6 Instagram Contest Ideas For Your Next Giveaway

Instagram has a massive user base of over 1 billion, of which 90% follow at least one business account. 

Besides, the platform offers advanced features and advertising capabilities that can help generate brand awareness, attract target audiences, and drive high engagement, making it a powerful marketing tool.

A recent survey reveals Instagram is the “#1 platform” for building brand relationships.

However, with over 2 million brands leveraging this platform for marketing, it’s challenging to stand out from the crowd.

In such instances, running Instagram giveaway contests can prove effective. They can help brands boost their reach and engagement while promoting their products and services.

In this post, we’ll explore six compelling Instagram contest ideas to help you host giveaways like a pro. 

First, let’s understand the concept of Instagram giveaways. 

Table of Contents

What is an Instagram giveaway? 

An Instagram giveaway is a promotional campaign that helps brands and creators boost their engagement, following, reach, and more on the platform. 

They encourage the audience to complete specific actions to earn rewards. For instance, brands ask users to follow their accounts, share compelling content, and more within a timeframe. The best performer gets the prize! (monetary or non-monetary).

Hosting an Instagram giveaway can help brands –

  • Multiply followers and engagement: Incentivize the audience to engage with your content. This can help grow your brand’s following and social engagement (in the form of comments, likes, and shares).
  • Strengthen omnichannel marketing strategy: The contests drive traffic to multiple channels, including social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms), email newsletters, and websites. For instance, you can encourage the audience to submit forms, reshare blog posts, and more across these channels, thus strengthening your omnichannel marketing strategy.
  • Collect user-generated (UGC) content: Encourage participants to create content relevant to the brand. This can build a library of UGC assets and accelerate your marketing efforts.
  • Drive sales: Motivate the audience to visit your website and buy a product to win the giveaway. This tactic can help accelerate sales without hassles. 
  • Build strong partnerships: Partner with niche influencers to reach a vast audience. This tactic can make the giveaway a massive success while building relationships.
  • Gather valuable insights and feedback: A giveaway is an effective tool to gain in-depth audience information. 

For instance, you can conduct product-specific surveys and ask the audience to share responses in comments. This helps collect valuable feedback and fosters a sense of connection with the audience.

How to run successful Instagram giveaways?

Here are a few crucial tips to ensure running successful Instagram giveaways.

  • Set your goal: Boost engagement, increase followers, or promote a specific product or service – What is your goal? Be specific!
  • Draft contest rules: Decide on the guidelines of the contest. Include parameters like participant eligibility and contest entry requirements and winner selection criteria. Ensure setting a deadline or an end date for the contest. This can create a sense of urgency and encourage more audiences to participate. 
  • Choose a compelling reward: Decide a prize relevant to your audience’s interest. For instance, it can be your product or service (non-monetary), cash prize, or a combination of both. 
  • Create eye-grabbing visuals for the announcement: Use high-quality graphics, including videos and images, to announce the contest. Mention the contest rules, prize, eligibility, and other crucial details to attract maximum entries. 
  • Promote the giveaway: Leverage your social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) for the contest promotion. Besides, you can partner with niche-specific influencers for promotion. 
  • Track the entries: Monitor all the entries to ensure that participants follow the guidelines.
  • Select a winner: Choose a winner based on the specified criteria. Notify them through direct messages or tagging on a winner announcement post.
  • Follow up: Ensure delivering the prize within the promised timeframe. Moreover, use this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in the contest. This can create a positive perception of your brand and encourage them to stay engaged.

Pro tip: Ensure you abide by Instagram’s guidelines for promotional giveaway contests. This can help maintain fairness and transparency, thus earning the audience’s trust.

Failure to do so can result in your brand’s account being permanently deactivated or penalized. 

Best Instagram contest ideas for your next giveaway

Now that you know the drill, let’s explore the best Instagram contest ideas for your next giveaway.

1. Encourage the followers to like, comment, share, and tag their friends

This is a low-effort, high-impact tactic to boost audience engagement. 

Brands only have to encourage the audience to complete basic actions like:

  • Hit the “Like” button: This activity can improve your brand visibility and engagement. 
  • Drop a comment: This encourages brand conversations, allowing you to build a community of loyal audiences.
  • Share the post: This can multiply your brand awareness and engagement. 
  • Tag a specific number of friends: This can help you earn new followers that can ultimately turn into loyal customers. 

The best part? The entry process is hassle-free and hence can motivate more users to participate. 

Notice how @kazowoman, a fashion clothing brand (146K+ followers), leverages this tactic. Observe how they’ve created an enticing post. The post reveals the contest rules while highlighting their clothing collection. 

Notice how seamlessly they have positioned the rules and criteria to win. 

Follow their footsteps to increase your brand’s visibility, awareness, and engagement. 

Pro tip: Track the engagement rate of your Instagram profile. 

This can help you evaluate insights like people interacting with your posts via likes, comments, and shares. Besides, check the total impressions to identify whether the contest resonates with the target audience.

Count on Instagram analytics tools like Keyhole to streamline the analytics journey. The tool allows marketers to select a timeframe and check the engagement rate of specific posts. 

To check engagement, click on — Analytics > Overview > Engagement from the menu. Select a timeframe and post to perform the analysis. Leverage the insights to optimize your content’s performance for future giveaway contests.

The best part? Keyhole offers a free-of-cost trial version. This helps brands explore its features and functionalities before making a commitment.  

2. Ask them to strike a pose with your product

This is a fun and interactive way to generate user-generated content (UGC) for product promotion. 

Here’s what you need to do:

Invite participants to showcase your product in creative ways and snap amazing photographs. Shortlist unique and compelling pictures and choose the best entry as the winner. 

