One of the problems in the B2B space is that your products are sold based on customer need, not desire, beauty, or trends. It’s much easier to get customers talking about fashion or entertainment than about, well, ID cards. Retailer IDWholesaler.com wanted to break through that barrier, and get people talking about their products and build great inbound links at the same time. So they decided to focus on a subset of their business – the lanyards people often use to wear their work ID badges – and combine it with the artists who design custom lanyards in a viral contest that led to great results.
IDWholesaler sells lanyards themselves, including custom lanyards that can be imprinted with a company logo. So it’s important to their business to rank on various keyword phrases that include the word “lanyard”. Instead of trying to promote their products directly, however, they turned to the community of artists and craftspeople who make beautiful jewelry-inspired lanyards. The popularity of this art is easily seen in online communities and on stores like Etsy.com where you can find beautiful, one-of-a-kind lanyards for ID badges or other purposes (like holding eyeglasses around your neck). IDWholesaler engaged these artists with a unique contest.
The engagement point for the contest was a special subsection of their website devoted to the lanyard contest. These pages informed contestants of the rules of the contest and its prizes, and allowed visitors to vote on their favorite submissions. It also encouraged visitors to follow the design contest on Facebook and Twitter, and to share a keyword-rich link using the AddThis widget. Every artist who submitted an entry was given a “badge” to include on their own website with optimized keyword text links back to IDWholesaler.com.
Of course, many crafters love to blog and participate in online forums as well, so the contest spread like wildfire, with the participants blogging about their progress and sharing the contest with fellow artisans. In the end, IDWholesaler received 70 entries and over 3600 votes. But the whopper numbers are the SEO-related ones – they received an 8% increase in inbound links, and a 43% lift in non-paid traffic related to the term “lanyard”.
So for those of you looking for creative ways to spread the word about less-then-exciting products, think outside the box like IDWholesaler did in this contest.
Special thanks to Kate at IDWholesaler.com for sharing the results of this campaign with us!