Instagram contests: why are they needed, how to conduct them (full instructions)

In this article, you will learn:

  • Why hold contests on Instagram in 2021.
  • What contests are there.
  • How to hold a drawing.

Why hold contests on Instagram: goals and objectives

Instagram contests are an effective marketing tool for attracting a new audience: subscribers and customers. This format often goes viral: competitive posts receive high reach, which is why the social network algorithm begins to actively disseminate the publication.

Contests are different: from the classic “like and write a comment” to complex game mechanics, where participants need to fulfill any conditions: record a video, write a story.

Instagram contests help:

  • Get new subscribers.
  • Increase sales of goods / services.
  • Increase audience activity and engagement.
  • Increase brand awareness.

What are the contests: types and mechanics

Now let’s see what Instagram contests are. Let’s explore the basic giveaway mechanics that you can use to promote your account.

Draw for like, follower and comment

This is a classic competition format. The conditions for participation are as simple as possible: users need to subscribe to your profile, leave a comment and like the contest post.

The winner is determined randomly – for example, using a randomizer: by comments, likes, or among all subscribers.


Giveaway (or giveaway) – this format is in a sense similar to the previous one. But there is one difference: members need to subscribe to multiple accounts at once. These are sponsors.

Simple example: various companies come together and buy a Giveaway from a major blogger with an audience of over a million people. The blogger publishes a contest post – for example, with the drawing of a new iPhone.

To participate, users must subscribe to accounts located in the “Subscriptions” section of the blogger. As you understand, these are sponsors. The winner is determined at random.

Read more about Giveaway in our separate article on the site.

Photo with hashtag

This format of contests increases brand or product awareness. To do this, you need to come up with your own hashtag – for example, your company name.

To take part in the drawing of a valuable prize, users need to post a photo and add your hashtag. The winner will be chosen at random among all participants who have fulfilled the condition.

You can add an additional condition: the winner will be the participant with the most creative shot. This will encourage users to get creative. And it will be easier for you to choose a winner.

Important: The hashtag must be unique. This will reduce the risk that the winner will be someone who did not plan to participate in the draw.

Interactive Raffle

Interactive contests can be held. In a game format. A simple example: in order to take part in the prize drawing, the participants need to be allowed to guess the riddle.

Write a riddle in the contest post. The winner will be determined randomly – for example, through a random number generator or the LizaOnAir service.


This is another creative way of running contests. This is where contributors need to publish a post with a story.

For example, let users tell a story about your brand, blog, or product. The author of the most interesting post will win a prize.

Best Review Award

This format is somewhat similar to the previous one. But instead of a story, participants need to leave a review about your product / service.

The author of the most creative and interesting review will receive a prize. You can combine several formats: for example, to take part in the competition, you need to write a review about the product / brand in your personal account and add a special hashtag.

Stories Contest

Often contests are held in Stories. This type of content gets more reach than classic posts like photos and videos.

Different mechanics can be used for Stories. For example, post a contest post on your profile. The main condition for participating in the drawing is to repost the publication in Stories and mark your account. This will help increase the organic reach of your competitive post.

By the way, on our blog there is an article “How to repost on Instagram” – study it.

How to hold a competition: step by step instructions

Let’s move on to the practical part of the article. Let’s see how to run a contest on Instagram. In a step-by-step format.

1. Set a goal

The first step is to set a goal. Understand why you need to conduct a rally.

For example, attract new followers, increase sales, or increase brand awareness. Then move on to the next step.

2. Choose a prize

Now you need to choose a prize. If you’re on a big budget, then you can play a new smartphone or tablet.

If you have a commercial account – for example, an online gift shop – then the best option is to play your own products.

3. Create conditions

Come up with the terms of the competition. They directly depend on the chosen draw format.

To test the effectiveness of your contests, try the simplest ‘follow, like and tag a friend in the comments’ giveaway.

4. Write a post

Compose a promotional post for the competition. It should grab the attention of the Instagram audience.

Therefore, go straight to the heart of the matter – without water and lengthy introductions. Tell us about the prize and describe in detail the conditions of participation.

5. Promotion of the competition

If you do not have subscribers, then you need to actively promote the competition. There are several options for promotion. Let’s consider the most effective ones.

Targeted advertising

Run official targeted ads on Instagram. To do this, connect a business account and start promoting the competition publication.

You need a budget to run ads. We recommend starting with 5,000 rubles – this money will be enough to test different audiences.

Mass Following and Mass Liking

This is a cheaper way to promote your Instagram account. You need to subscribe and like your target audience.

To do this, use the Zengram service. It automates all promotion actions: subscribes, likes, comments, watches stories.

The service is paid. There is a free trial period for 3 days.

Try Zengram for Free >>>


You can gain the first audience by using cheat: subscribers, likes, views. The online service Likemania will help you with this.

On the site, you can quickly wind up the necessary indicators – cheap. It is also completely safe: your account will not be blocked for suspicious activity. Plus, you can choose the type of promotion: real people or bots.

Increase indicators through Likemania >>>

Advertising with bloggers

Order advertising for your profile from famous bloggers. For example, one post from an author with an audience of 150,000 people can cost 15-20 thousand rubles.

You can also agree with bloggers to hold a joint drawing. They will actively advertise the giveaway on their profile. Of course, for a fee.

6. Choose a winner

The final stage of the competition is summing up the results. You need to choose a winner. To do this, use special services.

We recommend Winner. This is a tool that allows you to randomly determine the winner of the draw.

For example, using the service, you can determine the winner among users who subscribed to the account, left a comment, and liked the post. All you need to do is insert a link to the contest post.

Algorithms of the system exclude manipulation of results. There are also no limits on the number of contests held.

Try Winner service for free >>>


Now you know what contests on Instagram are and how to hold a drawing. Use this tool to promote your own profile – especially if you are selling products / services.

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