Build it and they will come, right? Well… not really. Think about how many new websites launch daily. How are you going to build buzz around your new website launch? A great way to build some excitement, and even grow your audience in the process, is to a host a giveaway. In this blog post I’m going to share my best tips on organizing a successful giveaway that will help build awareness and generate buzz around your new website launch.
Pin it for later!
1. Set Goals
The first step to anything you want to accomplish is to set SMART goals. This is no different. Don’t skip this step! Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you set clear goals for your website launch:
- How much site traffic do you want to see on the day of your launch? Are you hoping to hit a certain number of page views / unique site visitors?
- How many mentions do you want to generate? Are other people sharing your launch on social media?
- How much engagement do you want to see on your website launch posts? What’s the number of comments? Number of likes?
- How many people do you want to enter your giveaway? What about shares and tags?
Those are just a few examples of goals you can set for yourself, but you can set any goal that makes sense for you and your business! You could even set a goal of getting a new client on the day of your site launch. Just make sure the goals you are setting for yourself are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely (SMART).
2. Brainstorm Ideas
Now that you have your goals down, it’s time to decide on your giveaway. Some of your goals may depend on the giveaway you decide to host, so you may want to revisit your goals again after choosing a giveaway idea. However, the reason we did your goals first is because they may also give you insight on the type of giveaway you need to host in order to reach your goals.
Type of Giveaways
There are several ways you can go about hosting a giveaway, but for this post we are going to be breaking down a social media giveaway. I would choose the platform you have the biggest following on already. If you are just starting out, don’t worry, a giveaway can still work wonders for you!
Instagram In-Feed Giveaway
For an Instagram in-feed giveaway, you’d simply post on your feed what you’re giving away and how to enter. Here are some typical rules to include for how to enter the giveaway (you can choose as many as you’d like, but the simpler it is, the more people will enter):
- Follow @yourhandle (a must-have!)
- Like the photo/post
- Tag friends (can say “tag someone else who needs this”, “tag 3 of your best friends below” or say “for a bonus entry, tag a friend” etc.)
- Share to story (I like to use this as a bonus entry, but just make it clear that they need to tag you in the story, otherwise you won’t see it!)
Tip: Team up with a few others who can throw something in to the giveaway and help you promote your launch!
Instagram Story Giveaway
There are a couple ways I would recommend doing an Instagram Story giveaway:
- Make the giveaway last the entire month you are launching. To enter the giveaway, they must engage with every one of your posts for that month! This will help increase overall engagement on your page and also build a lot of buzz around your launch. Recommend to your audience to turn on post notifications, so they never miss a chance to engage with your content. If you have high story views but low in-feed engagement, I highly recommend using this method!
- Have users follow you and send your story to 3 friends who may want to enter. Then, to track who enters, add in a slider and have them slide when they’re done entering. You could also use this method if teaming up with others; simply list everyone they need to follow and then have them slide the slider once they’ve followed everyone.
*These types of Instagram Story Giveaways will not work unless you already get some story views. Use hashtags within your stories to increase views!
This is very similar to the Instagram in-feed post giveaway type. Share about the giveaway to your feed and have people like, share and comment. Make sure to include “liking” your page and sharing because that’s what’s going to help it go the furthest on Facebook.
Tip: Connect comments to a Facebook Messenger bot like ManyChat to grow an audience you can easily communicate with about the giveaway and to share future updates for your brand.
Now that you know what type of giveaway you are hosting, it’s time to choose a prize! When I’m choosing a prize, I like to keep it relevant to what I offer. That way, when the giveaway is over I can reach out to everyone who didn’t win and give them a special offer on the original prize or something similar (more on this at the bottom of this post). Also, if they are interested in your giveaway, that means that must be interested in what you have to offer, meaning they are less likely to unfollow you when the giveaway is over!
If I’m giving away a service, it’s not really costing me up front; it’s only costing me the time it takes. This is a great prize for someone newer to offer because it not only helps you grow your audience, but also helps you build your portfolio. If you giveaway something you’ve already created, such as a template, course, or digital product, it’s not costing you anything to giveaway, but it’s offering lots of value to those who enter.
If you just want to grow your community, I recommend giving away something really valuable that fits your audience (if you have the budget for it). Just make sure that it actually fits your target audience, or you may see a lot of unfollows once the giveaway if over from people who just wanted the prize.
I once had a client who was in the health and wellness industry give away an Apple Watch. The giveaway was hosted on their Facebook page, we connected a messenger bot, and we were able to generate over 1200 entries because the prize was so good! We targeted their local area, so they were able to go live and show them actually giving the apple watch to the winner, which is great for social proof and building trust! Then, we sent out a message via ManyChat, offering everyone who didn’t win a free trial to their product. This resulted in 100+ free trials given and several of those people becoming reoccurring customers. Now that’s a giveaway done right!
Here’s a list of prize ideas:
- Service (maybe a smaller package of a bigger service you offer, or something that will help you grow your portfolio)
- Digital Product
- Gift Card to your Shop
- Physical Product
- Apple products always do well
- Giving away your own shop products is a good way to create a new customer and generate buzz
- Something relevant to your target audience (if you’re a food blogger, you could giveaway your cookbook and favorite kitchen accessory)
The options are really endless! If you team up, you can all brainstorm together, and it’s easier to buy/build a bigger prize because you can all pitch in some money or a service/digital good.
3. Create Content
Now it’s time to create the content for your giveaway. This is when you’ll write your caption, take pictures or design graphics and setup any other things needed, such as ManyChat if you’re using Facebook. You may also want to create some build up around your launch and tell your audience beforehand that you are doing a special giveaway. Post an Instagram countdown, so your followers can get a reminder sent straight to their phone when you’re posting. Better yet, show them how to turn on post notifications, so they don’t miss the giveaway!
