Instagram Video Contest Ideas: Airbnb's video shorts competition success

2014 has been dubbed "the year of video," and one of the best platforms to test this theory is on Instagram, whose 15-second video limit provides ample opportunity for brands to market themselves and launch promotions. Video contests on Instagram may never match the popularity of photos, but when they're done right, the results can be very lucrative. Here's one case study to show you how:

In January 2014, travel accommodation site airbnb launched an Instagram video contest to promote its brand, the Sundance Film Festival, and the places its customers invite people to stay on their vacations.

This image was followed by a video to promote the contest, too:

The prize of a trip to London, a place at a Sundance workshop, and a video camera, meant that the entries soon came flooding in. A search via shows nearly 950 videos tagged with the hashtag #airbnbshorts; this from an Instagram account with around 25,000 followers.


The contest was open for under two weeks and, in a savvy move, the contest winner was posted onto airbnb's Facebook Page, a method that funnelled entrants to another of their social networks - one with significantly more (440,000 fans) and, therefore, exposure.

In another clever move, the contest's dedicated micro site at remained live, with the following message and a link through to airbnb's main website.



Airbnb's "shorts" Instagram video contest demonstrates that passionate Instagram followers are enthusiastic about entering not just photo, but also video contests. A prize that matches the effort involved to enter is certainly recommended, as are the staples of a unique hashtag in order to track entries, and publicly reposting the winning entry to satisfy the curiosity of others and to show that everything is above board.

Have you experimented with Instagram video contests? Let me know how you got on in the comments below!

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