Instagram brand-partnership giveaways are on trend.
This post explores the fascination behind social media influencer giveaways, and why they might be suited to your brand.
Social media advertising and influencer marketing are more popular now than ever
The rapid rise in influencers and content creators across all social networking platforms continues to catch the attention of marketers. In fact, the Influencer Marketing Industry is expected to reach US$9.7B this year alone, indicating the sheer power of the market for social media endorsements.
Influencers have established a dedicated following, allowing for strong persuasion power over social media users. Their platform can be used by companies to generate awareness, increase engagement and cultivate a stronger brand community.
Influencer marketing is growing so rapidly due to its ability to quickly and easily increase engagement on social media pages. Influencers can be used as part of a hybrid marketing campaign, where content seeding is known to get a positive reaction from a desired target audience.
Why a giveaway?
The standout feature of an influencer-sponsored giveaway contest is that they cultivate high amounts of engagement, making it easy for brands to gain awareness from their desired audience (including the follower-base of the partnered influencer). This differs from other forms of influencer campaigns, such as account takeovers or reviews, which are easier to scroll past and ignore.
Even without the use of an influencer, giveaways can bring a lot of traffic to your social media pages.
The example above is a giveaway by @sneakerfreakermag and @GOAT, who are offering two $500 GOAT gift vouchers. A post that offers a chance to win free goods, such as this, is often shared more than a post reviewing the same items. This giveaway is very appealing to social media users and has received a high level of engagement reeling in over sixty thousand likes and four thousand comments.
90 per cent of Instagram users follow a business account, and 50 per cent of users prefer Instagram ads over ads on other platforms. There is immense competition on the app, however there is clearly a propensity for users to discover your brand, follow you on Instagram, and connect with it further if you get it out there effectively.
This can be supported by the Influencer Marketing Hub’s 2020 Benchmark Report, which found that 87% of marketing agencies, brands and industry professionals turn solely to Instagram for influencer marketing. The same report details that 90% of all influencer campaigns involve Instagram. Clearly, it is the most highly regarded platform for advertising, and it should be considered by every brand looking to partner with an influencer.
If you are trying to break through the clutter of brand pages on social media, hosting an Instagram sponsored giveaway may be worth consideration. By partnering with an influencer that corresponds with your brand, you are attracting new page visitors whilst still amusing your current followers with the chance to score free products.
Why do I need to use an Influencer?
The simple answer is that they bring more visitors to your page, and correspondingly, more awareness to your brand. An influencer sponsored giveaway could be paired with multiple posting strategies to ensure that the campaign results in high levels of engagement.
Contest rules often require users to like the post, follow all parties involved, and leave a comment to enter. The use of a Paired Feed Story strategy or an Instagram Live could upsurge user engagement and interaction with giveaway posts, reeling in more likes, comments and followers. Effective influencer management could heavily benefit the overall success of your brand’s giveaway campaign.
The @sneakerfreakermag giveaway example above did not involve an influencer sponsorship. Only followers of the respective companies involved (and friends of those tagged in the comments) would have seen and interacted with the post. By partnering with an influencer, these brands could have utilised an extra platform that would offer greater reach to followers likely to be interesting in their content offering.
The example below is a giveaway by @alexcosta, macro influencer, in partnership with menswear label @forteseries. Macro influencers are known to be most effective in reaching a wide audience, and getting high engagement on their posts. Importantly, they are more likely to have an authentic follower base relative to that of micro (10k–100k followers) and nano (<10k followers) influencers. In this giveaway example, there is a very high level of engagement.
This can be compared to the @sneakerfreakermag example above to help explain the benefits of influencer endorsement. Both @alexcosta and @steakerfreakermag have ~1.3M followers, however when likes and comments are compared, there is evidently a lot more engagement on Alex’s post. This is largely due to an influencer’s ability to connect with their audience on a different level. They leave an impactful impression on their followers, who, for the most part, are more invested in the human connection than corporate aspect of Instagram.
By implementing an influencer, be it nano, micro or macro, your brand can benefit from increased reach, higher levels of engagement, and amplified page traffic.
Will there be lasting benefits?
Research conducted by Masha Varnavski for Social Media Examiner proved that if an Instagram giveaway competition is completed correctly, it can exhibit long lasting benefits. Retention of followers gained in the process of the giveaway is the largest concern, and ensuring you can maintain them requires a lot of planning and scheduling.
Firstly, you want to make sure that the sponsored giveaway appeals to your target audience; both regarding the prize, but also chosen influencer. This is often where businesses fail; for example, a gym offers an iPhone prize, when they should be offering a free membership trial. This will see new followers, who only subscribed for the chance at a new iPhone, immediately unfollowing at the conclusion of the contest. Furthermore, if the influencer chosen to partner with is not associated with the organisation, there will be a further disconnect. Quite obviously, a gym should partner with fitness influencers to reach more users that share a genuine interest, as opposed to a popular pastry chef.
Another important aspect to consider is the content you post during the giveaway period. Essentially, you are trying to convince the majority of your new followers that you match their interests. To do so, you should be posting organic content that displays your knowledge and investment in the culture of your industry. By doing this you develop a stronger connection with new followers. This tends to work better than simply spamming every business offer available. Additionally, proactively engaging with as many of your followers as possible during this period will serve beneficial. By responding to comments and answering direct messages you build conversation, connection, and create a stronger brand community.
Another brilliant idea, provided by Masha Varnavski, is to launch a smaller scale self-promoted giveaway on the same day your sponsored giveaway ends. This will drastically reduce the number of unconvinced followers leaving your brand immediately. By staying around a while longer, you have a bigger window to prove you share a connection.
In brief, sponsored Instagram giveaway competitions are gaining in popularity for their ability to force engagement and likelihood to have broad reach. However, your brand will need to be proactive throughout the contest period to ensure there are lasting beneficial effects. If what you have read above draws interest to you, a giveaway competition may be worth considering investing in for your next social media marketing campaign.