Summertime is here, and for your business, it could mean a prime time for marketing. Summer’s one of the best times to run a social media contest; I love it because there’s a ton of different potential contest themes and prize ideas.
In this article, I’m going to give you 20 summer giveaway ideas, with some tips for creating an awesome giveaway page, some great contest ideas, and a list of sweet prizes.
Let’s get started!
Summer Giveaway Idea #1. Countdown timer
One of the first things you should add to your summer giveaway page is a countdown timer. Just like summer, your contest is awesome but it won’t last forever. Use your contest builder of choice to add a simple countdown timer to your page, letting entrants know how much time they have left to enter your contest.
Countdown timers are so effective because they create urgency in a page visitor. Giving potential contest entrants explicit information about when your contest ends helps stop them from being indifferent and not entering altogether. Place your countdown timer above the fold to ensure people always see it – an opt-in bar works great as well!
Summer Giveaway Idea #2. Benefit-oriented headline
One best practice for any type of page with a conversion goal is to create an intriguing headline that clearly communicates the value of converting on the page. Since we’re talking about a summer giveaway here, the best thing you can talk about is your prize.
Here’s an example. Besides using a headline like “Enter Our Summer Giveaway!” which doesn’t say much more than the theme of the contest, you could use a headline like “Enter for a Chance to Win our $500 Summer Shopping Spree!” This headline, though similar, tells a viewer exactly what they want to know – they can still understand the contest’s theme, but they’re now also aware of the value of the prize and what the prize is.
Summer Giveaway Idea #3. Share prompt
This contest tip is actually my personal favorite, because I’ve seen just how successful it can be. Basically, a share prompt pops up after a visitor has entered your contest, asking them to share your contest (or Like or follow your various social media profiles) in exchange for extra entries.
This strategy is awesome because it’s an easy way to increase social engagement and reach more potential entrants by incentivizing people who have already entered. People who have converted for a first time are much more likely to be open to completing some other action (like sharing your contest) than if they were asked to share before even entering.
Summer Giveaway Idea #4. Testimonials
Often an underutilized strategy when it comes to contests, testimonials can be just what you need to convince people to convert. When people come to your contest page for the first time, they’re usually uneasy (and understandably so). One question you want to ask yourself when you’re designing your page is: how can I make my visitors as comfortable as possible?.
One such way is to utilize trust symbols – basically, elements you add to your page that increase visitor trust and – subsequently – conversion rates. Add a testimonial (or multiple testimonials!) from your happy customers to share their joy with potential contest entrants. They add social proof, which is an invaluable strategy to employ when looking to increase conversions.
Summer Giveaway Idea #5. Run ads
When putting together your summer giveaway, you want to consider the goals you’re looking to achieve with your contest. Though you may have the intention of trying to “reactivate” past customers, it’s more likely that you’re looking to get new customers by spreading the word about your contest through promotion on platforms like social media.
Unfortunately, organic reach isn’t what it used to be, and you’ll find yourself hard-pressed to reach a ton of new people through platforms like social and email without paying to play. Consider investing a least a little money
Summer Giveaway Idea #6. Share-to-enter
Just to note – you can’t do this on Facebook, but you can on Instagram and Twitter. Run a share-to-enter contest to ensure you maximize its social reach. Just tell people they need to repost your contest post (on Instagram) or Retweet your contest Tweet (on Twitter) to enter the contest.
What this does is help your contest reach people in your target market’s cohort. The people who enter your contest are interested in your product, and it’s likely the people they’re connected with on social media are similarly in your target market. Marketing to these people will help your contest reach social media success.
Summer Giveaway Idea #7. Coupon for entering
One way to entice page visitors into entering is to offer a coupon to every person who enters, to give them an instant discount on your products or services. This is awesome for a couple reasons. First, it makes everyone a winner, as people won’t feel nearly as sad about not winning your grand prize. Next, it actually directs entrants right into your sales funnel, giving them a reason to buy your products even before you’ve gone through the process of creating an email drip campaign.
Summer Giveaway Idea #8. Photo contest
Though photo contests are great any time of the year, I particularly love them in the summertime because it’s such a bright, photogenic season. Running a photo contest with an easy-to-use platform like Wishpond allows you to require entrants to upload their own content to your contest page, meaning you can collect user-generated content that you can use in your future marketing campaigns.
