2015 PRSA Bronze Anvil Award Winner Highlight: Recipe for Blueberry Success

BLUEBERRIESBRONZEReminder: The Bronze Anvil Entry Deadline is March 23rd!


The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC), an agriculture promotion group made up of blueberry famers, processors and importers in North and South America, faced a host of challenges regarding its website in 2013. Traffic was declining, engagement and content sharing had slowed since its launch in 2011, and blueberries were quickly losing ground to berry competitors in Google search rankings.

To reverse the trend, and to support the Council’s efforts to double consumption by 2020, PadillaCRT proposed a digital overhaul hinging on refreshed content, improved functionality and enhanced design.

The web upgrade coincided with a brand refresh to better align the look, feel, and tone of blueberry communications with the changing attitudes and preferences of target customers – women and moms ages 25-45.

PadillaCRT conducted user and mood tests, evaluated Google Analytics and SEO rankings, and reviewed third-party research to set the baseline and provide content and functionality direction.

Research found:

  • Moms are 61% more likely to visit Pinterest than the average American (Nielsen)
  • 1 in 3 Pinterest users under 35 have bought something in a store after sharing or liking it on Pinterest (Vision Central/Harvard)
  •  44% of consumers are more likely to engage with products if they post pictures (ROI)
  •  Among women 25-44, