How to Use Giveaways to Promote Tourism with a Small Budget

"Running contests is a great way to get that engagement in the slower times!"

Anna Fraiberg Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board


Weekly Giveaway over 8 Weeks

Parking pass to the beach given away weekly to promote tourism.


Grand Prize Value

For larger giveaway promoted over several weeks.


New Leads

From combined giveaways.


Conversion Rate

Of visitors to giveaways that added their email address!

Key Takeaways

You don't need a big budget

Running a simple giveaway for a parking pass valued at $20 per week was a great way to get engagement and build an email list.

Advertise Regionally

Anna reached out to local papers and news sites that serve the larger reason to advertise with results that exceeded Facebook and Instagram.

Email Reminders to Earn Entries

After collecting email addresses, Anna sent out reminders to earn more entries by sharing the giveaway with friends, following their social media accounts, and more.

Consistent Branding

The Bay of Quinte has a consistent brand that they use across all of their marketing channels, including their giveaways. They prizes also aligned with their goals including beach passes, free stays, and gift cards to use at local businesses.


Bay of Quinte

Campaign Goal:

Promote regional tourism by growing their audience in email and on social media.

Key Features Used:

Contest Type(s): giveaway

Interview Bio

Anna Fraiberg

Anna Fraiberg - Marketing Manager- Bay of Quinte

Digital Marketing Manager with a BA in Global Development Studies from Queen’s University and postgraduate certificate in Public Relations and Event Management from Loyalist College. Probably riding my bike, camping with my dogs or visiting a bakery in my spare time.

Full Transcript

josh: [00:00:00] Hi everyone. I'm Josh Ledgard back with the On Growth Podcast. Today we are talking to Anna Fraiberg with the Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board. She's been helping them run giveaways to promote tourism to the Bay of Quinte, which is located in southeastern Ontario. Hi Anna. Thanks for joining us today.

Anna Fraiberg: Hi. Thanks so much for having me.

Track 1: Before we get into what specifically you're doing tell us a little bit about yourself. Do you have a marketing background?

Anna Fraiberg: Yeah, so I don't actually have a marketing degree. I went to University for Global Development Studies, which is. Very unrelated, but somewhat related, understanding real, like political relations in the world. And then I didn't totally know what I wanted to do, so I came back home. We have a college in my hometown and took public relations that was just like a post-grad certificate and that really opened my eyes to the communications world. So I actually worked a few communications roles both. Municipal, like with the government and with private organizations too. And that involves some [00:01:00] marketing as well. And I worked in a tourism position, which then led me to this job where we're an organization that markets tourism and resident attraction,

josh: Could you tell everyone a bit about what is the Bay of Quinte area? What's so great about it? Like just give the spiel here for people.

Anna Fraiberg: Yeah bay of Quine region. So we have an actual bay that's called the Bay of Quinte, and our region encompasses four municipalities and the first Nations community that are around the bay here. And we're located in southeastern Ontario, about two hours east of Toronto. Three hours west of Montreal. Bigger hotspots and our region is a mix of both urban and rural. We do have some city centers, although they're, they're not big cities like Toronto, for example. But you have some of those urban amenities you might be looking for if you're used to a bigger city. But a lot of rural attractions, lots of agritourism is a big thing in our region.

Lots of outdoor spaces, green spaces like parks and trails to enjoy. Provincial parks with beaches, conservation areas. [00:02:00] Lots of stuff like that. And so our organization is, we're a nonprofit organization. It's a public private partnership, and we market the region for both tourism attraction and.

josh: Very cool. See your organization's job then is to promote and build an audience for tourism, to get people to come to the area and to enjoy different businesses in the area. So you're both promoting the region as well as promoting. Things to do in the region as well as responsible for helping promote some of the businesses in the region.

Anna Fraiberg: Yeah. So we're all working towards this common goal of trying to increase tourism. Like tourism is a huge economic driver just about anywhere actually.

Especially in our region. We're always staying in the loop on what they're doing, what's new, like what are the great restaurants to send people to?

What's, what are some special events going on? So we work with these stakeholders to help promote what they're doing and increase that awareness.

josh: I love the simple giveaways you guys have been doing. And one of the things we also talked about [00:03:00] before we hit record is you guys are running these giveaways to promote different things in the area.

So one was like a beach pass giveaway. I think you've done some giveaways for a nice stay at different places in the. How are you choosing the items that you're giving away?

Anna Fraiberg: Yeah. It all comes down to what our goals are. So the first one we've run in the time that I've been here was a big one. It was win a thousand dollars getaway to the Bay of Coney region.

