How to Do an Instagram Giveaway
Many people or businesses are looking for tips or ideas on how to to create an Giveaway or Instagram Contest to offer their audience and users.
Planning and adapting a unique, creative and even more important, successful Instagram giveaway should support your marketing strategies and company goals. Instagram Giveaways can consist of contests, giveaways or promotions.
#1) Instagram Rules for Giveaways and Contests
What Are the Instagram’s Rules for Contests and Giveaways?
Instagram makes it simple and rather easy to create, run and manage giveaways, contests, and special offers in comparison to other popular social platforms terms, conditions, and regulations that not only limit entry requirements and conditions, but sometimes even prohibit giveaways.
One of the most important rules for Instagram contests, that all users must comply to and many people actually aren’t even aware of is that you must include a statement of release for all Instagram contests.
The following statement is required to be included on all contest, giveaways, and offer posts and stories shared on your Instagram:
Instagram Statement of Release
You are required to insert the Statement of Release at the end of your Instagram caption of the Giveaway or Contest post/story.
Giveaway Advice for Novices: If you plan to have giveaways often, consider having the statement of release text readily available to easily add to future contest and giveaway posts.
Instagram terms and conditions require any Instagram user or business to run any Giveaway or contest legally, ensuring that you do not violate any federal, state, or other laws applicable to your area. Additionally, Instagram requires you to include promotional guidelines / official contest rules and terms of eligibility.
You are not able to tag anyone in a giveaway post or story that is not appearing in the post and no one else can be asked to tag someone not appearing. Users are able to mention and tag other users in the comments of a Giveaway post but not in the actual contest post.
Should you have a legal notice on your app or website regarding contest rules and details, you can also link to and disclose said information in the caption of your Instagram Contest post. For a perhaps more recently updated list of the terms for Instagram contests, or visit their help center directly.
Now that you become aware and understand the requirements and rules for running a contest, giveaway or sweepstakes on Instagram; here are the steps to take to create a giveaway post on Instagram.
#2) What is the Goal of Your Instagram Giveaway / Contest?
The first initial step when creating an Instagram giveaway or contest is to define your goals or plan your strategies. Instagram Contests can have many positive outcomes both internally and externally for your business if you know what to analyze and what is of value:
- Increase Engagement and Sales.
- Grow your Audience and Following.
- Generate leads, sign-ups, or potential customers.
- Produce more unique content via audience submitted user-generated content.
In most scenarios, Instagram contests are a pretty good way to grow your audience and increase sales or social following. Many people ‘tag’ their friends or influencers to their giveaways so that other users can easily share the Contest with their audience; be sure to follow Instagram Contest Rules and Guidelines when tagging, respectively. Your follower count can grow exponentially if your friends start tagging their friends, and so on.
Instagram giveaway contests can be a great way to increase interest for new products or services by gauging participation. User generated content submissions for giveaways can also be a great way to obtain good content to then use as marketing material in future marketing strategies or promotions, etc.
Instagram contests can boost and scale your story and post engagement, resulting in many benefits increasing the ranking of different tags, terms, and search queries from potential users. Hashtags and Hashtag searches can also be very beneficial for users finding your Contest/Giveaway. Having your contest bumped up user feeds and promoted among users like a grassroots movement can be the best organic way to scale an audience and sales quickly with little to no marketing budget.
#3) Creating a Plan for a Instagram Contest
After you have a solid goal in mind for your Giveaway, it’s time to create a plan for your Instagram Contest.
Incentive Participation by Offering a Unique, Special, and Relevant Prize to your Users.
Your audience is unique; they follow you because of what you offer or shared interests. When selecting a prize for your Giveaway, make sure the contest prize is relevant to your brand, business, or users. You want quality, primary targeted users to engage and participate in your giveaway; therefore, you want to select, promote and offer a contest prize that your users would expect to love from your business! You will also want to evaluate the value or price of the prize to make sure it’s enough to make users inclined to participate and want to win. The more valuable the giveaway reward prize is, the more potential participation and growth you may see returned on your investment of the Instagram contest being offered.
