5 tips to create impressive images for Instagram giveaways

Natasha Ponomaroff
Natasha Ponomaroff
Instagram has become a juggernaut of digital marketing. But in an increasingly crowded market, how do you stand out? How do you get followers to engage? The answer is exciting, dynamic visuals. Here are 5 expert tips to create attention-grabbing images for Instagram giveaways.

There are more than 2 million active advertisers on Instagram each month, and that number is growing. There’s a plethora of good reasons for it: The engagement rates are almost 70% higher than on Facebook. There are 800 million monthly active users with more on the way, and 95 million photos are shared daily. If your brand isn’t utilizing Instagram to its fullest then you’re already lagging behind your competition.

The key to Instagram success is simple. And strangely enough, an option that not many advertisers take.

images for Instagram giveaways

Set up a giveaway on Instagram

The crazy thing is, a mere 2% of accounts actually do this. If you’ve already built your social media presence, just by starting a giveaway you’re already putting yourself head and shoulders above your competitors.

The question now is: How do you make sure that your giveaway “pops”? Instagram is, first and foremost, a visual platform, so creating engaging visual content will definitely allow you maximize the reach and effect of your giveaway. Read on for 5 of our killer tips to bring your images to the next level.

Use the power of filters to create the mood you want

You’ll have, on average, 2.5 seconds to catch someone’s eye when they’re scrolling through their feed. Evoking a mood is something that great imagery does naturally and with incredible speed, and that’s how you create a connection even with the limited time you have on a potential customer’s radar.

Color plays a huge role in the emotion a picture will communicate. You will, of course, want to start with good raw material—a high quality image that you can play around with. You’ve all seen bad photos that have had multiple filters plastered on, resulting in an unreadable mess. This is exactly the kind of thing we want to avoid.

Now capturing the specific emotion that you want to convey is more of an art than an actual science, there are some basic ideas that you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Cooler colors will end to make people think calm feelings. Blue is the perennial favorite for this, and a filter that enhances the blue values will almost immediately become more relaxing to look at.
images for Instagram giveaways cosmetics
  • Warmer colors do just that—warm up people and get them more energized. Yellows, reds, and oranges fill this category. A filter that places more emphasis on yellow will make an image seem more sunny and cheerful.
images for Instagram giveaways
  • Filters with low contrast tend to convey a more vintage, nostalgic emotion than anything else. Add in some desaturation and grain and you’ll be absolutely retro.
images for Instagram giveaways
  • A filter with high contrast creates a feeling of tension—if you’ve seen basically any action movie poster in the past decade, you’ll know that they consistently use orange and teal, two complimentary colors that seem to be every poster designer’s shortcut to create excitement.
images for Instagram giveaways
  • While the built-in Instagram filters are acceptable, a third-party photo and video editing app such as Instasize will have much more customizable effects and filters that can bring out the best of your photos.

Get with the times—use imagery that suits the season you’re in

Holidays mean giveaways. Not just the usual Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Years, but even more modern holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are popular as well.

One great thing you can do is create a photo collage.

collage photo instagram

Something like this captures the spirit of the holiday and makes it easy to plug in your intended giveaway details. While the pine needles and snow-covered street don’t directly reference what you’re giving away, they evoke a certain mood, freeing up your main product image to be more focused on the product.

There are still little details that bring that main image closer to the intended holiday or season, but they’re all in the background. Tie all of that together with the proper filter and you’ve got giveaway dynamite.

At the end of the day, there are an almost unlimited number of possibilities since you have even more options with each additional photo you put in the collage.

Add text that stands out with different styles and sizes

images for Instagram giveaways

If you check on Instagram right now you’ll see a lot of giveaway or contest posts that just say “giveaway” on top of a stock photo of the brand’s items. That’s not exactly compelling, in our opinion.

If you’re going to add text to your imagethen you need to do it right. Pick the right fonts and vary the size of the text to emphasize the right things. Consistency is good, but if your entire image is covered in 30-point Helvetica nobody’s going to find any kind of nuance. Look in the picture above: The biggest point takes up a majority of the image. The finer details are smaller because they’re not as important.

Even if you only have a single line of text, using it judiciously is a smart move. Rotate your text to follow the sides of your giveaway subject, or have them crawl up and down the borders of the photo. You don’t have to just slap everything in the middle of the image.

On the other hand, if you’ve got too much to say, put the rest of the rules and details on your website and put the link in your bio.

Make even smaller giveaways more exciting with the right composition

Popular gadgets such as phones, travel , and “experiences,” and tickets to events are the most highly valued. This then begs the question of how you make these compelling and engaging—after all, a picture of a pair of concert tickets isn’t all that exciting.

images for Instagram giveaways

Here’s a good example of how to do it. The distance to the subject of the image emphasizes the scale of the giveaway and makes it feel more dramatic. A close-up composition can make the image feel more busy or cozy. A photo with spread out elements against a wider horizon can feel peaceful or adventurous.

Good text can also make an image more exciting. In the image above, the first thing you see as you scan down is the high-contrast difference between the text and the dark background. The first word you see is “giveaway.” The rest of the text gives minimal details, but by then you’re drawn in by the drama of the image.

Have fun!

Last but not least, enjoy the process. Be adventurous! One way to do this is simply to doodle on your images—feel free to point out specific details you want with arrows or circles. Go ahead and underline text or add action lines. The sky’s the limit with your creativity. You can even do behind-the-scenes photos of your giveaway team to show how excited the team is to share the items with your audience.

One more thing…

You have to be interested before you can be interesting. The fun you have doing your work will shine through in your imagery, and people respond very well to that.

Giveaways are a powerful tool, but at the end of the day they’re a means to an end. Creating a connection and real engagement with our audience is what we’re after—and that means bringing authentic excitement and enthusiasm to your account, day in day out. Good luck!