The chance to win a free prize from your favorite brand is almost irresistible, for both long-time loyal customers and casual consumers who have only tried a product once or twice. As a beauty vlogger, drumming up excitement and engagement by putting together an Instagram contest is a great way to keep your YouTube channel’s community active. Here are some tips for hosting an Instagram contest successfully.
Growing Your Channel’s Instagram Reach with Contests
First, it’s always good to solidify what your goal is with an Instagram contest. Whether you’re collaborating with brands to giveaway products, or hosting your own giveaway, contests can be a great way to get people engaged with your beauty vlogging brand. Because you’re hosting on Instagram, most of the reach development you’ll be focused on is with your Instagram followers.
However, that doesn’t mean that your YouTube following won’t grow, because using a contest to grow your Instagram reach is a great way to increase your channel’s reach across multiple platforms.
Decide on Your Prize
Of course, one of the most important things you’ll need to do is decide what kind of prize you’ll be giving away. You want to choose a quality prize that your audience is interested in, but also one that’s relevant to your YouTube channel. As a beauty vlogger, your first thought is, naturally, a beauty product – but to get the most out of the contest, consider narrowing your options down even more.
Have you recently showcased a new beauty product in one of your videos? Do you often talk about a specific brand or product as a staple in your beauty routine? Have you ever done a video showing an “out of the box” way to use a specific product? The product used in these types of videos would be a great give-away item, because it relates to your own content.
Consider The Secondary Goal of Your Instagram Contest
Above, we mentioned that the goal of your giveaway is primarily to increase your Instagram reach, which will help extend your YouTube channel’s brand. However, it’s likely that you have a few other goals you’d like to meet with this giveaway as well. You may want to get more page likes, increase the use of your channel’s official social media hashtag, bring recognition to one of your sponsors, and more.
Know Which Contest Actions Will Achieve Your Goals
Knowing your secondary goal will help you decide how each contest entry on Instagram should be handled. For example, if you want to increase the range of your official hashtag, you can require that everyone use the hashtag in an original Instagram post as their entry. If your goal is more page likes, then entry involving likes is essential. If your goal is to bring attention to a sponsor, then one of the required actions can be to follow the sponsor brand.
Choose a Theme For Your Instagram Contest
All contests need a theme, but if you are requiring original posts with hashtag use, or something similar, as the contest entry, then you especially need a theme. Your viewers need to know what to post to their own Instagram account with the hashtag, and having a theme allows them to feel like part of the fun. Connect the theme to the product if you can, to build buzz.
For example, if you’re a beauty vlogger giving away a limited edition shade of your favorite lipstick, you could consider a theme that involves viewers posting a picture to share their most recently used lipstick, and use your social media hashtag to complete the entry. Similar concepts can be utilized for almost any type of giveaway.
Create a Contest Hashtag For Participants
Even if you aren’t hosting an Instagram contest to grow your YouTube channel’s hashtag usage, it’s still a great idea to go with a contest hashtag. This will allow you an easy way to search for buzz about your contest, or at the very least, find all your own contest-related posts in a quick search. You can use this tool to measure the results of the contest, learning how your following or engagement grew during the contest.
Encourage People to “Tag a Friend” to Expand Reach
This technique is one that should always be a part of any YouTube beauty vlogger’s Instagram contest. Encourage users to tag a friend for an additional entry, or for both of them to win, as this will greatly expand your potential reach. New viewers who may never have been drawn to you before are now aware of your YouTube channel’s Instagram page and contest.
Share How and When a Winner Will Be Picked
In addition to providing clarity, the primary reason for sharing the date and method of choosing the winner is to build anticipation. Viewers will immediately form a mental countdown, and will feel more and more excited as the date draws closer. You can utilize that countdown in your YouTube beauty vlogs or Instagram posts leading up to the date.
Explain Contest Guidelines and Know the Rules
Be sure to explain the Instagram contest guidelines and rules for your contest. Also, be sure to read over Instagram’s guidelines on contests. This ensures that nothing goes wrong after the fact, and that everyone has a fair shot at the contest.
Showcase Your Instagram Contest Prize
This seems like an obvious step, but it’s absolutely crucial to take an appealing photo of your prize so that you can catch users’ attention with the visual. You’re running this contest on Instagram, after all. Instagram users expect to see amazing photographs from even very small accounts, much less accounts with large followings.
Don’t forget your theme when taking the photo. You should join in the fun to establish the theme. However, it’s also a good idea to showcase the product on its own, or in its packaging, and not only in use. If your theme involved using the product, such as showing off a bold lip color, be sure to also include an image of the lipstick itself.
Build Buzz Before You Run The Contest
To make an Instagram contest go successful, you’ll need to generate as many entries as you can. In your YouTube beauty vlogs leading up to the final entry date, you should mention the contest, even briefly, so that viewers have a chance to learn of the contest at every stage. Use the contest hashtag or theme when creating posts on your YouTube channel’s social media page(s), as well.
Don’t neglect your Instagram account or YouTube channel while the contest is ongoing. You can create Instagram posts or video posts discussing the upcoming contest. It can be tempting to put your posting schedule on hold to keep the contest at the top of your page, but it’s far better to stay engaged. Your audience will follow suit.
Contest Collaborations with Other Beauty Vloggers
You can even collaborate with other YouTube beauty vloggers to host an Instagram contest together. It could be that entries involve actions to both of your Instagram pages (such as following and liking both of your accounts).
You can offer a prize from each of your accounts to the same winner, or offer the same prize to two winners – one from each of you. Not only is this a great way to cross promote with your partner’s social reach, but it’s also a lot of fun. With a partner helping build buzz, you’re far more likely to see a huge rate of entries.
Measure Your Instagram Contest Results
When you’re finished hosting an Instagram contest for your YouTube channel, you still have one more step to ensure that the contest was successful. It’s important that you go back to check just how much your engagement and following improved during the contest. This will help you see how you can fine tune your contests and improve them for even more success next time.
Don’t forget to check up on your secondary goals for your contest. How often was your hashtag used? Did your sponsor get plenty of new follows or likes? If you have access to the information, find out how much sales improved during or right after the contest, when those who didn’t win decided they wanted to get the product anyway. It’s great info for beauty vloggers to have to successfully partner with brands in the future.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to grow your beauty vlogging brand reach with Instagram contests, and improve the engagement of your audience. Beauty vloggers have a ton of options for product giveaways, making this technique an excellent choice on a consistent basis.
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