Belk was able to up its engagement with returning college students during a recent Back-to-School Fashion Sweepstakes. The southern lifestyle retailer teamed up with HelloWorld, a provider of rich engagement solutions, to develop the successful campaign.
“We planned to bring back-to-school fun back to the college crowd by easing the transition into college with fun style tips and dorm room ideas,” said Jen Gray, senior vice president of marketing and creative services for HelloWorld.
The campaign, which began July 19 and ended August 29, offered college students a chance to gain inspiration for a dorm room style, a game day look or a night out, and users could see where their chosen look stood in the ranks after voting.
Additional sweepstakes entries were earned for taking polls, referring friends, and following the campaign on Twitter and Instagram. The winning looks from week to week were featured in a gallery, and participants could shop their favorite looks on Belk’s site.
There were 598,566 votes casted and more than 705,000 sweepstakes entries earned. Sixty-seven percent opted in to hear more from Belk, and 44% of participants registered through mobile; registrants visited the program an average of 5.3 times.
Gray said participants cast votes on their favorite look during the series of themed challenges throughout the campaign, and could check back to see the winning looks.
“By creating shoppable results we were able to make that favorite look a reality,” said Gray. “The additional ways to earn bonus sweepstakes [entries], such as following the campaign on Instagram and Twitter and the themed voting challenges themselves were designed to keep the momentum going from the time the campaign started.”
Gray said brands like Belk who use promotional campaigns throughout the year find great success in creating meaningful touchpoints with consumers, driving product awareness, purchase and ultimate brand loyalty. “The key is capitalizing on seasonal events to keep engagement going year round,” she said.
Gray said, the sweepstakes was promoted on mobile and social channels, but a lot of the promotion was done organically.
“When participants shared their favorite looks via Facebook or referred friends through email, they earned bonus sweepstakes entries, which encouraged them to continue sharing and returning to the site,” said Gray. “This level of loyalty from registered users exceeded our expectations.”
Belk and HelloWorld found the percentage of mobile users increased from campaign to campaign, now reaching a level close to 50/50, well beyond industry averages.
“With the success we’ve had for past campaigns, such as our classic Santa Baby campaign, last year’s back-to-school Modern Southern Music Concert Style Sweeps and this year’s Back-to-School Fashion Sweeps, we feel confident in continuing to pursue campaigns like these in the future,” said Gray.
Gray added that by analyzing results from campaign to campaign, Belk and HelloWorld are able to plan for revamped versions, focusing on what worked well and incorporating unique features to keep consumers excited.