If you own or run a service-based business, you might’ve noticed something about marketing advice — most of it is aimed at product-based companies.
Service-based businesses, however, face unique challenges. You aren’t worried about tracking stock or finding the right dropshipping solution. Instead, you might be looking for ways to prove the value of your intangible service or figure out how to grow your customer base using tools like social media.
If you are looking for ways to grow your service-based business using Instagram, you are in the right place. It’s time to stop assuming Instagram is only for the fashion bloggers and the foodies. The social platform can also help grow your service-based business.
In fact, Instagram giveaways can be one of the most effective ways to grow your service-based business.
The Benefits of Instagram Giveaways for Service-Based Businesses
Instagram, one of the most popular social media platforms, has more than 1 billion active users around the world. And it’s not just for fashion brands and travel blogs; more than 25 million different brands have Instagram business profiles.
Instagram has a highly diverse population — more than 50% of Instagram users are male, and 35% are between the ages of 25 and 34. Teens are highly active on Instagram as well, with 73% of teens saying Instagram is the best way for brands to reach them.
If you haven’t considered promoting your service-based business on Instagram, now is the time to dive in. Not sure where to start? A recent study found that Instagram accounts who host contests grow 70% faster than the average account.
How can you make this strategy work for your business?
Let’s take a look at the different types of contests and talk about how to make them work for service-based companies, like cleaning companies, plumbers, HVAC providers, and lawn care businesses.
Instagram Giveaway Ideas to Grow Your Service-Based Business
An Instagram contest is a great way to encourage engagement and increase followers. Before diving into creating your first Instagram contest, however, its essential to understand the different types of contests and how to adjust them for service-based businesses.
An Instagram hashtag contest is a user-generated contest where brands ask followers to post a piece of content (often a photo on Instagram) using a specific hashtag. For example, a yard care company might ask users to post a picture of their backyard using the hashtag #yardmakeover for the chance to win a free garden design.
These contests reach a wider audience because people post them to their own accounts, which means their followers are more likely to see them.
Tip: Use a branded hashtag to increase brand awareness. So a yard company named AAA Yards might use the hashtag #AAAyardsmakeover.
Similar to a hashtag contest, a photo contest helps encourage user-generated content, which is viewed as more trustworthy because it comes from real people, rather than from your brand. In a photo contest, brands ask users to share a photo for the chance to win a prize.
For example, a cleaning company might ask parents to share a picture of their kids making a (cute) mess for the chance to win a free home cleaning visit.
Tip: Share entries to your photo contest in Instagram stories and tag the original posters. This will increase brand awareness and encourage more entries.
Instant Win Contests
Instant win contests give users the chance to win a prize right away, rather than waiting to see if they are chosen from a pool of entries. Usually, these contests offer one grand prize, but give each entrant a small prize — such as a discount or token gift. Service-based businesses can use this type of business to gather leads, which can then become email newsletter subscribers (with permission, of course.)
For example, an HVAC company might offer a discounted seasonal system cleaning to all entrants but offer a new, energy-efficient system to the grand prize winner.
Instant win contests help build a positive brand association with a broad audience, which is incredibly valuable for service businesses looking to increase trust with their target audience.
While you can’t host an Instant win contest directly through Instagram, you can promote your Instant win contest on Instagram, particularly on Stories.
Free for a Year Contests
Some times its better to go big. “Free for a year contests” can be any type of contest, but they offer a big giveaway prize that makes them more enticing. For example, a carpet cleaning company might offer free carpet cleaning for a year, with a cap of once a quarter. A dog sitting company could offer one free walk a week for an entire year.
These types of contests tend to draw in a large number of applicants, which can help your brand reach a vast audience. A word of caution: make sure your contest rules clearly outline the terms of the prize. For example, “free pet sitting for a year” clearly doesn’t mean you will take care of their dog for 365 days. Still, you will need to make sure applicants understand it is for one walk a week, or two vacations a year, etc. Otherwise, you risk overextending yourself and upsetting applicants.
Coupon contests are highly effective for service-based businesses because they encourage users actually to try your service. If they like the work you do, they will keep coming back. They can also be used to generate leads and increase followers on your Instagram account.
For example, a painting company might offer a $100 off coupon for the first 25 people to sign up for their email list or like their Instagram account. The sense of urgency encourages participation, and the limited number of coupons helps protect your bottom line.
Service-based businesses face unique challenges, but social media is still a highly effective platform for generating business. If you are looking for ways to leverage Instagram for your service business, consider trying one of these contest types:
- Photo Contest
- Instant Win Contest
- Free for a Year Contest
- Coupon Contest
Once you’ve created your contest, don’t forget to promote it by sharing it on social, sending out an announcement to your email list, and adding a link to your website.
Ready to create your next contest or giveaway? Woobox makes it simple to create, edit, and launch a contest. Woobox Support is available to assist you from 8 am to 5 pm PST, Monday through Fri at 1-360-450-5200 and firstname.lastname@example.org.