Thursday, November 23, 2006

Interactive promotion report: giveaways and user services

[Tags: , , , ]. Today the report comes from Katie Butler:

Giveaways and user services

What is a Giveaway?

A Giveaway is something that is offered for free, generally branded, and is usually a good tool to promote a company / business or product. This could be anything from free software to download, free samples, free screensavers & Wallpaper or free music for example.

Examples of Giveaways

Microsoft giveaway free trial downloads of their latest products and software on their website http://www.microsoft.com/downloads. The idea of this is not only to promote Microsoft’s new products, and encourage consumers (such as existing Microsoft users) to go out and buy the full product package or update their current one, but it also aims to promote to the consumer the company as one that is associated with good quality products – assuming that the consumer likes what he/she see’s.

Free Wallpapers ( http://www.freewallpapers.to ) are Google's highest ranked site for free wallpapers. This is great for the company as it reflects how Google have found the site through being the most talked about / and linked to on other websites; Displaying impressively how their promotion technique is already working.

This site is a good example of free giveaways, as they have hundreds of wallpapers under several categories such as 'Car Wallpapers' and 'Movie Wallpapers' that people can click on and set as their desktop wallpaper. The quality of these images are good, and the site doesn't ask you to sign up first which is an added bonus. The purpose of this site is not to promote the company, but simply to please people. However in doing this, they may actually promote themselves anyway through word of mouth.

Arsenal FC ( http://www.arsenal.com ) like many other Football Clubs, giveaway free desktop wallpapers for two main, beneficial reasons:

1 - To 'generate goodwill' - A way of saying thanks to the fans, their target audience, who already support the Club. And…

2 - To promote the Club (to potential new fans)

Arsenal’s wallpapers are of a high quality standard and are of recent pictures of players and matches. They are all offered in different screen sizes, which means that everyone's wallpaper will be of the same standard, regardless of their individual screen resolution – good usability.

The Arctic Monkeys ( http://www.myspace.com/arcticmonkeys ) are one of the most recent and yet classic examples of how giving away something for free can work well in your favour. The band, before making it big, offered free downloads of their music on the popular MySpace?.com . Through word of mouth and recommendations, the Arctic Monkeys were soon recognised for their musical talents and were fast signed up by a major Record Label. They are now one of the most popular British bands in the UK at present.

Initially, the target audience for The Arctic Monkeys would have been teenagers and young adults, however the excellent networking concept of MySpace?.com allowed the group’s music to reached beyond the target market, promoting them further and so resulting in their success.

What is a User Service?

A User service holds a similar concept but as its name suggests, provides a free service.

Examples of User Services

Hotmail ( http://www.hotmail.com ) provide 250mb of space & a domain name for free (NAME@hotmail.com) as part of an e-mail service for the public. As a result of this, Hotmail are skilfully promoting themselves across the World every time their users send e-mails.

Yahoo! ( http://www.yahoo.com ) an alternative company and arguably just as popular as Hotmail , who offer a free mail service. With 'Award-winning spam protection, anywhere access from PCs or mobile phones and tons of storage' Yahoo! Mail is just another service that seems to good to be true...whether or not it is, like Hotmail Yahoo! are consistantly promoting themselves everytime one of their users sends an e-mail.

BlueMountain? ( http://www.BlueMountain?.com ) provide a free and easy E-card service where you can send E-cards for almost any occasion, including: Birthdays and Anniversaries. They are probably amongst one of the top sites for sending E-cards due to their range of choice and interactivity, for example you can 'Add a Photo' to your E-Card, or chose a 'Talking' E-card. The only negative aspect about this free service is that it requires you to sign-up before you can send E-Cards, some alternative E-Card sites don't even ask for this. For those wanting a fast and hassle-free E-card service, BlueMountain? may not be quite as appealing. For the company itself, every E-card that gets sent is a free advertising tool for BlueMountain?.

Reports on Giveaways and User Services

This is a report on BlueMountain?.com – the free e-card service provider. TopTenREVIEWS? are a research company, and so reading this report prior to using BlueMountain? may be of some use. Areas covered in this report are BlueMountain?’s features, quality, ease of use, card selection and help and support section. Each area has both its good and bad points highlighted, and an overall rating out of 4 is given.

In a similar way to how TopTenREVIEWS? have reported on BlueMountain?.com, PC World have considered the good and bad points about several free, Web mail services including: MSN Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Google Gmail. They pay particular attention to issues such as spam filtering and storage space; therefore it may be a good idea to read through this report before signing up for a free mail service, as it may just influence your decision.

In this article Heri Rosyandi, an internet marketing expert, discusses as the title suggests; how to use sample giveaways in order to be successful. He relates Internet giveaways to ‘those promotions girls giving away free samples in super markets’ and claims ‘this traditional marketing is still valid today for any promotion including to promote your products or services online. He later adds ‘Free samples also provide a great viral marketing opportunity.’ Not only is this report easy to comprehend, but it also provides some useful suggestions on how to go about using sample giveaways.

In ‘How can Giveaways pay off? ’ John Borland, Michael Kanellos and Brooke Crothers report on the economical prospects of using giveaways, and pose the question: Can anyone make money in this market? They outline numerous examples of companies who have used giveaways as a promotions technique, and reflect on the degree of their success.

This is an interesting report that suggests the ‘giveaway’ in a sense, today, does not truly exist. The basic idea is simple: Give users a taste of a service and then "upsell" them, or persuade them to pay for better features.’ In other words, a company may well provide a free service or giveaway, but to receive the best services or products, you actually have to flash the cash. "Live free or die," or "Live free and die?"

3 Main characteristics of a good campaign using ‘Giveaways & User Services’

  • Being highly ranked by Google - usually within the first 10 results.
  • Having good reports written – good reports are good promotion.
  • Having many subscribers / members – Meaning continuing success

References

http://www.ezinearticles.com/

http://www.google.com/

http://www.infopoint.com/

http://www.pcworld.com/

http://www.toptenreviews.com/

http://www.wikipedia.org/

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