This is a guest post by Justin Nutzman, co-founder of Giveaway Scoop, a site that makes it fun and easy to find and add giveaways for free. You can follow Giveaway Scoop on Twitter.
You’ve probably had this happen to you. You see a fantastic giveaway mentioned on Twitter or on a blog. Jazzed with excitement, you click on through to the giveaway and land where it’s being hosted.
What you see turns that smile upside down. The anticipation you once had gives way to shock, then to giveaway dismay. To start, your browser halts to a near stop as it tries to load a dizzying amount of ads.
Panicking, you quickly scan the page to find where the giveaway directions are. But you’re too late! A newsletter signup box pops up with gusto asking you to “SIGN UP NOW!”
But you’ve come too far to be thwarted by mere HTML! So you quickly cancel the newsletter request and resume your hunt to find this illusive giveaway.
Now, what’s this you see? A couple weak, feeble prize images with a few sentences that make the product sound tragically lame. What? No pretty pictures of the prize and not even a proper description of how helpful this new gizmo will be to your life? Where’s the payoff? Where’s the cool factor?
To top it off, the page is limping along, still trying to fully load in. *Sigh.* Tired and uninspired by the product giveaway and review, you close the browser tab to catch your breath and wipe the sweat away that’s formed on your upper lip. You vow never to return to this web site even if they’re holding a giveaway where one winner gets an all expenses paid trip to the moon. (Hopefully back to earth also!)
Well, they say that a picture is worth a thousand words. But what about an animated gif? I think this baby’s expression represents the feeling when anticipation turns into shock and then dismay when we click on an awesome giveaway only to be greeted with a page that is guilty of the above scenario.
OK, well maybe I’ve exaggerated the above story a tad. But you get the point! And don’t worry, it was just the sound of mom blowing her nose that surprised the cute little guy so much.
We view a lot of giveaways at Giveaway Scoop. We’ve learned what works well and what falls flat. In this post we’d like to highlight 5 tips of what we’ve seen that works well and how some bloggers are ensuring that they capture and retain as much of their giveaway audience as possible.
1. Photos: The Art Of A Tantalizing Giveaway & Review
There’s an art to making a review and giveaway combo page that will slowly draw more and more interest to the product as the user scrolls down the page. Ideally, the blogger should weave an interesting story and review around big, crisp photos of the product. They might even demonstrate the product in action.
Want to see this demonstrated? Check out a recent giveaway and review combo from Glenda at Busy at Home:
Big, crisp and well lit images have a big role in getting the user jazzed and zoned in on what you’re reviewing and giving away. The biggest tip for taking good photos is to ensure that you light the object well to prevent a drab and dark looking image. You can also ask brands for high-resolution photos to accompany your review if needed.
Notice on Glenda’s review how she breaks up the page with pictures and then spices in the review below each photo. This keeps the visitor engaged and the anticipation for the product builds as they scroll down.
In the end, Glenda takes a knife set giveaway and turns it into a page that is highly helpful, interesting and fun to scroll through.
After all, why give away a product and have all those tweets and backlinks wasted after the giveaway expires in 2-3 weeks? Why not create a giveaway page that features the product but also has a candid post of the product or brand that will be helpful to visitors for years to come?
Here are a few more examples of fine giveaway and review pages from other bloggers that hit it out of the park:
Home Pro Hair Cutting with Wahl Giveaway – This page has excellent photos that demonstrate the product in use with a real hair cut.
LiftMaster 8550 Review and Giveaway – This is a creative way to integrate the product into one’s life and put it to a literal test!
2. Sometimes It Takes A Village To Build An Epic Review Page
A great asset to a giveaway is that you can ask your visitors to comment on the page of the review.
Enlist the help of visitors to help build your content by asking highly relevant questions as one of your giveaway actions. They will in turn add personal stories, tips or perspectives to the already relevant content you created.
For instance, if you’re reviewing a knife set and pairing it with a giveaway, go ahead and ask a question that will add to the conversation of the knife set. You could ask your visitors to answer one of the questions below for an entry point:
- What experience do you have with the knives I just reviewed? Did they live up to your expectations?
- Is there a certain brand of knives that you love or dislike greatly? Share with us your story.
- What method do you find most effective to sharpen your knives? Automatic or manual?
- What did you think of my recipe? Did you try it out?
By the time the giveaway ends, your review is made that much more authoritative by real comments that add to the conversation of the product or services the brand is sponsoring. I’d suggest at the end of the giveaway to go through the reviews and remove any comments from visitors that didn’t follow your directions and don’t add to the long-term helpfulness of the page. (e.g. great giveaway, cool product, I want to win, etc.)
