Are you trying to renew interest in your company? Maybe you want to generate excitement in a new product or even give away some overstock.
It sounds like you’re overdue for an Instagram contest!
Instagram is the perfect platform for a social media contest. For starters, it’s a visual platform that allows for endless contest ideas.
It’s an engaging site. Thus, users are more willing to participate. The Insta algorithm rewards activity, such as comments, saves, likes, and stories.
Insta contests are fun, creative, and marketable, but how do you pick a winner on Instagram? That’s a great question, so let’s start from scratch.
Here’s a deep dive into Insta contests and how to plan an effective contest.
Benefits of Instagram Contests
Are you still unsure if social media contests are right for your goals? A great contest takes work, but it’s worth the investment.
Here are several reasons why:
- Increased customer acquisition
- Improved customer retention
- Wider brand awareness
- More social media followers
- Higher social media engagement
- The opportunity to go viral
- Immersive branding experiences
- Increased sales
Let’s explore some of these points in-depth. They’ll help clarify your goals for the contest.
Immersive Experiences Sell
This term may feel recent, but it’s an age-old marketing method. Immersive marketing experiences involve consumers. They push the bounds of what’s possible in marketing.
Your customers are ready for something new. Recent data shows that more than 60% of consumers are more likely to purchase from companies that use immersive marketing methods.
A haunted house is a classic example of an immersive experience. Today’s production companies go a step further to create haunted neighborhoods!
This marketing technique is perfect for zombie themes. There are also zombie runs which blend marathons with zombies, creating the ultimate immersive fitness experience.
Escape rooms, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and rock climbing are three more examples to consider.
Are you already getting some Instagram contest ideas? Keep these examples in mind because you’re going to brainstorm some super-creative ideas later!
As you guessed, social media contests are also immersive experiences. They put customers into the driver’s seat, unleashing their creativity and critical thinking.
Investigate immersive experiences online. What are other brands doing? How engaging are their social media contests?
Higher Customer Acquisition Rates
Contests are out of the ordinary. They don’t occur every day. Thus, savvy business owners use them to attract new customers.
Contests can improve acquisition rates in a few ways:
For starters, you can give away your own products as prizes. This strategy is perfect for brand awareness contests, like raffles. Similar to swag bags, this approach gets your name inside customers’ homes, much like real estate agent merch.
Giving away products is a win-win.
New customers get to experience your product for free. Plus, they enjoy free stuff. Everyone loves freebies.
Brands also decrease overstock taking up shelf space. You can always run a simple and quick social media giveaway when you need to get rid of inventory. This approach is even faster than a clearance sale or donating.
Contests spike social media interest. But they also draw foot traffic to business locations. That’s why your locations should look their best on contest day.
You should also prepare your website for an onslaught of new web traffic. Make sure your app is glitch-free, especially if you’re giving away huge discount codes. Your cart abandonment rate will skyrocket if the website crashes on contest day.
Don’t forget that new customers love sharing experiences with friends and family. Make your Insta contest the best it can be to generate more social shares, participation, and word-of-mouth reviews.
Viral campaigns have launched unknown brands into the stratosphere of public consciousness. You likely never heard of Dollar Shave Club before those viral YouTube videos.
Established brands also use immersive marketing to go viral on social media. Recent examples include Popeyes’ chicken sandwich campaign and Pokemon Go.
Pokemon Go! is one of the best examples of immersive strategy, putting players in the middle of the action (literally.) The game also immerses players in real physical environments, learning more about their cities along the way.
The game also has in-app contests where players can win game prizes and characters. You can see these battles and contests take place in real-time on the game map. This userbase is the ideal target audience for immersive marketing.
Instagram Contest Ideas
The last point is an excellent start to a contest idea. What if you created a contest that worked like a game?
Games are the ideal contest model. Here are a few popular themes:
- Scavenger hunts
- Survivalist games
- Boardgame contests
- Family feud style games
- Escape rooms
These themes are excellent go-to ideas, but do you want to go even further?
