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Have you ever wanted to run a movie theatre? In 2016, hundreds of passionate movie buffs,  business owners, and dreamers took their shot to win the Temple Theatre, a historic movie theater in beautiful downtown Houlton, Maine. The essay contest drew attention coast to coast from major media outlets, including the New York Times and the Boston Globe as well as niche industry publications like The Hollywood Reporter and BigScreenBiz, and viral word-of-mouth, in part due to the highly-detailed marketing strategy, social media services, and public relations efforts of digital marketing services provider, Dream Local Digital.

Generating Social Media Contest Exposure Through a Digital Marketing Campaign

When Temple Theatre Owner Mike Hurley reached out to Dream Local Digital, he was looking to find a new owner for his movie theatre in northern Maine. Being located in a rural town, the historic theater had been a staple in the community for more than 100 years. Mike wanted to do more than just sell a business, he wanted to sell a dream, thus launching the “Win a movie theater in Maine essay contest.”

As a national digital marketing agency in Maine, Dream Local Digital was able to clearly understand the story and the charm of the theater, its owners, and the community. The goal became to capture the imagination of the rest of the country, and even the world, with this exciting opportunity where everyone had a chance to be in the movie biz.

Using Social Media, Digital Advertising, and PR to Maximize Online Marketing Reach

Our team began by working directly with the owners to develop a detailed marketing strategy to maximize the contest’s exposure nationally. With only four months to gather contest submissions, we needed to make the process clear and simple for our audience.

We began by developing a landing page to gather essay contest submissions. This page would use branding and messaging, along with the contest rules and description to act as the focal point and central hub of our efforts. All of our social marketing, digital advertising, and PR tactics would serve to drive qualified traffic to this site.

As a full-service digital marketing agency, we used a multi-tiered approach, tapping into a number of internal resources on our team to execute the plan in a timely and highly-effective way; including industry organization website and social media research, as well as identifying key publications and contacts that would assist us in reaching large, targeted audiences in one synchronized effort. Using organic social content, we managed and monitored Temple Theatre’s social media channels and helped to build buzz across online groups and communities online.

Within a few short weeks, the contest was running at full speed, gathering submissions from all across the United States and as far away as Europe. Our PR outreach had attracted the attention of major news outlets, including the New York Times, Boston Globe, and CNN, as well as many industry and niche publications like Country Living Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, and Digital Trends. We even saw a massive wave of support from the leading media outlets in the theatre’s home state of Maine from WAGM-TV, WHOM 94.9, Q 106.5, Bangor Daily News, and WAGM.

Measuring the Metrics: How Did the Campaign Perform?

While our team knew that this campaign had the potential to gain national interest, it was through the thoughtful, strategic approach that we were able to see it reach viral status.

In just three months, Dream Local Digital helped the Temple Theatre Essay Contest reach 275,996 people, driving 15,656 Clicks on Ads. These metrics are certainly impressive, but the most significant exposure came from our PR efforts, where we garnered 95,102 Backlinks to the essay contest landing page. This earned media exposure helped to capture the imagination of anyone that’s ever wanted to work in the movie business.

Conclusion

Now under the management of its new owners, the Temple Theatre in Houlton, Maine has settled back into its role as a community staple; re-energized by its 15 minutes three months of fame. The powerful joint effort between the theatre’s longtime owners and Dream Local Digital achieved its goal of finding a new owner that would share the same passion and vision for the historic building and its place in a rural Maine community.

The contest generated a massive amount of interest globally and ultimately attracted the theatre’s new owners; who continue to bring the stars of Hollywood to the small town of Houlton, Maine.

If you are looking for ideas to run a social media contest, sweepstakes or other giveaway, our team is ready to assist you with strategy, building, and running your campaign. Contact us today to plan your next contest.