Every single day, I get at least 20-50 emails asking if I want to host a giveaway and every single day, my answer is no 98% of the time. I’m not sure I completely understand why companies think giveaways are so great to be honest with you. The traffic that comes from a giveaway, while plentiful, is not sticky. It has a very high bounce rate. Now some may become loyal readers over time or loyal sweepers because you are giving something away nonstop but the majority come directly to enter and leave within 2 minutes, just long enough for them to scan for entry options, do them, and then leave a comment.
BEING THE HOST
Hosting a giveaway is a ton of work, especially when I have to deal with companies who don’t fulfill their obligations at all or in a timely manner. Or when I have the winners emailing me withing 3 days asking when they’ll receive their prize. It’s time that I have to take out of my life to reply to those winners or to pinpoint the reasoning a winner hasn’t received their prize. It’s extremely frustrating to say the least. Even when a giveaway goes smoothly, I still have to create it, manage entries, pick a winner, email the winner & wait for them to claim, then email the company with the info…if all goes well, they get their prize quickly.
CCC or Custom Creative Campaigns
I recommend custom creative campaigns. It’s when a company seeks you out to promote their brand/product but tailors the program around you, usually choosing 5 or less bloggers of quality & relevance. A few PR companies do this very well like Edelman, Malone Advertising, and Weber-Shandwick. The goal is to find bloggers with a loyal readership, who love that brand/product, and can authentically dedicate their time online and offline for them, all with compensation. All the companies I mentioned are great at this. They take the time to get to know the bloggers so when a “gig” comes up, they know exactly who to approach. It’s so nice to see companies like these realizing that we are worth being compensated for out time & efforts because many of us do work very very hard.
Just an example of how they might do it—So if you’re looking for 2 bloggers to promote your very expensive DSLR camera, then you want to find 2 socially active, quality bloggers in different niches. Perhaps a food blogger who can use that camera for food photography and the other a travel blogger who can snap photos of places they visit or a mom blogger who can capture the sweet moments of her family. You take those two bloggers and give them a CCC consisting of 2 posts and/or videos a month for 3 months for $xxxx.xx, the click thru & purchase rate will almost always be higher than a giveaway. Yes, I’ve tested it. I use affiliate links in any post promoting a product and have measured (which is in my disclosure). Only one time has a giveaway done better and that’s because it was coupled with a MEGA discount.
Why does it work? Because those bloggers have readers that trust them. Relationships that have been built over time that it almost feels like family. Those readers can tell through the blogger’s writing style that the blogger truly likes it. Those are the ones that will know and will click thru to learn more about the product and possibly even buy.
Much like the CCC’s but you are hiring one blogger to represent your brand/company. This is usually longer term and it’s with a blogger who genuinely loves the product and who has a very loyal following.
Of course with both the Spokesblogger and CCC positions, the PR firm handling must do the job right by picking relevant bloggers and the bloggers need to think through whether they want to represent that brand/company. I feel like PR should thoroughly investigate the bloggers before approaching so that they know beforehand if that blogger cares a flying flick about that brand. This helps keep the blogger authentic as well. By approaching someone who already has a love for the product, their readers will not even notice because it’s something they already talk about anyways on their blog, which keeps the situation real even with money being exchanged.
I’m not saying don’t ever offer giveaways, I like to host a few every so often, especially if they are of significant value or something that we love love love, but if you are really wanting to get the word out about a product, then I recommend one of the alternatives above. I’m sure there will be a difference of opinion on this post and look forward to hearing what you think, both from a blogger’s perspective and a pr’s as well.