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Archive for the ‘Pinterest Contests’ Category.

3 of our Favorite Pinterest Christmas Marketing Campaigns

Pinned on December 17, 2012

Christmas is close and while it might be getting late for this year, it’s not too early to think about next year.

Here are some of our favorite Christmas campaigns on Pinterest:

1. The Gap Pin to Win your Holiday Wish List Contest.
The Gap is giving out $50 gift cards to lucky pinners. The contest is being run from a Facebook app and promoted on their Facebook page. You can pin any of their clothes from the app and enter to win. The app tracks what’s being pinned and to announce each winner, Gap will comment on the winner’s pin.

Naughty: Restricting pins to what the brand wants rather than letting people pin anything they like from the site (but it makes it easier to track).

Nice: Pin it buttons right in the app (under each selection) make it super easy to enter and it’s why this one is a favorite.


2. Anthropologie’s It’s a Wrap
Many businesses create Christmas wish lists on their blog or website, why not take it another step and create a board out of it? This list of 13 things the tech tools marketers can’t live without would make a fun board.

Whatever you do, come up with a clever angle. Macy’s board, called Be Santa has a lot of followers but it’s all product and every description has the words: BUY NOW!!! Notice that there are almost no repins or likes. While we don’t know if this has led to sales, it’s too much of a hard sell for our tastes.

Don’t just pin your products, look for themes that your audience will respond to. Find a unique angle. Clothing retailer Anthropologie did that with their It’s a Wrap board. It’s full of ideas for wrapping presents and has hundreds of repins. They also have a Wish It, Win It contest and several Christmas-themed boards. They’re the first boards on the page right now (be sure to edit your boards to highlight the most relevant first).


Need more inspiration? Here you go.

3. 12 Days of Capitol One Christmas
This campaign is another twist on the Pin to Win and it’s from a credit card company. There is a new board created each day for 12 days. You click on the pin that has the day on it and are taken to their site to enter to win a gift card. With the thought and graphics that went into this one, it’s one of our favorites this year. They’ve carried the theme on their Facebook page (with a cover photo and updates about the contest).


Have you seen any outstanding Pinterset marketing campaigns centered around the holiday theme? Please share in the comments!

Deseret Book’s Pin Wish Christmas Pinterest Contest

Pinned on December 7, 2012

Deseret Book (an LDS/Mormon bookstore that sells books and gifts) recently launched their 3rd contest on Pinterest. Retailers know Christmas is a huge time for buying gifts, and with social media, sharing what you plan to buy with others.

Pinterest allows us to be more than a bookstore, we can highlight our gifts.

How the Pin Wish Contest works: to enter, you follow Deseret Book on Pinterest. Then you pin at least 10 products from their store to your board. You need to tag your pins with their hashtag and then email your entry in.

Prizes: 5 $100 Deseret Book gift cards.

Contest rules:

How the Pinterest contest was promoted: Facebook is the primary tool Deseret Book uses to drive people to Pinterest. There is not a Facebook tab for Pinterest on their page, but they add links to pins in their posts. They do a good job of reminding people to participate. There are “pin it” buttons on product pages once you get to the site (although we suggest moving them closer to the images).

One tip is to always post the image manually and link to the pins rather than posting to Facebook when you add the pin. It looks much better.

Contest graphic (on Facebook):

I asked Mike Jensen, Deseret Book’s director of communications, about how they got started, what participation was like, and the Pinterest tools they use (we were pleased that the main tool they use is PinAlerts).

Mike says he decided to get more involved in Pinterest after seeing that it was in the top 15 sites that referred traffic to their website. Pinterest sends around 30k visits per year to their site. He wanted to see if they could increase that number with a Pinterest strategy.

When it comes to getting pins and repins, being one of the first to put something timely, and that their target market cares about, is key. For Deseret Book, that means pinning images that are popular with members of the LDS church. This might include leaders of the church participating in popular culture, or producing images with inspiring quotes from the church’s worldwide conferences. They both find popular images to post and create original images. Also, they’re community-minded and pin other people’s images, not just their own.

