Written by Dorian Martin

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in our day and time, with millions of monthly users and daily posts. Businesses and influencers alike use Instagram as a way of reaching their target audiences easily and maintaining contact with their customers and supporters.

Instagram contests have become a frequent occurrence on the platform as many users decide to host contests in order to increase their sales and the traffic on their pages. In order to make sure that their presence online is successful the companies need to have a way of measuring it. Here are a few tips on how Instagram contests can help a brand increase their ROI.

What exactly is ROI?

ROI or otherwise known as Return on Investment is a criterion which helps you determine whether your marketing strategies are successful or not. Marketing campaigns require funds in order to run and those who create them want to make sure that the profit they end up making from a campaign is greater than the funds needed to run it.

In certain cases, ROI can also apply to the Return on Impression, or more simply explained, to the number of people that actually see your ad even if they don’t make a purchase. Another big part of a successful marketing campaign is making sure that your ad is visible online. The more people come across it, the more likely they are to make a purchase in the future, as they will already be familiar with your brand.

How do you calculate your ROI?

Measuring your Return on Investment will help you make sure that the money you spend on advertising your products is less than the money you make in return through your sales. There is a small equation you can use in order to achieve that and that is the profit you have made, minus the cost of the investment you made for your campaign, divided by the cost of that investment.

If the marketing campaign has a positive ROI that means that it was a success and that you have managed to make a profit out of your initial investment. If it has a negative ROI, you might need to reevaluate your campaign strategies and find new ways to make your online marketing strategies more successful and profitable.

Are Instagram contests actually beneficial for a brand?

Some people might consider Instagram contests as a waste of time and resources. In fact, though, contests can help a brand come in contact with their target audience much faster and help their products become more visible online.

Presenting a potential customer with the opportunity to try a product for free is helping create hype and desire over that one product. This makes it much more likely for new followers to go through your Instagram page as well as your website in order to see exactly what you have to offer.

As a result, you will be able to attract a bigger number of interested potential customers without having to put many funds into creating a bigger-scale marketing campaign to attract them. Here are some great tips to help you achieve that.

The very first thing you need to do in order to increase your ROI and therefore your sales is to pick the right products to give away in your contests. While it might be tempting to start giving away products which might not be performing too well, as you wish to increase their visibility online, you should focus on instead promoting higher-rated products which will make your current customers and new followers eager to participate in your event.

When a new potential customer goes on your Instagram page or the website in order to see what products you have to offer, they will most likely want to see your best sellers. These products are the ones that drive more traffic and make people the most interested in giving your brand a try.

This is a good opportunity for you to also pay more attention to actually mentioning the success of this product in your contest. Depending on the way you decide to promote your contest, you should mention either in the audiovisual content you have created or in the description of your post that this is indeed one of the best-sellers of your website and that you’re giving a lucky winner the chance to try it for free.

2. Hold giveaways frequently

Contests might have different rules to simple giveaways but giveaways are a very important part of this process. A giveaway will give you the opportunity to attract more people to your page just by having your followers follow a few simple rules on your post.

For example, most Instagram giveaways will require the audience to follow the creator’s account, like the post about the giveaway of the products, tag a few of their friends and even repost it to their own profile or their stories.

All of these tactics help the business ensure that their post will get a lot of attention without a lot of effort or funds from their side. On top of that, holding frequent giveaways will motivate your followers to actually follow your page and see everything new that you post so that they never miss your giveaway posts.

Instagram is the number one platform where influencers post most of their updates and have easy access to communicating with other influencers, brands and their followers efficiently and easily. The simplicity of the platform’s functions allows them to post content regularly and often without putting too much thought into creating it.

Many brands decide to work with popular influencers on Instagram in order to promote their products successfully.” Influencers are loved and supported by their followers greatly and in most cases, their followers consider their opinions to be nothing but reliable”, suggests Anne Laro, Social Media Manager for Studicus. This helps brands that work with them get an increase in their sales very quickly.

When it comes to working with an influencer, you will have to make sure that you calculate not only the cost of their monetary reward through your collaboration but also the costs of any products you will be sending their way in order for them to review for the giveaway. The final profit you make from this collaboration should be more than the money you have spent on shaping it, in order for your ROI to be higher.

