June 19, 2012
Recently, Pinterest announced that you can pin videos from Vimeo in addition to YouTube. However, looking through the top brands or categories on Pinterest you won’t find a lot of videos being pinned or repinned. Even in the video category there are almost no videos with more than a single repin.
An example of the weakness of video on Pinterest is the beauty retailer Birchbox. On Pinterest, Birchbox has over 22,000 followers for it’s unboxing video board, but unfortunately they do not have more than a single repin on any of their videos.
With these numbers, it might be surprising to know that Birchbox does well on YouTube. They have over 11,000 active subscribers on their YouTube channel, and close to a million views. Yet, when these same videos are pinned, the Pinterest community doesn’t visibly engage (though, undoubtedly their Pinterest fans help their overall YouTube viewing numbers).
Speaking to Danny Mason, co-founder of Go GungHo, a new alternative to caffeine rich energy drinks, he shows three possible reasons for why people don’t share videos as often as images:
1. People are not sure what the video is before they click it.
2. People are not sure what their time commitment will be to watch the video.
3. People are not sure they will want to share the video.
Aware of the challenges of getting people to share video, Danny and his new company found a way to combine video marketing with Pinterest — and it is not in the traditional Pinterest way.
Instead of incentivizing people to pin videos on Pinterest and hoping for the best, Danny tapped into the power of a YouTube community. They invited YouTube viewers to go to a landing page for a special offer for sharing their funny ninja images (ninjas are a serious part of Go GungHo’s brand).
Go GungHo initially thought they were marketing to a younger male demographic, which fit best with YouTube. Their focus was on college students who want extra energy to get through their finals and college courses.
Go GungHo looked for a YouTube celebrity that could reach both men and women. They found the husband and wife duo, Charles and Ally Trippy. The couple agreed to do a video review of the product. Danny provided an exclusive deal to the Trippy audience, giving free samples to the first 5,000 people to respond.
The Trippy’s shared how they were fans of the “world’s only energy shot with Ninja-like focus” and then provided the exclusive offer to their 760,000 plus viewers. Within seven hours Go GungHo had given out all of their 5,000 free samples, beating Orabrush’s YouTube marketing record that moved 10,000 free samples in ten days.
Yet, the success of this launch really wasn’t about how quickly Go GungHo gave out free samples, or even the power of the Trippy’s YouTube community. The true magic came when all of the Trippy fans hit the Go GungHo landing page.
On the landing page people could choose several funny ninja images to share on social sites including Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. To entice people to share, the Go GungHo group promised to provide additional free samples or a steep discount if someone bought product after clicking on one of their ninja images.
The second wave of sharing brought down their website for over an hour. As unfortunate as a crashed website is on a product launch, the massive amount of response Go GungHo received provided some great insights.
The first insight they gained was that women were more gung ho than men about sharing on social media sites. According to Danny, almost 60% of the social engagement was from women.
Women also proved to be a valuable contribution to the campaign because they often added their personal endorsement with their shares. These findings made the team re-evaluate their strategy, which included a redesign of their packaging to make it more appealing to women.
“We learned our most vocal advocates are women. Men would just share to get the product. Women would add their comments about it, even though they didn’t have to. Men also tried to game the system” more than women did, stated Danny.
Finally, Go GungHo learned the power of Pinterest. Even though more people used Facebook and Twitter to share, Pinterest users were more active in endorsing the energy shot. Due to this level of engagement, Pinterest outpaced the other social networks when it came to referral traffic.
Video is powerful, though it may not necessarily be in getting pins and repins on Pinterest. Instead, by tapping into the YouTube community Go Gungho was able to grow all of their social numbers, and get increased engagement from women — on Pinterest in particular.
The funny images combined with an easy way to share resulted in growing their fan base on every network.
- The GungHo webs site got 69,000 hits within hours. The 5000 free were gone in 23 minutes. The next 5000 (with discount) was gone in under 4 hour live up time (site was down for >1.5 hrs). After 40 minutes when site went down, they turned off the discount. With no barriers to sharing it spread too fast. Only Trippy’s fans got the discount after that.
- Of the 69,000, over 5,700 bought or got the free sample, but the company had to turn off the viral share piece because they lost money on the $10 discount if they chose the monthly auto-delivery option. They are convinced they would have been wiped out of product if Trippy’s fans’ friends got the offer. Trippy’s fans friends just saw the funny image but did NOT get the offer.
- Our buyers from the Trippy’s site was about 59% female.
- The men tended to share via Faceboko and Twitter. The women, via Pinterest.
- Women shared their endorsement (comments from them vs our pre-populated text in the FB, twitter or Pinterest window). Less than 5% of the time men shared personal endorsement. Over 80% of the women did.
- Go GungHo got over 1300 new Twitter followers and over 1100 new FB fans in a matter of hours from the Trippy offer. They had almost zero following before (this was our launch campaign).
- The community loved the offer from the Trippys. They had over 80 tweets, posts or other comments from his fans thanking for the hook-up. We had over 60 comments / reviews on our fan-page (we offered a free 12-pack for the best review).
- 5778 customers total pinned their image before they turned off the offer. 3409 were women. 2292 of those women chose to pin vs. share on Facebook or Twitter (67% chose pinterest vs FB or twitter). They determined the sex of people sharing by looking at the name of the person.
Have any launch tips or stories of how you successfully leveraged social media or Pinterest? Please share in the comments?
Written by Janet Thaeler, @Newspapergrl and Paul Wilson, cofounders of PinAlerts.com – a new free tool to let you see what’s being pinned on Pinterest. You get an email whenever someone pins something from your blog. Their Pinterest account is Pinterest.com/Pinnablebiz