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.
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.
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.
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.
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