4. Use the right hashtags to promote them

Hashtags are a big thing on Instagram and they can really help boost the performance of your posts on the platform. There are many different hashtags created, all of which aim towards attracting the right target audience to your posts and helping it get noticed more by the right people.

While there is no limit to how many hashtags you can use on your posts, it is a good idea to not overuse certain hashtags and to not be repetitive when phrasing them. You can use certain free online tools such as All Hashtag and Seek Metrics which will help you find the most popular hashtags on the niche of the post you are trying to promote.

On top of just using hashtags which have already been created, it is a good idea to come up with your own unique hashtags for your Instagram contests. Depending on the type of the contest, you can create a hashtag which your followers will be able to use in order to let you know they have taken part in your contest by adding it to the posts they create for it.

The hashtags can include the name of your brand, the name of the product being promoted or anything else that plays a role in the contest, like achieving a certain number of followers or having a yearly anniversary for your business.

5. Get creative with the contest entrance ideas

If you decide to make your giveaways a little more interactive, you can always include some additional steps to your contests which will make them more fun for your followers. Some ideas include asking your followers to:

  • Create new packaging ideas for your products
  • Take pictures of themselves using your products
  • Create hand-made or digital fan art for your brand
  • Mention your contests in their stories in a creative way

All of these ideas will help you make your contests more interesting for your audience. Just make sure to change between simple giveaways and more interactive contests so that people with less time in their hands or those who are less creative can participate and have a chance to win something from your line of products.

After the event is complete, you should also repost your favorites submissions on your page and reward them with a shout-out. This is also a great opportunity for you to create interesting and unique hashtags to accompany your giveaways.

Mistakes to avoid when running Instagram contests

Last but not least, another thing you need to keep in mind when running contests in order to boost your ROI is certain simple mistakes, which can still cost you time and potential customers. First and foremost, you need to be certain about the prices you will be giving to the winners of your contests.

While it might be tempting to present the winners with a price anyone would be after, like a popular phone or a monetary reward, this is a very bad tactic which will not help you gain customers. If your brand has its own line of products, the best thing you can do is only give away products you yourself have created.

This will help you attract customers who will be interested in what you have to offer and who will be tempted to actually give the products a try after the giveaway is over. Along with that, you also need to make sure that the set of rules you have chosen for entering the contest isn’t too demanding or complicated to follow.

The simpler the rules of your contests and giveaways, the easier they will be for your audience to follow and the more likely they will be to participate. For example, if someone sees they need to follow your brand on 4 different social media platforms in order to enter your giveaway, they are way more likely to simply turn away rather than take the time to enter.

Lastly, another mistake companies can make with giveaways is not following up to their contests after their completion. It is common practice for brands to contact the winners of a giveaway through personal messages and ask for their personal information in order to send out the prize.

While this is a correct tactic, it is also not a complete one. After the completion of the giveaway, you should take the time to create a post for your social media accounts where you will be presenting the name of the winner to everyone that participated. You should also ask the winner to make a post on their social media page after they have received their prize.

This is important as it can cause confusion to your followers and decrease their trust towards your brand as they might believe that your contest wasn’t legitimate. All in all, being open about the rules and results of your contests will help you gain the trust of your followers and this will help you achieve those higher numbers of ROI you were trying to reach in the first place.

Using Instagram contests to your advantage

Instagram is a social media platform which offers its users many opportunities for promoting their products and brand to their target audience. Contests have become widely popular among users and the thought of winning something free is very enticing to most people.

By using the right strategies to run and promote your ads you will easily be able to boost your Return on Investment and increase your sales effectively. Instagram contests will help you attract the right people and build a following which will truly be interested in what your brand has to offer.

Do you have any experience with successfully running Instagram contests? Let us know in the comments!

Written by Dorian Martin, a senior writer at BestEssay Education and a content marketing specialist for Trust My Paper. His passion for educating his audience through his written content has driven him to collaborate with various online businesses and he never misses an opportunity to learn about something new. In his spare time, he enjoys writing for his personal blog NotBusinessAsUsual.