The power of social media – Post 8 of 12

advertising, Art, Design, Lifestyle, Patreon, sale By Jul 16, 2023 No Comments

This is an example of an advertisement layout you can use to promote a giveaway and the contest requirements. Save time and money by taking advantage of the templates available for Tier 1 Members.

Part 8 – Why do people run contests and giveaways?

In the ever-evolving world of marketing, authors are constantly seeking innovative ways to expand their readership and gain exposure to their work. One powerful strategy that has gained significant traction is running contests and giveaways. These promotional tactics not only create excitement but also offer numerous benefits for authors like you, who are looking to connect with new readers, build a loyal fan base, and increase your book’s visibility. As discussed previously, the more exposure your book gets on social media, the more page reads you will achieve. In this blog post, however, we’ll explore why it’s a great strategy to use, what the real-world potential of contests and giveaways is, and provide practical examples of how you can apply them to achieve your marketing goals.

Firstly, we must discuss why businesses (because that’s what you are as an author – a business – you are your brand) run contests and giveaways as part of their marketing and promotional efforts. Contests and giveaways are powerful marketing and promotional tactics that enable you to increase your brand visibility, build awareness of your genre and tropes, generate leads for future collaboration/purchases, foster reader engagement, reader loyalty, encourage user-generated content, leverage social media engagement, and gather valuable market insights. Having read through my previous posts, you will understand that all of these techniques are proven to increase your success in the self-publishing industry. When designed and executed effectively, these campaigns can contribute to the growth and success of a brand and, thus, the success of you as an author.

  1. Increasing brand visibility: Contests and giveaways provide an opportunity for authors like you to amplify your online visibility. By creating a buzz around the campaign, you can attract attention from a larger audience. Readers love the idea of winning prizes, and when they see a contest or giveaway being promoted, it grabs their attention and increases their awareness of the brand behind it. This heightened visibility can lead to increased recognition and recall in the minds of readers when they are looking for a new book to read at a later date.
  2. Building brand awareness and recognition: Running contests and giveaways allows you to create awareness about your products or services. By designing the campaign in a way that showcases your offerings or highlights specific features, businesses can educate participants about their books, writing style, genre, character descriptions, etc. For example, an author who writes sports romance could run a contest that requires participants to submit photos or videos of themselves out watching or playing sports while holding a copy of their book. This not only increases awareness of what your genre trope is but also associates the brand with fun and socialization, reinforcing your books’ positioning in the trope.
  3. Generating leads and expanding the customer base: Contests and giveaways often require participants to provide their contact information to enter, such as email addresses, phone numbers, or social media handles. This data is highly valuable for you as an author as it allows you to generate leads and expand your reader base. By capturing these leads, you can follow up with participants through targeted marketing efforts, such as personalized emails or retargeted ads, to nurture them and convert them into loyal fans. Just remember to always get your readers’ permission before using their details in such a way.
  4. Encouraging user-generated content: Contests and giveaways often involve readers creating and submitting content related to your book or its products (see point 2 above). This user-generated content (UGC) can be an excellent marketing asset. It not only showcases real people using and enjoying the book but also encourages others to engage with the book in some way. UGC can be shared on social media platforms, websites, or other marketing channels, amplifying your overall message and attracting more potential customers. Additionally, UGC often has a higher level of authenticity and credibility, which can positively impact the perception of both your book and you as the author.
  5. Fostering customer engagement and loyalty: Contests and giveaways provide an opportunity for you to engage with your audience and strengthen reader/author relationships. By offering rewards and prizes, you incentivize participation and create excitement for your book release. This engagement can lead to a sense of loyalty and affiliation with you and your book. Participants who have a positive experience during the contest or giveaway may develop a stronger connection with you as the giver of gifts, leading to repeat purchases and brand advocacy.
  6. Generating social media engagement and virality: Contests and giveaways are frequently promoted through social media channels. This creates an opportunity for businesses to boost their social media engagement. Participants often share the contest or giveaway with their friends and followers, resulting in increased reach and exposure for the brand. When people tag their friends, comment on posts, or share content related to the campaign, it can generate a viral effect and significantly expand the campaign’s impact.
  7. Collecting valuable market insights: Contests and giveaways can serve as a means to gather market insights and feedback. By including survey questions or requesting feedback as part of the entry process, businesses can obtain valuable information about their target audience’s preferences, opinions, and interests. This data can be used to refine marketing strategies, improve product offerings, or even develop new products that align with customer needs and desires.