It takes just a few minutes when you’re setting up the giveaway to think of what information future visitors would want to read about your product. Once you add it into the giveaway widget, you’ll soon receive lots of authentic user added content that will boost your review page for a long time to come!
Remember, everyday Google is encountering searches that it’s never seen before. All those helpful comments will get spidered and ranked. Don’t underestimate the power of long tail search!
3. Ensure Your Pages Load Faster Than Usain Bolt
- According to the Aberdeen Group, a 1-second delay in page-load time equals 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in conversions.
- 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
- 20% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
- Yahoo also found that a 400ms slower page would see 5-9% more people leave before the page finished loading.
The fact is that the longer your giveaway page takes to load, the more visitors will bail on you. Google also has revealed that how fast your site loads is one of the signals they use to rank your site and pages. So, you can rank lower and receive less traffic simply by not properly weighing features, ads and images against a reasonable load time.
Interested in seeing your site graded on load times? Gtmetrix offers a solid tool and so does Pingdom. Does your site need improvement? That’s a whole guest post to itself, but if you’re running WordPress, then a cache plugin would be a good start.
4. Produce Videos That Make Brands Swoon
Another layer of awesomeness for any giveaway and review is to demo the product in video. Video is impactful and provides another lay of versatility to your brand. Plus, some products and giveaways just shine best in video.
You can also reach a whole new audience that simply isn’t getting their daily fix of content through words and photos.
Dislike being in front of camera? That’s pretty normal. A great solution is just to do a voice over with you demoing the product. Or have a friend or family member who loves the camera demo it. You’ll give them the feeling of being a “super star” and you’ll get great video content.
Here’s a fine example of a blogger doing a product review that is tied into a giveaway. The brand sponsoring this product must be super stoked since this video product review makes the giveaway page valuable for search and YouTube traffic. Notice how she links back to her blog post in the commentary section below – a great tie in.
5. Finish The Giveaway With A High Five
After the giveaway is finished, properly pick and announce the winner.
Another great tie in for your blog is to ask the winner to take a picture of the product they won and post the image on your Facebook page or the brand’s Facebook page, along with a thank you for the stellar giveaway. This equates into kudos points for you since the brand and your blog will get more free recognition.
Finally, to impress the brand even further, you can export the entries or simply tally the giveaway social actions and email them to the brand. Here’s a quick example:
The giveaway you sponsored was a stellar success! I wanted to pass onto you the tallied results for your brand’s social actions. I hope we can do another giveaway and review soon! Your brand’s increase in fans and followers from this giveaway:
- Facebook Fans: 458
- Twitter Followers: 385
- Tweets: 340
- Newsletter Subscriptions: 41
Establishing your brand with my readers: Priceless!
Summary: Pat Yourself On The Back For Creating Such Stellar Long Living Content.
The half life of your giveaway and review page will be so much longer than the average 10-21 days of a giveaway-only page. Instead, it could be many months or years that Google and Bing will send you a steady amount of traffic and you will keep adding engaged readers to your top notch content.
No doubt it takes time and effort to accomplish reviews and giveaways that rock, but when you combine the long-term search traffic, decreased bounce rate and increased readership loyalty, it’s very much worth it.
In time, big quality brands will be jumping at the opportunity to have you conduct a giveaway and review for all their products!
Have Any Tips? Join The Conversation!
This is where we ask you to add your valuable voice to this post by relaying your experiences and insight to your fellow bloggers. To get the ball rolling, here’s a few questions:
- What tips or practices do you deploy to make your giveaway and review pages stand out from the rest?
- Do you have any photography tips to share that allow you to capture the best images for your reviews?
- What are your favorite ways to promote your awesome giveaways?
- What plugins or tweaks have you deployed to successfully speed up your site?
- How do you handle brands and educate them on how effective your services can be?
Let’s Run A Giveaway In 3, 2, 1…
At Giveaway Scoop we’d like to say kudos to all you bloggers who each day write, design and create fantastic giveaway and review pages. Unless someday our last names change to Gates, we can’t offer each one of you a cool prize, but we want to say thank you by giving away a 3rd Generation Apple iPad to one smart, hard working and lucky blogger. Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to sign up to win! :)
Thanks again to Justin and the rest of the folks at Giveaway Scoop for sponsoring this opportunity! Below is a giveaway that is open to folks in the US/Canada. Giveaway ends on Wednesday, 6/20 at 12:01am. One winners will be chosen and shipped a 3rd generation iPad. Feel free to read the full terms and conditions in the Rafflecopter widget for more info!
- How Many Giveaway Entry Options Should You Use? (rafflecopter.com)