The biggest benefit of a Pinterest contest is to gain new followers. We’ve seen that for many businesses, entries are not that high. Perhaps some of the issue is for the prize, this contest requires too much work. We wonder if there would be more entries if all people only had to do to enter is repin one product and tag it. Keeping the barrier to enter low is important if getting more entries is your goal.

Entering the contest is really an incentive for people already on Pinterest to help you build followers and pins. The number of entries for their contests so far isn’t that high (around 50). Instead, the contest gives people a reason to follow Deseret Book and pin their products. When they do this, their friends see and some of them follow or pin too. This has worked well – they have gotten about 500 new followers in just a week since launching the contest.

One tip that Michael shared is that gift purchases are affected by seeing Deseret Book products in context. They want to see how their products can be used in the home. They want new ideas. For example, a craft blogger showed how a pretty dessert bowl could be made into an inexpensive gift (under $10 each). Instead of a just a bowl, it’s a cute planter for a small plant. See My Craft Channel for the video and more ideas. The planter would also be pretty on an end table or in a Christmas tablescape.

Deseret Book could take this further. We hope a future contest will encourage their fans to find creative uses for their products (and give some examples, such as the one above).  Showing your products in context can be so much more effective than just a simple product photo from your website.

In fact, their boards could be more like RodWorks – showing how to use their products in your home. Here’s an example of how a simple home decor idea from a blog, went crazy on Pinterest, led to sales and launched an online store. We heard of this case study and planned to use it in our upcoming book on Pinterest contests, however, it was shared at a conference and got on VentureBeat.

If your business centers around gifts, Christmas is the ideal time to promote them on Pinterest. Take some tips from Deseret Book and RodWorks and let us know if you’re seeing a bit more red this year.

Pinterest Case Study: Walmart Goes Green for the Pin!

Pinned on October 25, 2012

Last month Walmart launched its first ever Pinterest contest. When they initiated their contest they reached out to us to help promote it on our Pinterest Contest board. Walmart agreed to let us interview them about the contest, and they were quite forthcoming with hard statistics and best practices.

Walmart Goes Green – The Contest Theme

For the contest Walmart wanted to highlight their commitment to being green. They named the contest, “Walmart Green ‘Pin to Win’” and to enter, people curated a board with at least 10 Walmart products that inspire eco-friendly living. There were 5 winners who each received a $500 Walmart gift card.

The contest was part of an ongoing effort to provide an atmosphere of sharing and learning around sustainability. In July Walmart launched a new blog called The Green Room (walmartgreenroom.com), which was used as the backdrop for their Pinterest contest.

On its own The Green Room is a marketing success. In just a few short months the site has received 164,254 unique visitors and 268,807 page views. Almost two-thirds (63%) of this traffic comes from referrals, with Facebook comprising 35% of it. However, once the Pinterest contest kicked off the site’s traffic increased by 25% from the previous week. People coming from Pinterest also stayed around longer on the site. The average visit time jumped up by 170% to 4 minutes and 38 seconds.

Contest Cost & Results

Walmart’s contest generated 100 comments, 413 entries, 700 likes, 1,547 original contest repins, and 1,657 new followers (a 549% increase in followers). With a $500 contest prize their acquisition cost for entries was $1.21, new followers $0.32, and total engagement at $0.01. There are no doubts other significant costs went into this contest, but purely looking at the motivation the contest prize generated this isn’t bad.

Obviously, these numbers are not a fair representation of most Pinterest contests. Large brands like Walmart have a distinct advantage due to their size and established following. It is much easier for this type of company to hit a critical density that can lead to true virality around a social media campaign.

Still, even Walmart had to work hard to see results. According to Leigh McAlister, Walmart’s Media Coordinator, the contest presented challenges, especially since this was their first big pitch and push on Pinterest.

