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Anyone who regularly uses social media has probably come across an influencer giveaway. These types of events are especially popular on Instagram, but they can also appear on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. For businesses, giveaways are a great way to raise brand awareness and promote new products. For influencers, giveaways can increase audience size. And for consumers, giveaways are exciting opportunities to nab some free goodies.

Before you launch your own giveaway, here’s what you should know.

What Factors Make a Giveaway Successful?

The success of a giveaway largely depends on your marketing goals. Consider these common giveaway goals from a marketer’s perspective:

  • You’re new to the social network and want to quickly gain an audience.
  • You want to hype up a new product launch or raise awareness of an upcoming event.
  • You want to increase social media engagement.
  • You want to foster consumer trust and loyalty.
  • You want to collect contacts for email marketing lists.
  • You want to generate user-generated content (UGC) and thus boost brand awareness.

Once you identify a specific goal, you can determine which key performance indicators you’ll use to measure your success during and after the giveaway. If your goal is to increase reach, you’ll want to keep an eye on your follower count. If you want to encourage user-generated content, check for an increase in instances of a branded hashtag associated with the UGC. When the objective is to promote a product or event, look for an increase in mentions on social media, product pre-orders or event tickets sold. And if the goal is to improve consumer sentiment, you can use sentiment analysis tools like IZEA’s BrandGraph.

What Are the Best Practices for Doing Giveaways Via Instagram Influencers?

Although it’s entirely possible to run a giveaway from one account, it’s better to partner with social media influencers on the project. According to research by Tailwind, a social media scheduling tool, Instagram contests that involve partnering accounts get 79 percent more engagement than solo contests. Plus, this partnership helps both you and the influencer engage with your audiences, all while expanding your circles with new followers.

It is essential, however, to work with Instagram influencers who are relevant to your brand. They should hold similar ideals or be interested in similar products or services as the ones you offer. This is important for connecting with their followers and helps you get more engagement on the giveaway.

So, how do you find the right influencers to work with? Use these best practices for finding an Instagram influencer for your giveaway partnership.

  • Search niche, brand-relevant content through hashtags, and browse influencers who post with these tags.
  • Search influencers by location, and connect with micro-influencers in your area.
  • Connect with influencers who you follow and engage with regularly.
  • Use online tools, such as IZEAx Discovery, that help you find and pair with influencers for giveaways and contests.

How Can Brands and Influencers Promote Giveaway Content?

Once you’ve found an influencer (or team of influencers) who is excited to work with you, it’s time to lay the groundwork for the giveaway. Don’t forget to fill them in on any brand policies and let them know the promotion requirements. This helps ensure everyone is on the same page and you reach your campaign goals. Then, move on to applying some of the following strategies.

Be Consistent But Creative

Whether you’re making a post from the brand account or the influencer is making promotional content for the giveaway, use consistent language and calls to action. Give the influencer some room to incorporate their own voice and style, but make sure they accurately describe the giveaway and prizes. If users send questions about the giveaway to the influencer, it might be best for the influencer to direct inquiries to you.

Request Follows

In promotional posts, ask participants to follow your brand account and the influencer’s account. Both your brand and the influencer will benefit from an influx of crossover traffic from each other’s accounts. Micro-influencers are especially likely to appreciate this, as they’re also in the process of growing their audiences.

Ask the Influencer to Spread Your Content

The influencer can simply repost your brand’s official images and videos on their own accounts. This is an easy way to spread awareness of the giveaway without taking up too much of the influencer’s time. Consider using this strategy if you have a limited budget but want to work with a team of micro-influencers or a single mega-influencer.

Increase the Influencer’s Involvement

If the influencer is willing to be more involved, they can take a more active role in the giveaway. This is a useful approach if you want to work with the influencer long-term or move them into a brand ambassador role. Ask an influencer to join you on a live stream to announce the winner. Or, if the prize is an event ticket, have the influencer personally meet the giveaway winner at the event. If the influencer is a well-known star, the opportunity to meet them in person may be just as intriguing as the giveaway prize itself.

Are There Rules That Need to Be Followed by Instagram’s Standards?

No matter who you partner with or how you decide to run the giveaway, you’ll need to abide by certain rules. The following steps will help you avoid running into any complications with Instagram’s promotion guidelines or the FTC guidelines on influencer marketing.

  • Note that the contest isn’t run, sponsored or endorsed by Instagram.
  • Include the name of the brand that’s running it.
  • Explain how and when you’ll select the winner. If the contest involves users creating content, clearly explain the guidelines that judges will follow when judging entries.
  • Include the date and time that the contest will open and end. Don’t forget to include the time zone.
  • Include step-by-step guidelines on how people can enter the contest.
  • List any participation terms. For example, do people need to be a certain age to enter the giveaway? Do they need to live in the United States?
  • Describe the prize and how it will be delivered. Will the winner need to pay shipping costs?
  • Put “No purchase necessary” in the terms.
  • Avoid inaccurately tagging content or asking users to do so.

Rather than try to stuff all of this information in an Instagram post caption, consider making landing pages that convey all the details. Include the link in your promotional posts and your bio. As usual, if you’re paying an influencer to promote your brand and giveaway, this partnership should be disclosed in the influencer’s content.

Ending the Influencer Giveaway

Once the winner is selected, you can make a public announcement in a number of ways. A livestream may be the best way if you’re hoping to build up plenty of hype. However, you’ll need to make sure the post with the announcement is permanently viewable for anyone who may have missed the livestream. You don’t want to confuse your audience.

Reach out to the winner to explain the next steps and thank them for participating. Consider asking the winner to share a picture or video of them enjoying the prize. Then, ask if you can include content in future promotional material.