Think Instagram Photo Contests Are Too Mainstream To Work? Think Again!

Think that Instagram photo contests are for those who have run out of activation ideas? Read this!

With over 500 million active monthly users and still counting, Instagram has been established as one of the most loved social platform all over the world. Since the release in 2010, Instagram users have shared an average of 95 million both photos and videos daily. This is more than enough reasoning for marketers to use Instagram as one of social media marketing tools. eMarketer predicts that 70.7% US companies will use Instagram for marketing at 2017.

A social media study conducted by Forrester in 2016 showed that most of the top brands post at least five times per week on Instagram. It’s because the increasing number of Instagram activities on B2C marketers which lead to inspiring a purchase. According to, 75% of Instagrammers take actions such as visiting a website after being inspired by a post. This is why brands always try many different ways to promote their product on Instagram. One of the successful activities on Instagram is a photo contest.

In order to run this activity, brands must prepare an attractive prize pack, make understandable rules, and plan the promotion of the event.  There are many different ways to run an Instagram photo contest. To create more variant, here are some ideas that you can implement on the contest which was shared by :

  1. Recipes
    The food and beverage industry should consider this when wanting to run a contest on Instagram. They can potentially encourage Instagrammers to share some recipes while using their product. This will lead to them inspiring their peers and followers to do the exact same thing, sharing! For example, Sasa ran a cooking challenge for their audience so they would share recipes that include seasoned flour or coconut milk powder. Simple and relatable, which is the perfect recipe for viral success.

  2. Event Promotions
    Sometimes, simple activations are usually held to create and spread more awareness about the event. Most brands use partnership, whether they share some free tickets, passes or even lucky draw prizes. Another type of contest, like posting during the event to get a chance winning the exclusive prize will drive attendees to post and it will amp up engagement to your social media accounts. Fox Indonesia held the event to announce the new face of Fox Movies (previously known as Fox Movies Premium) and invite an experience of taking the 90 degrees moving pictures which will lead to post on Instagram. The other one is Erlangga as part of celebrating new school season.

    Event Promotion 1

    Event Promotion
  3. Fan Dedication
    This type of contest is used to target the super fans of a brand or product. Usually, the entry requirements are following some of the brand’s account on certain social media. After that, they are able to participate in the event and win certain prizes. CGV cinemas always do these type of contest and encourage users to share their favorite LINE stickers with the hashtag #LINEStickersCGVPaconnie #SeruBarengCGV and tag @CGV.ID

    Fan dedication
  4. Show Products Being Used
    This type of contest is an excellent fit in order to increase the sales figure on certain products. Brands will target current customers and help the company to gain feedback about the product. The contest can be as simple as asking fans to show how they would or often use the product. Brands that have already done this activity is Buavita with the hashtag #BUKAPUASATANPAMERASABERDOSA

    Show product being used
  5. Holiday Promotion
    Tying the contest with certain holiday periods can be very effective. Brands can choose between the standard holiday like mother’s day or non-traditional ones such as national breakfast day, so long it relates to the brand and its’ message. Take a look at Bank BRI photo contest as a part of celebrating National Kids Day.

    holiday promotion 1
  6. Partner With a Business
    This tactic can be done by partnering up with other business that has a similar customer base as your brand. It will lead to double promotional power that will be able to introduce the brand to users from other business which means one thing, new followers for your brand.   For example, Indomaret held a street photography contest on Instagram and invites Nikon as their sponsor for this event.

    Partner With a Business 1
  7. Weekly or Monthly contest
    Promoting a weekly or monthly contest is a great customer retention strategy. It can reduce the barrier between costumers and brands. The activity can be done simply by asking users to use standard brand hashtags to enter and win the prize automatically. BonCabe invites their follower to show the funkiest way to eat with their product on Instagram.

    weekly contest 3
  8. Take a Selfie
    Most of Instagram users love to take selfies and this type of contest fits with that particular hobby. All brands need to do is ask customers to take a selfie with the product, add captions with the planned hashtag, and upload it. Simple, right?

    take a selfie 2
  9. Show How Much You Need a Product
    This type of contest is more successful to run with higher price point products. Sometimes, brands will ask fans how much they need the product or service. The participants don’t need to have the product but this activity can convert some followers into loyal customers. . Oppo Indonesia ran with the idea that user can photo with other objects like wallet or bottle.

    Show How Much You Need a Product 1

In conclusion, these ideas can be used by all brands that aim to promote themselves through photo contest on the Instagram. Make sure that it presents the goal and message of the brand whether its’ to increase awareness or generate engagement. So, what’s your favorite insta-tactic?

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Sarah is a social media content writer for Sonar Platform, currently majoring in Public Relations at the London School of Public Relations, Jakarta

About Sarah Putri 108 Articles
Sarah is a social media content writer for Sonar Platform, currently majoring in Public Relations at the London School of Public Relations, Jakarta

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