How to Run Effective Instagram Giveaways to Grow Your Business

How to Run Effective Instagram Giveaways to Grow Your Business
Photo by Don Agnello / Unsplash

Giveaways can be an extremely effective strategy for growing your Instagram audience, generating leads, and driving sales for your business. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through the full process of running a successful Instagram giveaway campaign from start to finish.

Whether you have a small business with a few thousand Instagram followers or a large company trying to gain more brand awareness, giveaways allow you to leverage the power of user-generated content to spread brand awareness far beyond just your existing followers.

Done right, an Instagram giveaway can help you:

  • Gain thousands of new, targeted followers in a short period of time
  • Generate inbound leads and sales opportunities
  • Increase engagement and visibility for your brand
  • Turn followers into brand evangelists who actively promote you to their own audiences

I have personally used Instagram giveaways many times to catapult client growth for my social media marketing agency. The largest giveaway campaign we organized resulted in over 750,000 new followers in just 48 hours for the brand.

In this guide, I'll show you exactly how to recreate similar success with your own Instagram giveaways.

Let's dive in!

The 3 Core Components of an Effective Instagram Giveaway

An effective Instagram giveaway campaign consists of three core components:

  1. An irresistible prize or offer worth sharing
  2. A clear call-to-action to drive shares, entries, and engagement
  3. Automation tools to manage submissions at scale

Get any one of these elements wrong, and your giveaway will flop. But when executed correctly, combining all three components results in a self-perpetuating cycle of reach and virality that takes your brand far beyond your current follower count.

Let’s break down each element in more detail:

1. Create an Irresistible Prize or Offer

The first step is putting together a compelling prize or offer that incentivizes your audience to enter and share with others.

You essentially have two options here:

Option 1: One Grand Prize

Offer one large, valuable prize that will capture attention (e.g. free trip, big cash prize, year's supply of your product). At the end of the giveaway, randomly select one winner to receive the grand prize.

Option 2: Giveaways for All Entrants

Offer prizes, discounts, or gifts to everyone who enters the giveaway by completing a specific call-to-action.

Both options can work well. Generally, I've found that providing prizes or discounts to all entrants helps maximize overall reach and entry numbers. But if you offer an attention-grabbing grand prize, you can still achieve huge engagement.

As an example from 2017, the swimsuit brand Sunny Co. ran an Instagram giveaway offering a 100% off coupon code to every entrant who shared the giveaway post to their Instagram story and tagged Sunny Co. Additionally, they pledged $1 to charity for each entry as well.

This compelling prize and tie-in to a good cause led to the giveaway absolutely exploding. Sunny Co. had around 7,000 Instagram followers when they launched this campaign. But within 48 hours, they gained over 745,000 new followers from the viral effects of the giveaway.

Key Takeaways:

  • The more appealing and valuable your giveaway prize, the higher engagement, reach, and entry numbers you will achieve
  • Offer additional incentives like donations to charity to sweeten the pot
  • Ensure relevance of prizes to your brand and target audience

Pro Tip: Make sure people actually have to put in their email address or some other lead capture detail to officially enter the giveaway, even if you provide prizes/discounts to all entrants. This way you guarantee capturing leads you can market to later.

2. Create a Clear Call-to-Action

The second element is crafting a clear call-to-action that encourages entrants to take an action that actively spreads awareness of your giveaway. This triggers the viral effects that enable your campaign to reach people well outside your existing audience.

For example, require giveaway entrants to:

  • Tag 3 Friends in the Comments
  • Repost the Giveaway Post & Tag You/Use a Brand Hashtag
  • Share the Giveaway Post to Their Instagram Story & Tag You

The goal here is to incentivize entrants to expose the giveaway to their own personal networks through their story shares, post tags, etc.

Repost/sharing requirements tend to work best, as they spread brand and giveaway visibility the furthest across Instagram.

In the Sunny Co. example, their core call-to-action was simply asking users to repost a photo of one of their swimsuits to their Instagram stories and tag Sunny Co.

The prize, incentive, and call-to-action were so well aligned that each entrant organically spread visibility of the giveaway to their own audiences. This compounded the entry numbers and allowed Sunny Co.’s follower account to grow by 750,000+ users in a short 48 hour window.

