Running Instagram Contests and Giveaways

Instagram has emerged as a platform that businesses want to get on to. Today, businesses can easily connect with their Instagram followers and establish a personal connection in ways that aren’t possible with traditional marketing efforts. The platform offers brands an opportunity to get more Instagram likes and boost their engagement rates so that they can promote business growth.

Contests and giveaways are fun ways to engage in brand promotion on the platform. These present time-limited offers and offer gifts or prizes in exchange for winners who enter the contest or giveaway.

Why are contests and giveaways important?

If you’re trying to boost business growth, it may seem counterproductive to give away prizes to your real Instagram followers through contests and giveaways, but it’s well worth the effort. Just as you would have to pay for ads on Instagram or invest your time and effort into growing your following organically, giveaways help to promote your brand in a unique way. They also add a fun element that makes it exciting for your Instagram followers to participate.

By inviting more people to enter your contest or give away and engage with your brand, you make it possible for your brand to reach a wider audience, promoting brand awareness. Typically, the rules to enter a contest or giveaway relate to the objective of increasing post sharing on the platforms of other users. Greater engagement in the form of Instagram likes, shares, reposts, or even user generated content signals to the Instagram algorithm that your profile is legitimate and can help you get higher search engine rankings. Your content may end up on the Explore tab of users on the platform, which increases your reach.

Contests and giveaways also showcase the fun side of your brand and can help users connect with you at a more personal level. It’s also exciting for people and can build anticipation for more posts from your brand. After all, who doesn’t like winning free products or services?

You could end up giving your product or service to someone who just joined the giveaway for fun and if they end up liking it, they may become a regular customer of your business. In this way, it can be a sample of what they can expect from your brand’s products. Giving your Instagram followers a shout-out when they win can also add to their level of excitement and make them want to engage with your brand more in the future.

What rules should you follow?

  • When it comes to Instagram contests and giveaways, you need to be aware of the rules that govern them so that you don’t compromise your brand’s integrity.
    Follow the law of the area you’re operating from. Legal regulations and procedures are different all over the world, so you need to be clear about the laws of a territory before launching a contest, especially if you’re inviting entries from people who aren’t in your area.
  • If you’re benefiting from influencer marketing, it’s necessary to follow the rules of disclosure.
  • Publish a clear set of rules specifying what people need to do to enter the contest. You can publish contest rules on your website or even in the comments, but people must be told where they can find them.
  • You have to include a statement in the contest rules releasing Instagram from any responsibility for the contest. As per the platform’s promotion guidelines, entrants need to be informed that your contest “is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.”
  • You mustn’t encourage inaccurate tagging.
  • If you decide to use the platform for contests and giveaways, you’re on your own because Instagram won’t provide you with any support. According to their policy regarding contests and giveaways, they “will not assist you in the administration of your promotion and cannot advise you on whether consent is required for use of user content or on how to obtain any necessary consent…If you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.”

What are the types of contests/giveaways on Instagram?

Now that you’re aware of the rules that need to be followed to run contests and giveaways on Instagram, let’s jump right into the different types of contests and giveaways you can conduct on the platform.

Like, comment, follow

These are the easiest types of contests to run where people just have to like your post, leave a comment, and follow your account to enter the contest. While it’s a great way to add to the number of Instagram followers you have, it isn’t the best option if you’re looking to generate leads from your contest as many people may just enter because of the chance to win something. The fact that it doesn’t require anything more on the part of your Instagram followers means that you may not get the most out of it.

Tag a friend

This is a great way to expose your brand to a new audience. You can put out a feed post that encourages your real Instagram followers to tag their friends in the comments section to enter the contest. This way, people who may not already know about your brand will get notified of the tag and come to know more about your brand.

Caption a photo

This is great for more engagement as well as identifying your real Instagram followers. Those who have a greater connect with your brand are likely to put in the time and effort to caption a particular photo you put out. It can also get people’s creative juices flowing and help with lead generation. You can pick a winner based on the best or most creative caption.

Scavenger hunt

Such contests are fun for you as well as your Instagram followers where you post certain clues for your audience to figure out or tasks to be completed and posted for you to select a winner among them.

