Event
Sometimes it is hard to host a big giveaway if you are just starting out and have a relatively small email list. The good news is, you don’t have to have a big group, you can do a cross promo with one person instead. If you have a list yourself and are trying to grow it, choose someone with a list approximately the same size as yours. If you have no list, then choose someone with a bigger list and make an unbelievable free offer just for their list.
Your offer is going to be so awesome, they’ll be providing something great for their list and you will be getting exposed to a whole new audience. Go above and beyond in what you create for their list. In fact, try to tailor it to their subscribers’ needs. They’re looking for someone ethical because they’re about to put their own reputation on the line and recommend that their subscribers sign up with you.
You can do a free event, or if the prospective partner won’t go for that, see if he or she will possibly entertain the thought of letting you give their list a different kind of perk – a discount on a paid product. Coupons are also special and show a list that you’re working on their behalf to get them good deals. Make it a special offer so that it’s not just the same discount everyone else online gets.
Giveaway and cross-promo events can be a great list building activity. It forces you to give it your all and showcase the best that you have to offer to the paying public and they’ll be more loyal from that point on.
What are your thoughts?
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