Pinterest may not allow advertisers on its platform yet, but that’s not stopping some third-party publishers from hosting campaigns on the rapidly growing social network.
On Friday, Women’s Health will launch its first advertiser campaign on Pinterest. The magazine, which attributes a whopping 25% of its referral traffic to the site, will invite readers to create “Sparkling Summer” Pinterest boards incorporating images from the advertiser, Forevermark Diamonds. Participants will be eligible for a chance to receive a trip to a Women’s Health party in the Hamptons later this summer.
We’ve seen a number of these kinds of contests on Pinterest in the past, but never on behalf of another advertiser.
Social media has proven difficult territory for many advertisers. Followers and fans often react negatively to the kind of blatant sponsored messages that appear in other media, such as print and radio. As such, magazines’ social media accounts have remained largely in the hands of editorial departments, which use those accounts to build their audiences and drive traffic to their websites.
To integrate advertising into social media managed by magazines thus requires a degree of creativity. Women’s Health is hoping that the prize is enough to compensate for the appearance of what is clearly sponsored content in the newsfeeds of their Pinterest followers. The key, says Women’s Health publisher Laura Frerer-Schmidt, is to “offer prizing that really brings the Women’s Health experience to life for our audience.”
Women’s Health has already sold another social media campaign around its July/August issue to Procter & Gamble. For two weeks, the magazine will encourage its more than 1 million Twitter followers to engage with “a series of Twitter parties… [that] will unlock special content and prizing for our audience” related to the Olympics, says Schmidt.
In a similar vein, Elle has launched an advertiser-sponsored trend guide on its Facebook page.
How open are you to third-party advertisements from the brands you follow? Are they acceptable so long as there’s a tangible benefit, such as a contest prize, involved?