So the winner got to have, it was a minimum two nights stay, and then whatever else is left from that thousand dollars.

They get to choose gift cards to local shops, restaurants. So we're encouraging that local spending when they come here. And so one of the things that we do within our marketing is we do a lot of omnichannel marketing and we have an always on campaign. So we have a set of ads that are always running. And these are targeting people outside the region to come here. And this one we ran, when did we start? We started that in March. So that was shoulder season before it gets busy to create awareness of [00:04:00] our region. And this was targeting people in Toronto, Ottawa, all within this couple hour radius.

It's close enough. They can come for a weekend or whatever. And so anyway, so that, so we promoted that giveaway a lot through. I won't get into too much 'cause you're probably gonna ask me more about how we promote them, but that one was really cool because. It's promoting our region and we have this great prize pack.

So it's, it is a big ticket item. We're, the timing was right to be able to do something like that. And we got close to 3000 leads on that, which is pretty cool. The Beach Day giveaway, you mentioned that one was a little different and that was just like a local awareness campaign. A lot of people within the region, so because we're doing the tourism and resident traction

and a lot of it. We have a huge local audience, like a lot of our followers on social media are actually local. And this has just been a result of building up this sort of pride in where

they live, and so that one, we thought, we have this great beach. Let's just run this fun, simple giveaway. It was really low cost to us, like a Beach passes [00:05:00] 21.

So we gave one away every week for eight weeks and, third one we've done in the time I've been here. We have a winery who's a partner. They had a very well known Canadian author coming in for an event, and they were looking for a way to promote it.

So that's a good example of how we work with our stakeholders. We were able to create this giveaway and it, created more awareness of the event that's coming up. But we're also able to capture email leads as well for them which is pretty cool. So now they have all these people they can add to their email list

josh: I heard you talk about two different types of marketing. One is, was like the, for more targeted like local residents, like that kind of marketing. And one is like targeting specific regions for your marketing.

What tools are you using to marketing? So are you using Facebook or Instagram or where are you primarily spending that marketing effort?

Anna Fraiberg: Yeah, a lot of it is Facebook and Instagram. We do some other stuff. I'm not involved with this. I can't speak to it quite the same.

It's my executive director who manages it. But we do stuff through like Rogers [00:06:00] communications as well. So things that are outside of social media. But

yeah, Facebook and Instagram are really big for us.

We use MailChimp for.

Through other efforts, we've built up a strong audience, of course, KickoffLabs. When we're promoting these giveaways on socials, we're getting people to sign up for a newsletter, so we're building the audience. But including it in our newsletters to the audience we already have is really great because, we might get some social followers on there as well. We also run third party ads through, like local news sites. We really have a strong audience for our local news sites around here, and they do digital marketing on their websites, so we always have something going on there. For example, like the beach day giveaway. We got a lot of engagement on that through their site.

josh: So this is something I, I wanna drill to a little bit more 'cause it seems really obvious, but I think some people miss, which is obviously like Facebook and Instagram are big for everybody. They let you guys do, I assume that's where you're doing like the regional, or you're saying people that live in this area, target them with these ads and you're being [00:07:00] maybe probably more specific than that in terms of your audience.

I. But what some people miss when they're doing a local business or a local like promotion is that there's these other channels, like local news organizations or like local publications. So if I'm starting from nothing, how do you find these different avenues to get people locally?

Anna Fraiberg: That's a good question. So here, like we're a small community and it's one of those things like everyone knows who the two biggest local news sites are, if you don't have a contact with them already of all, I should say, if you don't actually know who they are, do bit a research and Google, like local news or news. Whatever sort of region you're

targeting and see who those high traffic sites are. And somewhere on their site they'll have a contact page and whether they have contacts directly to their

sales team or not. Just simple reach out and just, say, Hey, here's who I am, here's what I'm looking to do. And over time we've developed strong relationships with our sales reps and they come up with packages [00:08:00] for whatever our goals are, they'll,

Tailor a package to that. And it's just as simple as reaching out and they'll be able to connect you with the person that you need to be connected with.

josh: And I assume your organization, because you keep doing it, finds it cost effective to do that, as well as the Facebook ads and everything you're doing. So they're both complimentary and hitting different audiences.

Anna Fraiberg: Yeah, exactly. Like some of these people aren't on Facebook or Instagram

as much, but maybe they're checking the news a lot and the one site we use in particular. There's an ad that pops up before your news article loads, and it just shows for a couple seconds and then it goes away. And they also have them on the homepage and like the traffic on those sites is just beyond what we get on social media in terms of numbers of impressions and clicks.

josh: Yeah. Great. That was my next question is like, how does that perform and compared to compared to running like social, like a social media ad but it sounds because it's more targeted to the region and your. Talking about businesses and stuff in [00:09:00] the region is probably a little bit a stronger connection to the audience they have.

