CROWDSOURCE DESIGN UPDATE: I’ve had my priorities in order—my family and paying clients coming first—so things have remained shaky but stable for the last couple of days. [intlink id="2382" type="post"]Grunge/Baroque style and Web 2.0 style[/intlink] are currently tied, with only one day left in that poll. Tomorrow is a big day—when you, my darling readers, begin the process of choosing a logo and header design for Blog Salad.
Today we’re discussing an important element of every successful blog—the giveaway!
To celebrate the 2010 WordCount Blogathon, I’ve decided to giveaway a full web design to one Blog Salad reader. The prize includes:
- One-hour brand strategy consultation
- Custom Logo Design
- WordPress installation (or migration) on a custom domain
- Custom WordPress theme design
- Up to three (3) custom page templates
- One-hour training via telephone or Skype
- Two-hours of tech support, for up to six months after completion
- Winner must register their own domain name (or already have a domain)
- Winner must pay for their own website hosting plan (subject to approval)
- Winner must be able to claim the prize between 1 September 2010 and 15 November 2010
Giveaways are engaging, at times exciting, and are often amazing traffic magnets. But, let’s face it—the process of choosing a winner can be tricky, and at times, dubious. What do bloggers get in return for their giveaways? Their blogs are exposed to a larger audience and, from that audience, gain loyal readers and fans. If they’re giving away one of their own products (like me), it’s an opportunity to build brand salience and customer-based brand equity.
But there’s a catch. There are three primary methods of giving away a prize—random selection, selection by merit, and selection by popular vote—all come with their own undesirable foibles.
- Random Selection. Giveaway winners are chosen at random from those visitors/readers who successfully complete a task (e.g. subscribing to the blog, posting a comment, sending a photo of themselves salsa dancing). The drawback: There’s often little investment from the participant, and therefore, the odds of these participants becoming loyal readers or fans is low.
- Selection by Merit. Winners are selected subjectively by the blog author or a panel of judges (e.g. through an essay or video contest). The drawback: The risk of appearing biased or corrupt is quite high, which can drive away loyal readers and have a negative impact on your personal brand’s image.
- Selection by Popular Vote. Giveaway participants enter the contest through nomination (by self or others) or completion of a task (e.g. essay or video contest). Once the pool of registrants is complete, the general public chooses their favorite by popular vote. The drawback: The best connected individual wins, not necessarily the most-deserving contestant. Ballot box stuffing and technical manipulation is possible.
So, what’s a blog boy to do? Today, instead of checking ticky boxes on a poll, please leave a comment below with your suggestion for how the contest should run, and please, deliberate with one another! I’ll choose what seems to arise as the consensus among you and announce the contest rules on 14 May 2010 18 May 2010.
Do you think giveaways are just skeevy tactics to get blog traffic? Let me know!