PCH Unveils Sweepstakes Social Media Service For All
Publishers Clearing House (PCH) has developed an out-of-the-box service that lets any company launch a sweepstakes social media marketing campaign on their Web site, Facebook Fan page, Twitter or other social networks.
The service unveiled Tuesday with launch partner Wildfire Interactive lets marketers create an online promotion within minutes through PCH's newly released API, PCH Boost.
Wildfire offers a self-service social media marketing platform aimed at making it easy for companies and agencies to build online sweepstakes and simultaneously publish them. The Promotion Builder has been integrated into PCH Boost, and lets companies automatically integrate with Facebook Connect.
Wildfire is the first in a handful of companies PCH will partner with, according to Craig Aron, manager of digital and emerging media at PCH. "We are in active discussions with three or four partners," he says. "Wildfire is our premium partner in the social media space, but we can also go outside this market to find and partner with other brands."
PCH also has begun talking with execs at traditional brands that have not historically dabbled in sweepstakes promotions, adds Dennis Vukelic, director of online strategy at PCH. A small team of internal employees will support the sweepstakes service through the Wildfire offerings.
"There are future revenues earmarked toward the project," Vukelic says. "As with any new venture we had to justify the business model, but we know how to make the revenue to support the cost. The largest cost being the sweepstakes."
PCH will fulfill the prize winnings of up to $100,000 in cash, as well as support the technology fulfillment platform and the draft contest rules. The company provides a way to put legal and fulfillment requirements of running a sweepstakes in the experienced hands of employees at PCH, a company running sweepstakes for more than 50 years.
Vukelic says being a traditional brand nearly 60 years old created a few obstacles. "We have an older customer base and haven't been that successful in reaching a younger demographic¸ especially those in the social space," he says, adding that Wildfire gives PCH a strong foothold into social marketing services.
Aside from a snippet of code required to connect through the API, easy to follow instructions walk marketers through a six-step process to build the sweepstakes. It requires marketers to go online, choose the name of the sweepstakes, prizes to offer, creative pieces, duration of promotion, and instructions on where to publish the sweepstakes.
When marketers choose to publish the sweepstakes on Facebook, along with the promotion marketers get viral and social features inherent in the social network, says Wildfire Chief Executive Officer Victoria Ransom.
Typically, Wildfire charges clients on a per campaign basis, with the lowest being .99 cents daily, but Ransom says the deal with PCH lets Wildfire offer the service at no additional charge for three months.
Marketers on the edge debating how to qualify a potential campaign's return on investment (ROI) might want to consider demographic and contact information of those who enter the sweepstakes, such as name, address and other required information, Ransom says.