Contests and Giveaways [Ideas + Examples + Case Studies]
It’s the year 2021 and people love free gifts (some things don’t really change, do they?)! Well, no matter what year, age or era, the delight in getting something that you didn’t pay a penny for has a whole different kick! Enter: giveaways and contests. Giveaways and contests are interactive content experiences that are your gateways to those tough prospects who still haven’t budged after your umpteen attempts to lure them! So, here are some giveaway contest ideas that you can start using right away.
Why Use Contests and Giveaways?
Wondering if giveaways and contests still make a good strategy? Here are some quick stats and the benefits of using them.
1. With one huge giveaway or contest, you engage way more audience than you’d engage by running a normal social media campaign.
2. Giveaway encourages social sharing to a whole new level.
3. Giveaways and contests act as great tools for effective lead generation.
4. 33% of contest participants don’t mind receiving information on a particular brand.
5. An Instagram contest or giveaway has the potential to increase your followers 70% faster in 3 months.
Giveaway and Contest Ideas + Examples
Now that we know how powerful these interactive content types are, let’s discuss some sure-shot giveaway contest ideas and examples that you can start implementing today!
1. Giveaway Idea: Tag A Friend!
Ah, the joy of tagging friends in a giveaway! Hoping that someone’s luck would work out and you’d win the prize!
This giveaway idea works extremely well. Through this, you can target not only your audience but reach their friends and family. So simple, yet so effective!
The image below shows an Instagram giveaway example conducted by Bambi Boutique. And guess what? They reached from 0 to 150,000 Instagram followers just by conducting three such giveaways and looping in micro-influencers on Instagram!
Isn’t that mind-blowing!
Speaking of micro-influencers, check out our exclusive micro-influencers interactive content toolkit.
2. Contest Idea: Share a video!
Contests are super fun. Especially when they involve community participation. A super engaging contest idea is that of video contests. In this, the participants will be required to share a video with your product or a fun video that revolves around your product. It is extremely creative and leverages the network effect and the idea of FOMO.
Zomato, a food delivery aggregator in India, took this contest idea one step further. Instead of spending on advertising, they asked their community to create an advertisement for them! The huge winning amount of $35000 added to the frenzy around this contest.
It’s important to point out here that giveaway prizes worth $1,000 and above may achieve close to 5.8 engagements per 100 followers. This means that the incentive to participate is a lot less if the reward is insignificant.
In the case of Zomato, the results speak for themselves!
Result: 4113 entries!
And the amount of engagement their posts got till the announcement of winners was insane! But like we said, it’s not a surprise. Because giveaways and contests are always a winner when it comes to engagement.
Mari Smith’s 30-Day Social Video Training
In fact, this contest idea was also used by the very famous Mari Smith to engage close to 1,700 participants. The idea was simple and beneficial for the folks who participated. They had to create a video each day for 30 days to improve their video marketing skills. Isn’t that amazing! When you help your community to do better in their endeavours, it always works like magic!
3. Giveaway Idea: Tag Us in Your Photo!
Similar to the “tag a friend” idea, getting your company’s account tagged on users’ photos is a sure-shot way to get people talking about you.
Take this example by Dolphin Swimware. It captures all the essential elements of a giveaway.
4. Giveaway Idea: Download the App, Now!
For those trying to increase their app downloads, this giveaway contest idea is a must-try! It’s no news that people always need an incentive to do something, even if they like your product. So, give them that.
Huawei conducted this giveaway through its email campaign. It’s a smart giveaway idea packaged as a lucky draw. And since the brand is a trusted one, people hopped on the giveaway bandwagon!
5. Contest Idea: Write Your Story!
Writing contests are a blessing for writers who are always looking for new opportunities to shine. You can incorporate this contest idea in your next campaign to engage with the writing community.
Grabbing this opportunity, Penguin Random House India conducted this essay contest. What a perfect way to know and engage with your target audience!
6. Giveaway Idea: Use This Hashtag!
This is a tried and tested social media giveaway idea that you need to start using today.
Hashtags are an incredible growth hacking tool. They expand your reach far and wide, besides being extremely easy to implement and keep track of. Just use a unique hashtag and voila you’re ready.
Giveaway ideas like a hashtag are more of an allied strategy. For example, you can simply ask people to create a video or a post with the hashtag to get noticed.
On most social media platforms like Instagram, Linkedin and Twitter, you can easily search this hashtag and find the number of entries and participants.
In this giveaway content example, Garden Escapes asked its Instagram community to share the post along with tagging them and using the hashtag.
Source: Shane Barker
Want to run a giveaway?
Get inspired by this Instagram giveaway we created using Outgrow’s giveaway tool.
Bonus: Make your own giveaway by easily editing this template or any other you like. Simply search by industry or content type.
Hashtags are also very effective for Twitter giveaway campaigns. Check out below how Microsoft aces this giveaway idea.
