How to Run an Instagram Contest: A Guide On Instagram Contest Strategy

With over 1 billion active users worldwide, Instagram has become one of the top-performing social media app that is used majorly by people of all age. It beats many social media giants when it comes to comparing engagements with other platforms. Hence, one can say that you are missing hugely on something if your business is not on Instagram. However, if you are planning on seriously to step up your business on Instagram then starting with occasional Instagram contest could be a game changer for you.

But before getting in more details what Instagram contests are, some great ideas and other related topics, we will first discuss about the big “Why”, Why you need Instagram contest anyway.

Why Do You Need Instagram Contest?

In this era where social media is the new world for getting entertainment, news, information, etc., almost every business too are thriving with different types of contents including blog posts, videos, infographics, etc. Using these as medium of conversation with the audience, many of the businesses are growing with the lightning speed.

But what if you just started out your business venture? Or if your existing business is facing tough competition due to big brands who have their reputation in the online world? Well in such situations, you need some idea or something that can help you to stand out.

How to Run an Instagram Contest- A Simple Step by Step Guide

In other words, we can say that your business should have different goals that includes increasing followers, brand awareness, building up the community, driving sales etc. These planning or its execution will help you in making every aspect of your new or already existing business right. And Instagram contests for business can increase or help you in grabbing those opportunities very precisely. Here’s why:

  • Suppose if engagement is what you are looking to get for your brand then you will be surprised to know that Instagram contest can help you get 65 times more comments and 4 times more like in comparison to an average post of yours.
  • One can acquire around 35% of new customers using the Instagram contest properly.
  • Are you the one who needs to boost their conversion rate? Well having low conversion is not good for any business and increasing it is a tough job. However, you will be surprised to know that having Instagram contests have a staggering rate of conversion around 34%. This percentage is way too higher then so many of other types of contents.
  • Also, with these Instagram contests you can even build up a big database of interested customers as people are ready to give their personal information that includes, email, likes, dislikes, comments, etc. to get something back in return by participating in the contest.

So, these are few points on why every business needs Instagram contest. It is a win-win situation for both the customer and business as they are getting something in return and also contests are fun to play.

How to Run A Proper Instagram Contest?

To give you some direction in how you can run a proper Instagram contest. Below we are sharing some important steps that will help you in planning an engaging Instagram contest for your business. Have a look:

Plan Your Objectives and Goals

For every business, the first step before implementation is to plan their objectives and goals that they want to achieve. So is the case with Instagram contest as well. It is very important to plan it out first before actually running it. You should know the objective of running the contest. This is because different business can have different objectives like “One wants to grow their business”, “Increase Followers”, “Increase engagement rate”, “Drive sales for business”, etc.

Why it is important to set your objectives or goals before running the contest campaign is because so you are not left wondering whether your contest was successful or not in the end. Include everything in your objective like the budget of contest, timing, starting date, end date, theme for the contest, who can participate and a lot more that will be suitable for your business.

Entry Method

Another important point before running a proper Instagram contest is that the business should establish a proper entry method along with the guidelines for entry. This should be clearly mentioned in your promotional post. You have to set common and simple rules for everyone without making it complicated. Below I am sharing some ideas for you on how your audience can enter the contest:

  • You can tell them to post a picture of themselves along with a brand hashtag created by you to get recognition.
  • You can ask them to follow you along with telling few friends of theirs to do the same.
  • Another way could be by telling them to tag your brand in their posts.
  • You can ask them to like, comment or share your posts to enter in the contest.


Hashtags plays an important role in Instagram. If you know how to choose the best hashtags as per your business requirements, trust me you can gain huge engagements on your post. Similarly, hashtags are very important for contests as well. Without these, there will be no link between the content you are generating and the contest you are running. In simple words, you need to choose some great hashtags that are different and people will find them interesting.

However, we know that finding the right hashtag could be very tricky. Also, if the contest you are running is going to be time frame, create a hashtag that you won’t be overusing again and again. Below I am sharing on how should your hashtags should be:

  • Short
  • Relevant
  • Universal
  • Memorable
  • Rare
  • Catchy
  • Engaging

Clear Theme

Another thing that could make your contest better is that you clearly define a theme for it. Your audience should know what kind of pictures or videos they have to post. Ideally, you should always choose a theme that very well aligns with your business, products or services, etc. However, you can also choose the theme as per holidays, events, etc. that aligns with your business.

How winners will be chosen?