Limit the Participation or Reward/Prizes
Make sure you know and your users/audience knows the limits of prizes being offered in the contest or giveaway. Just like rules and guidelines that you want participants to follow; you should disclose how many winners or recipients will be rewarded at the end of the contest results.
This will help educate your audience and reduce liability from confused participants. The easier it is to understand the contest, the less issues you will face when answering questions or concerns.
How Will Users Enter the Contest
How users will participate and engage in the giveaway needs to be defined and educated to your audience so that you can receive as many entries as possible. Additionally, you don’t want participants to be stressed out and confused when participating.
Some of the following actions are common when requiring conditions around Instagram Contests:
- Follow and /or Subscribe
- Like the post / image
- @mention one or more other users
- Share / Re-post
- Follow other Social Channels
- Direct Message
- Go to Website / Sign-up
- Submit User Generated Content
- Submit and Post Feedback / Review
Entry requirements for Instagram Contests can be one or any combination of these criteria above.
The most important aspect of a Giveaway is to make it easy and enticing for users to participate (How to win a Instagram Giveaway), recommend to others and stay engaged. You should also remember to have limitation requirements disclosed so that users can only apply once to a given contest, or limit winners or participation of family members, etc.
One great way to gain content and exposure is to have users submit UGC for giveaway conditions so that you can entice creativity and encourage others to engage, share, promote, and participate in your contest.
Define the Giveaway Rules and Conditions
You will need to clearly lay out guidelines, rules and conditions to participants so they know who can participate and who cannot. This may or may not include limitations such as, requiring to be a certain age or geographical resident, and so on.
You may also want to run the Giveaway like an auction where you will have a Start Date, and an End Date so that users know when the Contest begins and when it Ends. With respective information regarding the Giveaway rules, applicants can apply easily.
You may have to set conditions of your contest in line with how much actions are required by users to participate in your giveaway/contest and time/effort involved so that users can easily be involved/qualify.
Use a Contest or Company Specific #Hashtag
Your Giveaway #hashtag is very important on Instagram for promoting your contest or even in organizing the entries of the contest if requiring user generated content as a requirement; as well as tracking the success and analytics of the Instagram Giveaway.
The campaign hashtag should be exclusive to not only your company, but the specific Contest being ran so that no one else is using it and there is no conflicting content to decipher amongst.
Hashtags for Contests can be anything, as long as it is easy for the user to type and remember. For example from @dunkindonuts, They were using #DDLoveContest hashtag to encouraging their audience to post content using that hashtag.
Determine How to Select and Notify the Winner
In order to make the Contest fair, you need to plan how Winners will be selected/chosen and notified. This should be disclosed ahead of time to your audience so that participants can understand the full rules and conditions of the Contest.
- Will you select a winner at random?
- Will judges be needed?
- Will you Winners be messaged on Instagram?
- Will Winners be emailed?
- Will there be multiple winners?
- Will you disclose who the winners are publically?
Once you’ve notified the winners, you can choose to announce them public-ally on your Instagram feed. It’s a usually a good idea to disclose whether winners will be announced, or ask for permission to announce their name or Handle so that they are not feeling doxxed by being involved or selected as the Winner.
#4) Launch & Promote The Instagram Giveaway
For every Giveaway or Instagram Contest, you can advertise and communicate through an image instead of just text so that users can realize it is not just another post and an actual Contest. Many users keep scrolling past Instagram posts, images and Stories, and need some call to action to stop and engage/participate/share.
Find or Create an Image that represents your business and/or Giveaway. Remember to include in your post caption, to include the terms of entry and legal disclaimers of the contest/giveaway.
You will then need to decide on how and where to market or promote your Giveaway to attract a larger audience to your Instagram giveaway. Maybe decide on posting across all your social channels to increase your reach. Use analytics and determine best times of the day to post, target certain geography’s that the contest may be restricted to, or certain demographics that are your target audience to optimize the users that are more relevant and prone to participate and enter your Instagram contest.