There are no hard and fast rules on winner selection. Choose multiple winners if you receive a plethora of eye-grabbing photographs. The choice is yours! 

Only ensure the winners agree on your brand reposting the pictures for marketing campaigns. Besides increasing brand awareness, this tactic can help build a library of UGC that you can repost as social proof to win audience trust. 

Notice how @shoegallery, a renowned sports apparel retailer (105K+ followers), uses this tactic. 

The brand encourages its customers to take a unique selfie with the sneaker artwork. The best entries stand a chance of winning the giveaway. 

3. Spark some creativity by asking for unique post captions

Encourage your audience to share captivating and unique captions for a specific post (image, video, Story, or Reel). 

This allows the audience to have fun while showcasing their creative side. On the other hand, it subtly fosters brand engagement and loyalty. 

What’s more? You can repurpose the captions for different marketing affairs, thus saving time and resources.

See how @trifecta, a nutrition food delivery provider (406K+ followers), harnesses the power of the caption contest. 

The brand asks its audience to share clever captions for the shared post. Guess what? The winner gets a free lifetime subscription to their exclusive app! 

No wonder, their average engagement rate is high. 

Pro tip: Increase engagement by letting your audience choose the winner. Ask them to like the best caption. The caption with the maximum number of likes wins!

4. Put forth a challenge to make a compelling Reel 

The Instagram algorithm prioritizes video content with maximum user engagement. The growing trend of Reels is proof of it. 

If you visit the “Explore” page on Instagram, you will see thousands of Reels floating around.

Tap into this trend by challenging your audience to create one! This can enhance your brand’s visibility within no time.

Check out how @rockymountaindogca, a dog gear supplier (24.1K+ followers), challenges its audience to make Reels with their pets. They have combined this tactic with the photo contest to multiply the benefits.  

Audiences comfortable taking pictures with their pets can send photographs. On the other hand, people who love the Reels format can make one with their paw friend for participation.

5. Inspire your audience to share their story with the campaign hashtag

Instagram allows audiences to search for content via hashtags. This makes hashtags an influential resource to turbocharge a brand’s marketing efforts.

Here’s how you can leverage hashtags for Instagram giveaway contests –

Create a campaign-specific, unique (branded) hashtag. Ensure it’s easy to read and relevant to your products and services. Take inspiration from the below-shared brands. 

  • #Oreochallenge by Oreo.
  • #Shareacoke by Coca-Cola.
  • #Likeagirl by Always.

So, ask the audience to share their experiences or stories with your brand. Ensure they use the branded hashtag in their post. 

Next, choose a winner with the most appealing story. By creating hashtags for giveaway contests, brands can –

  • Simplify the entry process for participants. They can add the hashtag to their posts for participation.  
  • Monitor the contest entries to measure the campaign’s effectiveness. If the content resonates with the audience, you will see high traffic toward the hashtag. It might also start trending.

Here’s an excellent example of a brand leveraging campaign hashtag contest. 

Observe how @eclectically_made, an interior decor magazine (80.6K+ followers), asks its audience to share interior designing ideas. The best entry gets to feature on their Instagram page every week.

Pro tip: Leverage hashtag tracking to track your campaign hashtag’s performance using Keyhole. The tool provides data-backed insights to help brands understand a hashtag’s effectiveness across social media channels. 

Asking brand trivia questions is a subtle but surefire tactic to educate the audience about your products and services. 

For instance, you can ask questions like –

  • When did we establish the company?
  • Who is our brand’s CEO? 
  • What is our brand’s slogan?

This helps the audience discover your brand’s history, ownership, and more. There are no strict restrictions, the brands can conduct different types of quizzes how they want. You can also put forth niche-related questions like –

  • Who invented the telephone? (smartphone company) 
  • When was the first car made? (car brand)
  • Who is known as the “father of electricity?” (electric wire company)

This can create excitement among the audience, thus inspiring them to participate.

Observe how @carnewsnetwork, a digital marketing agency in NY (306K+ followers), uses this tactic. The brand organizes such games — every week (trivia Tuesday) to keep the engagement intact.

Final words

Running Instagram giveaway contests is the most cost-effective way to promote your brand and services. When done right, it can help attract, engage, and build a community of loyal customers.

However, it is crucial to understand the platform’s regulations and plan it carefully. 

So, leverage the tips shared in this post to run your next giveaway seamlessly. 

Besides, deploying a social media analytics tool like Keyhole can help you gain data-driven insights and foster intelligent decisions. Trusted by 100,000+ agencies, global brands, and nonprofits, this tool can track crucial Instagram metrics and help boost your campaign’s effectiveness. 

So, revolutionize your social media strategy with Keyhole.

Author Bio

Steven Macdonald is a digital marketer based in Tallinn, Estonia. In the last ten years, he’s helped e-commerce and B2B SaaS brands generate more than $100 million in new revenue through SEO, content, and conversion optimization. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is an Instagram giveaway?

An Instagram giveaway is a promotional contest. It allows brands and content creators to encourage the target audience to engage with their content to win attractive rewards. The participants should abide by the rules and meet eligibility requirements.

2. How to run a successful Instagram giveaway?

Here are a few steps to ensure running a successful Instagram giveaway contest:
1. Define your giveaway contest goals
2. Create a guideline for participation
3. Choose a compelling reward
4. Create an engaging announcement post
5. Promote your giveaway
6. Track the participants’ entries
7. Decide and announce the winner
8. Follow up with participants

3. What should be the rules for Instagram giveaways?

Instagram giveaway contest rules should include participants’ eligibility details, prize details, deadline, and winner selection criteria.

4. How to promote an Instagram giveaway contest?

Leverage distinct social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and more. Besides, connect with niche-specific influencers for effective promotion.