Part of your contest should also include telling your audience how the winners for the contest will be chosen. Many contests have two ways of choosing the winner one is “Vote” and the other one is “Jury”. Each option works well and you have to choose and let your audience know about it at the beginning of the contest itself.

Choose the Appropriate Gift

You need to consider your target audience, budget, goals while choosing the gift or award for your contest. You should know that by asking the audience for participating in the contest, you are telling them to take action on something which they otherwise would’ve ignored if it was not a contest. And that is why, you’ll need the best suitable and appropriate award for the contest winner so they find it worth participating in it and also for your future contests as well, they will be happy to participate and will be looking forward to participate in every contests of yours.

Create Terms & Conditions

One of the important point that you should remember for your Instagram contest is to create the terms & conditions for it. Below I am sharing some common terms that people mostly include in their contest:

  • Name & Contact details of Promoter
  • Date of the contest
  • Rules like who can enter, their age, restrictions, etc.
  • Guidelines on how to enter, how winner will be chosen, how winner be announced, etc.
  • Number of prizes
  • Description of prizes
  • Time period to claim the prize
  • How will the prize be distributed/ delivered
  • Acknowledge whether the contest is sponsored, endorsed or administered by third party brand, etc.

Promote Like Crazy

Another important point here in this list of how to run Instagram contest is the promotion. Once you’ve set up everything, give all your efforts in promoting it through every way. There are many ways that people use to promote which we’ve mentioned below:

  • Blogs
  • Different Social Media
  • Email
  • Messaging

Monitor submissions

It is very essential that you monitor both the promotions and level of participation to know whether you’ve achieved your goals that you had set up in the beginning. Below I am sharing some ideas on how you can check the metrics of your contest campaign:

  • Check number of submissions
  • How many likes per submission
  • The number of participants
  • Who are the top participants
  • The total number of likes on your contest post
  • What is the reach of your contest
  • How many followers you’ve gained during this contest

Consider all these points quite well to monitor the submissions and the results you got out of them. Also, if your audience is smaller then don’t expect to have thousands of submissions in a single day. What matters is whether you got the quality submissions, better conversions, etc.

Follow Up

And lastly what you need to do is to follow up once the contest is over. Be 100% fair at the time of evaluation and check each and everything.

So, these are the best ways that you should remember while you are running the Instagram contest.

Instagram Contest Ideas

Now that we know how to run an Instagram contest. I will be sharing about the best Instagram ideas that you can use to have better results:

How to Run a Successful Instagram Contest- InstaModsApk

Like/ or Comment

One of the easiest way to make people enter into the Instagram contest is by giving them the easiest method to enter into the contest. like we’ve mentioned here. Also, it is very easy to moderate this contest because here you do not need to track hashtags or review the submissions.

Caption Contest

Another idea for the contest is by letting people enter into “Creative Caption contest”. This is not only the best way to make people enter into contest but also an amazing way to make your post engaging.

User-Generated Content

In this you can ask the participants to post something using your products and share it on their profile. Later you will share it in your profile and best post among all the participants will get to win a prize. This way both you and the participant gets the exposure which is a win-win situation. But you have to make people clear that you may share their photos that they submit if its good and unique. Also, you can ask them to share their experience of how the product improved their life, why is it best or simply post a picture which is related to your product or service you are offering.

Trivia Contest

This is one of the most engaging contest that one can have. In this, you can challenge the participants to demonstrate what they know. Not just this makes people curious as most of the people love trivia contest but it will also generate awareness for your brand or the product that you are sharing. What you have to do here is to simply ask a question and give reward to those who answer it correctly.


These are the type of contests that are quite popular on Instagram because they provide huge engagement rate as a way to enter into the contest. Here you can ask the audience to basically like, follow, share, & tagging people. This will give you double benefit as you are getting high rate of engagement on your post along with the brand awareness for your business.

1 Like 1 Vote

Here you take 1 step further from user-generated content. In this you ask your audience to vote for the best entry. It could be anything like drawing, selfie, video, food photography, etc. and the post with the more likes win the contest.


So this is all about the topic Instagram contest. Here we have talked about what is Instagram contest, why you need Instagram contest, how to run Instagram contest, and the best Instagram contest idea.

Now that you know everything about Instagram contest, go and put up your knowledge along with the few we’ve shared here to run the best Instagram contest campaign for your brand. Using Instagram for running contest, not only you will get engagement for your brand but also increase the awareness for your brand. So, this is it for today. Keep visiting our site to get more tricks and tips about Instagram and get inspiration to grow your brand.

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