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How to Plan an Instagram Contest

From sweepstakes on the back of cereal boxes to radio giveaways, people of all ages and demographics crave the chance to earn free prizes. Few things compare to the excitement customers feel when they hear their names called out as winners, which is why brands run contests on various social media channels.

Users typically respond more enthusiastically to social media contests instead of traditional, more direct advertising tactics. Unlike traditional advertising (print ads, commercials, etc.), social media contests allow users to see and learn about a product while simultaneously forming an emotional connection with the brand. This results in a win-win for both parties since the brand earns new followers.

An online contest can unlock the doors for massive marketing opportunities as you grow your following, generate higher levels of brand awareness, and add new contacts to your email lists. But where should you host your first social media giveaway? Enter Instagram contests.

What are the Different Types of Instagram Contests?

With its immense audience and helpful data collection tools, Instagram needs to remain a priority for any company looking to boost audience engagement and further promote the brand. You may find yourself asking, “where do I start?” Since you can choose among several different Instagram contests, your marketing team should understand the differences, the benefits, and if they align with your team’s goals.

“Like to Win” Contests

The idea of “double-tapping to enter” can produce an influx of brand engagement with the brand due to its simplicity. But in many cases, brands tend to accidentally attract users who show little to no interest in any products. In addition, brands face limits on the participant information they can collect.

“Comment to Win” Contests

“Comment to Win” contests tend to attract users already interested in the brand. It can also direct a significant amount of traffic to the brand accounts as users must post comments on a specific photo. However, this type of Instagram contest does not provide detailed information about users.

“Repost” Contests

A “Repost” contest can become a massive opportunity for any brand looking to enjoy a large wave of online exposure. This can introduce the brand to a new set of followers as it appears on various feeds. Users are willing to repost the picture to their feed, showing that the user cares about the brand. Unfortunately, users may face trouble reposting as Instagram currently lacks the option to automatically repost photos. Furthermore, Instagram’s algorithm may consider these posts spam since hundreds of users keep reposting the same image.

“Tag a Photo” Contest

Asking users to post a photo and tag the brand can attract new fans who already express interest in the brand while exposing the brand to the user’s followers. This also generates new brand content without the brand having to post it themselves. However, users who don’t have any interest in the brand probably won’t join, as this requires a higher level of engagement.

“Post a Selfie” Contest

“Post a Selfie” contests create significant engagement between users and the brand, as participants have countless creative options to showcase products. This may only work for certain types of company cultures and may not always attract users who aren’t familiar with your company.

Set Your Instagram Contest Goals

Why do you want to host a social media contest? Every marketing team has a different set of objectives they wish to achieve, like reaching 10K followers or boosting engagement with your brand. In general, most companies set common goals such as:

  • Growing email lists
  • Earning a better understanding of customers’ needs and wants
  • Receiving user-generated content
  • Bolstering your social following
  • Generating brand or product awareness

In theory, you could probably accomplish several of these goals with just one Instagram contest. Nonetheless, don’t forget to prioritize the most important expectations your business wants to meet. If you make your contest too complex and hard to enter, it limits user engagement and prevents you from reaching your goals.

Don’t Forget the Terms & Conditions for the Instagram Contest

If you plan on launching your first Instagram contest, you must first outline the Terms and Conditions. To complicate matters further, social media contest rules aren’t just limited to the platforms you host them on. You will also need to ensure your contest complies with local and government laws. As you draft the rules and guidelines for your Instagram contest, remember to address the following questions:

  • When will the contest start and end?
  • What are the rules for the contest? (Try to get as granular as possible to avoid any confusion)
  • Who is eligible to enter the contest? (i.e. – age or employee restrictions)
  • What are the contact details of the brand hosting the contest?
  • What is the prize?
  • How will the brand choose the winner?
  • When will the brand announce the winner?
  • How long will the winner have to claim the prize?
  • How will the brand deliver prizes to the winner?

Important KPIs to Measure in Instagram Contests

  • The Number of Submissions – The total number of posts submitted in compliance with your terms and conditions.
  • Likes Per Submission – Helps you keep track of potential winners when choosing candidates by vote.
  • The Number of Participants – If users can submit more than one submission, how many unique participants contributed to your contest?
  • Top Participants – Who shared the most content during your campaign? Keeping track of this helps you better engage with your biggest fans.
  • Total Likes – Measures the total number of Likes on all submissions in your contest.
  • Total Reach – Captures the number of followers of your participants at the time of submission. This metric shows you the potential reach of your campaign.
  • Follower Growth During the Contest – Measure how much your following increased during the contest’s duration.

Choose Your Instagram Contests Wisely

Choosing an appropriate Instagram contest type for your brand depends on many factors, as certain contests may work better for certain brands than others. The overall brand culture can dictate whether a more playful, creative type of contest is appropriate. Keep in mind your overall goals for your contest, as this will dictate the most effective approach.

Smaller brands, for example, may choose simpler contests like “like or comment to win,” as they require less effort while creating a positive relationship. Repost contests can also help small brands to broaden their audience and gain more followers. Larger brands with a more consistent following may benefit more from more interactive contests, as they seek creative and unique ways to engage an already interested audience.

Instagram contests are a useful way to promote your brand because it provides users with the opportunity and choice to engage with the brand, rather than a one-sided message convincing the users to buy. This gives the user a sense of control and connection to the brand, tied in with the possibility of a reward. Choosing the right Instagram contest can revolutionize the way users perceive your brand. If you want to begin optimizing your brand’s Instagram account, Premiere Creative can help! Contact our social media marketing today at (973) 346-8100 to get started!