5 Tips for Running an Instagram Contest
Instagram Contests are a great way to drive engagement, new followers and tons of awareness for your brand. With over 150 million people using Instagram on their mobile devices, it’s a great opportunity to market to your mobile audience. In this article I’ll give you the top five tips to maximize participation, sharing and overall engagement in your Instagram Contests.1. Choose a Great Prize
The prize is the most important piece of your contest. It’s what entices people to enter. Make the prize something relevant to your business.
A great prize is a gift card for your business. Why? Two reasons:
1. A gift card is enticing to all of your potential customers – it’s the prize that is the most enticing to the largest group of people. If you give away a certain product or service, you will only get entries from people interested in that specific product. With a gift card though, you will attract entries from those who are interested in the products you sell.
2. It will only attract people who are interested in your products, which is what you want! If you give away an ipad you will get a ton of entries, but those people will only be interested in ipads, not your products. This will make it almost impossible to convert these users into actual sales for your business. Giving away a gift card ensures that entrants have an interest in your products, which makes it easy to convert them into sales.2. Make it Easy to Enter
Here is a good rule to remember – the more difficult it is for a fan to take the type of photo you’re asking them for, the less participation you’ll have in your campaign. The less constraints you put around your photo contests, the greater number of submissions you’ll receive.It’s really about what your objectives are as a brand and the goal of your campaign. Finding a balance will be directly tied the brand you’re promoting. For example, Starbucks will have an easier time getting people to snap photos of their mocha frappucino’s than a fashion label getting people to snap photos of themselves wearing a specific accessory.3. Promote It
1. Send an email blast: Email your customer lists – they will be the most likely to enter and share with friends to help jump-start your contest.
2. Promote your contest on social networks: Share on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and anywhere else you have a social presence. This is a great way to introduce users from other networks to your Facebook Page and get them hooked more into your brand.
4. Add a banner on your website home page: If you’re an online business, you get the most traffic to your website, not your social network accounts. Capitalize on this traffic by including a banner on your homepage that links to your contest entry page.
5. List your Contest on popular contesting websites: There are a ton of contesting websites that allow for free submissions. These are a great way to get access to new communities of customers. Check out our list of 19 websites to post your contest to.4. Give Participans a Reason to Share
In terms of spreading the word about your Instagram contest, your participants are a major asset. They give you a direct channel to their networks of friends, and a much more inviting one, as people value recommendations from friends far more than brands. You can give participants a reason to share two different ways:
1. Choose the Winner based on Votes: By using voting as the mechanism to select the winner, participants will be driven to share with their friends to get them to vote for their entry. This will drive a ton of votes from their friends, as well as more entries from the friends who are introduced to the contest.
2. Award Extra Entries for Referring Friends: Using an Instagram contest app like Wishpond, you can allow people to submit extra entries into the contest by referring their friends to enter. So, for example, if they refer 3 friends who enter the contest, the contest entry page will allow them to enter again, boosting their chances to win.5. Send follow-up emails to turn participants into customers
If you’re using a contest app like Wishpond, you can collect the emails of every participant in your contest. This is the best ROI from a contest, because it gives you targeted leads that you can contact to convert. A great way to convert participants is to nurture them with a series of emails (called an email drip campaign) to slowly win their interest and a sale. Start by sending them 2 – 3 emails a few days apart (after the contest ends) with interesting content from your brand on Instagram, Pinterest and any other place you regularly post content. If the content is valuable, these leads will continue to open and click each email, starting a great relationship with your company. After the initial emails, you can send 2 – 3 that include exclusive coupons and promotions mixed in with the content to drive them to buy.
This process does take longer, but is a silver bullet in terms of boosting sales and lead conversion rates. If you simply send them one email after the contest that pushes your latest products and promotions, it will be ignored. But if you warm people up with great, valuable content first, they’ll be much more open to buying from you.
Written by Nick Steeves
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