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Complete Guide For An Instagram Photo Contest For Your Business

Feb 26, 2016 12:06:00 PM

Complete Guide For An Instagram Photo Contest For Your Business

You're using Instagram for your business and you want more people to engage with your brand, right?  It's time to run an Instagram photo contest.  So here is your Complete Guide For An Instagram Photo Contest For Your Business. This is how you can promote your product or brand while still having fun!

First steps...

  1. Plan out your contest goals.
  2. Decide on the type of photo contest you want to run.
  3. Write and post your contest rules.
  4. Choose a prize or incentive.

Plan out your contest goals

This is just like any other marketing campaign and you need to have end goals in mind for your contest so you can track your ROI. The more specific you can make these goals the better.  Take note of your Instagram metrics before and after the contest to measure results. Make sure your campaign stays true to your brand and target market.  Lastly, make your budget and stick to it.

Decide on the Type of Photo Contest You Want 

  1. Like to Win
  2. Tag to Win
  3. Comment to Win
  4. Re-post to WinComplete Guide For An Instagram Photo Contest For Your Business

These options are great for getting a contest up and running quickly because they require nothing more to set up than an image and some text explaining how to enter.  The con to this type of contest is they rarely generate any lasting effects beyond the initial spike in engagement.  A better option is a hashtag-driven contest.

    5. Hashtag-Driven Content Contests

Hashtags are highly important on Instagram. By asking users to share a video or photo tagged with a unique hashtag for your contest you make a community for your entrants and everyone who enters can see the other photos directly on their mobile Instagram search.

Double check the usage of your campaign tag. If it’s a common one, choose to use something different and unique to your campaign. TJ Maxx has a good example that is true to their brand and unique.

Complete Guide For An Instagram Photo Contest For Your Business

There are many benefits to this kind of contest, and one of the biggest is that everyone who participates is also advertising the hashtag, as well as the brand, to their followers. This means that every entry is essentially a piece of advertising. 

The big downside to this approach is that it can create a relatively high barrier to entry depending on the contest guidelines. 

Write Your Contest Rules

The only rules businesses have to abide by on Instagram are: 1.) acknowledge (usually in the giveaway post’s caption copy) that the business’s promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram,  and 2.) not inaccurately tag content or encourage users to inaccurately tag content.

Your business can make their rules as structured or as relaxed as you like but I suggest a multi-step entry approach so you are gaining followers and data (i.e. use the hashtag).

Host your rules on a Campaign:

You can create an entirely new page on your website devoted to hosting contest rules, but an even better option is to create a landing page for your Instagram contest, which can host your contest’s rules and entries using a tool like HubSpot.

A major benefit to hosting your Instagram contest as a Campaign is that it allows you to collect important data, like email addresses, so you can connect with your Instagram contest entrants after your promotion ends thus helping you nurture your sales leads. Hello, "Smarketing"! 

Another benefit is you can simply announce your Instagram contest using CTA (call-to-action) such as, “Click the link in our bio to enter to win!”  Just make sure you update your Instagram’s bio section to include your Campaign’s URL.

Choose An Instagram Prize Or Incentive

The prize is the most important part of a contest for you consumer.  It needs to be related to your brand and be wonderful enough to spur them to take action.  Next, post a cool image of your prize.  You can either get or make this image.  Here is a great example below from Cooking Light.

Complete Guide For An Instagram Photo Contest For Your Business

Next Steps:

  1. Promote
  2. Monitor
  3. Follow-up
  4. Repeat

Promote Your Contest

Use email, social platforms, blog articles, social advertising, and your newsletter to promote your contest.  You can even ask to guest blog about your upcoming contest to increase the drive to your Instagram feed.

Monitor Your Contest

Monitor your contest to keep up with results through Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, or Twitter Analytics.  Third party software monitoring is also a great all-in-one spot such as Hubspot's Social Monitoring Application.

Follow-Up On the Results

Choose your winner and notify them.  Then post your winner's picture on Instagram so everyone can see the results.  From there go to your other social media platforms and post the results.  This will stir up more interest in your brand and future contests.  Lastly, post the winner's photo on your website and email all the participants the results.

Repeat The Process

You want to train your Instagram followers to keep up with your business so keep up the momentum generated by this contest and do another!

Well there you have it, now it's your turn to give it a try.  The great thing about Instagram is that it allows you to get creative so step out of your box and get a little wacky with your creative streak. 

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