Instagram Giveaway & Contest Ideas

Looking for a way to grow fast on Instagram? If so, giveaways and contests might be your answer, and the proof is in the numbers! Instagram accounts that run contests and giveaways grow 70% faster than those who don’t.

Instagram growth analyticsIf that wasn’t impressive enough, Instagram posts that are focused around contests earn nearly 64x more comments and 3.5x more likes compared to regular posts.

Yet, only 2% of Instagram accounts run contests or giveaways and less than 1% of all Instagram posts are contests. That means your brand has a good chance to stand out by using this underutilized content strategy.

So in this post, I’ll walk through 3 simple steps to create an Instagram giveaway or contest idea that fast tracks the growth of your Instagram account.

By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly how to run your contest or giveaway for maximum engagement.

Ready to dive-in? Let’s get started!

How to Create Instagram Giveaways and Contest

1. Set your Goals

A great Instagram giveaway aligns with your goal for the contest. Thus, confirming your goal for the promotion is your first step.

customer engagement

Here are a few common goals for Instagram contests and giveaways:

  • Engagement – Followers, comments, and likes
  • Media Assets – User generated content such as customer photos, videos, or testimonials
  • Sales Driven – Traffic to your site that leads to email signups, registrations and purchases

An understanding of what exactly you’re after will help you to choose the right contest or giveaway idea and help you track the KPIs so you can measure the success of the campaign.

Giveaway Post on Instagram2. Choose the Prize

Once you choose your goal, the second step is to choose a great prize for the contest or giveaway.

Note that what you actually give away is less important than making sure that:

  1. the prize actually attracts your ideal customer
  2. is related to your products or services

Imagine you own a yoga studio – your ideal customer would be those that are yoga enthusiasts and Yoga beginners. What would be a good prize? An iTunes gift card? Not likely. An iPhone? Maybe, but it’s not related to your services. How about a yoga kit that includes a yoga mat, yoga pants, and free yoga session. Bingo!

3. Pick the Best Instagram Giveaway and Contest Type

The third step is to pick from proven giveaway and contest ideas. Here are 4 popular types to choose from:

A. Like This Post Contest

Instagram Like This Post Contest

Here you have participants like your post and you choose a winner out of your likes. This type of contest is most commonly used and for good reason: The barrier for entry is low, meaning higher chances of participation, and administrative work such as finding a winner is easy on the business.

B. Photo/Video Contest

Instagram Photo/Video Contest

This type of contest is great for businesses looking to gather user generated content. Here you have participants upload a photo with your product to their feed win. This is also great for brand awareness as users’ own followers see the post. Typically, you’d want to have participants use a hashtag that you create or have them tag your business so you can easily find participants.

C. Caption This Contest

Instagram Caption This Contest

This contest type asks participants to comment on your posts and the most creative will win. This is a great contest type to boost engagement and build brand loyalty as participants put effort towards a witty or creative line for community bragging rights and a prize.

D. Follow To Win Contest

Instagram Follow To Win Contest

This contest type is great to boost your follower count. The downside is that it does not engage your current followers. To help with this, you could combine this contest type with another and make it known that they must also be following your brand to be eligible.

Those four contest and giveaway types are more than enough to get started with. But there is one more thing that must be shared.

Promotional Guidelines

While this might not be the sexiest part of an Instagram contest, I do have to walk you through the Instagram Promotion Guidelines so you don’t jeopardize your account. There are 5 things to know when we think of Instagram’s promotional guidelines:

  1. The first is to make sure you follow the law. This is true as it relates to your official rules, offer terms and eligibility requirements. For example, restrictions on age or residency, the actual promotion of your giveaway or contest, and all prizes offered.
  2. The second promotional guideline to be aware of is that you must not encourage people to inaccurately tag photos. An example being a post they are not in, nor inaccurately tag photos yourself.
  3. The third guideline to follow is that your promotion must include a complete release of Instagram by each entrant or participant and your post must have acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.
  4. The fourth guideline states that Instagram will not help you with your contest in any capacity including the administration of your promotion or choosing a winner.
  5. And lastly, the fifth guideline to follow is the acknowledgement that if you use Instagram for your promotions, that you do so at your own risk.

Quick Recap

Well there you have it, the 3-step process to great Instagram giveaway and contest ideas.

As a recap, step 1 is to confirm your goal for the promotion. Common goals include: engagement, media assets, and sales.

Step 2 is to choose a great prize for the contest or giveaway. A great prize attracts your ideal customer and is related to your products or services.

Step 3 is to pick from proven giveaway and contest ideas. The 4 most common contest types are: Like This Post Contest, Photo/Video Contest, Caption This Contest, and the Follow To Win Contest

And last, we made it clear to follow Instagram’s promotion guidelines.

Instagram giveaways and contests are indeed great ways to effectively boost your brand awareness and followers. But if it is conversions you want to increase, then consider hiring social media experts.

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