Many marketing executives assume that a giveaway would devalue their brand and see it as a cheap gateway to clicks and impressions. But done right, a giveaway is an effective way of boosting awareness, heightening relevance and showing your fans that you value them. So don't fall into the trap of thinking that a giveaway will make it seem that your product or service is worth very little, instead focus on the intimacy it can create with your fans. After all, the holidays are about giving and gratitude; and good marketing recognizes and encourages that. Here are some guidelines for how to run an effective holiday giveaway online this season.

The Time Is Right

Around the holiday period, consumers are maxing out their funds buying presents for friends and families. With this excess spending as a backdrop, remember that the right kind of giveaway will be welcomed. Creating an engaging giveaway, that connects to your consumers on an intimate level can drive awareness, increase engagement and also allow you to gather critical consumer information at very little cost to your business. Most importantly, you have the chance to turn a consumer into a superfan.

Be Generous

To create an effective giveaway, your offer must feel genuinely generous. Consumers are more marketing savvy than ever before, and have a radar for falsity and marketing spin. Make sure your giveaway feels like something that would motivate you personally.  This should be the ultimate pressure test. One way to hit upon this is to make sure you give consumers 'more', rather than just offer a discount. One study by the Journal of Marketing shows that when participants had a choice to receive either a 33% discount on their order, or 33% more coffee, they chose the latter. When you do the math, that's actually less coffee for you buck. However, the sense of gain is greater when we feel like we're getting more than we paid for.

Elevate Your Freebee

When running a buy one get one free promotion, be sure to partner your 'free' item with a higher quality product. This will elevate the worth of both items in the eyes of your consumer. An article from Time, explains, "According to a new study forthcoming in the Journal of Consumer Research, if an item is thrown in as a bonus freebie when buying an expensive or luxury good, consumers deem the freebie as a higher quality product and are willing to pay more for the item on its own." This may seem counter-intuitive, but by partnering a cheaper item with a more expensive item, consumers perceive greater value in both items. When you run your giveaway, keep this in mind and be sure to treat your freebee as something worth having.

Keep It Simple

Little Arrows, a boutique marketing agency located in Los Angeles often structures giveaways as contests. A like-to-win contest, for example, has proven to be a highly effective marketing tactic. It's important to keep barriers of entry to a minimum (the number of actions users must take to enter said contest). Requiring a simple "like" from Facebook and Instagram users is a small request that creates a big impact. From your consumer's point of view, they've slowed down their scrolling and taken time to interact with your brand, product and message. Even if a consumer doesn't end up entering the contest, they have spent more time with your brand than usual.

Make The Algorithms Work For You

Simple contests, like a like-to-win, encourage more people to stop scrolling, read and like your post. From this action, Facebook will register your post as popular content and show it to more people. A well performing post will continue to be boosted above other, poor performing posts, which is excellent news for your brand awareness. This method is  cheaper than paying to promote a post. However, the totaling effects of paying to promote your giveaway will be worthwhile.