7. Giveaway Idea: Retweet To Enter This Giveaway
Ah! The classic “RT to win this giveaway”. This always works.
Check out this well-timed “RT to win a giveaway” idea adopted by Kilner. It is themed and has three well-placed requirements – follow the account, like the post, retweet the post. The perfect recipe for a successful giveaway!
8. Giveaway Idea: Events and Festival Giveaways
Check out this mother’s day giveaway that received close to 100 entries and over 1000 votes. This giveaway idea was simple and well-timed, along with having a highly converting copy that arouses an emotion within the reader.
9. Contest Idea: Personalize With Interactive Content
Personalization in products is being increasingly adopted by brands. In fact, brands are looking for ways to involve prospects and customers in this process. Do you know how? Through interactive content, of course! Interactive content types offer twice the engagement as static content. Now imagine the impact they can have if you use them along with giveaways and contests! Here are some examples of giveaways and contest ideas with personalization!
Try creating giveaways and contests that involve active participation from the people. For example, check out this giveaway where the company took a poll as part of the giveaway. Now you don’t just get an answer to your question, you additionally get huge engagement.
This deadly combination of a poll+giveaway will get you those qualified leads and skyrocket the impact of your giveaway. Polls can be created in a jiffy using Outgrow. How about you give it a shot? Start your free trial.
Interactive quizzes are your gateway to high customer engagement, lead generation and skyrocketing sales. Add a fun quiz to your contest ideas like the one used by Amazon here, and voila! You have a match made in heaven!
10. Giveaway Idea: Influencer Marketing
Influencers are taking over and they too host giveaways and contests to expand their reach. And, you can take advantage of their reach and influence by collaborating with them for your giveaway and contest campaigns.
Here’s an example of how Clutch, a company that makes gaming chairs and desks, launched a stay-at-home giveaway involving Pewdiepie, a YouTuber famously known for his satirical videos.
The requirements were simply to follow Pewdiepie and Clutch on social media and submit an email.
Famous Brand Giveaway Examples
In this section, we will share some amazing brand contests and giveaways ideas that you can get inspired from. Also, if you want to win free donuts or ice cream for a year, this might be just the place for you!
1. Ben & Jerry’s – Is Your Name Ben or Jerry?
Ben & Jerry’s used this novel contest idea of awarding anyone whose official name or nickname was Ben or Jerry and who turned 43 on May 5, 2021. How cool is that! The contest awarded the winners $3500 worth of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
So if your company has a unique name in its title, use this contest idea! And get your engagement rates and brand awareness soaring.
2. Krispy Kreme – Get Vaccinated
If the will to live and get back to normal life isn’t enough motivation to get vaccinated, Krispy Kreme is here at your service. Krispy Kreme is offering free doughnuts for a full year to the people getting themselves vaccinated!
In this noble cause, Krispy Kreme has gone a step further by delivering free doughnuts at vaccination centres for health care workers and volunteers.
3. Lay’s – Do Us A Flavour
Lay’s launched its ‘Do Us A Flavour’ campaign for the first time in 2012 in the United States. They did so at a pop-up store in Times New Square showcasing the 22 flavours of the snack.
They then created a Facebook page that allowed users to participate by submitting a proposal for a new potato chip flavour. Once submitted, the users received a generated image of a chips packet reflecting the flavour that they had submitted.
They could then share these images on their social media. PepsiCo (Lay’s) also partnered with Facebook to change their usual ‘Like’ button to ‘I’d Eat That’.
The three flavours were then supplied in stores for customers to buy the samples. Lay’s then opened the final decision up for a public vote. The creator of the winning chip flavour would win $1 million or 1% of the 2013 net sales of the winning flavour, whichever is greatest.
How Did The Campaign Do?
The campaign facilitated a social media buzz. They included celebrity chefs in the campaign to attract an even larger audience. The campaign received about 3.8 million submissions. They achieved over 22.5 million Facebook page visits and experienced an upliftment in sales by 12% year on year. The campaign helped Lay’s in gathering insight into its consumer preferences and behaviours.
4. Starbucks – #RedCupContest
Starbucks launched a social media campaign about #RedCupContest in 2015.
Customers were asked to upload a picture of them holding the unique Starbucks red coffee cup and hashtag it with ‘#RedCupContest’. There were five grand prizes of $500 for the best five pictures on the internet.
They used Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to promote their campaign. And the success of the campaign encouraged Starbucks to continue with their tradition of modified Starbucks cups in the subsequent years as well.
How Did The Campaign Do?
The campaign managed to catch the attention of celebrities, talk shows, and the rest of the world too! Over 40000 people participated in the contest with a picture being shared on Instagram every 14 seconds in the first two days. Starbucks red cups managed to associate the idea of Christmas around themselves.
5. Adidas – #MyNeoShoot Campaign
Adidas launched a new series of shoes in 2012 under the name of Adidas Neo, a new division of trendy, youth-targeted products.