Are more TikTok followers your main marketing goal for this month? Try an ad that encourages engagement. Give clear but concise instructions, along with a prize worthy of the effort.

Overall, contests and giveaways serve as effective marketing and promotional tools by increasing online visibility, driving engagement, expanding your target
market reach, and fostering loyalty. These campaigns provide benefits both for the participating readers, who have a chance to win prizes and for you as the author aiming to achieve your marketing objectives.

So, now that the facts are out there and you know why you should run contests and giveaways let’s explore how you can apply this to expand your readership using more specific examples.

  • Book Giveaways: Authors can run book giveaways where participants have a chance to win a copy of their latest book. This not only creates excitement and generates buzz around the book launch but also introduces the author and their work to new potential readers. By offering free copies, authors can entice participants to discover their writing style and storytelling abilities. I always suggest offering free ebooks at first and using a signed copy of a paperback or hardcover as the main prize – this saves money and generates the buzz of “Will I win the Major Prize?” without you being restricted to just one prize.

This is an example of an advertisement layout you can use to promote an exclusive signed book giveaway. Save time and money by taking advantage of the templates available for Tier 1 Members.

  • Collaborative Contests: Authors can collaborate with other authors or book-related businesses to create joint contests or giveaways. For example, authors could partner with a bookstagrammer or a book subscription box service to offer a prize package that includes multiple books and bookish merchandise. This collaboration allows authors to tap into the existing fan base of the partner, exposing their work to new readers who may be interested in similar genres or authors. Try a simple sticker swap, giveaway SWAG pack, or ebook codes. Save money everywhere you can. The Self-publishing industry is expensive!
  • Reader Engagement Contests: Authors can run contests that encourage reader engagement and interaction. For instance, they could ask readers to submit book reviews, fan art, or creative writing pieces inspired by their work. Authors can then select the best submission to send the “Grand Prize” to. This could be something as simple as a signed paperback, a custom book box, etc. By incorporating user-generated content, authors can not only create a sense of community around their books but also leverage that content to promote their work on social media platforms and engage with their readers.
  • Exclusive Content Giveaways: Authors can offer exclusive content as prizes in their contests or giveaways. This could include bonus chapters, deleted scenes, or even personalized short stories. By providing unique and valuable content, authors can incentivize readers to participate and spread the word about their books. This can also lead to increased engagement on the author’s website or newsletter, as participants may be required to sign up or subscribe to enter the giveaway (as discussed in my previous post on Newsletters).

By providing something unique and valuable, like a free ebook, you can motivate readers to join your newsletter.

  • Social Media Contests: Authors can leverage the power of social media platforms to run contests or giveaways. For example, they could ask participants to share a post about their book, use a specific hashtag, or tag a friend to enter. This helps generate social media engagement, reach a wider audience, and potentially go viral as participants share the contest with their own networks. It also provides an opportunity for authors to gain more followers and connect with readers on various social media platforms. For more specific details on this, please see Post 2, Post 4, and Post 5 for more specific details on Social Media Contest creation.
  • Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) Giveaways: Authors can create excitement and anticipation for their upcoming releases by offering advanced reader copies as prizes. ARCs allow winners to read the book before its official release date and can generate buzz and anticipation among readers. By distributing ARCs to contest winners, authors can generate early reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations, helping to expand their readership. You can also keep a list of winners for future releases, which will generate early reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations for that book as well.

  • Newsletter Subscribers Giveaways: As discussed in a previous post, authors can use contests and giveaways as a way to grow their newsletter subscriber list. By offering exclusive prizes to those who sign up for their newsletter, authors can attract readers who are genuinely interested in their work and are more likely to engage with their future releases. This allows authors to directly communicate with their readers and nurture those relationships over time.

These are just a few examples of how authors can apply contests and giveaways to expand their readership. The key is to create enticing prizes, encourage reader engagement, leverage social media platforms, and collaborate with other industry influencers or businesses to reach a wider audience. By strategically implementing these tactics, authors can effectively promote their books, gain new readers, and foster a loyal fan base.

In future posts, I will be discussing how to create content specific to giveaways and contests, author takeovers, and promotional material for FREE! Be sure to keep an eye out for those.

NOTE: These are just my personal opinions and are meant to be used to help you, not as a definite instruction manual. The opinions or views expressed here are not intended to treat or diagnose issues; nor are they meant to replace the treatment and care that you may be receiving from a licensed professional. Neither Patreon, nor I, are responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions.

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