Posted by Steve Parker, Jr. (@sparkerjr)
As any digital marketer keeping up with the Pinterest craze knows, the new social platform has not yet opened its doors to advertising. It appears third-party publishers are finding a way around that, though, as Women’s Health magazine will be hosting its first social advertising campaign on Pinterest – for another advertiser.
It makes sense for Women’s Health to take advantage of its Pinterest pull – a surprising 25% of its referral traffic comes from the social site, according to mashable. And with the print industry dwindling, historically print publications need to find more creative ways to bring home the bacon. Perhaps that is why the magazine plans to launch its first social advertising campaign for another advertiser – Forevermark Diamonds, to be exact. Women’s Health will encourage viewers to create “Sparkling Summer” Pinterest boards using images from the advertiser. The carrot? Those who take part in the Pinterest contest could win a trip to a Women’s Health party in the Hamptons.
Although marketers have been experimenting with using Pinterest for brands through similar contests, they’ve all been self-promotional. The Forevermark Diamonds social advertising contest is the first of its kind to be hosted by a third-party.
So how will fans and followers respond?
Pinterest makes it a point to position the site as a social community in which people can communicate and share ideas without being inundated with ads. For those brands attempting to use Pinterest as a self-promotional tool, they’re likely to be disappointed in the result. In addition, sponsored content in general tends to get a bad rap with consumers who typically react negatively to such content. So how are people likely to respond when blatant sponsored messages for another brand begin appearing in Women’s Health news feeds?
According to the magazine’s publisher, Laura Frerer-Schmidt, the way around this is to “offer prizing that really brings the Women’s Health experience to life for our audience.” In other words, the magazine is hoping the chance to win a trip to one of its parties in the Hamptons later this summer will be enough to make fans and followers accept what is very obviously sponsored content in their news feeds.
Will it work? Only time can tell. I would agree with the theory that the promise of getting something I’m truly interested in would make me more accepting of sponsored content. What do you think? Is the possibility of spending some time in the Hamptons with Women’s Health enough?