In order to reinvigorate its marketing efforts and leverage the new social media craze, Adidas launched a campaign for ‘#MyNeoShoot’ in 2015. It invited both Instagram followers to share Adidas inspired Instagram posts.
Adidas partnered with Selena Gomez to launch an initial promotion of the campaign. Her well-established social media presence added to the popularity of the campaign and helped them reach a huge audience. Apart from the people who directly participated in the competition, Adidas invited the rest of the Instagram community to vote on every element of the ensuing photo shoot.
How Did The Campaign Do?
Adidas experienced an increase in their sales by a whopping 24.2%. The well-worded hashtag helped them attract a higher social engagement from the people in their choice of demographic. The Adidas Neo Instagram page gained almost 41000 new followers as a result of the campaign! The campaign managed to attract and engage a huge young audience and solidify its image as a youth-centric brand.
1. Gray-Nicolls Powerbow Giveaway
Gray Nicolls is an English sports equipment and apparel brand owned by Grays International that specializes in cricket. In 2019, they decided to host a giveaway for their products. They used the Outgrow interactive tool to create the perfect giveaway.
They wanted to gain more qualified leads and reach a wider audience. Gray-Nicolls offered the entire Powerbow Inferno Kit for the 2020 Season of cricket. This kit consisted of a Powerbow Inferno bat, batting gloves, batting pads, and wicket keeping gloves.
How Did The Campaign Do?
This giveaway managed to gather almost 5000 visits and delivered more than 2500 leads. They had offered a great prize as a giveaway that managed to attract the right kind of users. The giveaway had a conversion rate of over 53% which is a great offer. They were able to consolidate their digital presence even further and advertise their products at the same time.
2. Liberty Express Giveaway
Liberty Express is a Venezuelan international shipping company that delivers parcels across the world. The company decided to host a giveaway in collaboration with Camila Canabal, a Venezuelan TV hostess.
They used Outgrow interactive content to create a giveaway, offering 2 air shipments of 5 kg each, to any Liberty Express destination. They used their social networking sites to promote the giveaway. Liberty Express also leveraged Camila Canabal’s popularity to reach a wider audience and add more credibility to their brand name.
How Did The Campaign Do?
The campaign helped the company gain almost 1000 leads through a single giveaway. It delivered a conversion rate of almost 60%. They also made the smart choice of offering their services as a prize. They leveraged influencer marketing in order to boost their giveaway. Statistics show that 89% of marketers claim that their ROI from influencer marketing campaigns is better than that from other campaigns.
Phew, what a fun ride! Giveaway and contest ideas + examples + case studies! A blog packed with all the resources you need to get started with your first giveaway or contest.
These contests and giveaways have some key elements that made them successful. It’s time to boost your own marketing strategy with a great contest and what more, you can use Outgrow to create it! Click here to sign up with Outgrow and create your first contest!
Q1. What are good giveaway ideas?
1. Photo contests
2. Share a video
3. Use a hashtag
4. Retweet to win
And the others mentioned in this blog are all great giveaway ideas to start with.
Q2. What’s a good giveaway question?
It’s very important to keep some requirements in mind before creating a good giveaway, and a good question is the foremost requirement.
A good giveaway question is one that not only engages your existing followers but also involves new followers and acts as a top of the funnel marketing campaign.
Suppose you want to know something about your brand and your industry, take this giveaway as an opportunity to make that question an entry point. Say, you’re an influencer and you want ideas for your next video and you have been planning on hosting a giveaway, why don’t you merge both? This way, the new audience that you garner in this giveaway, will stick around to see your next post! And who knows, they might stay for good this time!
Q3. How do you get people to participate in a giveaway?
Getting people to participate in your giveaway may look tough, but there are tons of things you can try. But first, make sure the prize is worth the effort. Once that’s out of the way, let’s look at other things that you can try –
1. Social media
These include retweet to participate, share a video/ photo to participate, share this giveaway with others to participate and more giveaway ideas like that. These are inherently viral as they involve the participants.
You can also consider running a giveaway or contest on your newsletter, but keep in mind that these will only reach people who are already on your email list. Sending giveaways in emails to people who have not subscribed may look spammy.
3. Paid ads
You can also run your giveaways on paid ads to get huge engagement other than organic engagement. Take this example below –
Source: parachute media
Q4. How do you maximize a giveaway?
To maximise the impact of your giveaways and contests, use interactive content. That’s it, that’s the one-line answer. Interactive content is your best friend when it comes to boosting your social media ads among a vast variety of other benefits.
Q5. How do you pick a winner for a giveaway?
Picking a winner for your giveaway may feel like a tedious task but you can use tools like random number picker or random comment picker. You can also use tools like random tweet pickers in the case of Twitter.
Yeshaswini is a full-time digital marketer at Outgrow. She loves researching and experimenting with her marketing campaigns. But on most days you’ll find her obsessing over aesthetic imagery and blueberry cheesecake.