Anna Fraiberg: Yeah, and like I said, like there's a lot of pride in local news around here. Like I, I don't know what other communities are, but it's Like we, like even local radio where we are is still huge. Like there.

There are people who are very dedicated, like they have their station. They love to listen to it all the time.

So that really helps us when we're trying to reach our local audience because we know so many people are like devoted to these STA stations and like

their websites for the news as well.

josh: Cool. Besides the businesses, do you partner with any other organizations in the area to run promotions or marketing in general?

Anna Fraiberg: Yeah, it depends on the circumstance for sure. So as I, like I mentioned to you before we got on the call, we work with the different municipalities and so that also involves like their chamber of commerce, if they have that their Downtown Business Association. And depending what the goal of. The contest is we might partner with them and have them do something as simple [00:10:00] as sharing to help amplify this and share it to their audience. Especially on social media. And there are other times too, like there might be nonprofits that we work with in the region. Haven't worked with them on any giveaways yet, so I can't quite speak to that experience.

But, we're all about connections at our organization and

we're always willing to work with different folks in the community.

If there's an opportunity.

josh: So the other thing I like that you guys were doing that you mentioned, and I want to call it out for our audience, is you've run two different styles of giveaways. Is that the one is like the big prize style giveaway where you're giving away the thousand dollars.

And you mentioned that like the prize was gift cards, like stores.

Anna Fraiberg: Yep.

josh: And then the other kind was doing like this weekly this weekly promotions. It seems like you had success running each of those different campaigns, but how do you think about marketing each of those differently?

Anna Fraiberg: Because the one that was the big prize, we also ran it for a very long time. And when I say very long [00:11:00] time, I mean like a couple months.

I think because that one was such a big ticket item, I. And, we're promoting it so heavily, especially on social media to audiences

like in different regions outside of ours. We also did like the bonus. I forget exactly what for.

josh: Yep.

Anna Fraiberg: Visit us


josh: bonus entry.

Anna Fraiberg: up for a newsletter. yeah.

the bonus entries. Yeah. So even if someone has entered that already, they can still go back and do the bonus entries. With the Beach day giveaway there were things like putting it out on social media. Just changing the messaging a bit, like three more weeks to enter or some stuff like that.

josh: Cool. You've talked about your email list a few times during this, that guys manage as well. And a big part of doing this with the giveaways is getting people to sign up for the newsletter. During the giveaways, are you using the newsletter as a channel to bring people back to the giveaway, maybe to refer friends or get those bonus entries?

Anna Fraiberg: Yes. Yeah, we are. Every time we [00:12:00] have a giveaway, we put it in the newsletter. And so newsletter signups, like we've really been trying to grow our newsletter

audience which has been going really well, especially with these giveaways. But maybe they don't follow us on social media, so we also add things like that in their, for the bonus entries.

There's still some other incentive, but we always put them in the newsletter.

josh: Yeah. And then what's like what else goes in the newsletter? So how people like new businesses especially, that are growing a newsletter, always curious, like how often are you sending a newsletter in general

and what type of content are you doing that engagement with?

Anna Fraiberg: Yeah, so we currently send ours biweekly. It seems to be a good. Good timeline that at least for our goals it's not overwhelming. It also relates to my capacity. I just don't have the capacity right now to send one every week. I would love to.

But biweekly seems to be good to get the information out that we want and. I know sometimes people with certain newsletters, people don't wanna hear from them constantly.

And we go for more of a quality over quantity approach. So the [00:13:00] newsletter's usually pretty packed. We include like our recent blog posts. We work with a lot of travel media and like influencers, so to speak.

So sometimes if they come in and do something, we'll include their content in our

newsletter. If there's a new business that's opened or like a business celebrating a really big anniversary special events we like to add these little things.

We call them must do in the BOQ. BOQ is bay of 20, that's our acronym. And our branding is really like icon focused, so we'll add little

fun elements like that. So anyway, the best thing I can say is a quality over quantity approach.

josh: I do love the branding. That was one of the things that stood out for me about the campaigns is I like the icon iconography, the designs. I'm not a professional designer, but I do I when I see a design like that, I'm like, oh, I'm drawn to it. It's playful, it's fun. The brand do you.

