How to Run an Instagram Contest for Rapid Marketing Outcomes

How to Run an Instagram Contest for Rapid Marketing Outcomes

Published on 9th of April 2024

The success of Instagram marketing depends on the number of followers of the specific account. These followers influence how many sales you record and indicate the reach your brand has.

So, an increase in the number of your followers would translate into more sales and marketing outcomes.

Well, one of the best methods to boost your following is to run contests and giveaways. Research by Tailwind showed that accounts that ran contests had a 70% increase in their follower base.

People like free stuff, which is why Instagram giveaways are still effective to this very day. It boosts your following and engagement and increases your overall visibility.

If you've ever wanted to run a contest but didn't know how to go about it, this post will show you how to go about it—one step at a time:

Instagram rules on contests

The first thing you need to know is the regulations Instagram has put in place. Abiding by these rules will prevent your account from being banned, so you can run your contest smoothly.

You can check out Instagram’s terms of use and community guidelines, but below is a summary:

  • Don't tag inaccurately and unnecessarily on your giveaway photos.
  • Instagram has no connection to your contest and offers no form of assistance.
  • The contest is run entirely at your risk.
  • You should add to the caption that the contest is not in any way supported by Instagram.
  • You're solely responsible for the lawful operation of the contest.

Running an Instagram contest for your brand’s marketing

  1. 1. Know your goals

    Decide on what you plan to achieve with your contest. Depending on your business objectives and target audience, decide if you want to increase…

    • your followers
    • engagement level
    • brand awareness and visibility
    • traffic to a product/service (i.e., a site, a landing page, an email list, etc.)
  2. 2. Define the entry method

    Choose how you want people to participate in the contest. It's better to choose an entry that isn't stressful for participants.

    There are different methods but the most popular ones are to enter the contest...

    • Like this post
    • Follow this account
    • Tag a friend in the comment section and get them to like and follow

    Then choose the length of the contest, the theme, the hashtags, and how you intend to select and contact the winner.

  3. 3. Choose the prize you want to give out

    Select a prize that is catchy and engaging, so your audience can give you more awareness. A classic example is giving away a gift card or free product.

  4. 4. Run the contest

    After announcing it, use the following steps to increase reach and success.

    • Instagram doesn't allow clickable links in the captions or comment section. The only place you can do this is your bio.

      So throughout the contest, place a link in there that contains the contest procedure alongside terms and conditions. You can also share this link in your stories and reels.

    • Always post the contest on your stories till it ends

      This is a great way to keep your followers updated during the contest. You can announce the commencement and the prizes and give regular reminders. You can also post the winner of the giveaway.

    • Promote on other social media platforms like Facebook

      Use other social networks to gain more entries by making a post that contains the pictures of the prize, the contest hashtags, and the link to join.

      A quick way to do this is to synchronize your Instagram with Facebook. You can also share on Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube—even by email.

    • Use Instagram and Facebook ads to increase participants

      These ads allow you to reach a wider audience. With Facebook acquiring Instagram, you can place one ad that runs on both platforms simultaneously. Or you can place individual ads on each one while going organic on other platforms.

    • If you have a physical store, let walk-in customers know a contest is on

      You would gain more entries and also make your existing customers feel appreciated. It's a win-win situation. You can also advertise on your site if you have an online store.

    • Get friends and mutuals to post on their walls and pages

      Asides from your friends, you can make reposting the contest a criterion for participants to enter. This gives you a more voluminous influence.

  5. 5. Manage and end the contest

    Before starting the contest, assign someone to monitor the comments, questions, and every other form of engagement on the posts. The person should also secure a smooth running.

    When it finally ends, notify the winner via DM, telling them they've won before you announce it on your Instagram page.

  6. 6. Analyze the results

    Check the level of engagement received and determine the impact the contest had. Look for possible errors and how to improve upon future contests.

Must-do things after the contest

Now you should have new followers and more engagement. However, not all of these users would automatically become customers.

There are 3 things you should do to turn this new audience into loyal patrons:

  • 1. Make a post or send an email

    Send a thank-you email or put up a post that says thank you to all who participated. Let them know they’re important to you and not just a number. You can also give a little discount if possible.

  • 2. Promote your services and products

    Now that you have new followers, you need to show them what you do. You can employ user-generated content to do this.

    Put a couple of pictures together, just make sure they contain information about your products and show people using them. Upload top-quality visuals only.

  • 3. Engage your followers

    You must create a balance between selling to them and engaging/entertaining them. One cannot do without the other. You need to let your followers feel they are part of your community.

    A simple way to engage is to answer their queries. You can also ask questions or run a did-you-know post. Accept feedback on your products whether good or bad.

    Followers, both new and old, will understand that you value their opinions and care about their feelings.


Instagram contests are pretty straightforward.

By following the guidelines above, you can run a successful contest that would lead to more followers and sales.

This will increase your marketing outcome in general.

Article by Blastup

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