Guide to Successfully Run an Instagram Giveaway or Contest (1/2)

Run an Instagram Giveaway or Contest

Hosting an Instagram giveaway is a smart way to engage your audience and gain more followers. It’s a fun way to reward your followers and attract potential customers. With countless contest ideas to choose from, you can even build a library of user-generated content. In this article, we’ll explore what Instagram giveaways are, why they’re beneficial, and provide a step-by-step guide to hosting a successful giveaway.

What’s the point of hosting an Instagram giveaway?

An Instagram giveaway or contest typically begins with an Instagram post in which you ask your audience to complete some sort of task in order to enter a giveaway for a free product or prize. This type of campaign can generate a lot of buzz around your brand, bringing in new eyes and significantly increasing reach and engagement… sometimes significantly.

There are several advantages to using this strategy; let’s go over the most important ones.

Gain more followers

Many brands require that users enter their giveaways first and follow them on Instagram. By follow-gating your giveaway in this manner, you ensure that your Instagram following grows alongside your entries. While you’ll most likely receive entries from those who already follow you, expect to see some growth as your giveaway gains traction.

Increase engagement

Instagram giveaways can increase engagement on specific posts (like your giveaway announcement), but they can also increase overall engagement. Algorithms work in strange ways, but once it realizes you’re getting a lot more engagement than usual, it’ll start putting your content in front of even more eyes, increasing your overall engagement.

Boost reach and impressions

Hosting an Instagram giveaway can also boost your reach and impressions. The higher engagement on your giveaway posts can make your content more visible to followers. If they keep seeing and interacting with your content, it can help increase your reach and frequency of appearance on their feeds.

Make an opportunity for others to collaborate

Finally, Instagram giveaways provide a chance for collaboration. Brands often team up to co-host giveaways. Partner with a brand whose product complements yours and give away a bundle of products together. For example, if you sell silk pillowcases, team up with a brand that sells hair masks.

Types of Instagram giveaways

Here are the five primary Instagram giveaway types that brands use. We’ll explain how each one works and why you might want to consider using them.

1. Like, comment and follow

To enter an Instagram contest, one of the most common ways is to like the photo announcing the giveaway, leave a comment, and follow the account. Alternatively, like Edible Arrangements‘ holiday-themed giveaway, the focus could be on commenting to enter.

Screenshot of an Instagram post on Edible Arrangements' Instagram page of a holiday themed arrangement of fruit and cookies.

By using this strategy, all you need to do is specify the prize, set the rules, and see the entries pour in. You can prompt participants to comment on why they deserve to win, nominate someone else to win, or just tag a friend to spread the word.

In fact, tagging friends in contests is a fantastic idea that can stand on its own. Keep reading for additional tips on how to make it more effective.

2. Tag a friend

Want to increase your Instagram contest’s reach? Encourage entrants to tag a friend! Entrants can tag multiple friends for more chances to win.

As these entrants tag their own friends, your contest and brand awareness can grow exponentially. Another way to utilize this strategy is by hosting a tag-a-friend contest where followers can nominate someone deserving of a prize.

Here’s an example from Edible Arrangements:

Screenshot of an Instagram post by Edible Arrangements showcasing four Twix cheesecakes and a caption encouraging followers to enter a contest.

Edible Arrangements required users to enter their giveaway by tagging a friend in the comments section. By allowing users to tag multiple friends, they could increase their chances of winning by gaining multiple entries.

3. User-generated content

If you want to gather user-generated content (UGC) and use it in your marketing campaign, creating an Instagram giveaway can be a great way to achieve this goal. Encourage your followers to share a photo on their feed using a specific branded hashtag or tagging your business so that you can easily find all the entries in one place.

This method not only rewards your customers for participating but also provides you with a library of UGC photos to use for future content planning. Since this type of giveaway requires more effort from your audience, be sure to offer a valuable prize to make it worth their while.

4. Collaboration

As previously mentioned, partnering with a complementary brand for your giveaway prize can expand your audience. This allows for cross-promotion and introduces your followers to new brands, while also providing a more valuable prize.

Take a look at this collaborative giveaway where three brands teamed up to offer a grand prize bundle:

Screenshot of an Instagram giveaway post by Grove Collaborative that showcases products from Grove, Kitsch and Beauty Counter. This is an example of a collaborative Instagram giveaway.

Collaborative giveaways are also popular among influencers who want to introduce their followers to new brands and bloggers. If you’re looking to expand your Instagram presence, hosting a collaborative contest or giveaway can be a great strategy.

5. Instagram Stories

While Instagram contests aim to give back to your audience, they also offer significant benefits for your overall marketing strategy. Through these contests, brands can gain a lot of attention and attract a larger audience.

Asking your audience to share a post on their Instagram Stories as a form of entry is an effective way to increase awareness of your contest. This method is effortless for users, making it an easy and effective way to spread the word without overburdening your audience.

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