Don’t expect massive results or for your contest to go viral overnight; scaling a contest and getting a large audience to participate can not only be difficult for the largest brands, but costly as well, like any promotion. Don’t get discouraged if you only receive a few or lack of entries. Many things may make your users hesitant to apply or participate, and trust and safety can eventually be established by running many Giveaways over time. Repetition and consistency will build momentum and help users trust your Business and Contests.
#5) Analyze the Results of Instagram Contests
If you want to consistently offer better Contests and deliver better performance/results, then you will want to track the results of your contests to measure the participation and engagement, which can include increase in followers/subscriptions, clicks to your landing page/product, or user generated content submissions or hashtag volume. Figure out how your results compared to your goals for each contest or giveaway and optimize your next contest to enhance your offer.
Make sure that when your giveaway is over, that you update the Instagram Contest post and update that the contest is now “Closed” so that you do not continue to get entries or messages regarding past closed giveaways.
How Instagram Contests Can Grow Your Business
Instagram (Facebook) is undoubtedly the number one social networking site on the net with over a billion users. The most popular shared content item on Facebook is photos. It therefore comes as no surprise that one of the most rapidly growing social media platforms is the image-driven, Instagram with in excess of 150 million users.
Instagram Giveaways can offer your brand 25% more engagement than any other social media platform. Perhaps the most important element of Instagram’s success is the fact that it facilitates and streamlines the sharing of images. It’s this that makes Instagram a useful e-commerce tool.
Here are some ways that you can use Instagram to drive your e-business forward.
Motivate Fans to Participate Through Instagram Giveaways
If you are still building your brand, Instagram is a great way to incentivize it. Encourage your customers to show how great they think your products are by sharing their purchases. Create a specific hashtag for your brand and promote it within your business community. Include a call-to-action on your product packaging asking your customers to share their photos on Instagram.
Keep your hashtag simple and memorable. Select a suitable theme for your products to encourage customers to share their photos in fun ways. Remember to geotag your product images so that potential customers can find you.
Showcase your Products or Services
Include in-use photos of your products in your Instagram gallery. This helps customers see just how good your stuff looks or how it works. You can also use Instagram to promote any in-store events you have planned.
Link Product Pages Directly to Giveaways and Contests
Placing links from your Instagram photos directly to your product pages makes it easy for customers to find their favorite products on your site. This is a great way for your fans to interact with your brand, and also enables you to keep track of which photos are driving maximum traffic and converting to sales.
Keep Re-posting Shares to Maintain a Prolonged Life of the Content
Instagram posts generally have a pretty short life cycle and are quickly replaced on the customer’s feed by new ones. By including Instagram photos of your products on your website and re-posting them on Facebook and Twitter, you can prolong the life of your image content.
Make your Customers Feel Special with Giveaways, Contests and Sweepstakes
You can increase your conversion rate by 30% simply by replacing photos posed by models with pictures of real customers using your products. This strategy builds confidence in potential customers and also shows that your products are desired by others at that particular point in time which can overcome uncertainty and push prospects further towards making a purchase.
Make your customers feel special and valued by sharing special deals on Instagram, customizing your links, and posting photos of new products that have yet to be launched. People love to have a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse of your business. This helps to build transparency and gives customers a sense that they are sharing in the development and growth of your brand.
Tips and Giveaway Ideas for a Successful Instagram Contest
A successful Instagram presence requires several conditions to be fulfilled. First of all, you have to have an organized and well-arranged brand. After that, you have to make sure that at every single moment you can offer your visitors a substantial amount of giveaways and contests to engage with. Finally, a reliable business owner or an employee in charge of that should react promptly to partnership or business-related inquiries on the social platforms. In addition to these three preconditions for a successful social Instagram giveaway presence, every business should be presented in a neat graphical way, to inform the audience and visitors why they should participate with the Giveaway.
