July 28, 2017

Instagram Competitions for Dummies

With an average of 95 million photos and videos being shared per day, Instagram has become one of the most influential and innovative social media platforms of our generation.

Yes, turns out Gen Y is good for something. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that major brands all around the world have jumped onboard and taken advantage of this huge customer base just waiting to be tapped into…and with so much competition, they’ll need to stand out! Instagram contests are the key to unlocking an ever-growing online audience who are always on the lookout for either an opportunity to go viral, some exciting inspiration, or, quite simply, a chance win cool free stuff. So, to make your life easier, I’ve whipped up a simple How-To manual with everything you need to think about when it comes to running Instagram competitions in the most efficient way #yourewelcome. It’s short and sweet, so let’s get started! 

Research, research, research

When it comes to putting pen to paper in the primary brainstorming stages, checking in on your brand’s competitors is always a great place to start. Conducting this initial research will bring all of their pitfalls to light and will ensure you have the upper hand when it comes to communicating a unique idea to your boss or client. The worst thing you could do is begin planning your contest, commit to an idea and roll it out, only to discover that your main competitor held a similar competition 2 months earlier. Shock, horror…your genius idea is not so genius after all. Get thinking about collaborations, overarching themes and of course double check that hashtag history – you want yours to be competition specific, catchy and memorable.  

Don’t mess around, focus on your objectives

Setting clear objectives for your Instagram competitions is the most important stage you need to ace when planning. • Are you aiming to drive traffic to your website in order to increase your conversion rates and sales? • Would you like to gain more followers on your Instagram account and develop your user’s lifetime value and loyalty? • Are you setting out to boost your brand’s awareness by means of monitoring user engagement and conversation? • Would you like to beef up your email database because your click rates aren’t as high as they used to be? The objectives are endless and so, should always be tailored to your brand; by setting multiple yet specific goals for your Instagram competitions you’ll ensure that you have a clear target to achieve and point to measure when it all wraps up.

Decide on a format – Competition Styles

Like to Win:
This is what the guys in the biz call a ‘low barrier’ entry. This type of competition is almost a surefire way to increase your reach and, of course, boost those likes on your competition post. Although, it’s not always a good idea; because it’s quite easy to enter, you’re not always guaranteed a loyal, invested customer base in the end.
Upload your photo and tag us:
Everyone likes showing off their photography skills, after all, that’s why we have Instagram! Asking followers to upload, tag your brand and use the assigned competition hashtag allows you track engagement and help extend your reach to user’s friend’s feeds. Get ready to man the flood gates because a whole lot of user-generated content is coming your way.
Comment to win:
Do you want to kill two birds with one stone? Why not run Instagram competitions that reward users while also gaining some insight into what they want from your brand! #smart. The options are infinite with this type of question/answer contest; you could enquire about their favourite product from your new line, why not ask them how they’ll spend the prize money, or maybe you’re interested in their dream holiday? Either way, get creative!

Always keep your brand top of mind

Finally, please please please always stay on brand! Make it a force of habit to regularly check over the plans for your contest and confirm that you haven’t strayed too far from what your brand is all about. It’s important to also keep in mind who your target audience is and what they want to see on Instagram – mimic this and you’ll receive user-generated content in return that will be in line with your brand and perfect for future use.  
Now that you’ve got a basic idea of the exciting creative process involved in setting up your competition, let’s not forget about the boring stuff. • Terms and Conditions • Budget • Timelines and CPC (cost per click) Hmm let’s leave that for another day. I’m tired now. But, if you’re in need of some more hot tips, drop me a line!