One of the most important parts of hosting a successful Instagram contest is knowing what to give away as a prize. When picking an Instagram giveaway prize, you need to strike a balance between two key factors:
A prize that accomplishes your giveaway goals
A prize that attracts your target followers
The intersection of these two is our goal: Attracts more followers in your target audience to ensure you get the right followers to keep your engagement high.
iPads and Amazon gift cards are bad examples of Instagram giveaway prizes in most cases (but not always!) because they may attract many followers, but they won't attract the right followers since they are generic.
If you're in the beauty niche, a make-up kit might be a much better example of a prize that will accomplish your goals and attract the right followers.
For giveaway prizes, your products and services are a great, cost-effective example that also attracts your target customer. For example, Hydro Flask drives huge engagement giving away their $40 water bottles.
As another example, gift cards are usually a bad example because they're a generic prize that anyone would want. But here's an example of how gift cards can be a great prize: Gymshark ran a giveaway with their gift cards, which works because it's targeted to their niche.
Many things can be great giveaway prizes, but just make sure they 1) achieve your giveaway goals and 2) target the right followers.