Live giveaways can build brand excitement, increase awareness, attract new followers, and reward your loyal fans.

But how do you host a live giveaway and get your brand the awareness and recognition it deserves?

To jumpstart your live giveaway journey or elevate the existing one, we'll cover live giveaway basics and share some best practices along with a step-by-step guide to host a killer live giveaway with StreamYard.

What is a Live Giveaway?

A live giveaway is going live and rewarding your viewers, usually towards the end of a live stream, by giving away a prize. For example, you might ask your live viewers to perform an action, such as commenting with a specific hashtag or keyword to enter into the giveaway. You then collect the entries and select a random winner to decide who gets the prize.

It can be easy, simple, and highly engaging.

In short: live giveaways can encourage your viewers to stick around longer in hopes of winning a prize at the end of your broadcast.

But how does a live giveaway benefit a brand?

We can't talk about hosting a live giveaway without touching on the benefits that come with it. So here are some of them:

  • Increase viewership – For starters, a live giveaway offers an excellent opportunity to increase your viewership while rewarding your loyal followers. After all, who doesn't love free stuff? In addition, when you give away a prize during a live stream, chances are the winner will talk about it on their social media channels or mention it to their friends.
  • Improve brand exposure – Creating an exciting contest gives your brand an excellent chance to stay on your viewers' radar. As a result, they interact and engage with you more, which fuels your brand's exposure.
  • Build brand community – Another key benefit of hosting a live giveaway is building and fostering your community by giving your viewers a sense of belonging. By bringing people with a shared interest together and engaging with them on a live platform, you make them more invested in your brand.
  • Reward viewers – A live stream usually results in lots of real-time viewer engagement. A great way to reward your viewers is with a live giveaway and a chance to win a prize. Through contests and giveaways, you allow your viewers to contribute to your live streams and influence other viewers at the same time.
  • Drive actions – Although live streams need a CTA, don't make them a hard sell. Instead, tell your audience what you want in a more organic and conversational way. Whether you want your live viewers to subscribe to your newsletter or download your latest eBook, driving results becomes easier when you incentivize the action with a prize.

So, why choose StreamYard to host a live giveaway?

While there are many tools or apps that you can use to select a giveaway winner (such as Wheel of Names, RafflePress, Rafflecopter, etc.), most of them incur an additional cost. Plus, some of them don't automatically collect the names of each entrant. At first, it might be just a handful; however, imagine getting hundreds of people wanting to enter. That would be too time-consuming and would not easily scale.

So, if you're looking for a free, simple alternative that can integrate with your live streams, try the StreamYard Giveaway Tool.

Available across all StreamYard plans, this tool makes it easy to draw giveaway winners during your live streams.

The StreamYard giveaway tool matches the text you enter, such as a hashtag or word, against the comments from viewers, and randomly selects a winner based on that.

Pro Tip: If you don't want to match any text, you can also leave the "match text" field blank for all comments to be included as giveaway entries.

Moreover, being a multistreaming platform, StreamYard includes comments from all destinations that you are broadcasting to.

How to host a live giveaway – Best Practices

Hosting a giveaway in a live stream isn't as simple as it may seem. You need to do more than just deciding the prize and announcing a winner. Here are some best practices:

Figure out the objective

You should always have an end goal when hosting a live giveaway. So, whatever it is that you want to achieve through your giveaway (more likes, comments, followers, email subs, downloads, etc.), state it clearly before further planning and preparation.

Plan the giveaway

Nothing is appealing about a giveaway that's not planned well. So, begin with proper planning. Select the broadcast topic, date, time, and finalize the platform where you'll be streaming to. Don't forget to think about when you want to run your giveaway during your live stream. If you run it too early, you may see a sharp decline once you run the giveaway.

Remember, this step is the cornerstone of a successful giveaway. So, give it enough time and consideration.

Follow the guidelines

Every social media platform has specific rules and regulations regarding contests and giveaways. Whichever platform you want to stream live on, make sure you follow the rules mentioned to avoid violating their guidelines. And if you're multistreaming using a tool like StreamYard, adhere to the guidelines mentioned in each of the platforms you intend to go live on.

Decide on the prize

Based on your target audience, niche and budget, decide on a prize that your followers would love. While we will cover more on this later, but choose a prize that will interest both your existing followers and new viewers. Keep in mind that your prize does not always have to be a physical item. You could give away digital products, PDF worksheets or a free coaching session. The list goes on.

Schedule your broadcast

Get into the habit of scheduling your live streams in advance and make it part of your run of show. This way it becomes part of your process. Scheduling your broadcast in advance gives your audience a chance to make time to join you. It's a fantastic way to remind your viewers when to tune in and catch you live. When adding a description about your live stream, you may want to mention if there will be a giveaway as well. If you're working with a sponsor for your giveaway prize, this can be a great place to mention them.


Generating buzz about your upcoming live stream and giveaway is a must if you want people to join in. Promote your broadcast in advance, highlighting the broadcast topic, guests (if any), along with the prize people can win.

