Instagram is not just for individual users. Businesses have also found the Instagram platform to be an excellent marketing tool for promoting their products and services to targeted audiences.
One effective promotional tool is called an ‘Instagram Giveaway’ or ‘Instagram Contest.’ It is a temporary promotional deal where a brand offers to give away a free product or service if specific criteria are met.
For example, the brand might require users to ‘like’ their posts, follow their Instagram channel, or share their posts with a specific hashtag. Everyone who complies with the rules will get entered into the contest for a chance to win the free product or service.
Instagram giveaways allow brands to gain more attention and promote themselves through their free offerings. If done correctly, the result is more likes, followers, shares, and customers to their businesses.
Below are the 3 easy-steps to execute an Instagram giveaway on your channel.
#1 Set a Goal for your Instagram Giveaway
Start by defining your goals for your contest or online sweepstakes. Your goal might be to get more followers, build brand awareness or create brand loyalty, or get more people to sign up in your email list. The more specific you are with your objectives, the more likely you’ll see positive results.
#2 Plan your Instagram Giveaway
Once your promotion goal is set, its time to start planning it.
Know the Instagram Sweepstakes Rules
First thing to do when planning is to know the Instagram’s Giveaway Rules and make sure that your promotion abides by it.
Instagram’s rules are relatively simple when it comes to giveaways and you need to follow them to make sure that your giveaway runs smoothly and avoids the risk of it being shut down.
You can read the full Instagram’s promotion guidelines but in summary just don’t forget to incorporate the following information in your post:
- rules for the giveaway;
- terms of eligibility for participants;
- relevant regulations related to your prize (age restrictions, etc…);
- Acknowledgment that Instagram is not responsible for the giveaway.
Decide on your Giveaway Prize
The next thing you’ll need to do is decide on the product, service, or experience you’ll giveaway as your prize. This will vary depending on your goal defined earlier – if you want to spread awareness around a product launch, for instance, you’ll likely want to giveaway that specific product as your prize. This way you’ll guarantee your Instagram giveaway will only reach people interested in your niche.
Alternatively, you can take a look at what your followers are interested in and think about how you can offer something that’s valuable.
Remember, the more enticing your prize is to your target audience the more likely you’ll get a bigger engagement.
Decide on your Giveaway Rules
As required by Instagram in their Promotion Guidelines and as an effective online contest needs clear ground rules. You want to be clear about the eligibility of entrants. Should entrants be a part of a certain age group? Is the contest only open for individuals in a specific state or country? Post the rules to avoid any confusion or potential issues when winners are selected.
In this step, you’ll also define a time frame for your contest – how long the campaign will run. Will the campaign be just 1 day, multiple days, 1 week, or 2 weeks? Numerous studies have shown that for large-scale campaigns, 1-2 weeks is the optimal length of time. If the requirements to enter involve participants sharing an image or other more time-consuming action, the campaign may need to run longer.
Get an inspiration from other Instagram Giveaways listed on our site.
Decide on your Giveaway Campaign Hashtag.
When running an Instagram giveaway, you need to create a unique hashtag for it. Hashtags are super important because they help you keep track of your entries, help your content surface on Explore channels, and oftentimes increase visibility on the platform.
Also, along with a specific hashtag for your giveaway, include relevant hashtags like #contest and #giveaway. It’s also a good idea to include additional information and hashtags about your industry.
#3 Launch & Promote you Instagram Giveaway
Once you’re decided on your giveaway prize, entry-criteria, hashtag, time-limit, and goal, you’re finally ready to launch and post your giveaway! Remember, Instagram users favor posts during a certain time in the day, so you’ll want to plan that wisely.
It’s important to note that most contests won’t go viral and generate massive results for you overnight. Your first contest may only get a few participants. If your audience isn’t used to you hosting contests, they may be hesitant to enter or may not even notice the contest you’re hosting. Hence, we suggest to promote your giveaway on your Facebook page, or another social channel. You can also try adding it in Giveaway Listing sites like ours – SweepsMadness. You’ll likely attract more attention to your giveaway if you spread the news outside of Instagram.
That is all there is to it! Instagram giveaways are an excellent way to grow your channel and attract more attention to your brand. Make sure you take advantage of the Instagram Analytics tool to track how much more traffic you’ve received to your posts. Then you can figure out which promotions are the most effective.
Do not be afraid to invest in valuable products to give away to your targeted audience. Think of it as a marketing investment for your brand. Hundreds of brands find great success with promotional products. It is a type of marketing which has been done for decades. The only difference is that Instagram makes it easy for new brands to get started. All you need is a laptop, an Instagram account, and a little creativity.