infographic blog banner stating steps to run a successful Instagram contest

It's no secret that wedding photographers are always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to market their business and attract new clients. And one of the most popular methods these days is Instagram contests. A well-run contest can help to get your work in front of a large number of people, and it can also help to build excitement among your current clients. 

So, if you're a wedding photographer who wants to have some fun and promote your business at the same time, then a social media contest is perfect for you and is way easier than you might think. In this blog post, we'll show you how to run a successful contest that will help you boost your business promotion. 

Steps To Run an Instagram Contest For Wedding Photographers

1. Determine The Details

infographic stating plan ahead to ensure that your IG contest is engaging and effective

Just like any other plan you create, determine the details for your wedding photography business Instagram contest. To run a great contest idea, you need to take the time to determine the details in advance. This includes setting clear guidelines, choosing an appropriate prize, and promoting the contest through their network of Instagram followers

Decide how long it should run, and what the specific dates are. Then, give yourself a budget to spend for the entire contest. Finally, write down the goal you want to reach with this contest. If you want an increased follower count or to generate traffic to your website or blog, make sure you write that in your plan.

2. Find An Entry Method

When you have a solid plan in place, decide how followers will enter the contest. Keep your contest entry requirements simple. You don't want to make it too difficult for people to enter your contest. A simple Like or Share is all it takes in most cases. There may be a cost for a third-party app, but if you already planned that in your budget, it could be a viable option. 

Suggested Read: How To Skyrocket Engagement On Instagram For Photographers

3. Choose A Theme

infographic stating pick a theme that resonates with your target audience and encourages participation

Your wedding photography contest theme should fit your brand and style. To run the best Instagram contest, it's important to choose a theme that will resonate with your target audience. Perhaps your contest will involve your followers sharing their favorite childhood photo of their significant other, or maybe it’s a photo contest for fellow photographers. The theme you choose needs to showcase the intention of the contest, so people will be excited to enter. A surefire way to make your contest stand out is to prepare an Instagram contest template with graphics, messaging, and a clear vision for your contest. 

4. Create A Unique Hashtag

Once you choose a theme, you can then create engaging Instagram contest captions and add a unique, dedicated hashtag to it. Instagram contest hashtags are key to placing your contest in front of a larger audience, so it has to be something that stands out and gets people excited. As one of your contest rules, you can include that each person who enters must use and share the hashtag.

Suggested Read: 19 Hashtags You Need To Use On Instagram

5. Determine The Prizes And Winners

infographic stating consider what type of contest will best fit your brand and business goals

Finalize your Instagram giveaway item and how many people can win. The prizes should relate to your photography business, so they keep you top of mind. One of the biggest incentives for your followers to interact with your contest is the prize they could win from it. Sometimes, it can be best to choose 3 winners, and stagger them by price and importance.

6. Figure Out Prize Distribution

Once you’ve decided what you are giving away, and who will receive it, decide how the prize will be distributed. If it is something they can receive in email, then there is little for you to plan (minus writing a quick email to congratulate them). If you need to send the prizes to the winners, figure out the logistics of that before the contest starts (to eliminate a headache later on).

7. Include Specific Rules

infographic stating create specific and detailed rules for your followers to understand

Ensure to clearly state your Instagram contest rules. This will help to avoid any confusion or frustration on the part of participants. Rules and regulations for the contest should include how many times someone can enter, what the specific entry details are, and things not to do to be accepted.

8. Create A Landing Page

Whether you use a third-party app or filter the entries yourself, create a Landing Page for followers to access and fill out their information. This option allows you to easily collect their email addresses, which means you have their contact info when it’s time to announce the winner (as well as for future marketing campaigns).

9. Announce And Promote

infographic stating the more people know about the contest, the better

Once the final details are together, promote your contest on your Instagram account and other social media channels and let followers know you have a specific #linkinbio so they can quickly enter. Make sure to promote the contest in a variety of ways, such as through social media ads, share posts on Instagram feed, on other online platforms, email, and blog posts. You can also send out a press release to local newspapers and wedding blogs. The more people who know about it, the better! 

10. Monitor The Progress

While your contest is live, pay attention to how engaged your audience is. When the contest was live, you might have asked people to follow your Instagram account, like the contest post, and tag a friend in the comments, or simply reshare the post for bonus entries. If you notice they are not engaged after you initially shared on Instagram, reach out to your audience in different ways (add to your Instagram story, send email blast, blog posts). Ask your fellow photographers or vendors to share about the contest on social media. You can make quick adjustments as often as necessary to spike awareness and engagement.

Suggested Read: How To Effectively Turn Instagram Followers Into Customers

11. Finalize The Contest

infographic stating ask winners to share their rewards on social media channels to increase brand promotion

After your contests have ended, send out a congratulatory email to the winner(s) and share their win on Instagram. Inform the winner(s) of what the next steps are, and when you will deliver their prize(s). After that, create a report of how well your social media contest performed with your audience. This can help you learn better techniques to use for the next contest idea you run.

Instagram Contest Ideas for Wedding Photographers

If you're a wedding photographer looking for ways to engage your audience on Instagram, here are some contest ideas to get you started:

  • Have an Instagram photo contest - ask followers to share their favorite photos from your recent weddings using a specific hashtag, for a chance to win a free photo session.

  • For other Instagram contest examples, hold a "guess the location" contest by sharing a series of photos from a recent destination wedding with your followers. Ask them to identify the location in the comments, and give a prize to the first person to correctly guess all of the locations.

  • Include these contests to get more followers and target specific client groups like a bride-to-be. Ask them to share their engagement photos and win a prize of a free or discounted wedding package.

  • Get creative with current Instagram contests by including a new poll feature and asking followers to vote on their favorite photos from your latest wedding shoots. 

The possibilities of different Instagram contests list are endless - you can add user-generated content or just have fun, be creative, and see what works best for you and your audience!

Further Read: 9 Optimizations To Improve Your Instagram Business Account

Hosting such contests is not only a great way to attract new customers who may not have yet discovered your brand or work otherwise, but also to drum up some free publicity. When you offer a prize, such as a free engagement session, or encourage people to follow and share your work with their friends - this way, you promote your photography style and attract new clients. And, of course, the winners will be sure to share their photos with their friends and followers, giving you even more exposure.

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you grow your wedding photography business. A part of how we do that is by lessening your post-production workload with our professional photo editing services. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published