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Instagram Story Giveaway Ideas For Ecommerce Businesses

An Instagram Story featuring a person holding a smartphone with a plant.

Businesses are always looking for innovative ways to market their products and help boost their bottom line. One fantastic tool to add to your marketing arsenal is social media giveaways. If you want to gain more leads and retain more customers, you need to look into Instagram story giveaways. 

Giveaways have the power to boost follower engagement, attract new subscribers, as well as increase brand awareness and loyalty. On Instagram, 200 million users visit at least one business profile daily. 

According to a study by TailWind, holding Instagram giveaways or contests can help you grow your followers 70% faster in 3 months. How would you like your account to grow 70% faster than your competition? Instagram giveaway tools like Gleam.io can help you efficiently run beautiful campaigns with pre-built Instagram giveaway templates.

1. Caption Giveaways

One of the best ways to engage your audience is by allowing them to win by being creative. A caption giveaway/contest involves posting a photo associated with your brand and instructing your audience to reply with a clever caption for a chance to win. Whoever posts the smartest or most entertaining caption wins the prize. 

Just be sure to provide a clear set of guidelines as to how your team will pick the winner or winners. Clear and transparent guidelines build trust and invite more people to participate since the instructions are easily understood. 

2. Holiday-Themed Giveaways

Holidays are filled with excitement and good spirits. It's also a great time to give gifts, so why not get into some of the action yourself? People look forward to holidays and are more willing to open their purse strings then. This means that a well-positioned giveaway has the potential to encourage greater sales. According to Easypromos, more than 62% of giveaway participants will invite a friend to join in too, thus providing your brand with greater reach.

You can take advantage of many holidays, including Summer Break, Easter, Mother’s Day, Valentine's Day, Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July. A summer break giveaway could have followers posting their favorite summer recipes. Or take the example of a gym that offered a discount for everyone who worked out at their gym for 12 consecutive days during the Christmas season. 

3. Comment/Like/Tag/Share to Win

This one's a pretty easy one to understand. It's simple and effective, allowing followers to win something with little effort. A like or comment gets them into the draw. Provide followers with a direct call to action that explains what they need to do to enter. Other than liking and commenting, they could tag a friend or share the giveaway on their story. 

Being tagged or shared on your follower's accounts is an excellent way of bringing on new viewers. It can even create a domino effect that brings in more and more additional viewers. In such a giveaway, contestants can gain a new entry for every friend they tag. 

4. Once in a Lifetime Giveaway

This one is as grandiose as it sounds, as you will offer your followers a unique experience they otherwise would not engage in themselves. Knowing your audience is critical here since you want to give them something they genuinely enjoy. Also, due to the high cost of offering a one-of-a-kind experience, you may want to consider partnering with a complementary brand. 

This allows you to not only share the cost of the giveaway but also gain by tapping into each other's followers. You both benefit by increasing your reach. Here are some unique prizes that your audience may appreciate:

  • An all-expenses-paid holiday to a well-regarded destination
  • Learn to cook with a Michelin-star chef
  • Helicopter ride across the city
  • A high-value fashion gift voucher complete with a personal shopper
  • Access to a recording studio for a day where the winner works with a producer to create their own single

5. User-Generated Content

Remember the ice bucket challenge? That is an example of user-generated content. This giveaway gives your audience a chance to post their own content to win the giveaway; this can be photos, videos, product reviews, blog posts, etc. For this to work, the prize being offered needs to be well worth the effort being asked. Unlike posting a comment or tagging a friend, this requires more creativity and work; therefore, the prize must match that level of effort. Take a look at this video about user-generated content to see how it can help your business.

Examples of user-generated content include:

  • Fashion retailers asking users to post photos of themselves in their clothes – this is great as it allows audiences to see real people and not just models wearing an outfit 
  • Similar to the previous example, the bed and bath brand Parachute repurposes user-generated content from its users. Parachute does this by posting user-generated content in its ads, showcasing how real people use its products.
  • Asking followers to create trailers for your upcoming commercial
  • Asking followers to share their unboxing videos

6. Product Launches

Product launch giveaways allow your followers the opportunity to be one of the first to get their hands on a new product range. Before the giveaway, drum up anticipation by dropping hints about the upcoming product launch. The exciting build-up and the new product giveaway can be part of your effective marketing campaign.

7. Trivia Contest

Trivias are a family favorite. On your Instagram story, they will offer your audience a chance to show off their knowledge and hopefully win a prize. A book-loving community, in particular, can thrive on trivia giveaways. You will most likely get more than a few correct answers, so it's best to select the winner randomly. You can even garner more engagement by posting a video of you spinning a wheel to get the winner.

8. Reaching a Follower Milestone

Your followers will likely love to see you win. That means you can enlist them to help you get over certain milestones. Perhaps you are close to 10,000 followers and just need a bit more to get over that hump? One way of gaining those numbers is to entice your current audience with giveaways if they share your page with others. That's bound to get everyone excited, and your audience will feel more connected to your brand's growth.

9. Branded Merchandise

According to a study by the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), 83% of consumers would be more willing to purchase from brands offering them promotional products. Receiving branded merchandise makes users more likely to look up a brand and engage with it. It piques their interest and increases brand loyalty. It does, however, have to be high-quality and tasteful merchandise. These could be branded mugs, water bottles, t-shirts, etc. Your audience is sure to appreciate thoughtfully branded swag.

10. Hashtag Contest

Hashtags are a big part of the Instagram experience. They are searchable and can help people to discover your brand. Currently, user-generated content (UGC) hashtag contests are trending, and they get shared plenty. This makes them a great way to build brand awareness and boost engagement. 

A UGC hashtag contest giveaway is whereby a business requests its followers to post a particular type of content (e.g., a photo, video, or review) with a specific hashtag in exchange for the chance to win a prize. Whenever one posts content with the specified hashtag, they enter into the draw. 

The winner can be chosen randomly, by stated criteria, number of votes, or by a panel of judges. One great example is the fintech company Mint, which used the hashtag “#MyMintMoment” to inspire their followers to post moments when they had reached their financial milestones.

11. A Fill in the Blank giveaway

This is similar to a trivia contest and is a great way to drive traffic throughout your page or website. It works by posting something like “The first bench photo was posted on the _______ 2023?” Users will then have to find the date by combing through your posts, and you can give the prize to the first correct response or random pick.


According to Adobe Digital Insights, Instagram ranks second in terms of the top social referrer to eCommerce sites. It ranks only behind its parent company Facebook. This makes it one of the most effective tools marketers can use, especially its Stories feature. A study by Instagram found that 58% of people were more interested in a product/service after seeing it on Stories. 50% of those surveyed stated that they visited the website of the product/service after seeing it in Stories. 

However, it's essential to have your giveaway strategy executed correctly. Otherwise, you may end up with wasted effort. A good Instagram story giveaway needs clear instructions and a clear prize. The other thing is to make it easy to enter the giveaway. You can scale up the barrier to entry, but you'd also have to make the prize more valuable for it to entice. 

Also, know your target audience so you can give them something that they find valuable, relevant, and exclusive. The right gift can make a difference to your giveaway's success. Finally, don't forget to promote your giveaway to reach more people and new audiences. This also means following up with winners and your new audience after the promotion to create a connection that results in lifelong customers.

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