Abundance of Contests and Giveaways
Depending on your cup of tea, i.e. what you do for a living, you have to have as many freebies as you can to make certain that there will be enough promotional material for the visitors who participate in your Contests. While you cannot give every single person who participates a Giveaway or prize, you have to train your staff members running the contest that they estimate whether the person they are talking to has complied with the rules and conditions of the Giveaway to win.
Perhaps it is a smart idea to offer many contests and giveaways often to keep your audience engaged and interested. And then, some more expensive freebies or sponsored material, can then be used in Instagram Giveaways for what you may hope would later become a potential client, or customer.
In addition to such a give-away strategy, organizing a raffle or a contest is a nice business-promoting technique. You can ask people who would like to take part in that contest if they would also like to fulfill some simple forms. Now comes the most important part – one question in the form should be “Do you want to receive our newsletters”? Attracted by the possibility of winning a present at your contest, many of them will accept. The more people agree to get your promotional mails from you, the bigger the possibility that some of them will become your clients or associates.
All these features that should serve as a magnet for attracting more customers must function in a parallel way. Only an all-round approach that utilizes several strategies and methods directed towards the same goal will make your Instagram Giveaways being financially justified.
The Strengths of Giveaways for eCommerce
One powerful tool for eCommerce marketing is the free product. Contests, giveaways, sweepstakes and time-limited coupons are all great ways to give a taste of your product or service to interested customers. It entices them to engage with your brand on social media and your website. It’s an opportunity for you to harvest data about your interested demographics. It’s also fairly cheap, depending on what you’re giving away as a prize. What do you have to consider when you’re setting up a contest?
Plan Ahead of the Contest Launch
The best, most effective contest is one with plenty of thought put into it; so much thought, in fact, that from a customer perspective it looks effortless. Customers don’t want to hear how much trouble you might have acquiring a prize, or judging entries, or coming up with a contest. They want a simple flow from point A: what they have to do, to point B: what they get.
First, you need to decide what you’re giving away. What is your target audience interested in? If they like music and eclectic styles, concert tickets might be a great prize. If they prefer tangible items, new computer hardware is always in demand. If you don’t have much to offer, you can always offer coupons for free goods or services through your business.
Second, you need to decide what you want to get out of your contest. It’s not enough to say you want more attention, more followers and more subscribers in general. Specify what you want, so you can make it a required part of submitting an entry to your contest.
Do they need to follow you on Twitter?
Should they register for your mailing list?
Do they need to refer a friend?
The point is to require something from entrants that benefits you in terms of marketing and SEO.
Third, you need to decide how you’re judging entries. On the simplest level, with nothing more than a registration for a drawing, you don’t need to judge. For creative entries, from photographs to multimedia, you’ll need to judge them in a timely manner. No one likes the delay caused by a flood of unexpected entries. Prepare for more than you expect to receive.
Build the Contest Framework
Once you’ve decided on your contest, it’s time to build the framework. There are several existing Giveaway guidelines, including some that work through Facebook, designed for you to build a contest from a basic framework. These are generally preferred over an in-house solution, because you can assure your customers of the security and reliability of the platform.
Promote your Instagram Contest / Giveaway
Most contests run for around 30 days. The larger the prize, the longer you want it to run, within limits. If the deadline is too far away, customers will decide it isn’t worth it to enter due to the high probability of a large number of entries killing their chances. If you’re requiring complex media submissions, give it more time. You can also run short week long contests for simple prizes.
Promote your contest just as you would promote a blog post. Share it on social media regularly. If your contest is for a big-ticket item, consider paid advertising on other sites. Create media advertising with flashy images and videos. All of these ideas, and more, are perfectly valid for promoting a contest.
You can also pay for a place on some of the popular contest aggregate sites. These sites are dedicated to informing people of various free contests and sweepstakes, their entry requirements and their prizes. This is one avenue you can use to bring in customers who are otherwise completely unrelated to your marketing or your brand. If you have the funds, you can even pay for guest blogs to help promote your cause.
A successful contest is a brilliant marketing opportunity and a chance to create a lifelong customer out of your winners. Plan, design, build and promote your contest properly and your eCommerce site will soar.