Instagram is an outstanding platform for connecting with your customers and can be effective at bringing in new traffic to your business (if you do it right). If you're having trouble building a following on Instagram, you're not alone. There's a lot of brand competition out there. According to Instagram, 90% of people on the platform follow a business. One great way to stand out from the crowd and boost your Instagram profile is by using giveaway platforms. Instagram giveaways can help you attract new followers and encourage visits to your website. That means more traffic, more leads and hopefully, more conversions.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about creating a successful Instagram giveaway, including the 7 best tools to make your campaign run smoothly.
What Is an Instagram Giveaway?
Let's start with the basics: what is an Instagram giveaway, and why would you want to run one?
An Instagram contest or giveaway is a marketing campaign that encourages your followers to interact with your account in order to win a prize. The goal is to gain more followers and grow your brand exposure.
Most of these campaigns involve some kind of creative challenge, like a photo or video contest. Other challenges are easier to complete, like tagging friends in an Instagram post. Whatever way you choose to run your giveaway, one (or multiple) winners will receive a prize.
The result is increased interest in your profile and more people discovering your business. Sure, you're giving away a product or service for free (as the prize), but the revenue all that new traffic will bring in makes it worth the expense.
What Are the Benefits?
The benefits go beyond just gaining new followers. A successful giveaway will also develop your brand, allow you to connect with your existing Instagram follower base, and even help your profile rank higher on the Instagram search page.
An independent study by Tailwind Instagram Scheduler found that hosting a contest or giveaway can help you grow your profile 70% faster in 3 months. This growth can make an enormous difference in a competitive market.
Your new followers engage your profile by participating in the contest. Your brand gets more eyeballs and your posts get more traction.
Remember, successful social media marketing is all about building familiarity with your brand.
The more your followers are interacting with your posts, the more they're getting to know your business and products. Your brand will be on their mind the next time they're looking for the service or products you offer.
Instagram giveaway ideas
You may have seen Instagram giveaways while scrolling through your feed. Major brands regularly run Instagram giveaway contests to help launch new products or to enhance their online image.
Chipotle, for example, famously gives away free burritos around the holidays every year. In the company's most recent campaign, the Chipotle Instagram account announced free meals for the first 500 people who texted. It was easy for people to participate, fast to complete the challenge, and boosted Chipotle's image as a fun and charitable brand.
Some of the most popular types of Instagram giveaways include:
Like-to-enter contests: Encourage your followers to “like” your post, then select a winner from the likes.
Photo contests: Create a hashtag contest where your followers post photos or selfies with a specific branded hashtag. Winners can be narrowed down and selected by popular vote.
Video contests: Short videos are an even more popular contest format today, thanks to TikTok and influencer marketing.
In-store photo contests: If your business has a storefront, ask your followers to post and hashtag photos of themselves in the store to enter the competition.
Trivia contests: Post quizzes or a trivia question on your Instagram feed and reward the new follower who texts the correct answer.
Tag-a-friend: Ask your followers to tag one or two friends in the comments section of your post, then select a winner from the tagged accounts.
Successive contests: Multiple days of smaller giveaways, leading up to a grand finale giveaway. This helps to build momentum for your campaign, perfect for small businesses that need to quickly get more followers.
The coolest thing about these methods is that there's little impact on your business resources. All you need is the right tools.
Tips for Running A Successful Instagram Giveaway
Making your Instagram giveaway a success isn't hard. After all, everyone loves free stuff. If you can get the word out there about an amazing free offer, you'll have no trouble growing your brand exposure through your giveaway campaign.
That said, you'll want your contest to run smoothly. Hastily created giveaways can be ineffective. Not to mention, the damage they can do to your brand!
Here are a few tips to help make your next social media contest as successful as possible:
Pick a theme: The most interesting Instagram giveaways always have a theme. Pick something that's short and trendy (easy to create hashtags for) and relevant to what your business does. Holiday-themed contests are always a hit, too!
Define your goals before you start: What's the purpose of your giveaway? Do you want to gain more followers, build brand awareness, or generate leads to your website? Set those goals before you start planning so you know what you're striving for.
Build hype on your account: Surprise contests often work for big-name brands, but if this is your first Instagram giveaway, it's best to build up some hype in the days before the contest starts so your followers know it's coming.