Key Takeaways:

  • Align your call-to-action for giveaway entry with spread/visibility actions like sharing to Instagram Stories or feed reposts
  • Make sure to include your brand handle or designated campaign hashtag so you can track entries
  • More visibility from real users exposing their own networks = more entries and reach

3. Use Automation Tools to Manage Entries

As entrance numbers grow into the hundreds or thousands, you need automation tools to help you organize and manage submissions.

Manually tracking entries, compiling lead details, and distributing prizes is totally unscalable.

That's why I always use tools like text message marketing platform MiniChat or email services like Mailchimp to run my giveaway campaigns and automatically handle submissions.

For example, here is a simple 3 step workflow you can set up:

  1. Create an opt-in automation flow in MiniChat triggered whenever someone tags your Instagram handle in their Stories
  2. Collect lead details like email address from entrants as they opt-in
  3. Set up automations to immediately send discounts or prizes to entrants after opt-in

This way you can directly incentivize the call-to-action to drive more entries, seamlessly collect lead information, confirm entries, and distribute any guaranteed prizes you offer to all entrants.

Depending on the size of your grand prize, you may also want to use a simple prize draw service like Rafflecopter to randomly select one winner at the end of the giveaway period.

Key Takeaways:

  • Automate submission tracking and prize delivery with platforms like MiniChat or Mailchimp
  • Confirm entry details and capture lead contact information with post-submission opt-in flows
  • Randomly select grand prize winners using prize draw tools like Rafflecopter

Driving Leads & Sales With Instagram Giveaways

Beyond just growing your Instagram audience, giveaways also present a huge opportunity to capture inbound leads and drive sales.

Sometimes you'll get direct sales just from new followers discovering your content.

But often, the biggest opportunity is in remarketing to giveaway entrants who have already expressed interest by entering.

For example, you could structure your giveaway campaign in 3 steps:

  1. Offer Part of Your Service for FreeProvide a small but engaging taste of your offering as the giveaway prize. This could be a single free session, intro voucher, extensive sample content, etc.

The goal here is delighting users and showcasing immense value straight away.

  1. Upsell Your Full Service OfferAfter sending giveaway winners their entry prize, follow up promoting your full service packages.Overall you want to move giveaway participants down a funnel from cold traffic -> interested leads -> buyers. So don't stop at just the initial prize delivery when you have a warm lead!
  2. Onboard Clients with Your Full Managed ServiceFor users who purchased your full service after the giveaway, focus on delivering tremendous value and results quickly. This secures them as long-term clients and organic evangelists.The initial giveaway prize puts your business on users' radar. But how you onboard them post-purchase determines long-term loyalty.

Here is a concrete example:

Let's say I run marketing agency that creates viral social media content and strategies for clients.

I could offer an Instagram giveaway for "5 Custom Content Captions":

  • To enter, users would need to follow my account and tag 2 friends in the giveaway post comments
  • For actually submitting valid entries and opting into my email list, all entrants would receive 5 caption templates custom-crafted for their niche and target audience.

This provides initial value, establishes my credibility in content creation, and generates a targeted lead list.

  • I would then follow up these leads with a limited-time offer to get their first MONTH of my Viral Content Creation service for 50% off.

This aims to convert giveaway entrants into longer-term buyers.

  • For customers who purchased my monthly service, I would assign them an Account Manager to kick-off an onboarding call about their goals, craft an Initial Content Strategy Plan to share, and schedule times for our Content Approval & Publishing Process going forward.

This onboarding experience locks in an active client ready to achieve results, not just a one-off buyer from a discount promo.

Wrapping Up

Launching creative Instagram giveaways can rapidly grow your followers, engagement, leads generated, and sales closed. This guide outlined the core components for giveaway success:

  1. Crafting irresistible prize offers that captivate your audience
  2. Structuring viral calls-to-action that users want to share and promote
  3. Leveraging automation tools to seamlessly manage submissions at scale

Bring these elements together as part of a coordinated funnel strategy to take your business to the next level!

I've used this Instagram giveaway framework to generate 750,000+ followers for brands in just 48 hours along with thousands in sales revenue.

No matter what your business or current follower count, giveaways done right provide immense exposure potential to catapult your growth.

If you have any other questions on maximizing results or need any help running your next Instagram giveaway campaign, don’t hesitate to reach out!

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