Instagram Contests & Giveaways for Artists & Musicians

words Alexa Wang

Instagram Contests

Like most social media platforms, you can grow your Instagram account through giveaways and contests. A giveaway can engage your account and help you reach new fans. This post will explore why contests and giveaways work so well and how you can utilize them as an artist or musician.

The Pros and Cons of Giveaways and Contests

Most giveaways and contests work the same. With a giveaway, you provide a lucky winner or several free items. Usually, the giveaway is in exchange for engaging with your account, such as following the account or liking the post. You may also ask your participants to perform another action, such as signing up for a mailing list.

A contest focuses more on fan participation. You may have an art contest, where the best art receives a prize. This can encourage participation and brand awareness and create user-generated content you can share. Or, you may have a contest where the funniest Instagram video with the most reel views wins. The possibilities are endless and can bend to your creativity.

Giveaways and contests can excite your audience, allow them to increase your profile engagement, and encourage participation. However, there are several drawbacks.

First, a person may only follow you for a chance to win something and have no interest in your brand. Second, a contest can bring forth angry people who did not win. One way to mitigate this is to showcase everyone’s art, giving their profiles exposure at the very least.

Another disadvantage is that it’s a time and money investment. If you’re going to send physical goods or gift cards, it costs money. If you’re going to provide a service for free, you’re spending time working on that service when you could be making money. It also depends on the style of the giveaway. If you’re randomly selecting winners, there are many apps to do this quickly. However, if it’s a contest, you may have to spend time looking at each entry and deciding.

With that said, you don’t need to spend a whole lot. People will still get excited over a $20 gift card if you’re a starving artist. You don’t need to spend $500 on a PS5 to excite people.

Because of this, giveaways and contests work as an occasional marketing strategy, particularly to celebrate a milestone, an achievement, or hype a new product.

Tips on How to Run a Successful Giveaway or Contest as a Musician

Now, look at several ways to have a successful giveaway or contest.

Read Instagram’s Guidelines

Before you start a giveaway or contest, we highly recommend reading the guidelines Instagram has laid out. The guidelines are common sense, telling contest holders they are responsible for the contest’s rules and not to tag content inaccurately. However, you should read each rule to determine if you’re in the clear.

Tie the Giveaway Into Your Branding

Many accounts go for crowd-pleasers when it comes to giveaways. No one is going to say no to the potential to win a $100 Amazon gift card or the chance to win a PS5. However, these giveaways don’t have your branding on them, and they may attract people who are there just for free stuff.

As a result, consider giving away something that also ties into your branding. For example, if you’re an artist, you may give the winner a free art piece. You may offer band swag or an early copy of your newest record if you’re a musician. Some may do both, giving an Amazon gift card alongside art.

Make the Rules Crystal Clear

Some will spontaneously create a contest or giveaway without thinking of the rules. This can lead to confusion and angry comments if someone thinks they entered it properly but didn’t. To avoid these headaches,  lay out the rules. Some rules can include:


Does a person need to follow your account? Like the post? Comment? All of the above? Lay out eligibility as clearly as possible. You may also want to keep participants to a particular country only, especially if you only do business in a specific area or don’t want to ship internationally if you’re giving away physical goods.


When does the contest officially start and end? Ideally, you may want to make the contest at least a week-long to give people a big enough heads-up and to get as much engagement as possible. However, some people may not provide clear enough deadlines. They may say the contest ends at 6:00 PM but not clarify the time zone. Be sure to be as straightforward as possible to avoid any confusion.

The Prize

Finally, be clear about what the contestants can win!

Have an Eye-Catching Image

Instagram is all about the visuals. As a result, your contest should have an attention-grabbing image that will excite people. While you should post the fine print in the caption, the image should have information about the prize and the contest rules. Besides information, you may combine it with your art or other imagery that will grab people’s attention.

Consider a Branded Hashtag

You may want a unique hashtag for the contest. This can help you by making the entries more straightforward to track. You may ask participants to post an image and use the hashtag to qualify, and this can make it easy to search. It also creates brand awareness when the contestants’ followers see the post.

Answer Questions Quickly

Some participants may have a question about the contest. They may leave these questions as a comment or send you a DM. By answering the question and clarifying, you can have more entries. This also shows that you are listening to your fans.

Final Thoughts

Giveaways and contests can be valuable for your branding. However, they should be used as an occasional way to gain engagement. Also, you should consider adding your branding to the prize to avoid people who will only follow you to win an award. We hope this article was helpful.



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