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7 Ways To Create Engaging Contests On Instagram   


With over 1 billion monthly users, Instagram has become one of the leading social media platforms for brands to expand their reach and engage with their audience frequently.

However, having an Instagram account and publishing posts for your brand isn’t worthwhile if your audience does not engage with your content.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Research proves that one of the best ways to boost engagements on your platform is to run contests, as they have a conversion rate of 34%, which is higher than other content types.

Also, Instagram contests get 64 times more comments and 3.5 times more likes than regular posts. Despite these amazing figures, only 0.56% of all Instagram content is contest posts. This is because not all brands have discovered the importance of contests.

But as good as the figures look, merely running a contest won’t give you the desired results if you don’t run them in an engaging manner.

So how do you create engaging contests on Instagram?

Below are 7 ways to achieve this.

1. Set the Goals for the Contest


The first thing to do when creating a contest is to set your goals.

Now, there are various reasons people organize contests, here are some:

  • Increasing of engagements on Instagram posts
  • Creating awareness for a new product or a brand
  • Increasing the number of followers as an organic alternative to buying followers from genuine followers vendors like iDigic.
  • Driving sales for a product

When your goal has been identified, you need to set a time-frame for the contest. The time-frame may vary based on the specific goal you want to achieve.

For instance, the time-frame for running a contest that is aimed at creating awareness for a new business is often longer than that of a contest aimed at increasing Instagram followers.

You will also need to have a budget for the contest. Running a contest on Instagram will cost you money, especially when there is a valuable prize. So a budget will help you determine what kind of prize you should give and also keep your expenditures in the contest’s course in check.

2: Choose a prize for the Contest


Research shows that contests with valuable prizes have more engagements, this is because the value of the prize determines whether people will enter the contest.

The prize you pick must be exciting enough to make people want to take part in the contest. If your brand is big, you can choose a prize related to your brand. This will trigger an immediate interest and participation in the contest. It is also a way of ensuring that only people who are interested in your brand enter the contest.

You can also partner with other brands in your industry to give a bigger prize package.

3. Define the rules for the Contest

For your Instagram contests to be successful, you need to clearly define the rules of the contest.

This entails stating what your followers need to do to enter the contest. The rules of the contest are often determined by what type of contest it is.

Below are some common Instagram contest types/ rules that you can use:

  • Photo competition: This entails having your followers share a photo on their feed with the theme and hashtag you create for the contest. You can also have them say something about your brand in the caption for the photo.
  • Instagram Re-post: This is very simple, all your followers need to do is to re-post your contest post on their feeds for their followers to see.
  • Like and Comment: All your followers have to do is to like and comment on your contest post. You can ask a question and state that the first 5 followers who get the answer right will be the winners.
  • Tag friends: Instead of having them re-post your content on their feed, you can ask your followers to tag their friends in the comment section of the contest post.

4. Use the right hashtag

It is important to have the right hashtag for the contest because, without a hashtag, there won’t be a link between the contest and the content that is being generated.

Also, posts with at least one hashtag get 12.6% more engagements.

The hashtag you create has to be catchy and unique. While this may be hard because people create hundreds of new hashtags every day, you can still make a unique hashtag by following these tips:

  • Create a short hashtag. This makes it more readable and easy for people to remember.
  • Ensure the hashtag is easy to spell. Avoid using weird words or jargon.
  • Let the hashtag be memorable, something people can easily remember, write, and that’s also easy to search.
  • It should apply to the contest. Identifying the participants of the contest is hard if the hashtag is vague or crowded.
  • Use universal words, especially if you have an international audience. Using region-specific words will confuse some of your followers.
  • Use unique hashtags.

5. Share the Contest Link in your Bio and Stories

Because Instagram does not allow the publishing of links in captions and comments sections, the only place you can publish a permanent link is in your profile bio.

The link should be there for as long as the contest lasts. After inserting the link in the bio, inform your followers to check your bio for the link because most of them may not know how to enter the competition.

You can also publish the link to the contest in your stories. Unlike bios, stories only last for 24 hours but you can still use them to create awareness for the contest because over 500 million people view Instagram stories daily.

You can also announce the contest on tor stories, share regular reminders, and announce the winner of the contest in your stories.

6. Cross-promote your Contest on other Social Media Platforms


Even though it is an Instagram contest, you shouldn’t restrict your promotion to only Instagram.

Promote the contest on other social networks like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. This allows you to reach your followers on the other platforms who are not following your account on Instagram.

If you synchronize your Facebook to your Instagram account, all posts you make on Instagram will automatically reflect on Facebook, so you won’t need to create fresh posts on Facebook.

7. Decide How the Winner(s) will be Chosen


 To have maximum participation in your contest, you need to state how the winners will be chosen. This assures your followers that it will be a fair contest.

If your followers doubt the credibility of the result of the contest, they won’t want to take part in subsequent ones. There are two common ways winners in Instagram contests are determined:

  • Jury: This entails using the help of some experts to decide who the winner of the contest is. This is usually used if the contest is complex.
  • Voting: The voting method involves having the contest participants compete for the most likes. However, while this voting method is simple, it can become unfair if some participants use bots to gain artificial likes.


Asides all the 7 ways examined in this post, you can also snoop on your competitors to see if they have run a similar contest. This will give you an idea of what they did, the theme they used, and how successful it was.

Have you run a contest on Instagram? Let’s know how successful and what made it successful.