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8 Instagram Contest Ideas for Affiliate Marketing Campaigns

Updated on December 9, 2021

7 Min Read

Want to make an impact on the most visual social media platform? We have listed down 8 Instagram contest ideas for you.  

Since its inception in 2010, Instagram has come a long way. As of June 2018, the photo and video sharing platform had reached the 1 billion monthly active users’ mark.

It’s a social platform for the young. Teens and millennials have been its most faithful users. Research says that more than half of Instagram’s users are between the ages of 18 and 29 years.

What’s more, since it is a visual platform, the engagement rate is quite high.

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Instagram Contests – A Better Way to Increase Followers and Drive Engagement

Now that you know that Instagram is a platform with high engagement, the question is: How do you get those active members to engage with you?

For Instagram strategies to enhance engagements, you first need to increase the number of followers. It is a number based on which visitors to your profile immediately notice and make an impression of you. Holding Instagram contests is one way you can increase that number. Accounts that hold contests get 70% faster follower growth than accounts that do not hold contests. Not just that, Instagram contests can also help you garner more engagement from those followers. Instagram contests, as compared to regular content, help drive 64x more comments and 3.5x more likes. What’s more, an incredible 91% of all Instagram posts that have received more than 1000 comments are contest posts.     

If that does not make up your mind to hold Instagram contests, we don’t know what will!

Instagram Contest Ideas for Affiliate Marketers

We at Cloudways are big fans of Instagram contests. Our team gathered together to list down eight best Instagram contest ideas for affiliate marketers.

Ready, Steady, Go………….

Instagram Contest Idea #1: Tag to Win

The tag to win contest is a great way to improve the organic reach and visibility of your profile. It’s pretty straightforward. You are just asking people to tag their friends in the comments section to enter the contest and become eligible to win whatever prizes you have in store for them.

Once tagged, their friends receive notifications. The tagged users might then check out your profile and might even follow you. If they like it, they will tag their friends as well.

Here’s how ‘Idbeauty_’ does it:

When choosing a winner, use an automated system. Finally, congratulate the winners after they have won, and also mention the prizes that they will get.

Instagram Contest Idea #2: Like to Win

Instagram likes have become a major currency in the social media world. If you want to increase the golden number, a ‘like to win’ contest can be an amazing idea. The way it works is simple. Just post your content (preferably with graphics) and ask people to like it to have a chance to win something great.

Make sure you add relevant industry hashtags to reach a wider audience. This helps increase your number of followers. Remember, a one-off like to win contest will not do the trick for you. You will need to make it a regular practice to make an impact.

Take a look at how ‘studentbeans’ creates a like to win contest with a crisp image, clear rules and relevant hashtags:

Here’s another example of a like to win contest:

Instagram Contest Idea #3: Selfie Contest

People love to take selfies and post them on Instagram. If you can turn that into a competition, that will be incredible. In a selfie contest, you can ask people to post a selfie while using a product, or with the product in the background. It helps you create a buzz around your brand.

In the description of your selfie contest, make sure you use a unique hashtag and then ask people to use it while posting their selfies. Pick the best selfie at the end of the contest and announce the winner.

Humanfoosball smartly created its #HFGAMEFACE campaign asking people to share selfies of their game faces. With creative copy, amazing image, relevant hashtags and a clear reward, they ran a very engaging campaign.

The great thing about a selfie contest is that it provides you with user-generated content. It allows you to focus on your other affiliate marketing activities.

Instagram Contest Idea #4: Scavenger Hunt Contest

Out of all of the Instagram contest ideas, the scavenger hunt contest will be the one to take community engagement to a whole new level. As the name suggests, the scavenger hunt involves participants collecting a number of things to win the prize. You can bring people in a physical space, and have them complete tasks, or you might ask them to complete tasks on their own and post photographs on their Instagram feed or Instagram Story after that.

Here’s how DevMountain Dallas, a coding training center, created an interesting digital scavenger hunt contest:

What they did was hide a few toys in the Google Street View of their campus. The participants were required to find those toys and send their screenshots by Instagram DM. The campaign not only engaged their audiences, but also allowed them to explore DevMount campus.

Instagram Contest Idea #5: Instagram Stories Contest

Instagram stories are fun. They provide a great way to post something exciting to your profile. With Instagram’s new ‘question stickers’ feature, you can host an interesting Instagram stories contest.

Clearly define the rules of the contest and post your question sticker. The participants will then send their entries. Once the time is up, share the correct answers and tag winners.

For better engagement, you can start promoting your Instagram stories contest a week ahead of time. This will build anticipation. Here’s an example of how an Instagram stories contest looks like:

Source: Later

Instagram Contest Idea #6: Photo Contest

A photo contest is quite similar to the selfie contest. In the photo contest, the participants will not photograph themselves, but other things, places, monuments, etc. You can create a unique hashtag for the photo contest. It will help you find the winning photo when the contest is over.

In this type of contest, you do not necessarily need to give away a prize. You can just mention that you will be posting the winner’s content on your profile. Again, this will give a ton of user-generated content that you can use later.

Check out how the Empire State Building created a weekly photo contest asking participants to submit their photos of the historic building:

Here’s another example from the Boston News Channel. The winning photo gets featured in the 10pm news:

Instagram Contest Idea #7: Voting Contest

Voting contest, as the name suggests, involves participants seeking votes for their content. Generally, the content that has the highest number of likes wins. Depending on your product or service, you can ask people to write poetry, take a picture or answer a question.

Typically, people who take part in the contest, tend to promote their own entries through various social channels. However sometimes, this might be asking too much. Leave the promotion on participants only if you have a highly engaged audience. If your profile does not have very active participants, you can just ask for the entries and then create a post asking your followers to vote.

Here’s how Troutunlimited does it brilliantly:

Also, take a look at another example where a budding singer is looking to obtain votes through her profile:

Instagram Contest Idea #8: Caption Contest

Caption contests are the most interesting ones. As the name suggests, this contest involves you uploading a picture and asking people to give a caption. The best one wins. You will be amazed at people’s wit and humor. Make sure that the image is unusual and interesting.

The Sudbury Wolves OHL hockey team engaged their fans by asking them to caption a photo. Not only did it provide a chance to win two tickets to the opening game, but also to show their wit. Take a look:

Here’s another bizarre photo that Kevin Kolk Music used to create an amazing caption contest:

Do read the comments!

Final Words

We have listed down some of the best Instagram contest examples. What are you waiting for? Take inspiration from one of these ideas and create a contest. Do not forget to use a relevant hashtags or even create a unique one. Be open with your audience. Finally, announce the winner.

Selling on Instagram: Best Way to Reach $100,000 In Sales

Cloudways offers a very lucrative web hosting affiliate program. Our flexible commission structures provides a suitable solution to all kinds of affiliate marketers. Not just that, we also provide comprehensive guidance for affiliate marketers. We have on-board a team of digital marketing professionals who help you in every step of your affiliate marketing journey. From blogs such as these to affiliate banners, we are here to help you up your game.

Ready to run your own Instagram contest? Do let us know if the ideas inspired you and feel free to share your results in the comments section below.

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Ahsan Raza

Ahsan Raza is a Digital Content Producer at Cloudways. He is passionate about digital marketing and the latest happenings in the tech world. Storyteller at heart, he loves to discuss books, movies and shows. His favorite TV show: ‘The Office’.


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