Summer Giveaway Idea #9. Partnered giveaway
Another social media giveaway best practice is to partner with another similar brand in your industry to administer your contest. Find a brand whose products complement yours (i.e. they’re not a competitor), and partner up with them to share in promotional efforts and create a bigger, more engaging prize package. By working together, you can essentially double your contest’s reach and market to each others’ customers.
Summer Giveaway Idea #10. Influencer giveaway
Another partnership you can make is with an influencer. Social media influencers are a huge part of modern marketing, and they can help you massively increase the reach of your summer giveaway. Look for an influential account in your industry or locale and reach out to them with the intention of administering a partnered promotion. Get them to share your product (and contest) with their large followings, and you’ll see the number of leads you generate skyrocket.
Summer Giveaway Idea #1. Your product
Giving away your product for your summertime giveaway is probably the best prize you can give away. I’m a huge advocate of using contests to generate quality leads – and the highest quality leads are the ones you can be certain are interested in the products you have to offer. Giving away your product means everyone who enters is at least somewhat into your product line, meaning you’re maximizing the impact of any email marketing campaigns you set up in the future to your list of entrants.
Summer Giveaway Idea #2. Gift card
If you’ve got a massive product line or you simply don’t want to give away your product, a gift card is a good second for many of the same reasons. Basically, a gift card means that, in the end, the prize you give away does end up coming back to you. Again, it ensures that entrants are interested in your brand and your products, which makes up a large portion of post-contest success.
Summer Giveaway Idea #3. Event tickets
Pretty much anywhere around the world, the arrival of summertime means events aplenty. One awesome summer giveaway prize idea is a set of tickets to a specific summer event. Of course, this only works if your contest is marketed towards locals, as it’s tough to find a set of event tickets that will work no matter what region your entrants are in. Because there’s often a wide variety of events, and because tickets to these events can be relatively cheap, you can actually run an ongoing giveaway or give multiple sets of prices away.
Summer’s also home to wardrobe overhauls or some long-overdue spring cleaning. Give away a shopping spree (ideally related to your product, brand or industry) to the winner of your prize, giving them a set amount to spend at a specific location. This prize idea actually works best when their shopping spree is for your business or your e-commerce store, as this maximizes the quality of your leads and helps increase awareness of your business and products.
Summer Giveaway Idea #5. Getaway
Summer isn’t quite summer without a vacation. One incredibly engaging prize idea for your summer giveaway is a getaway or trip for your grand prize winner. This works best if your business operates within a certain location – if you’re an international e-commerce business, your costs could go through the roof. Put together a flight and hotel package for a specific getaway location – the attractiveness of the prize is sure to help you increase page conversions.
Summer Giveaway Idea #6. Day trip
If you don’t quite have the marketing budget to give away a summer getaway, a day trip is a great option for an enticing prize idea. Summer’s a season that invites adventure, and giving your contest entrants a full day of awesome activities is a great summer giveaway idea. Put together some nice locations for meals, as well as some fun, summery activities (like winery tours or hikes).
Summer Giveaway Idea #7. Summer activity
In the same adventurous vein, you can consider giving away tickets to a certain summer experience, like rafting or ziplining. Tickets for these experiences are relatively cheap, so you might consider having several winners. Doing this makes potential entrants feel like there’s a larger chance they can win, which will help you increase your on-page conversion rate.
Summer Giveaway Idea #8. Night out
The summer is home to patio drinks and memorable nights out. Giving away a prize package that includes a night of drinks and appies for your winner and a couple friends is an awesome summer-specific contest idea.
Summer Giveaway Idea #9. Summer equipment
Camping, sports and backyard barbeques are summertime staples. Putting together a prize bundle with some camping, cooking, or sports gear is a perfect idea for this time of year. This option is great if your business doesn’t just operate locally, as these are all things that are relatively easy to ship to other places.
Summer Giveaway Idea #10. Picnic basket
If you live anywhere with sun, you know how fun a summertime picnic can be. Give away a full picnic basket as a prize (including your product if it fits!), including everything someone needs to gather a bunch of friends and family for a summer gathering. Like some of the other prizes, this works best for locals because food can be tough to ship.
Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas for your next summer giveaway! Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions.