How To Run a Memorable Instagram Contest

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By: Anastasia Gassieva

December 10, 2021

How To Run a Memorable Instagram Contest

An Instagram contest or giveaway has been a staple of social media marketing for the last decade. Participants can win all-inclusive vacations, earn credit to the best local restaurants, or receive clothing from their favorite brands in just a few simple steps. Often, an entry to these social media giveaways include low-lift actions and requirements such as a like on a post, a comment, a follow, or a tag. Its simplicity has allowed brands and influencers to grow their following and build an engaging connection with fans organically. 

The value of giveaways for a social strategy can be further deepened when brands and creators partner together. Using cross-promotion, each participant can tap into their respective collaborator’s audience, ultimately increasing their chances of adopting new followers.

With the proven success of social media contests in advertising businesses, building brands, or growing social audiences, it’s no surprise most brands and influencers include them in their content strategies. In this article, we share the unique ways you can execute a flawless Instagram contest or giveaway that will help you stand out in a busy space.

The Benefit of an Instagram Contest

The benefit of creating an Instagram contest and collaborating with other content creators or brands is the ability to reach other large and untapped audiences with very little heavy lifting. You can grow your online following and your brand presence organically so that it aligns with your content vertical and following. Before you consider reaching out to a creator or a brand, ask yourself:

  • Who is this creator’s or brand’s audience? 
  • What type of content do they post? 
  • Are they aligned with your brand’s values?

Depending on the goals of both parties, Instagram contests are a great way to introduce yourself to a new and loyal following without feeling uninvited.

What Is a Campaign Brief, and Why Do You Need It?

To make sure your giveaway runs smoothly, it’s vital to have a campaign brief. The brief outlines all the necessary details and information to effectively communicate the goals of the campaign, while ensuring all steps are followed. Here are some items we recommend including in your campaign brief:

Contact Information: Seeing as this Instagram contest will likely have account handlers, content creators, and social media managers involved, it’s important to have all contact details organized at the start of your document. Include all account handles, emails, and key contact information for the creator’s ease.

Campaign Duration: How long will your giveaway last? When will the winner be announced? These are the questions you should be answering when including the giveaway’s launch date, end, and the day of the winning announcement in your campaign brief.

Campaign Objective: There are a variety of reasons a creator or a brand would like to launch an online giveaway. BBTV’s goal of working with #BBTVFam, Clawdeena, on a Spooky Halloween Giveaway was simple: grow our online presence. At BBTV, we love to integrate holiday tent poles into our existing social strategy to support our overall growth and engagement. Our Halloween-related giveaway was aimed at beating the oversaturated and competitive social space that occurs in October. Working alongside a creator with a large audience like Clawdeena would bring interest to both accounts, while creating relevance for both the seasonal theme and beauty and lifestyle vertical.

Giveaway Details: The simpler the rules, the better the content will perform. Instagram’s popularity is built on it’s user-friendly design, which means high engagement happens where there is little to no friction in actioning users. You will receive few entries if the giveaway details are too complex and require a lot of heavy lifting. For Clawdeena’s giveaway, BBTV offered key messaging for her to use. However, she was given the flexibility to reposition the copy if she felt there was a better opportunity to engage with her audience.

“Halloween is just around the corner and you know how much I love all things make-up! To help you prep for the spookiest time of the year my network @broadbandTV wants to gift YOU a $500 Sephora Gift Card! To enter:

  • Follow @broadbandtv and @mamadeenaofficial
  • Tag a friend below

More comments = more entries. The contest ends Sunday, October 24th, 2021, and is open to residents of Canada and the US. I will announce the winner on my Instagram Story on Tuesday, October 26th, 2021!”

BBTV prioritized convenience, including just two entry requirements with an optional step to increase a participant’s chances. The less your followers need to do in order to be eligible, the more likely you are to receive entries. Here are must-have giveaway details you should include in your post: 

  • Giveaway prize
  • How to enter
  • Closing date
  • Announcement notification

Prize: Similar to choosing an aligned creator for your giveaway, be specific when choosing a prize. The prize should resonate with the target audience and still align with your brand. For example, Clawdeena’s following is mainly female with an interest in dolls, dress-up, makeup, and fashion. Choosing a Sephora gift card would not only relate heavily to her following, but appeal to the large female audience within BBTV’s social pages. When the prize is intriguing to both followings, this encourages your existing followers to enter and increases the contest’s potential reach.

Giveaway Content & Visuals: How do you want to communicate this content? Do you want to execute this solely on Stories? Do you want a still image or an animated graphic? We recommend creating visual assets that can easily be integrated into additional social platforms; more platforms equates to more eyes and more entries. When designing social posts for the content, consider incorporating the content creator’s current visual identity or aesthetic for consistency.

Tracking: When tracking the giveaway’s performance results, it’s important to set benchmarks for success by tracking the metrics from before and after the giveaway closes. Prior to the Halloween giveaway launch, we requested permission to tag Clawdeena’s social account to monitor the performance of the posts. We highlighted the steps in our campaign brief to decrease the work on their end.

Outline a dedicated team member to monitor each participant’s giveaway eligibility and the random selection of a winner prior to the announcement. This can also be done via online generators if you don’t have the resources to randomize these giveaways in-house. In BBTV’s collaboration with Clawdeena, our social media team monitored the overall engagement for both @mamadeenaofficial and @broadbandtv, and tracked key metrics such as follower growth, impressions, comments, likes, and shares and also drew the lucky winner, limiting the workload on our creator.

BBTV accomplished its objective and was thrilled to see the booming response from the giveaway with Clawdeena last month. As a result, we will continue to incorporate regularly scheduled giveaways across all social media channels in the future – so stay tuned to our Instagram for more! 

With this Instagram contest guide, you can create an effective collaboration strategy and process with your favorite brands and creators, ultimately helping boost your engagement and adopt new followers in an authentic way. Before hitting post on your giveaway, we recommend thoroughly reviewing Instagram’s Promotion Guidelines. 

Want to enhance your content strategy and participate in exciting collaborations? Partner with BBTV today to get the help and support of social media experts.

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