Learn how to run an Instagram competition, contest in Australia in 2024. Create a successful Australian Instagram giveaway in 2024.

Brought to you by Mau, a Senior Digital Marketing Specialist at eDigital.

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For many years, marketers have used consumer giveaways, contests and competitions as one of the most successful marketing strategies to build brand awareness and collect leads. Now, social media channels have made it even easier to run and promote consumer competitions.

But – like anything you do in marketing – you need to properly plan, set up and run your Instagram consumer contest/competition.


Do you remember one of the World’s most popular consumer contests run by Netflix?

The 2010 Netflix $1 million prize code competition to improve their movie recommendation algorithms.

Netflix quickly had to cancel this contest as the dataset given to competition participants was easily de-anonymised.

Surely, your Instagram consumer competition will not be as complex but you still need to make sure you safely and successfully execute it.

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Stick to one or a maximum of two main goals you want to achieve with your Instagram competition.

This way, you and your boss are clear of expected outcomes.

You can choose from the below competition/contest objectives:


There are different reasons you may want to increase brand awareness with a consumer competition/contest.

  • Launch a new product or service. You are about to launch a new product or service and want your most valuable customer segments to know about it.
  • Launch into a new market. Reach new customers in a new geographic area with existing products. Your Go-to-market strategy includes running a consumer competition using top local celebrities and influencers so people who have never heard about you become aware of your brand.
  • Grow your Instagram following. You run an Instagram competition/contest to increase followers on Instagram so you can reach more potential customers. Use partnership opportunities to cross-pollinate audiences and grow your Instagram follower base quicker. Below is an example of how Meriton Suites partnered with Good Hair Day (GHD) to run an Instagram competition. By asking entrants to tag a couple of friends they aim to grow their following base.
Meriton Suites Good Hair Day GDH Instagram competition Nov 2021

Meriton Suites & Good Hair Day GDH Instagram competition Nov 2021

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  • Amplify your customer base. This is a great objective if you just want to reach new potential customers who may not be aware of your products or services. You can measure this objective by the number of people who view your competition landing page.


stayz competition beach house $5 thousand value Feb 2021

stayz competition beach house $5 thousand value Feb 2021 – Facebook post

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This is a popular objective when you want current and potential customers to make a positive emotional connection with your brand. In other words, to “like” your brand.

You can measure this objective in different ways:

  • By the number of total likes and comments of all your posts promoting your consumer competition/contest.
  • By comparing the number of branded search terms’ changes on Google search before, during and after the competition.

For example, travel operators run consumer competitions to connect with potential new customers. For example, they run the “Win the ultimate: Driving Brisbane to Cairns road trip” competition types.

You can use a consumer competition to promote an experiential event that will increase brand preference. You can also use an Instagram competition to promote a customer milestone.

Tip: Some marketers make the big mistake of promoting their company’s milestones that do not offer value to their customers. Make sure when promoting milestones are about the customer, not about you.


❌ Wrong milestone: “We hit our first one million in sales,” Customer thinks: Who gives a f*k about it!

✅ Right milestone: “We have successfully reduced our shipping prices from X to Z, helping you save money! and to celebrate that we are running an Instagram competition…” The customer thinks: this is great, I may buy more often then.

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This objective is used when you are reaching out in search of customer opinions about your products or services. By launching an Instagram consumer contest or competition, you can survey your customers about a specific new feature, existing issue or preference. You could do this without running an Instagram competition; however, you will get far more feedback if it is incentivised with the chance to win a prize.


An Instagram competition that offers your premium product as a prize can bring you a new database of hot prospects for ongoing marketing activations.

You can use popular shopping occasions such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Black Friday and January sales to run your Instagram competition and get a new list of people who have confirmed interest in your brand.


  • To celebrate World Dance Day, a Dance studio owner could offer a 20-pass prize to a lucky winner, this will get many dancing fans around your area to enter your Instagram competition.
  • In the B2B space, SAAS companies can also offer a one-year free service and get qualified leads.

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Another key factor when running a successful Instagram contest is to use one of the best user-generated content (UGC) software.

You will also need to ensure you are permitted to use the UGC content as part of the entry.

