The difference between a competition and a giveaway

Written by Hayley Paterson


competition game

Competitions and giveaways are great tools for PR and marketing professionals to raise brand awareness, increase sales and get products on page.

This kind of writing adds another dimension to the products and services your client offers. You can garner key metrics from a competition or giveaway you hold and really hone in on your target demographic.

But competition and giveaway writing is a skill that can often be overlooked as something easy to do – when it’s quite the opposite.

Let’s set the scene. You’ve got your must-win prize, you’ve all the hi-res images to make it pop on the page and attract the social media audience you want, and your terms and conditions are all legally approved and firmly in place.

But, there’s still a lot to consider before compiling the copy for your killer competition or must-have giveaway.

Firstly, you need to start with the basics. Quite simply, is it a competition OR a giveaway? There are subtle differences… but get the wording wrong at your peril!

WHAT IS A COMPETITION?

Defined in the dictionary, a competition is “a situation in which someone is trying to win something or be more successful than someone else.”

Simply put, you’re competing for a prize. Transferring that definition into your competition copy, if you’re holding a competition, how do you want your entrants to compete for your coveted prize?

This is a great opportunity to engage with your audience, and ultimately your customers. You’ll see many businesses holding competitions on social media where they are asking for comments to a question they’ve posed. This encourages interaction with your customers and companies know that a comment can offer a reach potential that you might not be able to.

It also means you might gain valuable feedback on the competition for future – something your clients will be keen to hear and can really improve their products and services from.

But be warned… it is NOT a giveaway!

WHAT IS A GIVEAWAY?

Back to the dictionary again, a giveaway is defined as being “something given away for free.”

Therefore, PR and marketers need to rethink the wording. You’re technically asking people to compete because you’re encouraging them to enter the giveaway, but you’re not getting them to do anything that constitutes a competition such as answer a question or offer a comment.

So, a great way for you to highlight your giveaway is to make it simple – ‘We are giving away a…’.

Giveaways offer fantastic way to engage customers in terms of numbers, raising brand awareness and getting product on page. They can often lead to big successes too.

Whichever way you decide to write, make sure your competitions and giveaways writing is compliant – especially with the impending introduction of GDPR this year. Ensure your writing is accurate, customer-friendly and engaging for the benefit of all parties concerned.

Keep your clients’ customers at the forefront, include your key messages and call to action links and competitions and giveaways can add another dimension to how you communicate with your target market.

You currently have JavaScript disabled. This site requires JavaScript to be enabled. Some functions of the site may not be usable or the site may not look correct until you enable JavaScript. You can enable JavaScript by following this tutorial. Once JavaScript is enabled, this message will be removed.