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Giveaways have been springing up everywhere in Singapore – you see them online in social media posts and as pop-up ads, as well as on traditional print advertisements, television commercials, etc. All kinds of businesses have been making use of giveaways – from major, established brands to smaller retailers who are just starting to break into the Singapore market.
And why not? Giveaways are a great marketing tool to raise brand awareness, engage with consumers, promote your products or services, attract potential customers, and eventually lead to an increase in sales and revenue. But what exactly is a giveaway?
The online Cambridge dictionary defines a giveaway as “something that is given free to a customer”. As mentioned above, giveaways are a marketing tool, and is based on the concept of a gift — a company giving away a product or service for free, to a participant who is chosen at random from a pool of entries. Entrants are not required to differentiate themselves and everyone stands an equal chance to win.
Nevertheless, entrants might be required to perform a task (i.e. by liking and sharing the Facebook post on the giveaway) in order to participate. In this way, participants help to spread the word about the giveaway and the brand or product. In addition, entrants are usually required to enter some personal information (i.e. age, gender, email address, etc.), and the collected information can serve as a pool of potential leads, as well as market research data for the company.
A competition or contest is a type of promotion where participants are judged by the quality of their entry and the winner is the one who submitted the “best” entry according to the rules of the competition. This is in contrast to giveaways where the participants are not evaluated by the quality of their entries and the winner is chosen via an indiscriminate selection process. There may be compliance regulations regarding competitions and contests in certain countries.
Lotteries are similar to giveaways in the way that the winner is also drawn randomly (as opposed to by the quality of their entry). However, in a lottery, the participant has to pay money in order to enter the selection pool (i.e. buying a lottery ticket). Some countries might also have laws governing lotteries, as this is often viewed as a form of gambling.
As a result, companies must design and carry out their giveaways carefully in order to avoid possible legal ramifications. They must also word their giveaway descriptions clearly to prevent confusion to consumers.
Giveaways are a great way to engage with existing clients and rejuvenate a company’s relationship with them. In contrast to your usual advertisements which are typically one-sided affairs (information only flows in one direction from the company to the customer), giveaways are a more fun and exciting way to interact with existing clients.
The notion of receiving a free gift will trigger positive feelings from the people toward the brand, and strengthen the link between them. Further, this positive feedback will get magnified when people spread the word of the giveaway on social media and by word-of-mouth.
Giveaways can expand a company’s network of potential customers when news of the promotion is spread across social media (i.e. when participants share the Facebook giveaway post). Every single entrant to the giveaway is a potential lead and can form part of a company’s mailing list to be followed up after the promotion.
A giveaway also offers wider product exposure. This is especially so if the winners of the giveaway are first-time users and the prize is the company’s product – the giveaway becomes a good opportunity for them to try out the product and be converted into regular customers. This is a particularly effective method when a company is trying to break into a new geographical market segment, or when introducing a brand new product.
In fact, a giveaway subtly entices people to covet the product as they will be hoping to win the prize. It has been shown that sometimes, even when participants do not win the giveaway, they might just buy the product in the end because they had been looking forward to it all that while.
With the advent of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, it has become very easy, quick and cheap to carry out giveaways. Instead of a major marketing campaign which may include months of planning, endorsements, negotiations and tricky executions – a giveaway just requires the company to set aside some products as the prizes, and then do up a quick social media post explaining the rules of the giveaway. Giveaways are so simple and convenient to carry out that many businesses hold them at regular intervals, especially during special occasions and holidays (i.e. annual Christmas giveaways).
Who doesn’t love freebies or gifts? So it will come as no surprise that giveaways are extremely popular with the general public in Singapore. After all, it is a great way to try out something for free.
It must also be pointed out that Singapore has one of the highest internet penetration rates in the world at 84% (4.92 million internet users out of a total population of 5.83 million). This is according to We Are Social and Hootsuite’s Digital in 2019 Singapore report.
Singapore also ranks fourth in terms of global social media penetration, after the UAE, Taiwan and South Korea. Out of the country’s total population, 4.6 million or 79% of internet users are active social media users, while 4.2 million or 72% are active on their mobile phones.
The above statistics point toward the vast potential of social media as a way for companies to reach out to the Singapore consumer market. And what better way to attract a person’s attention on Facebook than with a post telling them that they can receive a free gift, no strings attached! As a result, giveaways have been extremely popular with companies in Singapore, as a marketing tool to introduce new products and engage with the consumer market.
Large-scale giveaways based on joyous holidays (Christmas in this case, the season of giving!) will generate even more positive emotions among readers. Further, holding it every year builds up the public’s anticipation to the event. The magazine is also engaging participants to help spread the word by requiring them to Like and Share the Facebook post. In addition, Women’s Weekly is able to collect survey data on what are the top Christmas gifts their readers like to receive. Similar to the CLEO magazine giveaway above, this giveaway allows the winners to try out promoted beauty products. In the below example, the magazine tied up with L’Occitane and winners received a special set by the brand.