If you want to expand your Instagram presence and grow your following, you may be wondering if a sponsored Instagram contest is a good idea. While you can host it on your own account, it can be harder to gain traction if you’re just starting out. That’s why many people opt to use an influencer’s account – as a sponsored giveaway.
What is a Sponsored Giveaway Contest?
A sponsor or group of sponsors finance a prize of some sort, and an influencer or group of influencers promotes the contest to their followers. To enter, users have to follow all of the sponsors’ accounts on Instagram, thus providing an increase in followers.
Seems like it would be worth it, right? The short answer is, maybe. It all comes down to whether the followers are the right type and whether or not they choose to stick around after the contest is finished.
Will A Sponsored Giveaway Attract Your Target Audience?
You’ll definitely attract new followers to your account, but if you’re not connected with the right influencers, you won’t get people who are interested in your products or services. Instead, they’re attracted to the prize.
For instance, if you’re a local business, choosing a giveaway host from your local area doesn’t necessarily narrow your reach to people who are living near your business location, as that influencer may have followers from all over the country or even the world.
It’s safe to assume that the majority of your new followers will be people who are on the lookout for prize opportunities and follow tons of different accounts in the hopes of winning, without the intention of ever really engaging with you. And because of that, the giveaway audience likely will not produce a significant increase in sales.
Will New Followers Stay?
One of the biggest questions about Instagram sponsored giveaways is whether you can expect your followers to stay after the giveaway is over. The followers who are interested in your product or service may stick around. However anyone who joins specifically for the chance to win the giveaway will likely unfollow you the day you announce the results. You can expect an average of more than half of the giveaway audience increase to unfollow your account within two weeks after announcing the giveaway winner.
Will the Contest Negatively Affect Your Organic Reach?
if you’re not careful, this kind of activity may negatively affect your organic reach. The Instagram algorithm analyzes user preferences an activity to show content they believe will be potentially interesting and engaging. Part of this involves tracking the user’s previous relationships with a particular account as well as how followers interact with that account. If users engage frequently with the account, it ranks higher in the feed. However, if the account has inactive followers or is experiencing a significant bike, the algorithm interprets this as a sign of poor quality content and thus will rank it lower in the feed.
Since Instagram sponsored giveaways don’t always attract people and your target audience who are often not interested in what you’re offering, your new followers may only interact with your post during the giveaway because they think this will increase their chances of winning the prize. When they unfollow your account or turn into ghost followers who don’t engage with your content, they will eventually stop seeing it in their feed.
As a result, Instagram’s algorithm will believe this behavior is a result of a decline in the quality of your content and starts to reduce your organic reach by showing your content to fewer of your followers.
Tips to Increase New Follower Retention After a Sponsored Giveaway
If you decide you still want to run a sponsored Instagram giveaway, use the tips to improve your chances of increasing your follower retention.
Use the Right Prize
You should offer a prize directly related to your target audience. If you run a pizza restaurant, offer a gift certificate for a free meal. If you are a beauty blogger, offer new makeup. It may be tempting to choose products or services from other businesses, but those are likely to attract people who won’t be interested in ever purchasing from you.
Repost the Top Performing Content
Before your giveaway starts, repost three or four of your most successful Instagram photos or videos, so they’ll be at the top of your feed when new followers join.
Post Organic Content Throughout the Contest
Though it may seem like a good idea to flood your Instagram feed with business offers during your giveaway to catch a new follower’s attention before they unfollow you, you should Instead try to interest them in the knowledge you can share with them and attempt to build a connection with them. If you’re successful and they stay, you’ll have plenty of time to sell to them later.
Engage With Followers Proactively
If the new followers have comments or questions, take time to proactively engage with them by responding and starting a conversation. Be sure to use interactive features such as questions and polls in Instagram Stories.
Use Social Proof
Whether from Instagram or another social platform, use social proof to show your new Instagram followers that other people enjoy your products or services. This can go a long way in helping and convince them to stay with the giveaway is over.
Remember, people followed you to enter your giveaway, so they may not know anything about you. Use the opportunity to tell them about your business and what they should expect to see on your account.
Build on Your Momentum
On the same day your influencer announces the giveaway winners, considering launching a small giveaway on your own account. That way you can reduce the number of people who unfollow you.
When you look for a host for your sponsored giveaway, make sure the influencer has an active and engaged following of people in your target audience. Verify the audience’s location, gender, and age. Don’t focus so much on the size of the audience. A large audience of people who don’t pay attention to the content isn’t as valuable as a small audience where almost everyone engages.
When you have a small account, you should try to anticipate any giveaways. Instead, start with smaller influencers to maintain stable reach and engagement as you grow. Then, move on to bigger influencers.