Host a Photo Contest to Build Brand Engagement

Instagram (2)
Monday, January 13th, 2014
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With over 150 million active users, Instagram has proven to be a valuable tool to promote your brand on mobile devices. However, just posting a pretty picture of your products is not enough. You really need to engage with your customers and hosting a photo contest on Instagram is the perfect way to encourage engagement with your brand. Not only will you gain new followers, you’ll also build brand awareness and ultimately drive sales.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Get Involved – As a brand owner, it is important that you share photos to build familiarity with the app among your customers.

Choose a Relevant Theme – Depending on the time of year and the products you sell, the theme of the contest can determine the level of participation.

Choose a Reward – The reward is the most important aspect of the contest because it is what motivates people to participate. Just be sure it is relevant to your business. A gift certificate redeemable in your online store is a great prize because it appeals to anyone that may be interested your products, as opposed to a specific product.

Create a Unique Hashtag – Set up a contest specific hashtag that is short and sweet. This will allow you view all photos that have been submitted.

Set up Contest Page on your website – Describe contest details including rules and guidelines, instructions to enter, time frame, how winner will be chosen, and prize.

Promote – Send an email to your existing customer base with details about the contest and a link to your contest page. Post on all social media site like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr and Instagram of course. Add a banner on your homepage and include a mention on your blog. If you have a physical store, you can even create and post a flyer.

Contest Follow-up – Once a winner has been selected, notify them to let them know they have won with information on how to collect their prize. Promote the winning photo and as well as any runners up on Instagram, all other social media sites, the contest page on your website, your blog, and anywhere else it was promoted. Send thank you messages to all participants with a coupon link to your online store, as well as information about the next contest.

Here are some creative photo contests for inspiration:

  •  For Halloween, DUNKIN DONUTS encouraged their customers to decorate their DD cup with a costume and then share a picture with the hashtag #DresseDD for the chance to win a gift card.
  • To promote the release of a new watch, SWATCH encouraged people to post photos of what inspires them about the streets they love with the hashtag #FromTheStreets for a chance to win the new watch.
  • To promote their new headphones, the #SonyX contest encouraged customers to post an image related to their new headphones, for a chance to win a trip to see a SONY Music Artist perform, a pair of X Headphones, or $25 Gift Card.
  • MACALLAN Whisky encouraged drinkers to submit an image of them enjoying their Macallan whisky with the hashtag #MeAndTheMacallan for a surprise reward.

With the popularity of Instagram still on the rise, photo contests are a great way to build brand engagement. If you have any other creative photo contest ideas, please post in the comments below!

Currently an eCommerce Account Manager at Nexternal, Matthew enjoys helping businesses succeed online. Prior to joining Nexternal, Matthew spent years implementing innovative marketing campaigns for a world renowned design firm and is particularly passionate about online marketing and entrepreneurship.

2 Comments

  1. Thank you Kimberly. Please let us know about your photo contest once it is set up!

    Reply
  2. Matthew,
    Another great tip from Nexternal! Keep up the good words guys!
    Kimberly ~ Owner Tesoro Winery

    Reply
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