Professional marketers are using the best user-generated content terms of use document template.

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Marketers also run Instagram competitions to promote a new product or service feature.

Tip: integrate your SEO efforts into your competitions, ensuring people can find your competition when they are ready to enter.

Below is an example of consumer competition by Western Australia Tourism promoting a new gift bot using the Instagram Direct feature. People who saw the Instagram ad – promoting the competition – and later searched for it on Google could not find it.

The Google search results for the “Western Australia gift bot” did not bring any page about the competition, missing a great opportunity to bring entrants.

Instagram ad Western Australia competition gift bot

Instagram ad Western Australia competition gift bot

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Especially for government departments or agencies, running an Instagram competition is a great way to promote a new rule or restriction placed in a specific geographic area.

Below is an example of a Queensland Parks competition to promote a new rule for campers to bring their portable toilet when visiting some camping areas with no bathroom facilities.

win 200 dollars camping gear queensland parks competition instagram post September 2021

Win 200 dollars in camping gear – Queensland Parks competition Instagram post September 2021

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On Instagram, you can ask people to only comment on a post to enter. Yes as simple as that.

You could also ask entrants to (but do not make it a requirement of entry):

  • Make a “Like” to the social media competition/contest post
  • Follow your Instagram account
  • Tag friends in the comments

Instagram API doesn’t provide a way for external software or tools to verify if someone completed the above actions. This is something to keep in mind when using one of the best Instagram contest/competition apps

Comments are the only input external Instagram competition tools or software can pull.

Comments can include:

  • A text
  • A photo
  • A @mention or
  • A #hashtag

Note: On Facebook, you can ask people to both like or comment on the post to enter. Facebook does not allow entrants to follow/like your page, tag friends, or share the post – these requests go against Facebook policies and can result in your page being deactivated.

Asking people to like a post and tag a friend in the comments is ok but should not be mandatory.

Your Instagram competition may not get a lot of traction if your competition entrants are required to complete too many actions. For example, It could be a “big ask” to get people to take a photo of your product or perform an action and post that to their profile.

Elders #forausag Instagram photo competition

Elders #forausag Instagram photo competition

You should limit the entry requirements to a maximum of two steps. Ideally only one step.

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If multiple people manage your Instagram account or you’re managing the campaign for a client, it’s important to confirm who’s responsible for answering direct messages related to your Instagram competition. Our best virtual Instagram assistants can provide support for your Instagram consumer competition/contest.

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Follow all the Instagram rules when running a consumer promotion, competition, contest or giveaway.

The top key areas to consider are:


One of the Instagram rules when running Instagram competitions, contests and giveaways is the statement of release. The following statement (or a similar one) must be included on all contest posts shared on Instagram:


Per Instagram rules, this promotion is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm that they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s terms of use.

Be sure to write this statement at the end of your Instagram contest caption.

Expert tip: Save this copy on your notes on your mobile device for easy access to future contest posts.


Instagram will ask you to run your contest legally, making sure you don’t violate any federal, state, or other laws applicable to your area. Also, Instagram will ask you to include an official contest rules and terms of eligibility.

Related: The best game of skill competition terms and conditions template


You must not tag anyone in the contest post who’s not actually in the post itself. You must not ask users to tag themselves in a photo in which they do not appear. Users can mention (tag) people in the comments of a post but can’t be tagged in the actual post itself.

Expert Tip: If you have a legal notice on your website regarding contest rules and details, you can post that link in your Instagram competition post caption.

Following all the Instagram rules when running your next consumer promotion will be useful.

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Your Instagram contest prize should be something related to your business or brand. You want to choose a prize of great value to ensure a high level of participation. The more valuable the reward, the more entries you will get.

The “value” of a prize can be subjective, meaning your prize can be considered of great value to some but worthless to other people.

There may be different value types:

  • Monetary value: participants want to win the prize just because it is something they cannot afford to buy with their money.
  • Social value: participants want to win the prize because the prize can be shared with their friends or colleagues.
  • Emotional value: participants want to win the prize because they have an emotional connection to the prize. Example: family or newborn baby photoshoot.
  • Exclusive value: participants want to win the prize because they may otherwise not be able to access it even if they have cash for it. Example: dinner with a celebrity or access to an exclusive area in a stadium or event.