Corporate Walmart only started using Pinterest in April of this year. They had  a mere 300 followers to work with when McAlister and her team began marketing the contest.

How Walmart Promoted their Pinterest Contest

Like anyone running a Pinterest contest, Walmart promoted it in various ways. Once they identified a theme, it’s easier to get support from other communities, in this case with green living advocates.

According to McAlister, “We reached out to bloggers, academia influencers, and advertised on all our digital platforms including Facebook and Twitter. We also felt it was important to have a media partner, so we partnered with Mother Nature Network. MNN is huge on issues of sustainability and has a monthly readership of about 2 million people. Ultimately, with MNN’s support and highlighting the contest on all our digital networks we felt the contest was a success. We truly only expected around 50 entries. So, we are thrilled with the engagement we had.” We did notice they received coverage on Brand Channel as well.

The so-called “Walmart Moms,” was the target demographic for the contest. During the 2008 Obama and McCain presidential elections the Walmart Moms were defined as an influential voting segment and were hotly pursued by both candidates.

Time Magazine summed up what this demographic entailed. “Wal-Mart Moms tend to be younger than women overall (71 percent are between 18-44 years old) and white (67 percent); their household income on average falls heavily into two categories — those who make under $50,000 (46 percent) and those who make between $50,000 and $100,000 (43 percent). Three quarters of them offer support for environmental groups and nearly half (46 percent) describe themselves as moderates.”

Yet, Pinterest is still relatively new and marketing tools that can identify whether a demographic was adequately targeted does not exist. When asked on how Walmart was able to show that the Walmart Moms were reached Brooke Buchanan, Director of Sustainability Communications, stated, “We reviewed every entry—all 1,600 plus. The profile descriptions and pin notes helped us gain insight into those who participated.”

Buchanan further stated, “Walmart has a significant commitment to sustainability. We started our outreach in 2005, but consumers are often unaware of our desires to help people be better stewards of the environment. Our contest opened a dialogue on Pinterest that we hope to continue.”

Our Key Takeaways

From what we’re seeing most Pin to Win contests seem to receive low engagement. Walmart’s contest is on the high end of participation and ROI for Pinterest, which is to be expected with a global brand.

We liked how Walmart just didn’t promote their brand, but focused on telling a story around their commitment to being a green company. We are seeing more and more big brands do green initiatives and campaigns (such as what we posted earlier this month with eBay Green).

We also liked that they reached out to the MNN community. It might have been helpful to find influencers on Pinterest who already pin about a green lifestyle and engage with them.

Last of all, we noticed that even though walmart.com has Pinterest Pin it buttons on all their products, on walmartgreenroom.com there isn’t Pinterest Pin it buttons on any of their content. Their Pinterest sharing buttons should be prominent to encourage pinning and to build followers for the next contest.

Thanks to Walmart for sharing their first steps onto Pinterest with us!

Pinterest Case Study: How Dobango’s Contest increased its Site Traffic by 167%

Pinned on October 15, 2012

Pinterest contest are all the rage these days, and Dobango, a social gaming platform, is cashing in on this excitement. Earlier in the year Dobango built the first Pinterest based social gaming/marketing platform.

To test out their new system they decided to beta test on their own brand with a 4th of July contest on Pinterest with a $1,000 grand prize. Their beta efforts generated A LOT of buzz around the web due to their unique social gaming approach.

We wanted to better understand what Dobango was doing and what made their Pinterest contest different. Having gone through all the blog posts and social chatter about the contest we noticed the web’s version of the “telephone game” phenomena was occurring when it came to Dobango’s 4th of July Pinterest contest.

We heard staggering stats about the contest, such as “1,127 contest entries,” or “4,500 new Pinterest followers.” After reaching out to Dobango we found that some of these were true, but also some where baseless.

With Dobango being so forthcoming on their contest results we decided to push them for hard statistics in order to provide a strong case study on Pinterest contests. Their official answer to our data request was, “It is against our policy to disclose specific data points about traffic, revenue, and other sensitive materials.” Even still, they were kind enough to provide some data that is quite interesting and still makes a great case study on Pinterest contests.

