Running a contest on Instagram allows you to increase brand awareness, attract new subscribers or increase engagement. Therefore, they are used by a huge number of accounts: the number of posts with hashtags #draw or #competition exceeds 4,000,000.
We decided to tell you more about sweepstakes and contests on Instagram. In this article, you will learn which contest mechanics can be used and how to run a contest to increase reach or attract subscribers.
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Basic mechanics of contests and types of draws
Reach or recognition… The main goal is to get as many views as possible and increase brand loyalty. To do this, use a competition based on mentions or hashtags. All contestants must take a photo, preferably related to your product, and post it on their page with a mention of your account or certain hashtags. It is recommended to create new hashtags for each competition: this way you will only see the competition publications participating in the prize draw.
All publications of the contest participants will appear in the news feeds of their friends. Therefore, you will get great coverage. And if you correctly fill out the terms of participation and the post with a mention of the giveaway, increase brand awareness and get new subscribers. To further increase your reach, you can run ads on Instagram…
To attract new subscribers… The main goal of such contests is to increase the number of followers. Here you can use the most trivial mechanic – to hold a competition among all who liked the entry about the drawing. The conditions must also include a subscription to your account – then everyone who wants to take part in the competition will subscribe to you and like the post with the competition.
This mechanic has a significant drawback – in order to get subscribers, you will have to invest in advertising. Otherwise, only those who are already subscribed to you will see the entry about the competition. Therefore, instead of a contest with a like and a subscription, you can use the previous mechanic – asking contestants not only to post a photo with a thematic hashtag, but also to subscribe to you.
To increase engagement… The main goal of these contests is to increase engagement rates and make your account more effective. Several mechanics can be used here. For example, to hold a contest of likes or comments – choose a winner from those who liked or left a comment under the post.
A more complex drawing format is a photo contest. Ask all participants to send photos and post them on your profile, and determine the winner by the number of likes. Contestants will view your profile, leave comments, and ask friends to vote. The only significant drawback of this mechanic is the very complicated organization of the rally.
Another way: Games for Instagram followers
Ideas for Instagram contests
For the competition to work as it should, you need to attract the attention of potential participants with an unusual idea or a valuable prize. We offer you some original ideas for holding a contest on Instagram:
- Comments Contest… A comment is a special kind of activity. The more people write, the higher the credibility of your brand. In addition, the smart feed rates your posts as popular and shows them more often in the feed and in recommendations. As a result, reach and number of subscribers grow. Requirements for a comment can be very different: Spell a word. Mention friends. Make an emoji sentence. Come up with a cool caption for the photo and more.
- Customer feedback… If you have a running business, offer your clients a valuable prize or big discount for honest feedback on your work. Have them take a photo and write a comment, and at the end they leave a mention of your profile. This will expand your reach, get adequate feedback, and possibly increase your subscribers.
- Quiz… This format is suitable for weekly or monthly contests. Ask a question to the participants and ask them to send an answer to it in Direct. Give each participant a number and choose a winner at the end. You can also add a subscription and a like under the contest entry to the condition.
- PR manager. Create a unique picture that reflects the essence of your business and ask the contestants to promote it by providing a link to your profile. Earn points for activity: for example, 1 point for each like under the photo, 2 points for a comment. The mechanics of the contest are very complex, but it can bring a large number of subscribers.
- Photo competition… Ask the contestants to post photos with unique hashtags related to your company. The winner will be the one with the most likes. The number of likes will have to be watched manually, so this mechanic is suitable for accounts with a small number of followers.
- Activity… Ask the contestants to subscribe to your page, like three entries and leave a comment under any post. This will kill several birds with one stone: it will increase engagement rates, allow you to quickly determine the winner among the commentators or those who liked the post, and attract new subscribers.
Stories Contest Ideas
Stories are a relatively new tool. But contests can also be held in it. Keep 2 original ideas:
- Quest… Create several accounts, think over the plot, tell us about the prize. For example, you might ask participants to find their way out of a virtual enclosed space, solve a complex puzzle, or follow the prompts to find your main account. Give the prize to the first one to do it, or to the random participant who made it to the end.
- Marks… Ask all contestants to make their own story mentioning your account or a unique hashtag. This will dramatically increase your reach as Stories are gradually replacing the traditional news feed.
Stories Instagram: instructions for use
We design a competition
Conditions of the competition
Think in advance what you will write in the conditions. To attract a large number of participants to the competition, specify:
- Prize. If there are several of them, lay out the entire list of prizes. Try to choose really valuable rewards – for example, 5,000 rubles or a 50% discount.
- The terms of participation – write exactly what the person must do to participate in the drawing.
- Start and end dates of the competition… It is advisable to indicate the exact time when the results will be summed up.
Remember: don’t over complicate the terms of participation. Multi-stage sweepstakes with difficult conditions usually have a lower return than simple contests.
How to hold a competition in VK?
Post contest design
Prepare a high-quality photo for your contest post to attract attention. You can take a photo of the main prize and add thematic hashtags to the picture – for example, #attention! Competition or the standard “Giveaway” inscription. You can put on the photo the main conditions of participation or information about the prize, but you should not overload the image with text.
In the caption to the photo, publish the terms of the competition and a call to action. You can add emoticons and write as much as you need: the main thing is to show the potential benefit of the bidder from the first proposals.
How to get more participants
Contests usually have a smaller proportion of subscribers. To quickly increase the number of participants, you can purchase advertising in promoted profiles. Additional ways to run a contest on accounts with a low number of subscribers are:
- Publishing a link to the contest post in the profile description and massliking…
- Linking the competition to a common hashtag or geolocation.
- Subscriptions to your target audience: mass following…
- Make live and tell us about the competition in detail.
How to determine the winner
The mechanics of determining the winner depends on the competition. Of course, you can manually select the recipient of the prize, but it will take a lot of time and allow subscribers to question your honesty. Therefore, we recommend special services. For instance:
Youtogift – a service for holding contests with a built-in randomizer. There are two options for holding contests: now and with publication on the site for free advertising of the competition. Read more in the article: How to run a contest on Instagram comments.
Rundstaff – free random number generator. Allows you to generate up to 50 random numbers from a list or a range of numbers from 1,000,000,000. Any range can be specified — for example, from 95 to 1,453.
Giveaways – paid service for draws. The cost of the competition is from 399 rubles. Can choose a winner from commentators or in a round robin competition. It also shows the analysis of the competition.
Winner Picker – a free service with no restrictions especially for Instagram. Can choose a winner in contests based on mentions and hashtags.
Related article: Services for determining the winners on Instagram
Summing up and awarding the prize
The name of the winner must be published in the public domain at the appointed time. This will increase the trust of your subscribers. Record a video of the prize giving so you can attract new entrants for future contests. Finally, you can indicate the date of the next draw. This will whet the interest of subscribers and make them follow your posts more closely.
How do you use Instagram contests and do you use them at all? Share in the comments.