Giveaways can be a fun way to interact with and gain more followers, while also giving back to the community you’re building. Giveaways can also be very hard, confusing and sometimes a waste of time, energy and money. But it doesn't have to be!!
These are the basic principles to hosting a successful Instagram giveaway…
1. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Who is your target audience? New moms? Brides? Small business owners? Other creatives? What is something you offer that they could use? A photo package? A cute outfit? Inspiring prints? Marketing materials? A coaching session? Offer up a taste of what you do and why they need it.
2. PROVIDE SOMETHING OF VALUE
Get specific. We’ve all seen those loop giveaways where you can win a $1,000 giftcard to J Crew, and while that’s pretty awesome to win, it’s not specific enough to what you offer (that is of course unless you own J Crew.) If your giveaway is too broad you won’t retain many followers once it’s over, and those that do stay are much less likely to convert to customers. If you’re a photographer – give away a mini session. If you’re a calligrapher, give away 20 free addressed envelopes. If you’re a designer – give away a small customized graphic.
3. COLLABORATE STRATEGICALLY
Collaborations have been pivotal to the growth of many businesses. It’s so important to find a specific niche is that it opens up possibilities to team up with business owners who may have otherwise been competition. Are you a photographer? Be a specific type of photographer, don’t do it all. And then dive down even further – be a natural light, documentary-style newborn photographer. That way you can pair up with other newborn, or family photographers who have a similar audience to you. Researched other creatives that have an audience that would be profitable for you to tap into. The right audience makes all the difference, not necessarily the size. It’s about profitability not popularity.
We’ve all heard the saying ‘exposure doesn’t pay the bills’ and in certain situations that’s true, but I tend to disagree. Many of our client's get their sales from Instagram, so getting the right followers can actually be very profitable for you and your business. A lot of work goes into building a large following, so to ask these collaborators to place me in front of their audience, I had to make sure they got something good in return. Sometimes that means paying for that space, or buying something from them, or trading. Show them you respect their audience and hard work!
4. MAKE ENTRY AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE
First rule of thumb – no required re-posting! People work hard to maintain a cohesive, branded feed, and it’s not worth it for me to mess with that just to enter a giveaway. I keep it super simple – all you have to do is follow and leave a comment. Easy! You can gain followers, and track the entries via the comments. Make tagging friends and re-posting an option for extra entries, that way it’s up to them if they want to re-post.
5. LEAVE THEM WANTING MORE
If you’re giving away something of specific value that only you can give them, and collaborating strategically with other people who have audiences that would appreciate what you’re offering, then you should maintain all those followers once the giveaway is over! Your giveaway should be a little taste of what you do, giving people a desire for it, and hopefully that desire will linger once the giveaway is over, and they’ll convert into customers!