So lets dive in. The objective behind Dobango’s 4th of July contest was to develop more brand awareness around their new Pinterest gaming platform. To do this they asked participants to submit their favorite 4th of July images. These pictures ranged from favorite 4th of July foods to a stylish patriotic cat.

One of the submission for Dobango’s the 4th of July Pinterest contest.

Each participant had to create a Dobango account, submit their entry, and follow Dobango on Pinterest. The Dobango proprietary gaming platform would then upload these images onto the 4th of July Pinterest board found on Dobango’s company profile.

In order to be considered for the contest the participants had to encourage their friends and family to vote for their image via Pinterest’s “likes” on their pins. The most votes/likes determined the winner of the contest.

In the end, Youki Sunaga from Fremont, California won with close to 250 likes. Her pin displayed an acrobatic individual flying through the air with fireworks in hand. The next closest entry was 170 likes, which interestingly was also an image submitted by Youki (it seems Youki has a fair amount friends).

The winning submission for Dobango’s 4th of July Pinterest contest.

There were some very unique elements to Dobango’s contest that you won’t find elsewhere on the web. First, every contest submission linked back to Dobango’s social gaming page. It is unlikely you will see another Pinterest contest affording such a luxury, since most pins submitted for contests are completely controlled by the user. However, with Dobango’s system it is Dobango who is in control of the submissions.

The second interesting thing about Dobango’s social gaming system is its automatic integration with the contest landing page and the data found on Pinterest’s platform. Doing this made it easy for participants to enter the contest and see their submissions, along with their rank in relation to the number of likes they had per entry. These stats were real time and provided an engaging leader board.

When we first viewed this portion of Dobango’s system we just figured that they must have had access to Pinterest’s API (even Mashable made this claim about Dobango’s system). Up until a few months ago Pinterest had their API open. There was no supportive API documentation, but it was still possible to interact with the Pinterest system.

Upon further discussion with Dobango this is not the case. We then concluded that they must be crawling Pinterest like everyone else. However, Dobango’s response to this notion was, “We do not crawl the Pinterest board for information that gets sent back to our site – we have our own means of tracking the information and pulling it back that does not involve crawling.”

They are obviously protective of their secret sauce for their gaming system. Yet, with no API and supposedly not crawling Pinterest we are not sure how they are able to pull off this feat. Regardless, it works flawlessly and provides a strong engagement with the user.

As we further looked at Dobango’s social gaming system we quickly came to realize that the real power of what they were doing dealt with how they seemed to amplify user engagement. By truly gamifying the entire process it further perpetuated the user to engage, engage, and engage some more.

To this point Dobango shared with us, “The contest was very successful. Even without investing any advertising dollars, we were able to generate over 5,000 user engagement activities over our entire social media presence. By user engagement activities, we mean the entire spectrum of activities related to the contest that require anything beyond reading about the contest. This includes entering, liking/voting, following Dobango on Pinterest and/or Facebook or Twitter, etc. There were 77 entries total. Though this may seem like a small number, the power of these entries spread by gaining votes and other points of influence.”

Obviously, 77 contest entries is a far cry from the 1,127 entries that someone had originally reported. It is hard to quantify an exact number of what constitutes a successful number for contest submissions. It might well be 77 entries, but to us this number seemed a little low.

Yet, regardless of the contest submissions Dobango’s robust user engagement should be seriously looked at. Due to their active users some powerful repercussions have been felt by Dobango.

One apparent positive repercussion deals with Dobango’s referral traffic. Dobango sent out a press release after their 4th of July contest stating that Pinterest had jumped up to be their main traffic referrer. With the contest several months in the past we asked them if this statement was still true.

“Yes, Pinterest is still a strong source of referral traffic for us. Prior to the contest, about 30% of referral traffic came from Pinterest. In August, just over 80% of our referral traffic was from Pinterest. We are still holding on to that percentage of referral traffic due to strategic leverage of the audience we gained during the contest.”