Think about the specific customer segment you want to reach with your Instagram contest and provide value to them. You can get interesting insights from past competitions or previous customer surveys or feedback.

Most read today > The best Instagram competition ideas & examples


Two weeks to six weeks is the optimal length of time.

If the requirements to enter involve participants sharing an image or other more time-consuming action, the campaign may need to run longer.


You can ask entrants to add a specific hashtag as part of their comments to enter your competition. However, hashtags may not be mandatory.

If you decide to ask entrants to type a specific competition #hashtag, make sure the hashtag is short, easy to recognize and spell.

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If it is a game of skill” competition then you can choose the entry that you believe has the greatest skill to win your Instagram competition prize.

If on the contrary, you have created a game of chance Instagram competition, you can use a random generator tool (free online tools are available)

Paypal money monday giveaway game of chance competition Instagram

Paypal money Monday giveaway “game of chance” competition on Instagram

You can notify the winners via email, phone call or both.

The best practice is to publicly announce them on Instagram via an Instagram post and on a “Competition winners” page on your website. You may want to be in touch with the winners privately before publicly announcing them on Instagram.

inkyco melbourne instagram competition winner announcement

Inkyco Melbourne Instagram competition winner announcement

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You can either use one of the best websites for royalty free stock photos and images or design a great image for your Instagram competition using a free design tool so you do not need to pay for design services. Make sure the image you use to promote your Instagram competition is related to the prize. You can also use one of the best ad preview mockup generator tools and see what your ad looks like before being boosted.

Very text-heavy, sales-oriented, images like the one below may damage a great curated Instagram feed. Check with your designer before you post this type of image.

Bahas taqueria Sydney 10 meal instagram contest giveaway

Bahas taqueria Sydney 10 meal Instagram contest giveaway

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If you are promoting your competition to a group of people with specific cultural or religious characteristics you may want to use words that connect them to your promotion. For example “Salam (peace)” may be used when talking to Muslims however the Sharia (Muslim legal system) prohibits games of chance (maysir), Yes, that’s right, getting something too easily without working too hard for it is not allowed in Muslim culture. In other countries, some special words can bring friendliness to your competition. For example “Nakama” (friend) for Japanese customers or “Parcero” (friend) for Colombian customers.


  • Start by composing an exciting post for your Instagram profile. In the post, make sure to explain the rules, how to enter (e.g. leave a comment on the post), any additional requirements (e.g. include an image with your comment), the prize being offered, and when you’ll stop accepting entries. The more details you can provide, the better. Tip: If you want to avoid cluttering the post, just include the basics and provide all the nitty-gritty details in a comment on the post.

Would you improve the photo and the text overlay of the below Instagram consumer competition? Does it excite you to enter the festival competition?

Instagram competition contest The weekend edition Gold Coast Bleach festival

Instagram competition contest The weekend edition Gold Coast Bleach festival

You may want to promote your competition with a video post on your Instagram profile. The right presenter/model can make your Instagram competition more exciting for people to enter. Make sure you pick the right static image for your video. The presenter below seems not talking to the Instagram viewer; instead, the lady presenter seems distracted by something else. Her hands seem also in an unnatural position.

Instagram competition contest fashion Decjuba win styling pass

Instagram competition contest fashion Decjuba win styling pass

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  • Publish the post. When you’re ready for your contest to go live, simply publish the post. Make your competition name or prize the centre of your post (the visual lead). In the below image, the brand takes the lead, not the competition. Something you may want to avoid.
Prahran market instagram competition post

Prahran market Instagram competition post

  • Check entries. From there, watch the quality of entries making sure you are getting the type of comments you requested.

Before you run your next consumer contest, let me tell you something you have probably been turning a blind eye to…


  • Your organic posts are reaching an average of 5% of your followers. This is a massive issue affecting thousands of marketers.
  • You have been trying hard to build audiences on social media platforms you do not own.
  • You cannot transfer your hard-earned followers to your best CRM software.
  • Your customer acquisition costs from social media ads are through the roof.