You can use Instagram Stories, YouTube Shorts, and other social media post formats to build anticipation across platforms. Additionally, you can send email blasts or create unique landing pages for your live shows.

Remind your audience again as the day of the broadcast approaches, and again, one day beforehand as a final reminder. This will help you capture your audience's attention, orient your followers to the topic, and encourage them to join the broadcast.

Seems like a tall order for any live streamer? It's not -- as long as you plan it right, use reliable tools, and stay consistent with the giveaways. On that note, let's now check out how to host a giveaway using StreamYard.

How to host a killer live giveaway with StreamYard?

A live giveaway is a terrific solution for better brand visibility and affinity. Here's how you can host a live giveaway with StreamYard and enjoy the benefits that the duo offers:

1. Log in and create a broadcast

Go to StreamYard and create a broadcast.

2. Open the StreamYard giveaway page

In another tab, open the StreamYard giveaway tool. Click on the broadcast dropdown and choose the broadcast you want to host your live giveaway on.

3. Go live

Whenever you go live, be sure to let your viewers know throughout the live stream that you're running a giveaway.

4. Enter the text you want to match

Once you're ready to start collecting entries, go back to the StreamYard giveaway tool and in the "Match text" box, enter the text you asked your audience to include in their comments. This will match the exact text and select the eligible entries to draw the winner from. Remember, the text is not case-sensitive. For example, #theyard will also match #THEYARD, #Theyard, #theYard and #TheYard.

You can also leave the "Match text" section blank to include all comments as entries to the giveaway.

Once ready, click "Start collecting comments" and head back to your StreamYard broadcast.

5. Collect entries

You can start collecting entries at the beginning of your broadcast, provided you've clicked the "start collecting comments" button from Step 4. Some broadcasters will wait until the end to announce their giveaway and the text viewers need to enter. It's up to you.

6. Share the live giveaway

When you're ready to pick the winner of your live giveaway, simply head over to your StreamYard studio and share the Giveaway screen by first clicking "Share" at the bottom of the screen and then "Share Screen".

Next, choose the "Chrome Tab" if you're using Google Chrome and select the Giveaway tab from the options.

If you are using any other browser (let's say, Firefox), drag the giveaway tool into its window, and share the window:

7. Draw the winner

After giving your audience time to enter your contest, be sure to share the giveaway screen with your audience. Hit the "Draw" button, and let the StreamYard Giveaway Tool do its magic!

Anyone who entered the text or hashtag will be included in the giveaway drawing.

8. And the winner is…

The winner is announced on the Giveaway screen with their name and profile picture. Give them a shoutout and reach out to them to inform them how to claim their prize.

When you host a live giveaway, you may want to have multiple winners. You can also use the "draw again" button to pick another winner.

Note: When you host a live giveaway using StreamYard, the winner announcement and confetti color are based on your Brand colors. You can easily change that in the StreamYard studio under the Brand section.

If you want to watch how a live giveaway works, here's a video tutorial:


Can I use the same text/hashtag for multiple drawings?

Yes, you can use the exact same text for multiple drawings. You can also change it each time. There are no restrictions.

During the broadcast, when should I use the StreamYard Giveaway Tool?

We recommend that you start the Giveaway Tool at the beginning of the live stream. This way you can collect entries throughout your broadcast; however, we recommend running the giveaway at the end of your stream. This encourages viewers to stay around until the end.

If I am streaming to a Group, do I need to share any special instruction with my viewers?

Yes, if streaming to a Group (for example, a Facebook Group), users should first authenticate. This will pull up their name and picture. If they don't do this, they won't be included in the list of giveaway entries.

Can someone get more than one entry?

No, StreamYard's Giveaway Tool removes duplicates. So, if someone types the keyword multiple times, or in different variations, they'll still only get one entry.

Can we have a redraw on StreamYard?

Yes, you can rerun the giveaway during a live stream by clicking the "Draw again" tab in the top-right of the winner page. However, viewers can win more than once if you're using the giveaway tool multiple times in a single stream.

What can I give away in a live stream?

Always choose a prize based on your target audience, industry, and your budget. For example, if your broadcast centers around fitness, don't give your winner a kitchen appliance. You also don't need to give away expensive electronics, such as the latest gadget. Oftentimes, people will just enter your giveaway with no intention of connecting with your business. One of the safest picks is to choose something from your merchandise if you have it. T-shirts, mugs, stickers, etc., with your brand name and logo, will please your loyal fans.

However, if you don't have branded merchandise, you can consider giving away a signed book, a course/eBook that you created, a workbook, other digital products that don't cost you anything but can help your viewers, or even an appearance on their live shows.

The premise is simple: Give your followers what they'll appreciate. Of all the tools in your promotional toolkit, a useful giveaway prize is among the most powerful word-of-mouth referrals your brand can enjoy.

Final Thoughts

A live giveaway can impact and persuade your audience to watch and participate in your broadcast. With the StreamYard Giveaway Tool, it's easy for you to host a giveaway on your live streams, so consider including one when creating your live streaming strategy. It will keep your audience engaged, in anticipation of more contests and giveaways.

Start creating with StreamYard today

Get started - it's free!