What are the best prizes to giveaway during a promotional marketing campaign?

Despite the emergence of innumerable new marketing techniques over the past decade, promotional marketing remains one of the most effective ways for brands to reach new customers and demographics — and this is particularly true for small businesses.

The goal of any promotional marketing campaign is to raise the profile of a brand or product through a special offer or promotion. Both businesses and consumers benefit from this method, which explains why the technique has retained its popularity for so long.

While promotional marketing takes many forms, one of the most effective offshoots of the practice is promotional giveaways, contests and competitions. Since the dawn of social media, giveaways have experienced a resurgence — with hundreds of brands using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to host giveaways in a bid to generate more interest for their brand or product line. Contests are great for creating social engagement with followers and customers, as well as gaining increased traffic to your site — which is a big win for start-ups.

For those interested in hosting a contest or giveaway on their social channels, the practice can pay off dividends, provided you implement the appropriate KPIs to measure return on investment.

One area brands often struggle with is deciding which products or prizes to give away as part of their social competition. Though this may not sound the most important aspect of planning a promotional marketing giveaway, choosing the right prize can have a massive sway on the quality of entries, the engagement of your following and ultimately the amount of interest the competition generates.

Here, we guide you through the best prizes to give away as part of your promotional marketing strategy.

Vouchers and discounts

Though not the most creative of prizes, many brands offer vouchers as part of a social media contest. The benefit of supplying vouchers for your own products is that the winners will be given the opportunity to sample your retail offerings for free, which could ultimately lead them to converting on your site in the future.

However, the effectiveness of vouchers does depend on what your company specialises in. If you’re a holiday provider people will be interested in claiming free vouchers. If you manufacture laundry detergent, the likelihood of generating good engagement will be limited. This highlights the importance of choosing each giveaway item carefully.

Sponsored prizes

Offering another brand’s products or services may sound counter-intuitive to self-promotion via a social contest, but doing so can prove highly beneficial for your on-going promotional marketing campaign. Featuring another company’s products as a giveaway item is essentially a form of affiliate marketing, whereby two brands benefit from a shared campaign.

Choose the appropriate partnership, and you’ll enjoy increased engagement and interest on your social channels, which could in turn lead to an upsurge in conversions on site. Partner with the wrong brand however, and your giveaway could under perform or backfire — particularly if the prize isn’t suitable for the audience you’re targeting.

Promotional merchandise

Provided what you’re giving away has a strong value proposition (in simple terms: people will actually want it), supplying your own prizes for a social contest can often prove the simplest and most cost effective solution to choosing giveaway items. Promotional merchandise takes many forms, and research shows that the ROI offered by personalised products can often outstrip the amount of capital you’ve invested in the initial purchase.

Promotional product marketing experts, Leighmans, believe the effectiveness of a merchandise prize giveaway rests with how well the product aligns with your brand proposition. They said: “Promotional merchandise goes way beyond mugs, pens and key rings, and now it’s possible to customise a huge range of products with your brand’s livery. This opens up new alleyways for those wishing to endorse their brand with promotional merchandise — provided they choose the right gift carefully.”

For more tips and advice on how to better promote your brand online, don’t forget to check out our marketing page.