In the last few years, giveaways have become a staple promotion for brands wanting to engage with bloggers and other social media outlets. As bloggers become more established, requests from brands for giveaways grow… I probably get at least one a day. Some brands go as far as sending out email blasts to bloggers offering products for review and for giveaways. Which makes me wonder, how much value are companies getting from social media giveaways and how much do bloggers and their readers actually get from hosting them.
Who Benefits More from Giveaways Brands or Bloggers?
Firstly, I have to disclose, that I view giveaways as promotional content, particularly if a brand is asking for specific links and a specific time line, and the purpose of the giveaway is to build search results in SEO or to promote a particular product. Secondly, giveaways also generate more engagement than a regular post, so the value of the post for the brand and the blog has more impact. Giveaways do generate more traffic, but what is the quality of the traffic? Grechen from Grechen's Closet says that traffic from giveaways do not stay, they tend to unsubscribe after the giveaway is complete.
The general consensus from bloggers (including Grechen) is that traffic and exposure should not be the main motivation for doing a giveaway, that giving back to your readers should be the main reason. Many bloggers to the question ‘do you charge money for giveaways?' answered a simple ‘no' saying that giveaways presented opportunity for relationship building with brands and giving mag to the readers. However, I did notice a divide between professional bloggers (with no other ‘day' job) and bloggers who blog for a hobby or partially professional. Professional bloggers tended to view giveaways as promotional content while non-professional bloggers tended to view giveaways as opportunities both, agreed that it was a way to give back to the readers.
Do Readers Benefit From Giveaways?
While it's easy to find out from bloggers if they feel readers are rewarded from giveaways… the readers, on the other hand, how do they feel? I asked the question on The Coveted yesterday to find out:
Judging by the small sample taken by a quick poll yesterday, my readers, do like giveaways… sort of. Many do feel like it's fun, many feel like it heavily depends on what the item is, and well.. if they feel they have a good chance of winning it. People who not like giveaways at all are in the minority.
What is the advantage of a giveaway?
Throughout the day of talk about giveaways, very few bloggers said that it provided an effective way to grow traffic, even fewer said that doing giveaways for a brand evolved into sponsorships and or jobs. Conducing a giveaway, while it's a lot of work, was not generally perceived as something that should be paid content (I personally disagree, but stood in the minority).
All in all, if put under the same critical lens as you would something you would post editorially, positioned as something that would benefit your readers, it can have a positive effect on the community of your blog. So they are worthwhile, if done right.
How do you feel about giveaways?
PS. Shoes photoed above are mine… there's no way I'm giving them away. 😉