Create an ARG! ARG stands for alternate reality game.
No, participants don’t need VR headsets. But they do need to channel their inner Sherlock Holmes.
ARG games lead players on a mystery using different social media tools. Instagram is home to many ARGs if you need examples.
ARGs are ideal for the following industry niches:
- Media companies
- Halloween businesses (costumes, haunted houses, props, etc.)
- Amusement parks
- Seasonal production companies
- Music studios
- gaming companies
- Mystery books
- Spooky art
- Movie studios
ARGs are incredibly immersive. They’re so immersive; many players think they’re real. If you reward them for their hard work, you’ll have a customer for life!
Players upload videos and photos of their ARG journey to Instagram. If the ARG is intriguing, it will spread through Instagram, inspiring more participation in the contest.
Since ARGs are so immersive, you should pick multiple Instagram winners. You can also tier the prizes.
For example, the first 50 participants to complete the ARG could win the top prize. The top prize could be a game pack or console. The next group of 50 could win the second-tier prize, which could be one game or a gift card.
If you don’t want to disappoint anyone, you could reward all participants with gift cards or beta access to new games.
Quick and Easy Instagram Contest Ideas
ARGs are highly immersive. As such, they require a lot of planning. You want to make these contests as real as possible.
You can still create an immersive experience without an ARG. Even a simple Instagram costume contest is immersive enough to encourage participation.
Costume Contest Ideas
Instagram costume contests are perfect for the following business niches:
- Costume shops
- Kids fashion and accessories
- Party stores
- Family amusement centers
- Amusement parks
- Toy stores
- Movie franchises
If a movie studio wants to drum up excitement for a new film, they may hold an Instagram costume contest.
Participants dress up as their favorite characters and upload their photos to Instagram. The winners enjoy everything from free movie passes to merchandise.
Instagram costume contests work year-round too.
For example, your gaming store could hold a Cyberpunk costume contest where everyone dress up like Keanu.
A toy store could also hold a winter fairy contest on Instagram. Look into more seasonal Instagram contest ideas since they’re great marketing for the holidays.
Art Contests on Instagram
Instagram is also the perfect platform for art contests.
Art contests can promote the following products, brands, and more:
- Art supplies
- Art classes
- Movie studios
- Book publishers
- Comic books
- Video games
- TV series
- Kids toys
Since Instagram is a visual platform, art contests do well across ages. Children’s art does especially well, making this an excellent strategy for children’s book series. Parents can upload their kids’ works to win books or gift cards.
How to Pick a Winner on Instagram
Instagram contests are fun and immersive. However, rules help players stay within the parameters. They also prevent hurt feelings after the winners are announced.
Fairness and transparency are so crucial for contests. One mistake, and your contest will go viral for all the wrong reasons.
Have participants sign off on contest rules before registering. Make sure contest rules are visible on your Instagram account. You should also make a separate landing page for the contest.
Work with a web developer to prevent participants from signing up before reading the rules. For example, they would have to scroll through the rules or click a box. There are also WordPress plugins for these features.
If you’re expecting a huge contest turnout, reserve the best prizes for the first batch of participants. You could market the contest as a “first come, first serve” experience. You’ll need to do this if you have a limited number of prizes.
However, if you’re giving away digital prizes, like promo codes, games, and other media, you can pick a lot more Instagram winners.
Work out your budget before announcing your contest, especially if turnout is bigger than expected.
Data is another concern. While contest data is highly valuable, participants must agree to data collection beforehand. You must include this stipulation in the contest’s terms.
Create a Viral Instagram Contest
Why create a boring contest when you can go viral on Instagram?
Remember these tips as you plan the contest of the century. Choose a fair way to pick a winner on Instagram so that everyone benefits.
More creative ideas are a click away. Follow the blog to stay inspired!