Have you considered sponsoring product promotion giveaways?
Product promotion giveaways can work wonders to get the word out about your products or services but if done incorrectly can be a total waste of time and money and could even damage your marketing strategy
You have probably seen many companies sponsor product promotion giveaways and you have probably been contacted by a few bloggers eager to do giveaways for your company .
Truth of the matter is that many Product Promotion Giveaways fail to do anything but gain the sponsor a few extra unresponsive (zombie like) Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Sad but true so let’s take a look at where the mistakes are made.
The Blame Game
First let’s start at the source of Product Promotion Giveaways. The sponsors.
In full disclosure I’m writing this post because I have had a somewhat odd experience with a sponsor. The odd experience got me thinking and so this post was born. I’ll get into the odd experience a bit later in this post.
In another post we will take a look at the bloggers but first I need to deal with the sponsors.
I’m talking about sponsors who are contacted by bloggers who are eager to do Product Promotion Giveaways for them and sponsors who reach out to bloggers to do the Product Promotion Giveaways for them. I’ll deal with companies that run their own giveaways in another post too.
As a sponsor of product promotion giveaway you should be aware of a few problems you could create for yourself by either over restricting the bloggers in how they do the giveaways or by not setting sound and well thought out guidelines in place at all.
I believe there should be guidelines in place so the bloggers will know what is expected of them. We need a happy medium where both blogger and sponsor gain.
So what guidelines should you have in place?
First of all the most important thing you need to add to your guidelines is that the bloggers add the rel=”nofollow” meta tag to any links that point to your website. This is important for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your site. About three years ago you could pay for links to your site to boost your site’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking but today this is no longer advisable. Granted, 3 years ago it was not accepted either but today Google and many other search engines regard this as unnatural links or paid links and will punish a sites SERP ranking for having too many (or any) unnatural links pointing to it.
If you don’t tell the bloggers to “nofollow” your links there is a good chance that they will not do it and this can lead to your site dropping off the map in search results. If you are dependent on search traffic for sales this little gem could kill you.
You can learn more about it here. Link schemes – Google Webmaster Guidelines
The following are examples of link schemes which can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results:
Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link
Ask for more
If left to their own devices giveaway bloggers or bloggers that do product promotional giveaways will simply add your Facebook Page link and your Twitter link in the promotional giveaway for the entrants to Like and Follow. If you are sponsoring a giveaway make sure you get more out of the giveaway.
- You should pick some of your products and ask that the blogger add those to the giveaway to be pinned on Pinterest.
- You should provide the blogger with a link to a promotional post on Twitter for the entrants (the people who enter to win the product) to ReTweet.
- Ask that the entrants be required to go to your Facebook Page to comment on a post on your wall so that you may engage them there.
- If you make use of YouTube, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Reddit, or any other social media or book marking sites ask that the entrants follow, like, subscribe and vote for you on those sites.
- If you have a mailing list ask that the link be included so that entrants can subscribe to your mailing list.
There are many other things you can ask for to increase your social media footprint. Just having entrants click like on your Facebook page is not going to do anything for you other than give you fake fans that will probably unlike you after the giveaway anyway. Make use of your product promotion giveaways to put you in touch with people who have an interest in your product. If they don’t like your product why would they want to win it?
Ask that your entries carry more weight
Okay look, if you and the blogger work together on a giveaway you should know that the blogger is going to add his or her social media links and possibly other promotional entries in the giveaway too. This is not a bad thing for the sponsor because you want the blogger you are working with to have a large social media footprint and readership because this is what the blogger uses to promote you. How do you think I got nearly 11,000 Facebook fans and 5,000 Twitter followers?
I found the following point structure works well with Giveaway Tools and Rafflecopter (the two top giveaway widgets or tools) Ask that each entry in the giveaway that promotes or favors you be worth 2 points and all the other entries be worth only 1 point.
Also ask that there be no follow pages or Facebook Farm pages where hundreds of other blogger’s Facebook Like buttons could be lurking.(I have done Follow pages too I admit I’m not perfect but I don’t do them anymore)
If you don’t know what a Follow page is it is basically a long list of Facebook or Twitter buttons that are collectively worth a great deal of points or entries in the giveaway. The entrant is required to like or follow all to qualify for (usually) 25 points.
What you might not know is that Facebook only allows you to like 2000 Facebook pages. If the bloggers Facebook Page or Facebook Farm is worth more than yours the entrant will likely like the blogger’s Facebook Page and skip your Facebook Page to gain the entries.
You should understand that Bloggers work in groups and often bloggers will share giveaway posts within the groups. To gain the support the bloggers who help out are going to gain something in return for their help.It’s a small price to pay for the extra promotion
Just ask that the bloggers entries not be bundled together on follow pages so the entrants can pick the ones they want to follow or like and gain only one entry for each like or follow as opposed to 25 points for all.