Trivia or skills contests

Conducting a trivia for your audience will help you identify those who already know quite a bit about your brand while helping other get to know more about it. Asking your Instagram followers to showcase their skills, especially if it’s a skill that your product or service helped develop, is another great way to show your brand in good light.

User generated content

You can also create a branded hashtag and ask users to post content featuring your products by making use of this branded hashtag. Your Instagram followers can talk about their experience with your product or even review your product and you can choose a winner by monitoring posts with the branded hashtag. This also helps promote your brand and build credibility as people are more likely to believe actual customers of a product than the marketing message of a brand. You should also make it clear that you intend to use user generated content on your other platforms as well. This will help you avoid complications in the future.

Instagram Stories contest

You can even run a 24 hour contest on Instagram Stories or extend the duration by making use of Instagram ads.

How to run a successful Instagram contest or giveaway?

Establish your objectives

You may want to run a contest to increase brand awareness or see a growth in the number of Instagram followers you have. You may be aiming at lead generation or directing more traffic to your website. Whatever your goal is, make sure you’re clear about what you’re trying to achieve through your contest. Goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound.

Plan the nuances

Several factors relating to your contest need to be planned such as:

  • What entrants are required to do (based on the type of Instagram contest or giveaway you have I mind)
  • The rules of participation
  • The duration of your contest
  • Campaign hashtag you want to use
  • Method of notifying winners
  • You also want to make it convenient to enter the contest or giveaway, especially because most people use the platform from their phones.

Make sure the prize is valuable

The prize you’re offering should be valuable enough to motivate your real Instagram followers to enter, but not so broad that everyone will see value in it, even if they know nothing about your brand. Giving away a product or service trial will ensure that people who already take an interest in your brand or its products enter. Giving away money on the other hand, will invite entries from people who may have no clue about your brand.

Cross promote your contest

It’s necessary to cross promote your contest on other social media platforms with relevant links to direct people to your content.

Make use of Instagram ads

Using Instagram ads will help your contest reach your target market.

Track results

You must track results from your contest and see if the objectives you set out to achieve have been met. This way, you’ll know what’s working and what isn’t so that you can make changes accordingly.

Conclusion

If you aren’t using Instagram contests and giveaways to promote your brand, you’re missing out on a very important aspect of Instagram marketing. Try out this fun and cost effective strategy of brand promotion today and see the results for yourself.

Are You Taking Advantage of Instagram’s Questions Feature?

Instagram has emerged to be a powerful platform for brands to market their business. 80% of users on the platform follow at least one business account. With more businesses using Instagram marketing as an important component of their marketing strategy, there’s immense competition. Several businesses operating in the same industry can create business accounts on the platform and take advantage of Instagram marketing.

In an environment of such tough competition, making your brand stand out can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Engaging your Instagram followers with high quality, interesting content will ensure you bring in the Instagram likes, comments, and interactions needed to boost your growth on the platform and experience its benefits.
One way to get higher engagement on Instagram is by using its Questions feature which was introduced to the platform in 2018. Here’s what you need to know about how to use it, why it matters, and the various ways you can boost business growth with it.

How to use it

Making use of the Questions sticker on Instagram is simple. This feature is available for Instagram Stories. All you have to do is open your Instagram Stories and either upload or take a photo that you want to add to your Stories.

After that, select the square smiley face that’s visible at the top right hand corner of your screen. You’ll see an option labelled “Questions.” When you choose this feature, you’ll see the default questions sticker – “Ask me anything.” You can change this by adding the text for whatever question you have in mind. Once this is done, you can add a feature or a filter to it if you’d like and then share it to your Stories.

To view the responses received from your Instagram followers, click on the section that shows who all have viewed your story. You’ll be able to see the responses here and you can choose to share these responses to your Instagram Stories with answers so that other Instagram followers also get to see them. While others will be able to view what you share with your stories, they won’t know who sent them in those questions. The names will remain anonymous.

Why you should use it

Engagement is very important on Instagram if you want to grow your brand through Instagram marketing. With higher engagement rates on your profile, Instagram’s algorithm is signalled as to the legitimacy of your account, and you can get higher search engine rankings. Your content also has greater chances of appearing on the Explore tab on Instagram. This is very important because it enables more people to view your content and exposes your brand to a wider audience. This can help you get more Instagram likes and real Instagram followers.

