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The UPS Store Small Business Blog
  • 02 June 2023
  • Public Relations

12 Small Business Giveaway Ideas to Grow Your Brand

As a small business owner, you are going to do everything you can to attract and retain customers. One initiative that can help grow your brand is to launch a giveaway that will engage your target audience and get them excited about your business. While it may sound easy at first because many like free stuff, a successful giveaway requires a lot of thought and strategy.

We created this blog post to help you create a memorable and effective giveaway that will help build customer loyalty and boost awareness of your business. Let's get to it!

small business giveaway ideas

Why Run a Giveaway?

Before we get into some of the best giveaway ideas, we thought it would be important to go over why your business should hold promotional giveaways. Just like any promotional tactic, a giveaway has a way of attracting new customers and enticing existing ones to visit you again. These types of promotions can happen in a variety of ways, but most commonly they’re held in-person or online.

It has been shown that social media contests and giveaways can help provide your business with an effective means of increasing brand awareness, traffic, engagement, leads and sales, and followers across your social media accounts. In fact, giveaways have a conversion rate of almost 34%, which is higher than other types of content you might post on your social media platform. With this data, you can feel good about holding a giveaway, knowing that they have a solid success rate.

Reach More of Your Target Audience

As we mentioned above, everyone loves free stuff. It is a great way for people to sample what your business has to offer, giving them a good first impression of what you are all about. That is why customers often share and talk about businesses that offer giveaway contests because it shows what kind of business you are.

Whether they are talking about it in person or sharing your campaign across their social media, launching a social media contest and giveaway is a great way to attract your target audience.

Collaborate With Other Businesses

Another reason you might consider holding a giveaway is for its opportunity for you to connect and collaborate with other businesses. This is an excellent way to get more involved in your community by showing your support for other businesses in your area. We recommend partnering with similar, non-competing small business owners to tap into their network and customers to expand yours.

For example, Biome® Eco-Friendly Stores and Retreatment Botanics teamed up to launch a giveaway promotion on their social media to expand their followers and excite potential and existing customers.

How to Run a Giveaway

Whether you are launching an online contest or giving away a free product to customers who walk into your store, you need to figure out how your giveaway will work. This includes everything from what products you want to give away to how you are going to give them.

Without a set plan of action, any of the giveaway ideas below could have negative consequences for your business. That is why we included this section to help ensure your giveaway is a success.

Figure Out What You Want to Give Away

The first thing you need to figure out is exactly what you are looking to give away. It is important to offer a free product, service or discount that will highlight what your business is all about. It is also good to choose something that people would be interested in receiving from you. For example, if you are a retail store that sells sports memorabilia, you might give away products from the local sports team to highlight some of what you carry.

It is important to note that you should not choose items that you would not feel comfortable giving away for free, whether that be because those items are in limited supply or just too expensive to give people for free.

Set Your Parameters

Another important thing to consider when planning a small business giveaway is to set the right parameters. To start, you should decide how long your giveaway promotion will last. It is recommended that it should run longer than 24 hours but no more than 2 weeks. This is because you must give your audience enough time to engage and enroll in the giveaway or contest and encourages them to remain attentive until the promotion ends.

Additionally, you need to figure out how your entry process will work. A difficult process or description of who is eligible can dissuade people from entering your giveaway or contest. So, it is vital that you set easy, understandable entry rules to ensure your giveaway starts off on the right foot.

Run the Giveaway

So, you've decided on what free gift you will give customers and how long the promotion will last. Now it is time to launch the giveaway and attract your target customers to your business. Once you have initiated the promotion, you need to make sure you are engaging with the people who have entered.

This can involve anything from showing your appreciation for the people who entered to updating them when the entry window has ended. Moreover, you might consider updating your followers on the progress of the contest. After all, transparency is key and will only build excitement toward the campaign and your business.

12 Small Business Giveaway Ideas

Now that you understand how to run small business giveaways, now it’s time to launch your own. As mentioned, having a successful campaign can help boost your brand awareness and delight your existing customers. But to achieve these goals, you need to decide on the right promotion for your business. From social media giveaways to in-person ones, you can use any of the giveaway ideas below to help.

1. Tagged photo contest

This first business giveaway is popular across almost all social media channels. It is a great, relatively easy way to gain eyes on your business by having people tag your account in photos on their page for a chance to win a free gift.

This user-generated content is similar to word-of-mouth marketing where the user’s network will learn about your business through their posts. So, not only will you be engaging with the user, you may potentially engage with their network as well. There is also a great chance that, through this, you can convert these new followers into potential customers.

2. Social Media Follower for Contest Entry

Another business giveaway idea is to encourage people to follow your account and tag their usernames in your social media posts. This not only helps grow your social media followers but can drive engagement toward your promotional posts. Additionally, this social media giveaway can generate interest in your other products or services.