The solution:

I can offer you the best digital marketing strategy workshop that will help you:


For best results, promote your post to drive traffic to your Instagram competition. Below are some other ways you can promote your Instagram competition:

  • Create other social media posts that link to your competition post. You could post multiple times a day or once daily. Based on one of the best Instagram analytics apps and tools, you can determine the best times of the day to post on Instagram (which may differ for different days of the week).
  • Cross-promotion. To ensure more people see the contest, cross-promote it to your Facebook group or page, your newsletter, your email signature, or in your store windows.
  • Pin post on your Facebook page. Make sure to pin a Facebook post that promotes your Instagram contest to the top of your Facebook page for easy discovery.  This way, you can make finding the Instagram contest post easier for your Facebook followers.
  • The right time to post. You can find out the best time to post on Instagram to get the most followers to see your post promoting your consumer competition. Find the time zone Instagram Insights uses to tell you when most of your followers are online using Instagram.
  • Instagram/Facebook stories. Show off a fun photo or video in Stories to drive people to your Instagram contest post. Stories are popular and a quick way for people to get eyes on your Instagram competition. Just be sure to mention which post to enter.
  • Your website. Leverage your website traffic to drive visitors to your contest. Try adding a link or splash graphic on your company’s homepage that takes them directly to your Instagram contest.
  • Use relevant #hashtags. Ensure you add hashtags related to your business, industry and prize. For example, if you are a travel agent or travel website you can use some of these top 25 most popular travel hashtags on Instagram. If you are a restaurant owner, you can use these top 25 most popular food hashtags on Instagram.

Note: Most consumer contests won’t go viral and generate massive results overnight. Your first Instagram competition may only get a few participants. If your Instagram followers are not used to your hosting contests, they may be hesitant to enter or may not even notice it’s an Instagram competition you’re promoting. Repetition and consistency in hosting consumer Instagram contests will help build momentum for your business.


Things you can measure with your Instagram competition are:

  • Entries. The number of people who enter your Instagram competition.
  • Increase in followers. The number of new followers from the day you launch your Instagram competition;
  • Website visits. Clicks to your website coming from Instagram.
  • New Leads. The number of new leads from Instagram.
  • Extra sales. Amount of sales generated from Instagram during the competition period vs non-competition period.
  • Customer feedback. The number of relevant high-quality ideas obtained by the  Instagram competition entrants’ comments.
  • New UGC content. If your contest objective was to generate user-generated content, then the number of new photos or videos will be the metric to evaluate.

A good idea is to compare the data from each Instagram Competition to determine which types of prizes, the times of the year, the competition type and the types of participation drove the best results for your business, based on your goals.

When your Instagram competition finishes, you should edit your post caption to read “This Competition is now Closed” at the beginning of the post. This will ensure that anyone who sees the Instagram competition post after the competition has expired won’t attempt to participate.

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Contests run on Instagram grab people’s attention and encourage active participation. Whether it’s submitting entries, voting, or sharing content, Instagram contests can create a sense of excitement and engagement around your brand.

When planning and executing contests on Instagram for marketing purposes, it’s important to define clear goals, choose suitable prizes, create straightforward rules, and promote the contest effectively to maximise its impact on your brand’s visibility and engagement.

eDigital can help you conceptualise, plan, develop, run and optimise successful Instagram contests that generate leads and sales for your brand.

Our digital marketing services include:

  • Strategic planning for social media and other digital marketing channels.
  • Online advertising management and optimisation: Google Ads Search, Display, Re-marketing and social media advertising.
  • Training: social media marketing training and digital marketing training. 
  • SEO strategy and execution. Including content development:articles, stories, eye-catching and SEO-optimised visuals.
  • Celebrity and influencer marketing campaign strategy. 
  • Brand development. Logo creation, brand personality development and design of marketing materials.
  • Consumer contests/competitions/giveaways.
  • Email marketing. Dip sequence design and deployment. 
  • Conversion rate optimisation. It is also called “path to purchase” optimisation. 

Contact us today and start boosting your leads and sales.

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