Social media marketing today is vastly different from what it was just a few years ago.
Organic growth used to be something influencers and brands could count on, as long as they were putting out high-quality, consistent content and engaging with followers. Today, a brand can easily be doing both those things, and doing them well, without seeing any significant results.
The reason? Well, there are many.
One is that the platforms are simply too saturated with brands and posts and information for any single one to stand out. Add to that the change in algorithms that have made it nearly impossible to reach a wide audience without paying for it, and it’s clear why so many influencers with great content are finding it almost impossible to grow their followers past a certain point.
In this ecosystem, marketers are needing to find new, creative ways to increase engagement for brands—and one of those is Instagram giveaways.
Instagram giveaways are a hot new trend in social media marketing, in which brands promise to give away a product or service to one or more followers according to specific criteria—posting about the giveaway using a specific hashtag, commenting on a post, or some other form of engagement. It’s a limited-time promotion, which adds an element of urgency to the promotion. Used correctly, they can result in a rapid increase in followers and increased engagement over the long-term.
I recently spoke with the founders of one personal branding agency, HighKey, that specializes in giveaway marketing. They shared these insights on how the giveaways can help brands break through the noise and rapidly grow their following.
Q: How can you build a following quickly on a platform as saturated as Instagram?
A: The best way to grow a following and get the attention of influencers is by building an actual brand, a serious company, and to be constantly scaling it up. Instagram has blocked all ways of growing naturally since July 2018. The only way to rapidly grow on Instagram is through the celebrity giveaway model, where brands sponsor giveaways aimed at specific regions or demographics.
Q: What’s HighKey’s “secret sauce”? What do you do differently?
A: The secret sauce is working only with A-list celebrities and influencers with the absolute highest engagement. You need the influencer with the most “pull” in order for the campaigns to be successful.
The type of giveaway is what determines the type of followers that you’ll gain by being a giveaway sponsor. There are a lot of companies that do international giveaways to gain Brazilian, Spanish or other followers. HighKey focuses on strictly North American celebrities where the majority demographic is North American from every single giveaway.
Q: What role does content play in the giveaway model? Do giveaways actually attract quality engagement, or just quantity?
A: Content is a major part of creating and evolving your brand. In today’s world, with the average time spent on social media in North America being 2 hours and 6 minutes, and the average U.S. adult spending 2 hours and 55 minutes on their cell phone a day, it’s common sense that if you are not utilizing the attention on these platforms with content, you’re missing out on major leverage.
Engagement rates from the giveaway followers completely depends on the content that is posted on your channel before, during, and after receiving the massive follower growth.
The best engagement conversion occurs when you run “micro” giveaways of your product or service on your page during and after the main giveaway. This leads to the highest giveaway engagement conversion, as the giveaway followers are coming to your page and able to enter another giveaway.
A bonus is that when you do the micro giveaway with your product or service, you are giving value while showcasing your product and service at the same time.
Q: What are some general Instagram marketing tips you’d give to people who are trying to grow their own personal brand?
A: The majority of users on Instagram are between ages 16 and 24, and the users’ attention spans are extremely low. The content that you should be publishing on Instagram includes very high-quality pictures from photo shoots, family photos, team photos ect. We live in a time where you can take DSLR quality pictures with your iPhone, so why are people still posting low quality photos?
The second type of content that you should be posting on Instagram is video content. You have to make sure that the video starts with a hook that will entice the viewer to keep watching after 3 seconds. The video has to be up to date with Instagram’s format, meaning if it’s under a minute in length then the video format should be 4:5 with a 1:1 thumbnail at the first frame of the video, so that the video looks good on your profile and takes up the full screen when people are scrolling through their main feed. And of course, the video should be relatable to your audience.
So to conclude, brands should take note of the following:
- Giveaways are most effective when done in partnership with high-level, A-list influencers, which is easiest to do with the help of an agency
- The type of giveaway you create should be targeted at a specific demographic or region to be effective.
- Keeping your followers engaging in the long term requires great content before, during, and after the giveaway promotion.
- Micro giveaways can be used to build buzz and excitement leading up to the main giveaway.
- Always make sure the photos you post are high-quality, and any videos have a strong hook to keep people watching.