Pinfluencer Brings Pinterest Contests to Brands’ Sites, Facebook Pages

Gilt, eBay, Sephora have signed on at launch

Many social marketers cut their teeth running contests and sweepstakes on Facebook, and social marketing software companies like Wildfire built their businesses helping brands manage those campaigns.

Now, Pinfluencer wants to do the same for Pinterest. On Thursday, the Pinterest analytics firm was set to launch Pinterest Promotions. The idea is for brands to use the platform to set up contests and sweepstakes on Facebook or the brands’ own sites that tie in the social scrapbooking site.

Launch partner Gilt is using the platform for its “Pin to Win: Gilt Wedding Style!” contest. Users are invited to create a pinboard that repins one of five bridal gowns from Gilt’s own pinboard and then add other pins like flowers or hairstyles, resulting in a board that lays out the user’s dream wedding.

Gilt is one of 10 companies to have tested the platform in beta over the past month; others include Gilt’s sibling company Jetsetter, food site Yummly and beauty products merchant Birchbox. EBay and Sephora are on tap to launch their own Pinfluencer-powered campaigns next week, said Pinfluencer CEO Sharad Verma.

Verma said hosting a Pinterest contest on Facebook would enable brands to convert their Facebook fans into Pinterest followers, cross-pollinating the bases. But he made clear that the Promotions tool aims to be more than an acquisition play. “Through our contest analytics dashboard, brands can easily get high-level ROI metrics,” Varma said.

In addition to standard stats like total number of pins, repins, clicks and page views, marketers can track revenue from purchases that stemmed from a contest. Pinfluencer can also calculate the total potential reach of contest-related pins and the influencer scores of participating users. Brands can use that data to see what content performs best on Pinterest, but down the line they could use it to inform off-Pinterest advertising.

“At some point, [brands] can also use contest pinboards and promote them on online display ad networks as a way to drive traffic to the boards,” Varma said.

His plans get more ambitious. Eventually, Pinfluencer will look to build audience profile databases of brands’ Pinterest followers that would help marketers understand their lifetime value. The scrapbooking site also plans to create segmented profiles that will allow brands to see the makeup of their followers.