Less than one year into business ownership, each day presents a learning curve that sometimes looks like a gentle slope, but often feels as though I’m standing at the base of a flagpole. Outside of my own expertise, the only way I manage to avoid total babe-in-the-woods status is to surround myself with strategists who know what they’re doing. Soliciting advice, experience, and ideas from those who have done this longer and are willing to share proven strategies designed to enhance my brand marketing strategy is invaluable.
The latest suggestion came from Branding Photographer and PR Strategist, Kristin Hardwick. She suggested that Waypoint Writing should try a giveaway and, inspired by some recent conversations I had with fellow business owners, I thought — why not?
Addressing a Need
The question of what to give away practically answered itself as I chatted with entrepreneurs — both new and established — and discovered that they don’t have time to blog about their business. Blogging is a crucial component of brand marketing. Many of these business owners actually enjoy blogging about their business, but feel that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do it — at all, or consistently.
Consistency is critical. But, the fact remains, when short on time, blogging is the first task of a brand marketing strategy to go. Frustrated by their awareness that blogging on a regular basis benefits a business and its bottom line, many of these entrepreneurs were increasingly considering outsourcing the job…
What better time to give them a little push and offer two free blog posts about their brand in Waypoint Writing’s premier giveaway?
After a crash course on how to actually set the thing up, I decided to look into the effectiveness of giveaways as a brand marketing strategy in order to eventually evaluate my own. (Stand by, readers. I’ll share the results and my overall impressions next week).
Why Giveaways Work
According to Entrepreneur’s, “How a Contest or Giveaway Can Attract Business Prospects,” the name of the game is exposure. Author Wendy Keller defines these marketing events as “contests” throughout her article, explaining that, “The more people who know about your contest, the more people who know about your business. A percentage of those who find out about your business in this way will be interested in finding out more, even if they didn’t win a prize.”
Sure, that might seem obvious, but the potential results really can’t be overstated. What business owner wouldn’t want to extend his or her reach — and do so in an engaging, value-based way?
ThriveHive’s, Emily Weisberg, agrees in 9 Ways to Promote a New Product or Service, that “Social media contests are a fun, easy way of connecting with customers and bringing in more fans for your social media platforms. A simple Facebook contest, for example, garners 34% new fans on average per campaign. That’s huge considering that organic reach is low on Facebook!”
As the rules of the social media game and digital marketing, in general, continue to change, Weisberg makes a good point. Organic reach is difficult to achieve and if a fun contest or giveaway can help, it’s certainly worth a try.
When I review the effectiveness of this giveaway in next week’s post, I’ll be sure to share the percentage of new Facebook fans as well. We might as well all learn together!
Returning to Keller’s article, she cites another reality of these contests that I think, given the time constraints experienced by entrepreneurs determined to grow their businesses, is even more compelling. Repetition. Once learned, you can launch another giveaway to reconnect with loyal customers and reach out to new ones.
As Keller says, “The process itself is easily replicated and modified once learned, and it’ll give you a quick marketing strategy you can keep in your back pocket when you need to refresh public awareness that you and your business exist.”
Quick and easy, yet effective and valuable, are descriptors that don’t often co-exist in current brand marketing strategies.
Show and Tell
Research and statistics are all well and good, indeed the drivers behind why we make any decision or dare any risk in the first place. As an act of entrepreneurial good faith, next week, I will share the results, impressions, and lessons I’ve learned from my first giveaway and discuss how I intend to use that knowledge to enhance my own brand marketing strategy.
Have you tried a giveaway for your brand? If so, we invite you to tell us all about it in the comments.