To incorporate this type of giveaway, you might create a social media post that highlights the product or service you are giving away. In the caption or image, you would explain that to win this item users must follow your account and tag their usernames in the comments. Then you or your social media manager will pick the lucky winner of your special prize at random.

3. Hashtag Contest

Small businesses that run Twitter and Instagram contests may find success by incorporating hashtag contests into their giveaway promotions. Similar to the tagged photo contest, this social media giveaway works like word-of-mouth marketing by having people use your branded campaign hashtag to build awareness toward your promotion.

The way this type of giveaway works is simply to ask people to post on social media using a specific hashtag during a certain time frame. The winners will be drawn at random by you or your social media manager to win the grand prize.

4. Business Partnership

As mentioned before, partnering with other small businesses is a great way to attract and engage with each other's customers. By working with other businesses, you will have the opportunity to reach a wider audience and tap into a new customer base much like the Biome® Eco-Friendly Stores and Retreatment Botanics example we referenced above.

Again, it's wise to partner with a non-competing business to ensure you are not contending for the same target audience.

5. Discount Giveaway

Instead of giving away a product or service, you can give a discount to every person who enrolls in your giveaway campaign. This is an excellent way to attract potential customers and show them what makes your business special.

For example, a local restaurant might give a 10% discount to everyone who enters the giveaway. This would entice more people to participate in the campaign, while also providing an incentive for people to use the voucher and see what the restaurant is all about. Moreover, this can be a great way to obtain repeat business and build customer loyalty.

6. Trip Giveaway

You do not have to give away your inventory. In fact, one of the most exciting business giveaway ideas is to offer people a free trip somewhere. The trip can involve people traveling to your store or office, or it can be a paid vacation to a different state or country.

7. Product Launch Giveaway

Are you launching a new product? Another business giveaway idea that you can use is giving a sample of the new product to a lucky winner. This will create some extra excitement toward the new product, while also driving customer engagement to your business.

To ensure your product launch giveaway is successful, you should consider these tips:

  • Offer a sample of the product with every purchase.
  • Give away a limited-edition version of the product.
  • Give customers branded items like a t-shirt or tote bag.
  • Include a gift card with every purchase over a certain amount.
  • Offer discounts on future purchases for those who enter the giveaway.
  • Send out a thank-you card or email to the people who participated.

8. Holiday Giveaway

Want to spread some extra holiday cheer? Small businesses will often launch holiday giveaways to show their appreciation for their loyal customers and attract new ones. This could be anything from free gift cards to products. Some potential popular holidays you may consider for your giveaway ideas include:

  • Christmas
  • Hanukkah
  • New Year's
  • Thanksgiving
  • Halloween
  • 4th of July

9. Event Giveaway

One of the most common giveaway ideas happens at in-person events. Whether you are celebrating your grand opening, a special anniversary, or just want to show your appreciation to your loyal customers, event giveaways are always a crowd-pleaser.

If you do decide to include a giveaway at your event, it would be a good idea to tie a digital component. This could involve getting their emails or social media handles when they sign up. This way you can easily communicate with them that they've won. It is also a great opportunity to build your digital network and grow your online following.

10. Email Giveaway

This is another common giveaway idea that doesn't have to include social media. You can gain some great engagement with your audience by running an email giveaway campaign. This can be an excellent way to offer a special gift to one of your loyal customers for following you via email.

Additionally, this giveaway idea can translate well when incorporating a social media element. For example, you can set the rules and announce the giveaway over email but recognize the winner across your social media platforms.

11. Review Giveaway

Let's face it, many small businesses rely on reviews to attract people to their establishments. That is why it is not uncommon for a local business to encourage its customers to leave a review by offering them free products. It is simply an easy way to gain a reputation in your local community. And remember, even though you are offering your product for free, be sure to deliver it with your best customer service.

12. Free Consultation Giveaway

Instead of giving away a product, this giveaway idea allows you to give someone your time—a consultation. Not only can this show potential customers what services you provide, but it also gives them a good idea of what it is like to work with you and your business. This type of giveaway is especially common for local businesses like:

  • Tax professionals
  • Contractors
  • Landscapers
  • Designers
  • Writers
  • IT professionals

These are just a few business giveaway ideas you can use to attract and retain loyal customers. As a business owner, you can get creative in engaging with your customers through giveaway promotions and personalize them based on what your business offers. Additionally, you can adjust them to fit your needs to better reach your goals.

Whichever fun business giveaway idea you go with, don’t forget the details. Impressing your customers with an eye-catching package and prompt delivery of their gift will contribute to making your giveaway a memorable one.

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