How to Hold a Successful Instagram Giveaway

Instagram Giveaways. We’ve all seen them pop up on our Instagram feeds. Heck, we’ve even entered a few. As it turns out, a giveaway can offer more than a prize and the joy of winning to a lucky contestant.  

Not only are giveaways a great way to engage with your audience, but they can also seriously boost your business. A giveaway that’s simple yet strategic allows you to give back to your followers, promote your blog/business, develop relationships with other brands, and grow your audience.

Instagram Giveaway

Photo by @callieand.co

Holding a giveaway can be a simple and easy process that engages your audience and generates results, especially if you take the time to think through how your giveaway will align with your blog/business goals. If you are interested in holding a giveaway for your brand, note that it’s going to take some planning make your giveaway as successful as possible. The good news is that the process of holding a giveaway can be broken down into six key steps. 

How to Hold a Successful Instagram Giveaway

Step One: What’s your goal?

After deciding to hold a giveaway, it’s important to define what you hope to achieve with it. Giveaways are exciting promotions that show appreciation towards your audience and, at the same time, incentivize them to take action. What are your current business goals? Are you trying to increase traffic to your website? Gain more followers? Build your email list? Make a sale? You have the opportunity to drive these actions through a giveaway. Defining your goal upfront as well as your metrics for success will get you on track to designing the perfect giveaway for your brand.

Your giveaway goals will help you define the logistics and rules of your giveaway. Social media is a great platform to hold giveaways through because of its viral nature. Instagram is an especially great platform for giveaways because it makes it easy to directly engage with your audience, promote your giveaway through pictures and Instagram stories, and tag/collaborate with other brands to broaden the reach and visibility of your giveaway promotion. That being said, chose the platform that’s right for your goal and your audience.

Step Two: Decide on the Prize

When deciding on a prize (or prizes) to offer during your giveaway, be creative. Pick something that your followers would enjoy that also stays true to your brand. Maybe it’s one of your business products, maybe it’s a ticket to a popular conference in your industry, or maybe it’s one of your favorite books. Just like any gift, think about a prize that would be useful and exciting to receive.

The possibilities are endless but don’t go overboard on the cost. You want the prize to be of value to your audience, but you also want to keep the giveaway in perspective. We can’t all be Oprah and give away big ticket prizes to all of our followers, and that’s ok. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a prize to have a successful giveaway, you just have to make sure the prize you are offering is something that your target audience would appreciate.

When deciding on your giveaway prize, think about collaborating with other brands for your promotion. Not only could this potentially keep the cost down if the brand agrees to supply the product you want to giveaway, but it would also allow your giveaway to reach more people in your target audience.

Instagram Giveaway

Giveaways are exciting, but we can’t all be Oprah and give away cars. Get creative to figure out a prize within your budget that your audience will love.

Step Three: Define Your Call to Action

Do you want people to like an Instagram post to win the giveaway? Tag a friend in the comments section to enter? Click the link in your bio and sign up for your email list to win?

Define the action you want your audience to take, and keep it simple, reasonable, and strategic, as this action will be the way you drive the results. Remember, if it is too hard or complicated for people to enter, they will just move on, no matter how good your prize is. Keeping your call to action simple will ensure more engagement. DON’T ask participants to write an essay about why they love your brand to win. Instead, DO incorporate a viral element into your call to action. Ask participants to tag a friend in the comments, share your post, or use a specific hashtag you created. All of these options can increase the visibility of your promotion and your brand to your target audience.

Step Four: Communicate the Rules

Make sure you let your followers know why you are holding an exciting giveaway in the first place. Are you celebrating a business milestone, or partnering with other brands for a certain campaign? It is important to give your audience context, and then, explain what the prize is, how many days your giveaway will run for, who can participate, and what people have to do to win. When writing out your rules, remember: 

  • The shorter the giveaway timeline, the better. The length of your promotion should stay within 1-5 days to ensure that you keep your audience’s attention and ride the excitement!
  • If you will be shipping your prize to the winner, consider the cost of international shipping. This can get expensive, so decide if you want to make your giveaway open to all participants or only participants based in your country.
  • There are specific legalities surrounding giveaways and contests on social media. Instagram has specific promotion rules, which you can read more about here

Summarize all of your rules into an easy-to-read Instagram post and introduce your giveaway to your followers!

Step Five: Promote your Giveaway

If you want people to enter your giveaway, you need to make sure to tell them about it. 

Instagram Giveaway

Photo by @callieand.co

Think of your giveaway as a small campaign for your brand. Do a little pre-giveaway promotion to build up the excitement, and then once your giveaway starts, share updates about it on social media to encourage participation. Take high-quality photos of the prize (that go with your brand’s aesthetic, of course) to share on social media. If you don’t want to take your own photos, try looking up photos of the prize on Instagram or Pinterest and repost the content you find, crediting back to the original source.

Be sure to not bombard your followers with reminders to join your giveaway. Instead, strategically update your followers about contest logistics and notify them when the giveaway nears its close.

Step Six: Announce the Winner!

When the giveaway ends, go through the entries and pick a random winner. You can use websites to randomly pick a winner from the usernames, like this random name picker tool or any of the other websites listed here. If that doesn’t work, there’s always the old-fashion way… close your eyes, scroll, and see who your finger lands on!

Instagram Giveaway

Announce the winner in an exciting way on your social media, and be sure to sincerely thank all of your followers for their participation and support.

Keep it Simple & Strategic, and Fun!

Giveaways are an exciting and effective way to give back and engage with your audience. Whether you are holding your first giveaway or your fifth, your giveaway will be successful if you strategically align it with your business goals and keep it simple and fun.

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Callie is a self-improvement, career, and lifestyle vlogger/blogger. She runs her own creative freelance business, specializing in graphic design and photography, and works for B Lab, the non-profit that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. When she is not making youtube videos for her youtube channel Callie & Co, she is working to empower others and spark social change through innovation and entrepreneurship.

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