Rewards Fuel's Contesting Blog

5 Easy Steps For Creating a Successful Instagram Contest

An Instagram contest is a great way to boost to your social media marketing.

One contest can generate the same engagement and increase in followers as hundreds of pieces of content, saving you hours of work and energy. The result is new followers and getting your brand to reach more people than you normally would have been able to, with benefits far outweighing the resources used.

Let’s get started!

1. Choose your Contest’s Prize and Entry Method(s)

The prize is the most important part of your contest. It’s what gets people interested to enter.

Make the prize something to compliment your business, such as a gift card for your product or service. Giving away a specific product or service will only gather entries from people interested in that particular item. With a gift card, you will attract entries by everyone who’s interested in your business and convert them into future customers.

Next, decide how you want people to enter your contest. Do they need join your mailing list? Follow you on Twitter? Or just follow you on Instagram? Don’t be afraid to combine complimentary entries. It’s just as easy to say yes to one as it is to two or three!

Here are three entry methods to consider:

  1. “Like to win”: This is the simplest entry method, with the lowest barrier to entry. All a user needs to do to enter is to “Like” one of your photos on Instagram. This will drive a ton of entries and Likes on your photo. It will not, however, give you any emails or contact information of the people who entered.
  2. “Enter to Win”: This requires a user to submit a photo from Instagram to be entered into the contest. For this type of entry method you can include voting to have the winner be chosen by total number of votes.
  3. “Follow to win” This entry requirement can be used alone or in combination with other entry methods. It requires a user to follow your Instagram account if they are to be eligible for the prize. While it will reach your immediate social media marketing audience, it will not give you any contact or email information. To increase your reach and build a stronger fan base, you should compliment this entry requirement with another entry method.
    Complimentary entry requirements:
  • “Share to win” Get your entrants to expand the reach of your contest by encouraging them to share it on their social accounts with their friends. This entry will put your contest and your brand in front of new followers with similar interests.
  • “Sign up to win” Use this to gain a long-term customer base, with more than a simple follow, by collecting emails for your newsletter.

2. Build your Landing Page

The contest entry page should be simple and enticing. It should get people excited about the contest and prize, and it should be easy to enter.

There are two different ways to create the contest page. If you’re running your contest within Instagram, then your contest page will just be an Instagram photo. If you run it off-Instagram – for example, in a tab on your Facebook Page or website – using the Rewards Fuel Contest App, you have more freedom to create a full contest page. Here are the three elements of an Instagram contest page:

  • Eye-catching Title: It’s all about conversions and generating interest. The title has to be short and in a call-to-action format.“Enter to Win a $100 Gift Card from Florid Belts!”This is simple, descriptive and gets the interest of whoever reads it.
  • Prize Photo: An image of your prize is a great way to entice people to enter to win it. If you’re giving away a gift card (recommended), include an image with the gift card value in text and a product that people can buy with it.
  • Information on the contest: Include a short paragraph with info about the prize, how to enter and any rules or restrictions for your contest.

3. Promote & Share your Contest

With your contest created, it’s time to put it out there. There will be organic reach from entrants sharing with friends, but you may want a few promotional boosts in the beginning to create the boost. Here are five methods to promote your contest:

  • Send an Email Blast: Email your customer email lists – they will be the most likely to enter and share with friends to advocate your contest. You don’t want to overdo it, but sending a follow-up reminder about the contest right before it is about to close is a great way to generate urgency.
  • Promote your Contest on Social Networks: Share on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and anywhere else you have a social presence. This is a great way to introduce users from other networks to your Instagram and get possible new eyes on your brand.
  • Add an Image on your Website: If you’re an online business, you may be getting the most traffic to your website, not your social accounts. Take advantage of this traffic by including an image on your homepage that links to your contest entry page.
  • Create a Facebook Ad: This is a great way to reach new customers outside of your current community. These ads can be targeted to reach different demographics.
  • List your Contest on Popular Contesting Websites: There are a ton of contesting websites that allow for free submissions. These are a great way to get access to new communities of customers. Check out our list of 20 websites to post your contest.
  • PPC: This requires an investment on your part, but can be targeted to increase your reach. Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, Google Adwords are among the top platforms to try out. This step would be getting your brand before a community of customers that would diversify your audience.

4. Monitor your contest

Depending on your contest objectives, you may be interested in tracking submissions, photos created or new followers. Here are three methods to monitor metrics of your Instagram contest:

  • Hashtags: One requirement you can make is for every photo submission to include a specific hashtag, unique to you. If you do this you can easily track how many photos are being shared on Instagram that have your contest hashtag.
  • Google Alerts: Set up Google Alerts to monitor mentions of your contest across the entire web.
  • Reward Fuel Statistics Dashboard: You can track your Instagram entrants here, plus we’ve integrated our system to work directly with Google Analytics to provide you with real-time information about your giveaway.

5. Post-Contest Email Follow-up & Promotion

Even after your contest is over, you can use it to promote your Facebook Page further. Here are a few suggestions on how to leverage your contest and keep your entrants engaged with your business:

  • Showcase winning photos on your Instagram account and other social channels.
  • Send a follow-up email to contest entrants to convert them into customers.
  • Post teasers for future contests on Instagram to keep your followers hooked.

All of these activities keep the momentum going and will prepare followers for future contests on your Instagram account.

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