Competitions / Giveaways: how incentives can boost campaign engagement

Brands and influencers increasingly use competitions / giveaways to incentivise audiences to engage with their content. Currently 1 in 25 brand sponsored posts on Instagram include some element of competition.

But is it worth it? Do these posts achieve significantly higher engagement than non-incentive posts? Are they effective in the Fashion & Style category as well as in Travel?

In this post we analyse a sample of 33k branded Instagram influencer posts published over the past 6 months to explore these questions.


Competitions / Giveaways increase average post engagement by 18%

Generally followers are required to do two things to enter a competition:

  1. Follow the sponsoring brand

  2. Comment on the post including the handle of a friend

An example of a Competition / Giveaway post from louisecooney_ in May 2018.

An example of a Competition / Giveaway post from louisecooney_ in May 2018.

They are also sometimes required to like the post or click through to a link in the influencer’s bio and follow instructions on the brand’s website.

Controlling for other factors, we estimate the ‘competition boost’ to be an 18% increase in average engagement rates compared to influencers' brand sponsored content that does not include a competition.

Unsurprising the biggest impact is on post comments, which increase on average by 32%, vs. a 5% boost in post likes.


The Competition / Giveaway performance boost is strongest in the Home & Garden category

The impact of a competition incentive varies by market category. The highest impact is in the Home & Garden category, where competition posts outperform non-competition posts by 37%. The lowest impact is in the Food & Drink category, still gaining 14% in engagement rate compared to other post types.


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The Competition / Giveaway performance boost is strongest in the High Street sub-category within Fashion & Style

Drilling deeper within the Fashion & Style category, the largest on Instagram, we find that the High Street sub-category gets the largest competitions boost; posts in the High End sub-category experience the smallest increase.


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Competition / Giveaway posts are not always appropriate and there are many other innovations that can boost campaign performance. Used in the right way, competitions can significantly boost engagement in a campaign.

The secret to good campaign planning is in using data to understand what works and what doesn't for your market sector and to set realistic targets to benchmark your campaign against.


CampaignDeus is the leading independent provider of influencer marketing campaign data for Instagram and YouTube. Our platform identifies and classifies brand sponsored influencer campaign performance metrics, tracking hundreds of thousands of posts.

We use this data to provide Brands & Agencies with industry insights across verticals, benchmark campaigns against vertical & competitor averages, and equip clients with in-depth reporting and recommendations on how to make campaigns more effective. Get in touch for more details.

Duncan Stoddard is the co-founder and Chief Data Officer of CampaignDeus. Previously a data scientist with DS Analytics, AlphaSights and media agency Mindshare. He specialises in statistical modelling, machine learning and data visualisation.