8 Tips to Run a Successful Instagram Contest

Trying to find a way to launch positive contests on Instagram is not as easy as other campaign strategies on the platform. However, contests have the advantage of using user-generated content (UGC) and therefore do not require you to spend all your time on them. 

Many users would jump at an offer to win a free trip to a dream destination if they post a selfie with a certain hashtag or upload a certain picture. 

This is what is so attractive about Instagram contests and one of the foolproof ways to increase engagement and grow your audience very quickly. You can do this by offering lots of yummy giveaways, free trips, and many other things.

Benefits of Instagram Contests

The nature of Instagram has made it a paradise for user-generated content. This is because users are already sharing their videos through this platform. The potential is that with the right methods, you can direct those actions to where you want them to go. 

If you can do that, you have a powerful tool to engage users on Instagram in a relevant and entertaining way. If you include the content provided on Instagram in your marketing strategy, you can use it to increase the number of your followers and the number of people who see your posts. 

It will also help you develop compelling ambassadors for your brand. The following are a few things you can do to make your Instagram contest succeed.

How to Run a Successful Instagram Contest

1. Clarify your goals and objectives

Before you start your Instagram marketing contest, it is important that you have a well-thought-out plan. For your contest to be successful, its goal must match the interests of the target audience. It is very important that you have a clear goal, regardless of how you plan to achieve it. 

This will help you determine whether the contest you organized was successful or not. In order for you to get everything right, you should keep your audience in mind. Also, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What types of posts do my audience love to see on my account?
  • When I go through my feeds, what type of posts do my audience frequently post and repost?
  • How do they behave on the platform?

If the goal you want to achieve is to increase engagement with your posts, you should focus on improving your content and posting content that your followers interact with the most. You should also remember that you need to set a budget and a time frame in advance. This will help you create an effective contest.

2. Specify the entry requirements

There are a thousand and one ways you can develop contests on Instagram. However, it has been shown that the most effective method is to ask your followers to post their own photos. 

Therefore, it is important that you set some ground rules so that your audience knows what the requirements are for entering the contest. You can use the following methods to enter your contests.

  • Get your followers to post a media bearing a particular hashtag or theme to Instagram.
  • Get your audience to upload a post and follow you, or just to follow you only.
  • Get your followers to tag your brand in a post they uploaded
  • Get your audience to comment on or like one or more of your posts.

Make sure the rules for participation in the competition are clear. Make sure they are clearly stated during the promotion. Maybe you want the contest to be run with a hashtag that does not include the brand name. Maybe you want to spread the word about your brand by getting more of your followers to tag your brand. These things need to be clearly stated in your guidelines.

3. Create the perfect hashtag

If you want to have an interesting Instagram contest, then a good hashtag is what you need. After all, if there is not a good hashtag, there will be little connection between the content you create and the contest itself. To sum it up, hashtags go a long way in raising awareness of your brand by encouraging participation or sharing of content. 

The catch is that it’s quite difficult to come up with the perfect hashtag for a particular event. If your contest is time-limited, you need to create a hashtag that you do not have to use over and over again. Again, the fact that people create new hashtags every day can make it difficult to come up with a unique and appealing hashtag. 

Check out the guidelines below to create the ideal hashtag for your contest.

  • Brief: Create a hashtag that is easy to read and identify, and which followers can always remember.
  • Significant: Let your hashtags have a relationship with the product or service you are offering or the name of the brand. If you use a general hashtag, you may find it difficult to keep track of the people participating in the contest.
  • Unforgettable: There is every possibility that people would have seen the advert for your contest before. This means that you have to keep your hashtag’s name easy and catchy enough so that later on, they can easily remember it. Make efforts to keep your hashtag simple and easy to write. This will make it easy to search. Also, make your hashtag appealing and keep away from difficult spellings and unfamiliar words.
  • Global: Always consider your audience while making decisions. Consider the language they speak and if they speak the same language. If you have a global audience, then be conscious of the words you use so that you don’t use terms that are restricted to a particular area which may confuse other people who come from other regions.
  • Uncommon: Make sure that your hashtag is not too common, make research and investigations to ensure that other people are not already using this same hashtag.

4. Choose a good theme

Much of the content on Instagram is based on UGC. That’s why you need to choose a theme. This way, your audience can easily identify what kind of videos or images to post. It is recommended to use a theme that fits the product, service, or market you are offering. Additionally, you can still use seasons, holidays, or other celebrations.

5. Determine the winning criteria

One of the most important parts of a well-planned contest is making sure your participants know how you will select the winners. Winners of a contest are determined either by a panel of judges or by voting. We will now see how the two options work.

By votes: one of the most effective ways of getting your content to go viral is to get the participants to contest for likes. If you have put up a very nice incentive, then the contestants will do their best to get as many people as possible to like their posts. They will do this by sharing with family and friends. When they do this, it automatically boosts the awareness of your brand. There is a negative contest of using likes, however, there is the possibility that some people will use “Like bots” to generate fake likes for themselves. To prevent this from happening, you have to put up guidelines that will stop contestants from doing this.

Jury: this is better than voting because in this method you select professionals who will determine the winner. Whichever option you ultimately choose, make sure they know about it beforehand. Many brands combine the two methods to determine the winner.

6. Decide what prize to award

You need to consider a few things before determining how much you want the sweepstakes reward to be. Consider what your budget is, what audience you are targeting, and what goals you want to achieve. Remember that by asking your audience to enter sweepstakes, you are asking them to do something. 

This means that the prize must exceed the energy they spend on this promotion. While the chance to win a pair of shoes will not impress many people, the chance to win a ticket to an exotic holiday will blow them away. 

Since you want to give away a prize that will spur them to the greatest activity, you also need to consider what your target audience wants. To know what that is, ask yourself: what would my target audience really want to win? You could find a lot of answers to this question if you do not consider the budget. 

Of course, many people will be excited to win a ticket to a holiday, but is that the focus? The goal is to use a prize that is associated with your brand. Many brands rely on giveaways, free services, free products, etc. Let your imagination run wild to find the best option for the situation.

7. Specify the terms and conditions

Remember that when you create a sweepstake that offers an incentive, you must comply with some legal conditions. The laws that apply to you may depend on the place where you operate or the people who participate in the sweepstakes. This means that you should seek the help of your lawyer to work out the terms.

Some of the commonly included terms and conditions are:

  • Entry rules
  • Rules that guide the selection of a winner
  • The contact details and the name of the promoting brand
  • Date of contest
  • Rules guiding the people that can take part in the contest
  • The date of the end of the contest and when winners will be announced
  • The time period within which winners will give feedback and collect their prizes
  • Information on how the prizes will be claimed.

You also need to go through the Instagram promotion guidelines to make sure that you are within their own rules.

8. Promote your giveaway contest

Now that everything has been set up, you need to start promoting your contest seriously. Where should you advertise your contest? Let’s look at a few.

  • Your website: publish a blog post on your website with the details of the contest included therein. Use this post to redirect visitors to the landing page of the contest.
  • Social media platforms: this is the best place to promote your contest. Leverage all the platforms at your disposal and get as many participants as you can to take part in your Instagram contest.

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