7 Tips for Running Powerful Pinterest Contests

Pinterest is a great site to drive engagement on, as 80% of the pins on the network are repins. And this engagement can be escalated to higher levels by running contests. Well run contests can have a positive effect on your business. If your contest is put into work effectively, it can help you generate leads, drive engagement, gain followers or anything else you want to achieve on Pinterest. But if it isn’t it could have no effect or a negative effect which could make all the time you put in worthless.

So below are 7 tips which will help you run powerful Pinterest contests that will help you accomplish your goals…

1. Read the terms of service:

Before you run a contest on any social network, the first thing you need to do is read their terms of service/rules on running a contest. Not following the rules or making one simple mistake could lead to your account being suspended – all your hard work of developing a page will just go to waste.

Pinterest contest rules are very lenient and easy to follow when compared to Facebook’s, this makes it an attractive place to run contests. You can take a look at their rules under the ‘Logos and Brand Guidelines’ section which is located under the terms of service for business accounts.

Pinterest_Contest_Running_Guidelines_Screenshot

As you can see from the above screenshot these rules are easy to follow – the main points you need to consider are to avoid spamming, let people pin their own stuff and that a pin, repin, board, like or follow shouldn’t be an entry.

2. Set a goal:

You shouldn’t just dive in and create a contest and hope that you will generate some sales or leads or engagement or followers – before you organize a Pinterest contest, you need to choose a goal and then create a contest that is targeted towards achieving that goal. If your aim is to generate leads make sure you collect leads by getting people to sign up to the contest with their email addresses, if you want to drive engagement get people to repin, like and comment on pins, if it is to drive website traffic get people to pin something from your website, etc.

Dream_Bedroom_Pinterest_Contest_by_Country_Living

For e.g. if one of your goals is to get more followers you could create a campaign similar to the Dream Bedroom Pinterest Contest run by Country Living. Here the first step the participants had to make, to take part in the contest, was to follow all their boards. Therefore one of the aims must have been to gather followers. Another way to attract Pinterest followers is by using a contest tool like Rafflecopter where you can make it mandatory for users to follow you to take part or give them extra points if they follow you.

3. Create a landing page:

A landing page should be an important part of your Pinterest contest. This is where you lead people so that they can find out more about your contest. On the landing page you need to have a pinnable image, instructions on how to take part in the contest and what they will win (you need to sell it) and a sign up form where they can register. The sign up form is important as it is the best way to get them enrolled in the contest, as it has been mentioned in the terms of service that you can’t get people to enrol with a pin, repin, board, like or comment. Also, the leads collected through this form can help you build a good list with which you can build relationships and market to later. You could also organize the contest in such a way that the instructions can only be gathered after signing up – this can encourage more sign ups.

Other tips for a great landing page:

      • Get rid of all distractions. The aim of the landing page should be to get more people to sign up.
      • Make sure it is spacious with a lot of space between the text.
      • Use a simple design.

Here’s a post by Anum Hussain of Hubspot on how to create high converting landing pages.

Pin_a_Room_Win_A_Room_Contest_by_Urban_Outfitters

The Pin A Room Win A Room contest run by Urban Outfitters has a well designed landing page. You will notice that on this page they have the name of the contest, the prize offered, instructions on how to take part, a follow us on Pinterest link and an entry form (you will find that there is no entry form on the page right now, as it has been removed because the contest has ended).
A great tool for creating landing pages for Pinterest contests and running them is Promote, by Curalate.

4. Keep the contest easy, inexpensive and fun:

The contest you create should have three factors – easy, inexpensive and fun.

Easy – They should be so easy that all people need to do is make a few pins and repins. They don’t have to do something complicated that takes ages and ages.

Inexpensive – Not everybody will want to spend a whole lot of money to win a prize, especially if the prize you are giving away isn’t that expensive. So try and keep make it as inexpensive as possible.

Fun – The contest needs to be fun. When people see your contest instructions and rules they need to get excited, they shouldn’t see it as something taxing. So try and make it as pleasurable as possible. Keep in mind not to get carried away and make it so much fun that it becomes too expensive and time consuming.

Pin_your_inbox_by_Email_Vision

Email vision ran a very simple and fun contest called Pin your inbox. Here participants have to pin their email campaigns. The other viewers can then observe and ‘like’ the campaigns they like most and the one that receives the most ‘likes’ wins the contest. As you can see it is both fun and easy. All people need to do is pin their campaign which is extremely easy. It’s fun because they get recognition for their work. It also brings in a lot of engagement from other users and can also result in traffic for the participants’ campaign, which could get them more clicks too.

5. Promote your contest:

People love contests, especially on Pinterest, but people won’t come rushing to you and sign up for the contest just because you are running one. They will come and check out your contest if you get the word out about it, and they will take part in it, if you sell it well by letting them know how exciting it is going to be and what they are going to win.

Here are a few ways to inform people about your contest:

  • Write a blog post
  • Publish a press release
  • Inform your email subscribers
  • Share it across your social networks
  • Create a Pinterest board just for the contest
  • Submit it to contest submission sites

6. Give away a relevant prize:

The prize you give away plays an important role too. You need to choose something that is relevant to your brand and something your target audience will find useful. It could also be one of your own products. You can actually give away one of your new products as the prize. This will help spread the word about it. Relevant prizes will help you attract participants who are more likely to promote your brand or buy your products in the future.

Bundle_of_Joy_Contest_by_ergobaby

In the ‘Pin It To Win It!’ contest run by ergobaby, each of the 4 winners won a Bundle of Joy carrier. As their target audience are parents who are expecting or have a child, the prize which is meant for babies helped them attract the right people. So like ergobaby choose a wise prize that will attract your target audience and not one that will attract just anyone.

7. Display winners:

Everybody loves their 5 seconds of fame, so make an effort to let the world know about your winners. Ask your winner to take a picture of themselves with the prize and email it to you and then with their permission you can publicize it. You could write a blog post about it, you could upload an image onto a ‘contest winner’s board’, etc. This will not only show your audience that your contest was real and had a happy ending, but it will also help you gain happier fans and this will spread the word and encourage others to take part in future contests.

Conde_Nast_Traveler_Contest_Winners

Conde Nast Traveler announced the winners of their Ultimate Travel Companion Pinterest Contest on their website. They mentioned the names of the winner and the two runner ups and included links to the boards they created to take part. They also let people know what each of them won. This is a nice way to announce winners and not only help their participants, but also help themselves and their contest, gain more publicity.

Follow all the above tips to create highly engaging contests that will attract a lot of participants and fans.

What do you think of the above post? Did you ever run a Pinterest contest? Have you got some tips you would like to share with us? Please leave your comments below.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.

Author: Mitt Ray

Mitt Ray is the founder of Social Marketing Writing where you can get his free Pinterest Marketing Video Tutorial. Follow him on Twitter @MittRay.

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