Know how you'll pick a winner: Are you going to pick a random winner, have your followers vote, or use an algorithm? Whatever type of contest you decide to run, make sure you know exactly how you are going to pick the winner (or winners) before you get started.
Choose a prize people will want: If you want people to participate in your contest, you have to choose a prize that will excite and motivate them. A week of your services for free, a piece of apparel, a sample of your products, etc. Think of something your followers will really want.
Partner with other brands: Another great way to boost your exposure is to run your giveaway with another brand. This will ensure that more people see the contest and get involved.
On top of that, a great Instagram giveaway is all about planning. Start planning far ahead of time and make sure you're 100% prepared before you announce the giveaway on your account
As long as you have a plan and use one of the tools reviewed below, you'll have no problem reaching your goals with your Instagram contest.
The Top Instagram Giveaway Tools
Ready to plan your Instagram giveaway? You'll need an Instagram comment picker, templates, waitlist creator, and other tools to make your giveaway a success.
The first thing you'll need is a way to pick the winner in comment competitions. The creatively-named Instagram Comment Picker tool by Commentpicker.com lets you pick a random winner for free. You'll need to sign in with Facebook but from there it's an easy process to pick a comment.
Another free Instagram comment picker tool from Wask does pretty much the same thing with a simple email login account. You just paste the giveaway post URL and it picks a random comment.
SweepWidget makes it easy to run viral/refer-a-friend contests, social media growth contests, leaderboard competitions, and instant coupon giveaways. They are the perfect tool to grow your social media followers/likes/shares, email signups, customer leads, and brand awareness.
Their intuitive software connects with 30+ social media platforms and has 90+ entry methods. Some popular platforms they use are Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitch, and many more. They have a great drag-and-drop builder that makes managing your giveaways a breeze. For those who are visual-oriented, they have an advanced design editor. Additionally, you can use custom CSS for advanced style implementations. When you've created your giveaway, promote it on SweepWidget's free landing pages or display it on your website.
SweepWidget has 20+ email marketing API integration for those who are trying to grow their newsletter lists. They have other API integration like Zapier, Facebook Tracking Pixel, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Stripe, and even offer a native API for those who require custom integrations.
The Instagram tool allows you to collect new followers, likes on posts, shares, comments, reposts, and hashtags. It’s the perfect tool for growing your Instagram audience and overall engagement.
SweepWidget offers a free plan for unlimited use. Upgraded plans start at an affordable $29 per month and will provide you with everything you need for Instagram contests, all other social media contests, email API integrations, and much more.
Woorise is an all-in-one tool that lets you create and run contests on your website and on Instagram. In contrast tools that use templates, Woorise offers a drag-and-drop builder that allows you to make your giveaway unique. Create forms, landing page, and widgets all in one place, then monitor your contest and watch the leads come in.
Woorise has a free version, but I recommend subscribing to their “Grow” plan to get the most out of the software and increase the chance of generating leads. It's worth the investment to bring new followers and traffic to your business.
ViralKit simplifies the process of creating a successful promotion. All you need to do is enter a few words describing what kind of promotion would work best for your audience and ViralKit builds it automatically.
The AI automatically creates and launches a contest for your brand in 15 seconds or less, then manages the whole campaign from start to finish. And you can run your giveaway on over 60 social platforms.
ViralKit's top-tier enterprise-level security helps remove cheaters and fake entries.
Got a specific look in mind? ViralKit's visual editor will ensure that your giveaway has the same look and feel as your other content.
Tweak your contests with custom form fields, making sure you gather all the info you need from your contestants. Bonus points: it even integrates with over 25 APIs and offers a native API for all your custom workflow desires.
Wishpond's slogan is “marketing made simple”, and they certainly live up to that idea.
This is the perfect tool for someone who needs help with their digital marketing campaigns and email marketing but can't afford to hire a marketing agency. You'll be able to create landing pages, automate your contests and giveaways, and generate more leads. Wishpond also works well with Facebook and Pinterest and integrates with most major email marketing tools and CRMs.
This is a full-service marketing tool, so I recommend it to business owners who need help with more than just Instagram giveaways. It's essentially a virtual marketing professional at your fingertips!
If you're looking for easy-to-use contest and giveaway templates, check out EasyPromos.
