How to Do Successful Contests on Instagram


Success is not something happens overnight, but a healthy start and thoughtful efforts will ring the bill. Instagram the social network of the year so far has been creating miracles for brands and big troubles for others. With more than 300 million monthly active users, Instagram, having become inevitable in just 4 years of existence is sure to be THE social network of 2015.

instagram contest

Over 30 billion photos and videos have been published (as of 26 March, 2014). On average, 70 million pieces of content are posted each and every day, according to data captured from Instagram’s blog.

The average Instagram user

spends 21 minutes

on the app per day

                                   —-Mark Zuckerberg

Huge engaged audience , and core consumer for most of the brands online today, are Millennials AKA (Y Generation ) representing 73% of the total user base of this network.

Looking at the most Instagram active two countries in GCC, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the behaviours for the most engaging contests for brands are : 

Subscription as a condition to participation

Enticing instagramers to follow the brand on the network is a good way to engage and build an audience. Of course only relevant content and brand communication is going to work, but mediocre messaging and clear sell creative is not gonna cut it for starters. An integrated contest marketing plan for Instagram that requires users to follow the brand as a condition to participate, is a must to make sure that, it has a good reach and impact by spreading the contest over other networks, company website, and other channels of communication that are relevant.

Liking content or publishing content as means of participation

Asking instagramers to like and share the content as means to participate is oven seen as successful and a good strategy to grow the user base and engagement of the brand presence on Instagram overall and campaign specific KPIs. How could this happen if my brand is boring? this has to start with the basics of really understanding the audience you need to target and engage with. Looking at the majority of the platform audience, there are 73% of them are youth, which means having entertaining, trendy and less formal content ideas will work.

Generating UGC with #hashtag or @mention is a good way of vitality and brand recognition.

As instagramers are publishing heavily on the network, it is key to gain more reach and popularity by asking users to generate content using specific hashtags and mentioning the brand. The most successful ideas I have noticed in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are the ones that ask people to mention one of their friends that ( …….)  and publish a post that has (…… ..) and mention us with the #hashtag. All these tactics can be light-hearted communication messages that engage and encourage users to come back and open conversations with brands.

Though these tips seem pretty obvious, yet many brands globally big and small struggle to capitalise on this network and still don’t know how to do it.  Because this is a fast growing and changing behaviour of youth to publish, share and discuss in different ways, brands have to adapt and revamp their communication manifesto to match not only the present but innovate for the future.

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