How to Run an Instagram Contest in 5 Steps

With 400 million monthly active users and more than 80 million posts per day, Instagram continues to grow and establish itself as the chosen platform for brands to expand their reach and engage with new audiences. Especially for small businesses. To run an effective Instagram competition takes serious consideration. However, it doesn’t need to be difficult if you take the time to plan your strategy to help optimise end results.  Understanding that the only goal of a competition isn’t to increase your numbers, but rather to build awareness of your brand.


Before diving into the 5 steps to running a successful Instagram competition, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with Instagram’s promotional guidelines.


  1. Set Goals

Before you begin to think about what the competition should be or what the prizes are, think about your end goal. What do you really want to gain out of this?

Some of these might include:

  • Increasing Instagram Followers
  • Increasing engagement
  • Driving sales to a specific product
  • Generating brand awareness
  • Engagement around a #hashtag


  1. Type of Competition

There are many different competitions you could run, think about what type of competition would best achieve your end goal. These might include:


Like and Comment

  • This generally requires users to like your post and comment or tag a friend to be eligible to enter.


  • Photo competitions are a popular way to increase user generated content. This takes a little more effort, it asks users to create an image that fits the brief of the competition and post it under a specific #hashtag. The best photo will win the competition!


  • A repost competition works similarly to a photo competition but instead, users re-post images that you have created specifically for the competition. It will give brands the ability to control the messaging and brief.


  1. Choose a Prize

Choosing a prize for your competition will determine its success. Remember, it’s important to consider your target audience, budget constraints and the priority of reaching your competition goals. When you ask an audience to participate in a competition, the prize must outweigh the effort to enter the contest, otherwise there will be no participants.


For example, brands such as Daniel Wellington have great value in their watches and giving away 1 x DW Brown Leather Strap Watch is a considerable prize.


  1. Terms & Conditions

Establish ground rules. When you’re preparing the caption for your Instagram competition, remember to adhere to the legal guidelines. Here’s a list of things you might want to include in your caption:


  • The name of your contest
  • Develop a #hashtag
  • Describing the contest
  • The rules of who can enter
  • How to enter
  • How a winner is chosen
  • The date the winner will be chosen/announced/informed
  • The time period the winner has to respond to collect their prize
  • Details about the prize


  1. Promote

What’s the point of creating a great Instagram competition if nobody sees it? Right? Remember to spend just as much time into promoting it to gain as much exposure as possible.


Now that you know everything it takes to run a successful Instagram competition, it’s time to create your own! Or better yet, if you feel like you need a helping hand, let us take care of it. Contact us today for your initial consultation.



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