Unlike the standard giveaway project, a group giveaway has benefits since the combined force of the bloggers can attract bigger sponsors and more traffic. Here is how to manage a group giveaway.
Invite Your Group
The first thing you need to do is invite bloggers to participate in the giveaway.
- Each blogger must submit a post, so make sure you invite between 7 to 15 bloggers to create a nice roundup. More than that will be too much to manage.
- It’s a good idea to find bloggers who have worked with brands in the past for giveaways or product reviews. For example, I’ve worked frequently with Surf Sweets, Glee Gum and Boiron, and they are very open to providing prizes for my giveaways.
- Set up a secret Facebook group to communicate and share information for the project. You will be project coordinator and the group’s administrator, but if things get a bit unwieldy, you can invite other members to co-manage the project.
Select a Theme
Giveaways are successful in attracting lasting traffic when they speak to your target audience. For example, this fall I managed a “back to school allergy free” giveaway with 8 foodie bloggers. If you do not know many bloggers in your niche yet, Lori Soard shares some great tips on how to join and find the perfect group.
- For the most impact, you’ll need to time it with an event. Naturally, a back to school giveaway was most relevant for September, so I made sure that the entire project was completed before the end of that month.
- Seek out ideal hashtags for your theme – short, impactful and popular enough to generate interest. Use a tool like RiteTag and look into what’s trending for the season. We used “healthyBTS.”
- Your theme should be search engine friendly. “Back to School Allergy Free” is good title for SEO and social media.
There are two options for group giveaway prizes:
- Pitch your prospects. This is ideal because it creates a basis for future partnerships with a targeted brand and avoids too many out of pocket expenses on your part. Collect stats for all the bloggers involved, including social media reach and page views. Total them up to create a powerful pitch.
- Buy a gift card. Have everyone donate a small amount ($10-20) and buy a gift card. This is useful because you don’t need sponsors to offer a great prize, but you should make sure you’re buying a gift card for the right niche. For example, book bloggers can offer Barnes & Noble gift card prizes; cooking bloggers can offer Williams & Sonoma gift cards, etc. This is from a group giveaway:
Organize Content from Each Blogger
A successful group giveaway should be centered on useful, themed content.
- Each blogger should offer a unique title on your theme – have them pitch you! For food bloggers, everyone can submit a unique recipe. For holidays, you can organize the topics into groups: recipes, craft tutorials, decorations, etc.
- Each blogger must submit their URL name. You’ll need that content several days before the post goes live in order to organize it. Bloggers can create draft copies in their blogs to create the link, even if the post has not been written yet.
It's critical to set due dates for each item that you need. Bloggers and brands that miss deadlines should be handled with care but you may need to exclude them from this project. Include:
- Post topic
- Sponsor prize commitment, including link, if needed, and prize image
- Blogger post URL link
- Links for giveaway entry
- Best images from bloggers and brands for master graphic
- Date and time that posts and contest will be live
- End date of contest
- Winner selection and notification time frame
- Closing date of project
Organize Content that Everyone Must Use
For best SEO practices and to maintain an orderly giveaway, you’ll need to unify those unique posts with similar content. Upload these to your Facebook files:
- Keyword-rich introduction and closing. Introduce the theme, who coordinated it, what you are giving away and the timing of giveaway. The closing should offer a thank you to each sponsor as well.
- Hashtags and keywords.
- Links for all the sponsored prizes. Remember to make these “nofollow” links and disclose the donations.
- Share the giveaway code.
- A neat, orderly list of all the blogger articles.
- A master image for the giveaway created from the best images of the group or the giveaway prizes. Keep in mind that to be evergreen, each blogger will need to add additional images for future sharing.
- Tell your group to copy Facebook files in “Edit” mode when you are sharing HTML code.
Setting Up the Contest
- My preference for running a contest is Rafflecopter, since they make sure you do not request entries that are not allowed, such as Facebook likes. If you only have the free account, ask someone in the group that has an upgraded account to manage entries or upgrade your own account.
- The more prizes you give away, the more entries you can request. Ask each blogger and brand for 1-2 entries. You should limit social media entries (“Twitter, Facebook or Instagram only”). Offer 2 out of 3 options, since some brands or bloggers may not be on all the social media.
- If you want to generate newsletter signups, request the email sign up link from brands and bloggers. You won’t have time to hunt for links if they don’t know it.
- Test all the links you receive. This is time consuming but it’s important that content and entries are accurate.
Don't Forget the Terms!
There are local and country regulations and laws governing giveaways, which are considered “sweepstakes.” Add these to the terms, which is a requirement of sweepstakes. Some common things you need to state include:
- Who may enter. I prefer that participants are over 18.
- Where entrants can reside. If you’re in the U.S., for example, it’s wise to keep the contest to U.S. participants only.
- Clearly state the prize(s) in the post and/or terms.
- These phrases:
– “No purchase necessary”.
– “Chances of winning are based on entries.”
- When and where winners will be posted, including time frame for them to respond. I always give 24-48 hours for winners to respond and inform them I may pick a new winner if I don’t hear back.
What If Something Goes Wrong?
Rectify every issue so that entrants and winners get what was promised. Listen to the feedback you get.
- If the winner is sent the wrong prize, contact the company – they are required to honor the prize they agreed to.
- If a link is broken or dead, go back and fix it or change the entry. This is not good practice for a contest but it’s better than having a dead entry or one less than at the start of contest.
Think Long Term
Once the giveaway is complete, there are a few things you'll want to do to maximize this project:
- These posts are excellent curate content for your topic and cab be evergreen for this season or holiday if you remove the giveaway information. Inform your group of that information a certain number of weeks after the winner has received his prize.
- Make sure, however, that you do not remove the brands that contributed prizes. You may want to rethink the way the content is laid out or do a rewrite so that group members can edit the evergreen content in a way that makes sense.
- Thank the sponsors afterward and be sure to send them any positive feedback from the prize winners.
- Create a case study including number of entrants, shares and page views to pitch future giveaways.
A group giveaway is a lot of work and a big time commitment but is also a great way to drum up traffic, work with brands and bloggers and build excitement in your niche.