How To Run a Kick-Ass Instagram Promotion

Blog Header BannerA little advice on how to get your Instagram promotion up and running.

Wanting to dip your toes into the world of Instagram promotions? Well, you’d be silly not to – As of January this year Instagram had over 5 million monthly active users in Australia, well beyond Twitter’s 2,800,000.

How do I utilise this large audience you ask? Easy! Or maybe not so easy? Never fear, I’ve caught up with Kaitlyn Elliott head of Influencer Marketing at Hello Social Australia to chat about how to run a kick-ass Instagram promotion.

Now, first things first it’s important to remember that Instagram is different from other platforms in the sense that it is heavily image-based. You can try to dazzle your audience with great copy as much as you like, but unless you have an appealing photo to accompany it with, you will be scrolled past in a heartbeat.

Brand promotion and advertising are still relatively new on the platform, therefore, there is room for experiment. Kaitlyn advises that as a starting point a brand should consider what the most “visually appealing” aspect of their brand and then make this the foundation of their promotion. Good news! You don’t need to be a professional photographer to take great pictures, that’s what filters are for! But do take the time to carefully consider the content of your photos.

Choosing what promotion work best for you is entirely subjective. Consider your objective, prize value and most importantly the business itself. You also need to consider whether a permit is required or any other limitations, you can learn about these guidelines in my last blog post.

There’s no point running a promotion if the only person that follows your Insta is your Mum. I’m not here to tell you how to get followers, that’s for another day, however, Kaitlyn gives this advice “forget reach, think engagement”, utilise ‘influencers’ and hashtags effectively to engage your audience.

Now back to the topic of promotions. When it comes to social media promotions there are a plethora of different formats you could use. Kaitlyn details four types that work best on Instagram.

Submit a photo or video: This is a great competition to help build user-generated content (UGC). It may involve the brand asking their audience to submit their own video or photo and include the promotional hashtag. This has the highest barrier to entry out of all the promotions meaning the brand should offer a prize that is valuable to the audience.

Comment to win: This is the simplest of the 4, all an entrant needs to do is comment on a post to be in the running. This promotion type is less valuable than a photo/video competition as the brand is not gathering any UGC or increasing their reach on the platform.

Repost to win: This involves asking the audience to repost an image that you have created to be in the running to win a prize. The benefit of this type of promotion is that it allows the brand to control the messaging. The downside, however, is that the brand is not gathering UGC and this type of promotion has a high barrier to entry.

Cross platform promotions: There is also the opportunity for brands to run a cross-platform promotion that has an Instagram component. This could include uploading their Instagram entry via a competition landing page on the brand’s website. The benefit of this promotion type is that the brand can gather emails for their email database.

Hold your horses, before rushing into it Kaitlyn has detailed the three key points you should consider before going live with your promotion.

The first is competition prize. Kaitlyn describes the importance of considering the barriers for entry when picking a prize – a user needs the incentive to enter the competition, the value of which should match the effort taken to enter.

Competition type. As listed above there are many different types of competitions that can be easily executed on Instagram. Consider your brand and objective when making a decision.

Execution. You can have the perfect plan but if you don’t execute it right it’s hopeless. Copy and images should be optimised to drive entries. Rather than ‘fluking it’ put effort into the preparation and execution and you will be rewarded.

Kaitlyn cautions against over-saturating your audience by overwhelming them with too many posts or repetitive content. The time and consistency of posts is vital – posts should incentivise entries but strictly avoid receptiveness as followers will quickly lose interest.

Why would I run a promotion on Instagram you ask? Well, good question! Considering Instagram’s large following it’s a great place to reach out to your audience and engage with them in a playful and casual way. Kaitlyn explains that engaging with your audience this way leads to greater brand loyalty and drives deep funnel engagement. Another upside is that the platform allows you to easily orchestrate a promotion at a relatively minimal cost compared to paid advertisement.

To sum things up nicely Kaitlyn reminds us to do what’s best for your business as there is so one size fits all.

“What works for one brand on Instagram doesn’t always work for another! There is no one size fits all and every brand should analyse their Instagram strategy on an individual basis.”

Now go out there and run a kick-ass promotion, and just remember the number one rule of Instagram – filters are your friend!

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