Having a contest on social media is a good way to garner more Instagram followers, boost your audience engagement, and get your brand to keep growing. But the smart marketer will be prudent so the contest doesn’t bring in the wrong demographics and/or fail completely. Obviously the goal is to build up follower numbers. Building awareness for the brand is also a natural consequence of a good contest. But there are pitfalls. Here’s what marketers should keep in mind:
Begin with the end in mind
And be sure to be familiar with Instagram contest rules. They’re fairly simple and straightforward:
- All contests must clearly state and display eligibility requirements, all rules, and the terms under which prizes are awarded.
- All contests must include a disclaimer that Instagram is in no way associated with the contest and has no say whatsoever in how it is run and who wins awards and prizes.
Ignoring these simple requirements means that even the most brilliant marketing contest ever seen on Instagram will be deleted, and all the hard work that went into it will be wasted.
A specific branded hashtag helps marketers to keep track of entries and chats. Generic hashtags, like ‘#contest,’ should also be used in separate sidebars to pick up those who are just surfing the web for any kind of a contest as well through SEO.
Make it a visual experience
Prospective contestants are not going to be enchanted with reams of fine print explaining all the rules and regulations and wonderful prizes. Make the contest as visually engaging as possible with bright colorful graphics, blazing headlines, eye-popping photos, and especially brief alluring videos. This is where spending marketing budget money pays off the most.
Make the prize worth entering the contest
Here’s a big mistake many marketers make with their contest plans on Instagram — giving away prizes and awards that have absolutely nothing to do with their brand and/or services. Just because they think that will get them more entries. Sure, giving away generic gift cards will mostly likely bring in a spate of entries, but their quality and relevance to the desired customer base is going to be very disappointing. Who needs a ton of freebie hunters cluttering up a contest, who are not interested in the least in the brand being promoted?
So stay away from banal commonplace prizes that can’t be tied in to the brand. Instead, work carefully to procure prizes that tie directly into the brand, product, or service.
Make Entering the Contest Easy
Even if first prize is the Taj Mahal, the chances of a big entry pool of contest entries is small if entering the contest is difficult and complicated. A cardinal rule of marketing is to always have a definite, concrete CTA that the consumer responds to — but in the world of contests this rule is meant to be broken. Nothing more than a single, simple click should be required to enter an Instagram contest for the most effective and inclusive number of entries.