As part of the giveaways when a giveaway is over and you choose a winner, do you highlight the winner to, in any way to the rest of the audience afterwards? Like for the person that won grand prize earlier [00:14:00] this year, did you like promote the Hey, we did have a winner and this is what they did, or this is like their story.

Did you use that as like a blog entry or a piece of content?

Anna Fraiberg: Yeah I'm actually trying to hear back from her still to see if she'd gimme a little more about how her trip went. But when she won, we did include that as this is our winner from the contest. So again, and I should mention that thousand dollars getaway, even though I. I said we were targeting that one, like outside of the region, and a lot of our audience is local.

We do, we have built up a good newsletter following or newsletter audience of people who are outside the region, so they might have come here and visited. So we include a giveaway like that in our newsletter too, and that's been the best place for us to be like, Hey, this is the winner of the contest. Just so people are, they're not wondering did they ever pick a winner with something like. Yeah, I was just gonna add something like the beach day giveaway smaller ticket prize and we were giving them away so often that one, we didn't announce the winner, but it

was just like we would email a winner every week and

The, Hey, you won congratulations, sort of thing.[00:15:00]

josh: . Yeah.

Anna Fraiberg: I think it's fun to add the winner of, such a big prize, like the thousand dollars getaway. We do. I should add to that too, we do put something in our rules and regulations about. Them like releasing their photo and their name to us. So I think that's important too. And obviously if she wasn't comfortable sending us a photo I

wouldn't like press for that and just be like, Hey, Valerie, M one something like that.

josh: I think you, you made a good point, which is I think for maybe smaller prizes, if you're doing it on a regular basis, people can assume that you're just, you're doing it as long as you're emailing the winners. But for larger prizes. I think it's good to, for that sense of trust in building the community over time to sure you're calling out the winner, saying Hey, like this was a big prize.

We did give it away. This person enjoyed their weekend. And if they let you tell their story, then probably even better. As if eventually you can tell like a bigger story about what they were doing how, how else do you guys focus on growing the newsletter besides running the giveaways online?

So what other activities are you doing to.

Anna Fraiberg: Right now it's mostly [00:16:00] just through social media and our website too. Like we have it in our footer on our website, and we're redesigning our site right now too, so it's gonna be more obvious. But just a lot of like social media callouts like, I don't know. Sometimes I'll share the link to the newsletter and say something, I can't think of great wording on the spot, but like something about check out this week's newsletter and wanna get BOQ updates in your inbox?

Click here to sign up and

then have the link to our signup page.

josh: Do you offer when people like an opt-in bribe for people to sign up beside other than the contest, do you try to say Hey, if you sign up, we give away like coupons or something, like a 10% discount at this restaurant, or like a free dinner, like somewhere, do you do any sort of opt-in bribes to get people on the newsletter on your site?

Anna Fraiberg: Not currently. And we're not really in a position to get like discounts like that from restaurants, but although that is a great idea, and we do have we have branded t-shirts, it could even be something like that, I'm actually just thinking about this as we're talking about it, like maybe I could, use kickoff labs and like they sign up for the newsletter and get entered in a draw [00:17:00] to win, like a Bay of 20

T-shirt or, I don't know, something like that.

But no short answer. No, we don't currently do anything like that.

josh: That, that is a common thing. So like your evergreen giveaway that you did would be something like that. A lot of if it's a store and you obvious obviously different than like a store, but like a singular store will do that. They'll take their evergreen giveaway as their opt-in bribe.

For anybody that comes to the website, like weekly, we're giving away this thing. On a weekly basis, but then they'll still run, quarterly. They might run a larger contest or something every quarter that, but the Evergreen one is still going as their opt-in bribe. So it is something that's that's a fairly common practice that we see with people using kickoff labs.

What haven't we talked about that you think is something people should hear about running about running giveaways and growing their audience in general?

Anna Fraiberg: I guess like just be easy going with it. Don't. Stress too much about your first one and don't think you have to do like a huge thousand dollar prize pack

sort of thing. Like [00:18:00] we saw so we've talked a lot about our beach day giveaway. Basically they got a day use pass for this provincial park where it has a beach, another things to enjoy that's worth $21. For some people. Maybe it is, prohibits them from being able to go enjoy the beach. If the cost is an issue. And others they're just, maybe like $21. Yeah. But I think it was such a simple giveaway and it was really low cost to us and such a low cost item, but we saw a lot of engagement with that. And so I think it's just really cool to, test it out with something small.