When there’s the interaction between you and your Instagram followers, a more personal connection can be established and each can get to know the other better. Through questions, you can gain insights about your audience that can aid in making business decisions. Even your Instagram followers are likely to feel that their voices are heard, and their opinions are taken into consideration when you make appropriate use of the Questions feature on your Instagram Stories.

This can eventually lead to greater brand awareness, higher conversion rates, and building of customer loyalty towards your brand.

Different ways you can use it

There’s a lot you can do with the Questions feature on Instagram. Here are some ways to use it effectively:

Conduct a Q&A

The most direct way of using the Questions feature in your Instagram Stories is by conducting a Q&A where your real Instagram followers can ask you any question they want related to your brand and you will have to respond to them. People may send in questions about your products/services or even other aspects of your brand that they seek clarity on. Be prepared to answer these questions honestly and offer your Instagram followers some value. When they gain more clarity on aspects of your business or its products and services, they can make more informed decisions about it.

Get insights about your products

Your Instagram followers don’t have to be the ones asking all the questions. You can even use the Questions feature to ask your audience to share their insights about your products and services and offer feedback. Reviewing their responses carefully can help you understand what they like and what they don’t so that you can make the necessary changes. This has a huge impact on business decisions. Your customers should, after all, be your top priority and since they’re the ones buying your products or services, their opinions are important. Be prepared to receive some negative feedback though, and have a strategy in place to deal with it.

Sharing positive feedback of your Instagram followers about your business or its products/services can also serve as a testimonial for others who may be motivated to buy what you’re offering when they see what existing customers think of your products. Customer testimonials are more effective in gaining your audience’s trust because it’s not based on an obvious profit motive. People are more likely to look into a product that is recommended by existing customers than believe some marketing message from a brand trying to sell its products. This can result in a growth in conversions.

Asking for, responding to, and acting on your audience’s feedback will also show them that you care and this can help increase their loyalty towards your brand.

Announce new releases

Create some hype and anticipation around the release of new products by asking your Instagram followers to guess what’s coming up soon or if they’d like to get a sneak peek of what’s in store for them. This can get your audience curious and have them send in as many responses as possible, which only helps to increase the engagement rate on your profile.

Emphasize brand values

You can even use the Question feature to connect with your target audience over brand values. This can be an issue related to your brand like a sports company inviting questions or discussions related to physical health. It can also be a campaign or an issue that your brand supports which needn’t necessarily be related to the industry your business operates in. It could be something like an issue related to climate change or mental health. Such discussions help to show your brand in a positive light and show your Instagram followers that your brand doesn’t forget social consciousness.

Let your Instagram followers connect with an expert or thought leader

You can even invite questions from your audience and have an industry expert or thought leader answer them. This can encourage your audience to send in more questions while offering them expert advice in exchange.

Highlight FAQs

You may end up being asked the same question by different Instagram followers and responding to each one separately isn’t convenient. You could choose to respond to the FAQs and share them in your Stories for all to see in such instances. Saving them to your Highlights will make it easy for you to access them whenever you need.

Make it entertaining

You don’t only have to use the Instagram Questions feature for boosting sales and conversions. You could also connect with your Instagram followers by posting something fun to entertain them. Whether it’s a favorite TV show, sports, or leading trends, Questions can be used to start a discussion and establish a personal connection with your audience. When you do this, your audience is more likely to feel a personal connection with your brand.

Tips for using it

The most obvious thing you need to know is that you must respond to what your audience has sent in. They’ve taken the time and effort to write out their thoughts, so responding to them will show them that their effort was worth it. You don’t want to leave anyone hanging, otherwise, it could discourage them from engaging with your brand in the future.

You also shouldn’t overuse the feature just because you’re excited about it. While the feature can boost engagement and help you gain more real Instagram followers, you don’t want your audience to experience fatigue from its overuse.

Make sure some goal drives the use of Questions in your Stories. Remember, you’re not just a personal account doing this for fun. While it is a fun feature, you need to have clarity on why you’re using it, what you hope to achieve from it, and how you can adapt depending on your audience’s reactions.

Conclusion

Inviting questions from your Instagram followers and asking them questions is a great way to engage with your audience and grow your business. There are many ways that you can use this feature as part of your Instagram marketing strategy to maximize its benefits. If you aren’t already making use of this feature, it’s about time you started so that you can experience its benefits for yourself.

