The Small-Town Radio Station that Got 24 Million Views on a Mother’s Day Giveaway

This case study explores how a small radio station in Minnesota gained nationwide attention and massive engagement with a Mother's Day contest.

By Dana Kilroy ・2 min read
Customer Stories

Giveaways are by far the most popular type of interactive marketing campaigns ShortStack users run. It’s a common scenario for brands to get hundreds of thousands of views and collect tens of thousands of entries and email leads from their campaigns.But a recent Mother’s Day contest, hosted by a small midwestern radio station, got so much attention you’d think they were Los Angeles-based and giving away a meet-and-greet with Taylor Swift. Instead KCLD-104.7, based in St. Cloud, Minnesota (population 67,641), was giving away a spa day for a mother-daughter duo. A nice prize, for sure, but the results were way beyond what they imagined: During the 30 days the contest ran, the “Win a Mother/Daughter Spa Day” contest had 24 million views and more than 200,000 entries.In this case study, we’ll explore what the station’s parent company's goals were and what Leighton Broadcasting did to meet them.

KCLA's Mother's Day Giveaway, built with ShortStack's UGC + Vote Contest template

The goal

When KCLD-104.7 launched their contest, they were looking for ways to engage their listeners. “The primary goal was to provide engaging interactive content for our listeners and communicate with them on multiple platforms,” says Kelli Frieler, Leighton Broadcasting’s Executive Director of Digital. Our team thought a contest would help them interact with their loyal audience while also growing their Facebook fan base, which now has more than 146,000 followers.

The campaign elements

KCLD-104.7 created a user-generated photo-vote campaign. They asked people to post mother-daughter selfies and share their entry to collect votes. “Within a few days we had gotten thousands of entries,” says Frieler. “Even though the prize was relatively expensive, people loved being able to share their photos and express themselves,” she says. “Any time you give people the chance to express love, gratitude or thanks, it’s a ticket to engagement,” she adds. The top vote-getter had more than 30,000 votes.

They received over 200,000 entries, with the top vote-getter at 30,000 votes

The unexpected results

As it turns out, there are 128 radio stations in the United States with the 104-7 frequency. While Leighton Broadcasting didn’t anticipate people from all over the country entering the giveaway, that’s exactly what happened. It was an unexpected bonus for Leighton since the station is also available to stream. “While the prizes were from local businesses, we ended up with entries from people as far away as Texas, and we also heard from many entrants that are now streaming listeners,” says Frieler. “We didn’t set out to enhance our stream-player base of listeners, it was an unintended positive consequence of a viral campaign designed to engage our local listeners. Our campaign exemplifies the power of a live and local broadcast paired with engaging social media content”

More contests on the horizon

Leighton Broadcasting had been working to create more content for use throughout the year. “This content provides us with a chance to really connect with listeners, while also providing our clients with an opportunity to associate their brand with a unique engagement and brand extension,” says Frieler.Frieler says there were several ShortStack features that played a key role in the campaign's success. "The voting and sharing features were key," she says.

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About the author

By Dana Kilroy ・2 min read

Dana Sullivan Kilroy is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience delivering compelling content. Her work has appeared in national, award-winning publications and sites, including: The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Fast Company, Inc.

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