5 Instagram Contest Ideas to Grow Your Following

Instagram Contest Ideas to Grow Your Follower Count

Instagram has blown up in the last two years and its rapid growth shows no sign of slowing down. In 2015, Instagram boasted a 47% increase in active users, compared to a 7% increase for Twitter and a 9% decrease for Facebook. Studies predict a nearly 37% increase in US Instagram users alone by 2018.

Due to explosive growth in active Instagram users, more and more marketers are turning to Instagram to reach to their potential customers. There are plenty of amazing features that marketers can use to grow their followers, such as live videos, archive posts, Instagram collections, Instagram Stores, ads, etc. One of the most awesome tools that marketers can use to boost their follower base is by making use of Instagram contests.

instagram contest ideas

What is an Instagram Contest?

An Instagram contest is a strategy available to marketers to help them run contests on Instagram. Organizing Instagram contests can be a great way for marketers to increase their follower count and conversion rates. You can offer prizes like the following:

  • Gift cards
  • Discount codes
  • Free products
  • Free shipping

However, marketers must know the process on how to run Instagram contests. We’re here to help. In the upcoming sections, we’ll talk about Instagram contest ideas to boost your follower count.

Instagram Contest Ideas for Your Brand

Instagram provides a simple, universally acclaimed marketing opportunity: the Instagram Contest. Everyone from Starbucks to Habitat for Humanity is getting in on the game. You can use these contests as a creative way to increase brand awareness and grow your community. Remember to ask your followers to tag a friend! Getting your followers to tag their friends is always a great way to increase your follower count and Instagram contest participation.

Below are five Instagram contest ideas for increasing your follower count.

Instagram Contest Idea #1 – The Like-To-Win Contest

Overview: Simply post a picture of your choosing. Whoever likes it and follows you is entered into a drawing to win a prize. More posts equal more chances to win!

Evaluation: The “Like-To-Win” contest is popular among Instagram marketers because it’s so easy to run. It takes almost no planning, you can run it weekly, and earn lots of followers. It’s easy to enter – almost nothing is required of the participants – and followers will come back to your feed again and again if you run contests on a periodic basis. The more you post, the more followers will see their chances to win go up!

There are likely better options for generating lasting engagement like user generated content contests (see number 3 below) but for a quick simple contest, this is a great place to start.

Example: Drinkwel’s #FinallyFriday campaign

instagram contest idea like to win pollen advertising

Instagram Contest Idea #2 – The Email-Gated Contest

Overview: Similar to the Like-To-Win contest, except instead of liking one of your photos, participants have to give you their email addresses.

Evaluation: The Email-Gated contest has the potential to generate a huge amount of new leads, as you’ll likely earn a number of new email addresses for the effort. Due to the barrier to entry, Email-Gated contests tend to have lower entry rates then “Like-To-Win” contests.

With the right prize or incentive you should be able to make up for the lower entrants with high quality leads that will build up your email database.

Example: Teathos

instagram contest idea email gated contest pollen advertising

Instagram Contest Idea #3 – The User Generated Content (UGC) Photo Contest

Overview: In a UGC Photo Contest, you create a hashtag, for example #SummerUGC2016, and users submit a photo to the competition by posting pictures on Instagram and using your specific hashtag.

Evaluation: Remember when we mentioned “better options?” We’ve arrived at the good stuff. You can use an app like Wishpond to keep track of submissions, and you can announce and promote your winner on your website, Instagram and other social account after the contest has ended.

User Generated Content is really what we strive for as social marketers, as the act of creating a photo and using your hashtag deepens users’ relationships with your brand. As for the contest itself, there are plenty of options. You can ask for a photo with a company product, or ask for a type of photo that aligns with your brand image (i.e. on the beach). You can pick the winner yourself, or ask the users to vote on the winner, which creates yet another level of user involvement.

Example: The Nasty Gal Stranger Selfie Contest

instagram contest idea nasty gal stranger selfie pollen advertising

Instagram Contest Idea #4 – The UGC Creation Contest

Overview: You ask users to create something that will actually be used in your stores – i.e. artwork of some kind for cups, boxes, etc.

Evaluation: Starbucks made waves with their innovative White Cup Contest, in which they invited Instagram users to decorate one of their traditional white cups and post their creations on Instagram. The winner became the actual design on Starbucks cups. Runners-up can receive a high-value gift card as their reward.

This type of contest creates unparalleled brand loyalty, as contestants devote legitimate time and energy to their submissions. Furthermore, the fact that the company is willing to roll out product based on a submission from their “fans” earns them extra loyalty. These contests generally require some creativity – whether it be designing a cup or inventing a slogan – which can create a barrier of entry for some users.

Example: The aforementioned Starbucks contest

instagram contest idea user generated content pollen advertising

Instagram Contest Idea #5 – The Treasure Hunt

Overview: You hide something somewhere in a city, and post on Instagram with a landmark and a clue. The first person to find the item posts on Instagram.

Evaluation: Tony Hawk made waves for pioneering this type of contest, providing signed skateboards to whoever found what he had hidden first.

This type of off-the-wall contest is challenging for a lot of people, but for locally based businesses it’s a great option as it strengthens local connections by demonstrating that you really are a part of the community as you really know your city.

Example: The aforementioned Tony Hawk contest

What’s Next?

Instagram contests are a fun and easy way to generate brand awareness and to grow your follower count. Take advantage of contests today to grow your followers and engagement!

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Like always, if you need any help or have any questions, send us a note or click the live chat button on the bottom of this page to talk to us directly. We’d be happy to help. Thanks for reading!






One Response to “5 Instagram Contest Ideas to Grow Your Following”

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