How to Make Your Instagram Videos More Interesting?

Instagram has always been a visual platform where you can gather more Instagram followers, and Instagram likes by taking advantage of people’s tendency to engage more with visual content. Using videos on Instagram is a great way to increase your brand engagement and get higher search engine rankings. However, that doesn’t mean that just any old video will do. If you want to boost business growth using videos that will fetch you more real Instagram followers, you need to make them interesting. Here’s a guide on what you need to know when using videos for Instagram marketing.

Why use videos on Instagram?

Although images get more engagement at present in the form of Instagram likes, using videos can help you increase engagement rates on your account through a higher number of comments generated. People who watch a video on Instagram are more likely to share their thoughts on it in the comments section or respond to some aspect of the video.

Using a video, you can elaborate on aspects of your brand, its products/services, and other factors that are difficult to do in writing or through an image. Videos can help you tell the story you want for your brand and this can create a personal connection between you and your Instagram followers. Those who end up watching your videos can better understand how to use your products or may even connect with the brand personality established through the video.

People lead busy lives and are being bombarded with information every day. This has resulted in the creation of a world where people are seeking information with as little time investment as possible. Most people simply don’t have the time to read through text or comprehend other media, but videos can help achieve what these other media can’t in a short period of time. They can also create a better understanding of the message than other forms of media can.

Businesses have begun to realize the importance of using video to further business goals and this has contributed to the rise of video marketing in today’s world. More videos are also being watched on Instagram today, so you need to step up and deliver if you don’t want to risk losing your Instagram followers to your competitors.

Video formats on Instagram

Videos on your Instagram feed

These are the videos posted to your feed directly which must be at least 3 seconds long and can be up to 60 seconds in length. The aspect ratio of feed videos is between 1:1 for the standard Instagram square to 4:5 for vertical. These tend to show up on the Explore page of people who already watch videos and can help you reach a wider audience.

Instagram Stories videos

These are best as vertical videos with an aspect ratio of 9:16 and can be a maximum of 15 seconds in length. While Stories disappear after 24 hours, you can highlight important Stories to keep them on your profile.

IGTV

Such videos must be at least 15 seconds long and can go up to 10 minutes, with larger, verified accounts being able to post videos that are up to 60 minutes long.

Livestreaming

Livestreaming is also one way for you to use videos on your Instagram to build a deeper connection with your real Instagram followers.

Planning for great Instagram videos

Establish your goal

Think about what you want to achieve through your video. Do you want to gain more Instagram followers or just increase engagement on your posts? Do you want to boost conversions through your videos? Knowing what you want will help you plan accordingly so that you have the right video that can help you meet the goal.

Decide on the equipment you’ll need

High-quality videos require usage of high quality equipment. You need to make sure you’re using a great camera and audio equipment so that you visuals are great and sound is spot on. You’ll also want to get the right lighting for your videos so invest in lighting equipment if you need to so that your videos are well lit.

Shoot your video

While shooting your video, make sure that the subject is in focus and keep your shot steady so that jerky movements don’t end up distracting your Instagram followers. You can also find creative ways to incorporate brand colours into your video to resonate with your brand’s overall image.

Edit it well

Make sure you do a good job of editing your videos once you’ve shot them to keep your Instagram followers glued till the end.

Post your video for SEO

Even great videos require you to put some effort into optimizing them for search engines. Make use of the right hashtags and keywords so that your videos reach a wider audience and result in business growth.

Video ideas to boost business growth

Video ideas to boost business growth

Teasers

If you’ve got a longer video that you can’t put up on Instagram, but are uploading it to your YouTube channel, you could always direct your Instagram followers to it by using a teaser video. This way, they’ll get to know about it and get interested in watching it on the other platform.

Teaser can also be used to create hype around a product you’re going to launch. You can include key features and highlights of the product and put it up in the form of a teaser so that your Instagram followers become aware of it and can eagerly await its release.

