How to Run an Instagram Contest

With over 400 million monthly active users and 80 million posts per day, Instagram has become an integral platform for the brands looking to enhance their reach. Running an Instagram contest is an effective strategy for stoking up the engagement, but how can you start it? And how can you make sure that you are covering all the aspects? To give you some direction, I have put together a detailed list of steps to start a compelling Instagram contest. Check it out below.

1. Follow a Planned Objective

Before diving into Instagram content, it is necessary to plan it first. You will have a successful contest campaign if you have a predefined purpose that aligns with the ambitions of the audience. Think about what kind of audience do you want to target? Users will prefer what types of topics. Centering your goals on a meaningful objective will drum up the engagement.

2. Create a Method for Entry

There are several ways through which you can allure the audience for taking part in the contest. It is important to emphasize what it takes your followers to enter the contest. You can introduce the following conditions if someone wants to take part in the contest:

  • Posting a video or a picture
  • Following your profile
  • Tagging your brand
  • Like or comment by the followers.

3. Finding the Perfect Hashtag:

The fundamental way to engage more audience on the Instagram contest is the utilization of appropriate hashtags. Without the hashtags, there would be no link between the content and the contest. Hashtags serve as a mechanism for driving relevant participation. You need to employ the hashtags that are:

  • Short
  • Relevant
  • Memorable
  • Universal
  • Rare

4. Choose a Broad Theme:

Most of the Instagram contests are UGC based; therefore, it is imperative to pick an appropriate theme to let the users know what kind of pictures and videos they can post. Ideally, you should choose a theme that aligns with your products, market, and services. Moreover, you can also take advantage of different seasons, events, and holidays that match your product.

For example, a magazine has recently launched a contest in which it has asked the people to articulate their ideas on how to stay cool during intense heats. In this way, the contest became interesting, and more and more people started giving their opinions.

5. Decide the Criteria of Winners

Informing the participants that how the winners will be chosen is the cardinal part of a well-structured contest. Winners of most of the contests are decided through a voting or a panel decision. In voting, participants compete for more likes and favours. On the other hand, in a jury, a panel of experienced people decides who the real winner is.

6. Choose an Appropriate Award

When deciding what should be given as an award to the winners, you need to consider your budget, your target audience, and how ambitious your goals are. You will need to announce the value of the prize because the participants are joining the contest by spending their time. Therefore, if they see that they might win a valuable thing, then they will probably take part in the contest enthusiastically.

7. Create Terms and Conditions

Keep in mind that when you fix a prize with a competition, you must be following necessary legal regulations. Some general terms people include are as follow:

  • Name and contact credentials of the promoting brand
  • Date of contest
  • Rules on who can enter the contest
  • Complete guidelines for how people should join.
  • Date of the announcement of the final result
  • Name of the winner

8. Promote your Contest on Other Sites

Now you have planned for a solid contest; it’s time to promote it everywhere to get more engagement. So, what should be the best place to start spreading your words? There are endless possibilities, but here are some ideas that can be utilized by you.


  • Blog
  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube)
  • Email

9. Examine Submissions

For meeting your goals without any hindrance, you will have to monitor all the aspects of your contest, including the level of participation by the followers. Make sure to track all the elements of the user engagement, such as:

  • Total Submission
  • Likes per submission
  • Total number of participants
  • Top participants
  • Total number of likes
  • Total reach
  • The growth of the followers during the contest

10. Follow up after the Contest

Once your contest is over, you cannot overlook to follow the rules you established in the first place. Always keep the terms and conditions in your mind while evaluating the submissions to ensure that you are utterly fair in your reviews.

Once you have chosen and informed the winner, make the announcement publicly to tell all the participants out there about the achievements of the winner. You know you can even use Instagram downloader for saving photos to be used in your contests. It makes the participants familiar to your brand.

Are you ready to run the Contest?

Now that you are aware of all the ins and outs of running a contest on Instagram, start employing your knowledge to promote your brand. Not only you will be successful in expanding your audience, but you will also get new content to inspire the participants for your next contest.

If you have more tips on running a successful Instagram contest, do share them in the comments section below.

News Reporter
This article has been shared by Jessica Ervin who is a professional writer and blogger.