As the name suggests, this site makes it easy to create marketing promotions for your business. They have 34 apps to download, each with a different purpose and templates.
For example, if you want to run a photo contest on other social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc) subscribe to EasyPromos' photo contest app and use it to create your campaign.
Your first giveaway is free on the platform. For first-time giveaway creators, who don't want to deal with fees or subscriptions, give this tool a shot.
Outgrow's platform is very easy to use and does not require any engineering or design experience.
While you can get started in minutes, try to get familiar with the tool to get the most out of it.
One thing that really sets Outgrow apart is the comprehensive Analytics and Performance reporting features. There's literally nothing else on the market that gives anywhere near the level of detail and insight. Data nerds and analytical marketers will love this.
To set up a giveaway, you've got two options:
- Contest: users improve their position on the leaderboard by inviting other users to participate in the content.
- Random: you (or software) choose the winner at random.
Edit a template or start from scratch to build the content landing page. Publish and share the URL on Instagram. The best way is to use the URL in your profile, either as the only “link in bio” landing page tool.
Send the results to one of over 1000 integration partners or simply export them to Google sheets.
If you get stuck, support is online 24/7. Shout out to the great customer service team. The Outgrow team is great to work with, and they're always available to answer questions or help you get up and running.
Outgrow is one of the most popular tools in this space for a few reasons. It's super fast to use (as a marketer, I'm always impressed with fast user interfaces) and offers a lot of functionality.
Prices start at $22 per month or $14 paid annually so that's a low-cost option for businesses on a tight budget. This Freelancer plan gets you 1000 leads per month and no game-changing limitations compared to higher-priced plans. You've got all the power to build lead generation widgets, including custom branding, When you're ready to receive more qualified leads, upgrade to a more expensive plan.
Looking for a growth-oriented app to help you market your business? You'll love Gleam.
This app allows you to easily create your contests and track them in real-time. You can see how successful your campaign is by tracking each action a user takes. For example, if someone makes it halfway through a quiz then decides to quit, you'll get a notification.
This live tracking allows you to improve and continue to grow with each Instagram giveaway or contest you run. On top of that, Gleam offers other marketing and referral tools to run every aspect of your online marketing strategy.
Gleam lets you import comments and filter them to pick winning comments. You'll need a business account to import comments.
If you're looking for an all-in-one tool to run your whole Instagram raffle, sweepstake contest, or giveaway from planning to execution, try Shortstack.
This affordable software comes with 90 templates and 30 themes to run contests on any social media platform. It's even compatible with Pinterest (perfect for a crafty small business owner).
Shortstack offers a range of contests on other social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok. There's even Landing Page contests, hashtag contests, and more.
The best thing about Shortstack is that even someone with minimal technical experience can use it. All you have to do is select your template, then drag-and-drop your features. You'll be able to create and run a successful, stress-free giveaway in no time.
Vyper is specifically designed for social media giveaways and referral campaigns. It's easy to use, affordable, and a superb choice for business owners with small to medium-sized Instagram platforms.
Choose your template, personalize your landing page and widgets, and run the contest. Select your winners from the contest entries and deliver their rewards. The software makes it easy to monitor your contest, even if you don't have any staff to help you.
Templates are all growth-oriented, and you can even browse their site for successful giveaway case studies to get inspired.
Vyper offers a free trial so you can run your first campaign on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter without paying for a subscription.
If you're new to social media marketing, Viral Loops is an awesome tool to help you out.
The Viral Loop giveaway tools include templates for referral marketing, email campaigns, pre-launch waitlists, and social media giveaways. The software won't take all the work off your hands, but it will provide you with pre-designed templates to make creating your Instagram giveaway easier.
Viral Loops is a good choice for new influencers and small business owners who are just getting their start. If you don't have a big team to help with your giveaway, using this app's templates saves you a lot of time.
Try the free trial to find out if Viral Loops is right for your business before you subscribe.
Choosing the Right Instagram Giveaway App
As you can see, there are tons of helpful resources out there to plan and run your successful Instagram giveaway.
So, how to choose the best software for your business?
Most of these tools offer free trials, so you can test them out before you pay anything. Once you find the software that fits your needs, you'll be creating professional, exceptional Instagram giveaways to help your business grow!