Don’t restrict the bloggers too much just guide them (a case study)
As I have said before I had an odd encounter with a sponsor, or to be more clear PlaSmart. This is a case study so try to learn from it.
My wife contacted PlaSmart and asked if we could review the Perplexus. PlaSmart contacted us back with some reasonable guidance and at least one that made me feel uncomfortable and a few that were just not smart.
Simply put, I was given very strict guidelines about what my review of their product should look like. The very first thing they insisted on was that before they approve a giveaway they wanted to see my review post. I’m okay with this but to me it would seem that if I did not give them a shining review that they would not be interested in doing a giveaway with me.
I have to be honest here, as a product promotional giveaway blogger I sometimes sugar the product just a bit so that the bad points don’t leave a bitter taste. As a blogger I still need to be honest with my readers so if I don’t like something I will say so but I will not dwell on the negative things and rake the sponsor over the coals for them.
I don’t see the point in negative reviews. If you don’t have something nice to say then say nothing is my motto.
In the past I have declined a few sponsors for product promotion giveaways because their products were not suitable for my blog or something was terribly wrong with the products they sent for review.
Two weeks ago I declined two sponsors. One candy maker and a cookie maker because the candies advertised and priced as gourmet while being cheap and bland and the cookies smelled and tasted like paint.
I’m ready to sugar a review but I will not outright lie to people in a product promotion giveaway.
Other than basically (as I interpret it) asking for a shining review PlaSmart asked that I do not use any of their images or videos on their site in the review and that the giveaway post be posted only on my blog.
As for the photos I agree to a point but I’m used to using product photos from sponsors sites along with my own because those photos are usually far better than mine. I also use the sponsors full logo.
There is such a thing as branding and incorporating the sponsors logo in the review and giveaway helps the readers and entrants in recognizing the sponsor’s logo. Telling me I can’t use your logo is just silly on your part and not allowing me to use your photos might result in my poor quality photos making your product look bad. I’m not stealing your photos and as I’m already talking about your product and linking (“nofollow”) to your site I don’t see the problem here.
As for only posting the giveaway on my blog, PlaSmart is missing out on an opportunity to put their product on more monitors and gain more traction and possibly more clients from the giveaway. Why restrict me on where I post your promotional giveaway? More blogs = more readers = more traction. I network with hundreds of bloggers to gain my sponsors more exposure. I also use a paid service that shares my product promotion giveaways on 117 giveaway linky blogs and at least 7 giveaway directories.
PlaSmart insisted on only having one entry per entrant. So…they don’t want me to offer Pinterest entries, Twitter follows, Facebook page comments, ReTweets, shares and posts likes or any entries for myself?
How am I going to educate my readers about their products? Let’s take a look at a ReTweet in one of the Product Promotion Giveaways I’m doing now. Let’s take a look at the reach …Ooh back at 117 ReTweets we already had a reach of 81,000 Twitter users. Nice!
Not only did I just educate 127 readers (the giveaway is not over yet) that Lugz sells kids shoes, those readers promoted Lugz to their Twitter followers. How cool is that?
This Lugz giveaway already has 1600 people entered and it still has a week to go before it ends. Myself and the Bloggers I work with are rock star promoters, end of story!
Here is the kicker… in PlaSmart’s restrictive guidelines. If I don’t follow their guidelines they will decline the giveaway.
All I can say is this: The giveaway benefits one of my readers (the winner) and the sponsor. I don’t get anything out of the giveaway so if PlaSmart pulls out of the giveaway I don’t lose anything. PlaSmart just opened a slot for one of many sponsors who are waiting for me to promote them.
Guidelines should not be self restrictions. Let those that know how to promote do what they do and benefit from it.
Last but not least
Sponsors should ask the bloggers that want to promote them for examples of their work. You can spot a “I’m in it for the free stuff” Blogger a mile away so take a look at their blogs and the Product Promotion Giveaways they have done.
I promote a lot of other bloggers Product Promotion Giveaways so I know that 90% of the bloggers out there are only doing reviews and giveaways for the freebies. Look around on my blog some of the giveaways here will make your hair stand on end (not mine lol) but compare them to giveaways we do ourselves.
You can tell our Product Promotion Giveaways from the others because we mention ourselves as hosts in our giveaways. If is does not say the giveaway is hosted or brought to you by Giveaway Gator it is not mine.
Need a product promoted with a giveaway? We have the answer you have been looking for. Product Promotion Done Right
Feel free to contact me and set up an appointment so we can talk about your promotional needs