Time lapse videos

Taking your audience behind the scenes and introducing them to the work involved in your business is a great way to establish a personal connect, but there is a risk of revealing too much. This is not something you want for your business as it can result in your ideas being stolen. Time lapse videos work perfectly in such cases because you can take your audience behind the scenes and create an interesting video without revealing too much. Through time lapse videos, you can show:

  • A product being packaged for shipment to customers
  • Setting up a venue for an event
  • Brainstorming content on a whiteboard

Explainer videos

You may feel like you’re coming across as too promotional with these, but in reality, explainer videos are crucial to the success of your business. Remember that your Instagram followers are interested in your content which is why they’re following you in the first place. They consider you to be the authority when it comes to your products, so take advantage of that and use explainer videos to your products’ advantage. These videos can be used to:

  • Highlight specific features of a product
  • Showcase your products in action
  • Demonstrate the use of the product

They are a great way for you to show your audience why your products will add value to their lives and encourage them to buy your products.

Stop motion videos

Stop motion videos are those which have been made by compiling several images together to communicate a story or take your Instagram followers on a journey. Through these videos, you have the advantage of assembling props and other items in any way that you’d like. This is not something you can do for a normal video or a single photo. With such videos, you get to take your audience on a journey in a fun way and ultimately reveal the outcome you want to. For example, using a stop motion video to put across the proceedings of an event can keep your viewers interested until the end of the video revealing the final outcome from the event.

User generated videos

People are sometimes sceptical of what they see and hear from a brand because of the obvious profit motive involved. They’re more likely to believe that your brand’s product or service holds value if they see that other customers of your brand are reporting on it positively. Content generated from existing customers of your brand feels more genuine to others than a marketing message or ad and can be used to experience a growth rate in conversions.

Videos to introduce yourself

It’s important to remember that Instagram is a social media platform so people on the platform are looking to make some real connections. They want to be able to connect with other people and when they connect with brands, having a human element can make a big difference. Posting videos where you’re directly talking can help people put a face to the brand and erase that dividing line to create a deeper connection. You could start off by talking about what got you interested in this industry and keeping up with more personal content so that people feel a more personal connection with your brand.
These are just some of the many video ideas that you can use to boost business growth on Instagram, but there’s really no limit to what you can achieve if you put your creativity to the test.

Conclusion

Using videos on Instagram to grow your business isn’t always easy, but with some practice and patience, you can end up making videos that your Instagram followers just can’t get enough of.

Using Instagram Stories Polls for Your Business

If you’re using Instagram marketing for your business, getting higher engagement rates with your Instagram followers is necessary. When your Instagram followers engage with your content more, it signals to the Instagram algorithm that users of the platform are interested in your content. This will help you reach a wider audience and get more real Instagram followers. With more engagement, you can achieve higher search engine rankings and even land up on Instagram’s Explore tab. Using Instagram Stories Polls is one way to increase engagement among your audience. A larger audience can even result in more Instagram likes for your content, further increasing engagement rates on your profile. Here’s what you need to know about this Instagram feature.

What are Instagram Stories Polls?

In 2017, Instagram added the feature of polls to Stories which makes it possible for people to engage with content on the platform. With this feature, your Instagram followers must select 1 of 2 options provided in response to specific questions asked. These may be simple yes or no responses, or you could give them other options to choose from.

How to add polls to your Instagram Stories?

Creating polls for your Instagram Stories is easy. Once you have the picture or video you want to add to Stories, choose the Stickers option from the top right section of your screen. Then, click on the “Poll” icon and place it on your photo or video. The default choices for the classic poll are “Yes” and “No” but you can customize these options. The questions don’t have a character limit, but the character limit for the responses is 22 characters. Once you’ve done this, you can share it with your Instagram followers and see the results. Results can be viewed in real-time by swiping up on your Story. Since Instagram Stories last for 24 hours, so will your poll, but you can highlight it to make sure it doesn’t disappear after 24 hours. You’ll be able to see how many people voted on your poll choices as well as how many views the Story managed to get.

Sharing results from the poll can keep the interest of your Instagram followers as they are, after all, the ones who voted on the options given. To do this, you just have to click the “Share Results” option in the Views tab and let your audience know the results of the poll they voted on.

Why are they important for your business?

Instagram Stories Polls offer fun, creative ways for your Instagram followers to engage with your brand. So much of the time on social media is spent in mindless scrolling. There’s no dearth of Stories being posted by the many accounts already on Instagram. With so many users on the platform viewing Stories one after another, polls provide a refreshing change and give users an opportunity to express themselves with regard to the question asked. They are much quicker to capture the attention of your Instagram followers and get them to interact with your brand.