And even if, especially for a small business, maybe like times are tough for small businesses don't think you have to put out a lot of money and do this big thing. It could be something really simple, but it gets people excited.

josh: I think that's a really good point, and I think that's something that we see customers struggling with all the time is picking a prize and they wonder is this a good enough prize, a good enough prize? And often my answer is, a prize that resonates with what your product is or what your audience wants. [00:19:00] It doesn't necessarily matter the value as much as like that the prize is on brand for what, right? And

Anna Fraiberg: a really good point.

josh: And it doesn't have to be, it doesn't have to be like, oh, I'm giving away an iPad back. For you guys, it probably wouldn't make sense to give away an iPad or something like that for people like you, you wanna get people excited about your area and about, the businesses there and about what they could do.

And I think like the same thing goes for like anybody who's got a store or like another type of product that they're selling. It's no, something related to their product that your audience might want or an accessory or something that doesn't have to cost much money. Can be a really exciting thing.

It's just, and what I tell people all time is like something that just breaks the monotony of a regular newsletter that's just like . You. That's just preaching at people, but giving people a chance to engage in some small way is can be good enough.

Anna Fraiberg: Totally.

Track 1: off 'cause you were about to say something else too.

Anna Fraiberg: No, that's okay. I, I thought of something else I have trouble with thinking of things on the spot sometimes, but just when you were asking about other tips to grow an audience and I live [00:20:00] in the world of social media constantly and of course see a lot of do's and don'ts happening. But one, like I said before, people put so much pressure on themselves. If I give any tips it would be, staying consistent with your messaging, staying on brand. The amount of times people posting, like graphics that are all over the place know your brand and your guidelines and be consistent with that. And also the power of boosting posts and ads. It's pretty low cost for the rewards sometimes, especially if you're staying within your local market. and storytelling. Storytelling is one of. The biggest things we do, like we have an ongoing blog and we're always contributing to that. Or like even just storytelling through social media posts.

And it really gives you that chance to connect with your audience. Especially like small business owners, telling your story and introducing who you are. I think people really underestimate the value of

that especially on social media.

josh: Can you give an example of what you think is a good storytelling post? If somebody's looking for oh, wanna get into doing storytelling. Can you give an example of what you guys have done for [00:21:00] storytelling?

Anna Fraiberg: Yeah, ours is all over the place. Like we feature local entrepreneurs. We'll have interviews with them and just a simple q and a who are you? What's your business? What do you like about. Operating your business here in the Bay of 20 region, what do you like to do in your days


And that's a cool question because that often gets them saying like other businesses they like to go support or a conservation area they love to go to, and it's creating that awareness of what's going on. Other things, like we'll work with content creators and have it from their perspective of I went here and did this.


More eloquent than that, but

Telling, I, I think for tourism marketing specifically, having that like user-generated content for one, or just like that firsthand experience. If you have the capacity to hire a writer or content creator. Have them show their perspective. 'cause we're often, we're always like telling the story from our perspective, being like, we

have these things to go do, but having someone actually go do it and have their photos and write about their personal

experience just [00:22:00] makes it that much more dynamic for the audience.

And just it brings like that element of realness to it as well.

And oh, this person actually did this thing. I wanna go recreate that photo. I wanna go check out that trail they were talking about. I wanna go dine on that patio. Stuff like that.

josh: Do you guys do viral TikTok? Get in on dance trends and have like your office doing TikTok dance trends for the region.

Anna Fraiberg: No. We've joked about some of them at times. No, we're, we do have a TikTok. We're not viral though. I think that's a good, that brings me to a good point too, though. Don't feel the pressure to hop on those trends

like. They can be really great for boosting your audience, but also do what feels true to you and your brand. And we don't really show our faces

on our social media a lot, so it doesn't make sense for us to go do a dance somewhere, but maybe a small business owner, I don't know what you do. Say you have a clothing store and you do one of those, but you're wearing the clothing, like maybe that makes sense. But there are other, there are other trends to part participate in too, like

using [00:23:00] trending audio, stuff like that. That helps people discover your videos on TikTok or Instagram reels

where you don't have to get up and do the dance, but you can still use some of the trends with the transitions and audio.

josh: . Cool. That's that's great advice, like in terms of staying true to you and I think it's a good place end the conversation. . have anything else you wanna say?

Anna Fraiberg: No, I think we've covered a lot. It's been great chatting with you.

josh: No, this has been a lot of fun. I enjoyed the conversation and oh, and so you guys still plan on using kickoff labs in the next year for the next set of contests.

Anna Fraiberg: Oh yeah, definitely.

We just need to figure out what's next now, but we're go going into kind of shoulder season as we call it. Like summer's a big.

Big, booming time in tourism. I think, running contests is a great way to get that engagement in the slower times.

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