With Instagram users growing by the day, businesses across both B2B and B2C industries are looking for ways to make the most out of its user base. From keeping up a consistent presence on the platform to running ad campaigns or trying to engage with users from their target market, marketers are trying almost every trick up their sleeve to nail their presence on this platform and reap the benefits of it.

Time and again today, marketers have been told of how important it is to keep your customers or target market engaged.

The reason being – there is too much competition in the digital industry. With almost every business trying to offer things to the same target audience, the attention span of a typical internet user is less than even two minutes.

And if you have acquired a customer or got the attention from the target market, it is important to strategize your marketing in such a way that you remain on top of their heads.

We’re not saying you go all out and spam them with emails or frequent social posts. We are saying look for ways to engage with them often and make it so worth their while, that they actually look forward to more such occasions.

Here’s taking one such instance into consideration – people love to win things; rather, people love getting things for free. Hence, there are a number of internet users who browse through a gazillion deals to either land the one that suits their budget, or somehow get a special discount on it.

Contests are one such event they actually look forward to – especially if the giveaway is something they have been looking for!

How to create a converting, high participated in Instagram contest?

1. Conduct a competitor analysis

The first and foremost step before you jump into creating a contest, is to look into the market data. See what your competitors and lookalikes have been doing to engage the target market as well as acquire customers. Take note of their strategies, the aspects that have worked for them and those that didn’t go too well.

This will give you a direction to work in, an inspiration or even the foundation for a better campaign than theirs.

2. Chalk out a detailed strategy

The very next step is to document your entire contest strategy. Right from the objective of the contest, how you want people to participate, the terms and conditions for winners, which metrics you are going to track, how you’re going to track them and of course, which segment of your target audience will you be tracking. And most importantly, how long are you going to be running the contest!

Instagram contest length


3. Decide on a contest theme

A marketer’s job is to get the business’s brand story out in the market to the right set of people. Since 90% of us are visual learners, Instagram is the best way to get your value proposition or brand message across to your target audience.

Taking the core of your business as a direction, shortlist the possible themes you could work around. Remember, these themes need to be attractive to your audience for them to participate – so go ahead and think a little outside the box as well! But remember, even while trying to keep things interesting, it should add to your business’s end goal.

4. Create a branded hashtag

The next step to a contest before it goes live, is to create a branded hashtag for your business. Instagram is all about hashtags and it is going to be difficult for you to monitor audience participation if they used common hashtags.

Create a unique hashtag for your contest that people can use while participating in it. This will help you see a stream of photos and pick the winner easily as well. But keep in mind, that the hashtag you create is relevant to the theme of the contest and is unique only to you. Another tip to keep in mind, is to make the hashtag as easy to remember as well as search for.

Keep this hashtag a constant across all the channels that you’re running or promoting the contest on. This avoids any kind of confusion or loss in participation.

5. Get your online media ready

Now that you have the entire concept of the contest and its strategy ready, it is time to get your online media in place. After all, you will need to let your target market know of the contest as well right!

Starting from cover pictures, feature images to various other graphics that will be required to build up the anticipation for the contest, get everything in place. Another media that you might want to keep ready is of what you expect from the participants – it will give them a direction while participating and save you the trouble of going through bad UGC.

6. Start promoting it aggressively

With everything ready in your kitty, it is time to start promoting your contest aggressively. An average internet user doesn’t have much of an attention span. So you’ll have continue reminding him of the contest, without seeming too spammy.

So include the promotion on your website, create a blog post around it that lays down the rules and regulations, update your social media accounts and run a few paid campaigns to get maximum of your target market to participate.

Since you would have already been working on your SEO strategy, ensure that the visitors landing on your website don’t miss the campaign promotions. A few banners and an exit intent campaign that reminds them of a contest can help you bag more participants.

For instance, here’s a campaign using Exit Bee to promote an ongoing contest to visitor right before he leaves the website:

instagram contest promotion

Similarly, here’s a website that is promoting the contest across its web pages:

instagram contest promotion 2

Social media promotions are obviously a given – that is too large an audience to not promote the contest to. So frequently post about the contest, its rules, where people can participate and of course, what they are going to get out of it.

Don’t just post contest updates on Instagram. Give your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other profiles a contest makeover too! Here’s a contest being promoted on a Facebook page’s cover photo – always nifty to have a ‘constant’ post around, right?

instagram contest promotion 3

7. Measure your results and optimize consistently

A very important aspect of the contest strategy is measuring the results consistently. Unlike most marketers who would measure the results of the campaign in the end, it is important to look into the data of all your campaign promotions as well – because that is where the game of hooking your audience begins.

Adalyz helps you categorise your social campaigns into smart folder. This helps you make more sense out of data for each platform, and draw insights from it that will help you better the promotional campaigns as well as optimize the contest for higher participations.

adalyz for instagram

For instance, here’s what the data for an Instagram campaign would look like. You can also easily share these reports with your team so as to collate more ideas on how to make the campaign/contest better.

Over to you 

A number of businesses today are holding promotional events and contests over their social profiles to actively engage with their audience. This engagement doesn’t just help them achieve conversions, but also insights into their target market and what they expect from them.

When planned well, an Instagram contest can lead to increased brand awareness and conversions for a business.

Have you ever hosted a contest?