There’s no restriction on the type of question you can ask so you will be able to get feedback from customers and understand their interests better. Polls don’t always have to be used for business-related matters. They can also help you understand your Instagram followers in other areas of interest by helping you branch out and seek responses to questions that concern other topics.

When you utilize the input derived from polls and implement changes to your business decisions, it’ll help your audience feel like they’re being listened to. This will get them to engage with your brand’s content more. Higher engagement on your profile will mean higher search engine rankings, which will enable more people to come across your content. People who end up liking your content can drive up the number of Instagram likes on your profile and help you get on to the Explore tab of the platform.

By increasing engagement on your Instagram profile, Instagram Stories Polls can contribute to higher rates of business growth. In the rest of this article, we’ll take you through exactly how you can make use of Instagram Stories Polls in different ways for the success of your business.

How can you use Instagram Stories Polls for business growth?

To conduct market research

If you want to find out more about what your target audience’s preferences and interests are, adding a poll to your Instagram Stories is a great way to do this. You may be contemplating a new product line or working on a service idea for which market research is essential. You are, after all, offering a product/service to meet the needs of your target audience. Getting responses from your target audience about what they’d like to see next will put you on the right path and help you cater to their needs.

To showcase your products

You can even use polls to showcase your brand’s products and create excitement about your offerings. Adding the different products you offer to your Instagram Stories and asking your Instagram followers to choose between the 2 will give you an idea of their preferences. You can also add feed posts about your products to your Stories and include a poll to ask your Instagram followers if they’ve seen your latest post about your product.

To find out what your Instagram followers like and get their feedback

How can you use Instagram Stories Polls for business growth

By adding polls to your Instagram Stories, you can get an idea of what your real Instagram followers are interested in. You can even invite feedback from your customers about your products or services and work towards incorporating this feedback in your business decisions. You can also share results of the poll to your Stories and thank your Instagram followers for taking the time out to give their opinion. Incorporating changes based on the feedback you receive will show your Instagram followers that you care about their opinions and you’re listening to them. This can help to boost customer loyalty for your brand.

To direct your audience to your website

You can include the link to your website in your Story and encourage your Instagram followers to swipe up after adding a poll to it. Create some hype around a blog piece newly added to your website or a section of your website through a poll. Tailor the poll to make it connect logically with what you’re directing your audience to so that you get to benefit from higher conversions.

To conduct quizzes

You can even make use of polls to quiz your Instagram followers about a particular topic and make it fun for them to engage with your content. Apart from this, you could also conduct quizzes that test how much your audience knows about your brand. When people engage with such quizzes, brand awareness is increased. You could also get them curious by directing them to your website to find the right answer to the question you asked.

To encourage your audience to take a social stance

Today, people are more interested in associating with and supporting brands that are conscious of social change. They’re more likely to view your business positively if you speak up about social issues. You can use polls to ask your Instagram followers if they know about the latest social issues going on and if they’re doing anything about it. Doing this will not only encourage them to take a social stance, but it will also show that your brand is a socially conscious one. This can help to improve the credibility of your brand.

To create hype around your campaigns, events, and contests

If you’ve got a big campaign, event, or contest coming up, you can make use of Instagram Stories Polls to create hype around it. Ask your Instagram followers if they’re aware of your upcoming events, or announce that you have a big announcement to make and check if they’re excited to find out what it is. You can even announce a contest and see if your Instagram followers have participated in it.

To engage your audience on ads

You can even add polls to the ads that you put up on your Stories and get your Instagram followers to take action on these Story ads by clicking on 1 of the 2 options provided.

To entertain your audience

All polls don’t have to be related to achieving some business goal. You can also use polls to keep your audience entertained and show off your brand personality. Discussing things that aren’t related to business can give your Instagram followers an opportunity to get to know you better. This can help them develop a personal connection with your brand and sustain the relationship in the long run.

Conclusion

With the growing popularity of Instagram marketing today, the platform presents a lot of competition for brands. In such a competitive environment, getting high engagement rates for your content is crucial to give you an edge. Instagram Stories Polls makes this possible and that’s why, it’s important to include it in your Instagram marketing strategy.

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