Their dramatic jump in referral traffic might be linked to how Dobango pushes participants from Pinterest to the contest landing page. It also most likely explains why they continue to enjoy over a 167% increase of Pinterest traffic, due to the fact that they have done several Pinterest contest since the conclusion of their first one.

In truth, the significant traffic jump coming from Pinterest is really where the story lies. Imagine if you could entice only 77 people to explode your site’s traffic. It’s obvious that much of this engagement comes because Dobango, at every possible turn, is encouraging users to leave Pinterest and spend their time on Dobango.

This brings up the next positive repercussion felt from Dobango’s astounding user engagement —the length of time a user spends on site. According to Dobango, the average visit duration was a little over a minute before their system launched. After the contest ended to the present point, they saw the average duration a user spent on their site double. These statistics seem to support what other web masters are saying about the traffic they are receiving from Pinterest.

We have had the opportunity to interview over a dozen different companies about their Pinterest contest efforts and only Walmart (whose contest results we will be publishing shortly) has been comparable to Dobango’s. There is obviously magic in what Dobango is doing.

The only concern with Dobango’s Pinterest gaming platform is the “relatively” low contest submissions. Yet, this seems to be a problem we have encountered with most small businesses who are trying to entice people to pin and win. Luckily for Dobango they have the ability to seriously amplify each user’s engagement, and at the end of the day that is what really matters.

Rachael Ray Magazine’s “My Dream Theme Party” Pinterest Contest

Pinned on October 12, 2012

Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine is hosting a pin to win Pinterest contest with a party theme. The contest was announced in the print magazine with examples of things to pin. Basically you create a party by pinning the food, decor and other elements you want to include around a theme. For example, your party could have a Halloween theme, a karaoke, or an 80s theme.

Here’s the pin to announce the contest:

There is a My Dream Party board created for the contest. The contest is also promoted on the Rachael Ray Magazine Facebook Page app. They set up a page on their site at RachaelRayMag.com/Pin that redirects to Facebook to enter. This is how they track entries because they ask you to submit the URL for the board you created for the contest.

One person will win a $500 gift card (which is an American Express gift card) to throw their dream party! 4 runner-ups will receive $250 gift cards. The rules are posted here.

Here are the steps to enter the contest:
Step 1: Click “Follow All” for Every Day Rachael Ray’s pinterest boards.
Step 2: Create a board named “My Dream Theme Party” on Pinterest and categorize the Board as “Food & Drink.”
Step 3: Go to www.rachaelraymag.com or the Every Day with Rachael Ray Pinterest page at http://pinterest.com/rachaelraymag/ and pin a minimum of ten (10) RachaelRayMag.com images to your My Dream Theme Party Board. Include a short description with each image of why it is part of your party.

Their judges will select the winners based on: Overall Cohesion of the Board (50%), Creativity of the pins, descriptions and theme (50%).

The contest runs from September 24, 2012 to November 05, 2012.

What they did right: Rachael Ray Magazine has a fun theme that fits Pinterest demographic well. It taps into the popularity of food and drink categories and ties in well with the magazine which is also about food. We really like the prize too, it takes Pinterest from being a dream board to reality when you actually throw a party rather than just pin one. Even if you don’t win, it’s fun to actually have a party. Of course people who participate will look to the magazine for ideas on party food.

Rachael Ray did a good job promoting their contest across their social sites, including their blog, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter as well as in print. We assume they also promoted the contest in their email.

What they could improve: The app on Facebook is smart and it clearly lays out all of the rules. However, they try to do too much. Not only do you need to “Like” the page and follow them on Pinterest, but you can sign up for an email newsletter and follow them on Twitter too. That seems a bit overwhelming. We like how they cross-promoted the contest but once you go to enter, it’s important to keep it simple.

They could also incorporate a hashtag such as #dreamtheme into the contest.

What do you think of Rachael’s Pinterest contest?