For the actual giveaway post, here’s what you need to get ready and have scheduled.
Write your caption.
Tell them why you are hosting the giveaway (your new website launch), what they can win, how to enter and any other rules.
Rules to include:
- Age requirement: 18+
- Location requirement: US only (if it’s a physical product, this is smart so you don’t have to pay lots of money for international shipping), OR, if you only offer local services you could say your town or county
- Not endorsed or sponsored by Instagram, Facebook and/or any product you are giving away such as Apple*
Here’s an example of a caption you could use. Feel free to copy, paste and edit to match your unique brand voice and giveaway.
It’s launch day here at (your business name). That’s right, our new website just went live, and to celebrate we wanted to do a fun giveaway for all of you! We’re giving away (insert prize here). To enter, follow us @yourhandle, like this post and tag two others (target audience: small business owners, business besties, friends, etc.) below. Bonus entry: share this post to your story, and be sure to tag us, so we can count your bonus entry! Save this post so you can easily check back when the winner has been announced. 18+, US only. This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by Instagram.
*For any legal questions and official requirements, please contact a lawyer.
Create your visual
If you are giving away a physical product, I recommend taking photos of the product like pictured below.
Here’s an example of a giveaway I did on my personal Instagram with one of my blogger friends:
View this post on Instagram
GIVEAWAY! Google Home, Charlotte Tilbury makeup, Jaclyn Hill eyeshadow and more goodies! @monicawoodhams and I teamed up for a giveaway while we run around Charleston on a mid-week getaway because, why not?! To enter: 1️⃣ Like this photo 2️⃣ Follow me @itskirstenatkins and @monicawoodhams 3️⃣ Comment where you’re dreaming of traveling to next and tag your girlfriends who you’d bring along BONUS entry: share this post to your story 1 winner will receive a box full of goodies including a Google Home Mini, Jaclyn Hill eyeshadow palette, and Charlotte Tilbury makeup to name a few! ➡️Swipe to see everything included Giveaway closes Saturday at 10am EST. Winner will be announced Saturday afternoon. This giveaway is not sponsored by Instagram or the brands mentioned. US only, must be 18+
If you are giving away a digital good or service, you can create a graphic with your best work, post a picture of you in action or even just post a graphic of your new website.
Here’s an example from a giveaway I did right before I changed Socially Boutique to South and Palm (to build my portfolio):
View this post on Instagram
👏🏼GIVEAWAY TIME👏🏼 We’re giving away a completely custom website design + branding package for your blog or business! If you are in need of a website and branding refresh or just website and branding in general, this is for you!! To enter: 1️⃣Like this photo 2️⃣Follow @kirstenturk_ AND @southandpalmdesign 3️⃣Comment below telling us what a new website and branding could do for your business (bonus points for sharing this on your story and tagging us) 4️⃣Tag a friend that could benefit from this below👇🏼 THAT’S IT! You’ll be entered to win the completely custom website and branding package valued at over $2000! Good luck!❤️❤️ This contest is not sponsored or endorsed by Instagram. Must be 18+ to enter. Winner will be announced April 10th.
You could also do a carousel with all of these options! I’ve gone ahead and created some launch and giveaway graphic templates for Canva that are free to use and easy to customize to match your brand, just sign up below to get access!
Schedule the Post
Be sure to schedule your post to make sure everything is ready and in order before going live with your giveaway! I love to use Later to schedule Instagram posts.
4. Post Giveaway / Launch Your Site
Now that you have your post scheduled, it’s time for your website launch! If you are doing any separate launch graphics, now is the time to post them before the giveaway.
As soon as your scheduled giveaway post goes live, make sure you are engaging with comments and those who’ve entered to help the post go further. Sometimes I even DM the first few entries just to say thanks for entering and best of luck! Just another way to build trust with your community and hopefully retain any new followers when the giveaway is over.
5. Announce the Winner
Time to announce the winner! Hopefully by this point, you’ve generated some good buzz and met the goals you set for the giveaway. However, don’t be too hard on yourself if you didn’t reach your goals, especially if this is your first giveaway or you started from 0. Building a business and brand takes time, and giveaways don’t always perform the way you’d hoped.
Announce the winner in your story, within your post and even message them directly! It may also be fun to follow up with them and showcase to your audience that you did, in fact, pick a winner. This will help you build trust with your audience and generate some excitement about your giveaway.
Bonus Tip: Reach out to those who didn’t win
This is something I love doing after a giveaway because everyone who just entered is obviously interested in what you were giving away! For the next few days after the giveaway, I will DM 10-20 people who entered the giveaway. I simply thank them for entering and offer them the prize at a discounted price. I do this until I’ve messaged everyone who entered, but didn’t win. That is what I do for Instagram. If you held your giveaway on Facebook and integrated a messenger bot, I would send out a ManyChat blast to everyone who entered (just don’t forget to remove the winner before you send).
For example, if I were giving out a Showit Website Template, my message to those who didn’t win might look something like this:
Hey (name)! Thank you so much for entering my (name of giveaway) last week. Unfortunately, you were not the winner, but as a thank you for entering, I wanted to extend a special offer to you on my Showit Website Templates. This week only (make it time sensitive), I’m giving 50% off any template in my shop to everyone who entered the giveaway. Just use code “GIVEAWAY50” at checkout. Thanks again for supporting my small business!
Want my full Brand Launch Roadmap? Sign up below!