Instagram, once a platform for photographers and artists, has established itself as a major influence in digital marketing. There are over 1 billion active monthly users on Instagram, and over 90% of those follow at least one business account. Naturally, brands are using every tool in their arsenal to gain an edge on this popular social platform. Instagram contests are one way for doing that, and in this post, we will examine how you can leverage them to grow your Instagram account.
How can Instagram Contests Help Your Brand?
The answer is simple. They provide a massive boost to your publicity, and consequently the growth of your account. In fact, a recent study has found that 62.13% of participants tend to share contests with their friends, suggesting that they take part as well. If done right, Instagram contests have the potential to provide huge gains for your business.
That’s the key phrase: done right. Sure, running an effective Instagram contest campaign has numerous merits. It raises awareness on your brand, doesn’t rely on any sort of commitments from participants, and it mostly relies on User Generated Content (UGC). But its effectiveness comes down to how you manage your Instagram contest.
Different Types of Instagram Contests
Anything from sweepstakes and giveaways to elaborate photo competitions can be considered an Instagram contest. To make things easier for you, let’s categorize Instagram contests based on their entry method:
- Photo/video contests: People upload photos or videos to Instagram with a specific hashtag and theme. You can also ask them to tag your Instagram page as well. Love One Today’s #AvoFruitFull is a successful example of this kind of contest.
- Giveaways: People love getting free stuff with little effort, and giveaways capitalize on that. To start, pick an entry method. They can include following your page, tagging 2 or more friends, and using a specific hashtag in comments. Afterward, you can DM the winners with their rewards, which are usually coupon codes and gift cards. Additionally, you can always use a free Instagram giveaway generator if you are short on time. Melissa Corser’s makeup giveaway is a good example of a neat giveaway:
- Sweepstakes: There are different entry methods for Instagram sweepstakes. You can ask people to like and comment on one of your posts. Alternatively, you can ask them to share one of your posts on their story or feed. The rules are in your hand with Instagram sweepstakes, just make sure you have a clear method for selecting the winner(s).
5 Tips for Making Your Instagram Contests Awesome
1- Brainstorm the perfect hashtag
Finding the right hashtag is crucial to holding an engaging Instagram contest. However, creating the right hashtag isn’t as easy as it sounds. It has to be unique and related to the theme of your Instagram contest and your brand. So, before you start brainstorming, keep a few things in mind:
- Your hashtag has to be short.
- It has to be memorable.
- It has to represent the theme of your contest and/or brand.
- It has to be unique to your contest.
2- Design an amazing photo or video
Instagram thrives on its graphics. Before they even read about the contest, users will glance at the graphic and form their evaluation. So, why not leave the best first impression with an amazing visual? We recommend that you let a professional do the work. But a beginner designer can do just fine as well. Check out a website with pre-designed templates, like Canva.
3- Choose an appropriate reward
There are two factors to consider before deciding for a reward for your Instagram contest: your target audience and budget. Make sure you pick a prize that is in harmony with your brand identity, e.g. if your Instagram page is about gaming, then a free video game or a PS4 gift card will derive a lot of engagement from your audience, but the same rewards won’t be appreciated as much in a page about tourism. Additionally, make sure the reward is kind to your budget, yet valuable enough to derive engagement from your audience.
4- Promote your contest like there is no tomorrow
This one goes without saying, but I still see many brands neglecting it. Instead of starting your Instagram contest out of the blue, make sure you advertise and hype it up beforehand. You can do the promotion on your other social media, blog, emails, or even Instagram stories (countdown timers are your friend). It’s always a good idea to start the promotion from at least a few days beforehand. However, if your Instagram contest is more large-scale, we recommend starting from one or two weeks earlier..
5- Set a deadline
People will take your Instagram contest more seriously if you set a deadline for it. On top of that, make sure you set a more forceful deadline. If your contest is going to run for 30 days, people will put off registering and might end up forgetting about it altogether. Moreover, the hype will die off quickly if your Instagram contest runs for too long. We recommend a 2-7 day window depending on the type of your Instagram contest and your investment.
Read more: How to sell on Instagram without a website
Are you ready to run a fantastic contest?
Now that you know what it takes to run a successful Instagram contest, it’s time to put that knowledge to use. Instagram contests are a great way for starting the conversations on your brand. Moreover, they can act as a bridge between you and your customers to form a bond of trust that will last for a long time. So, why not start today?
About the author:
Hooman Dehghani is a professional blogger and SEO specialist with over 2 years of experience in the field. He is an avid reader and a passionate writer, with a degree in English Literature.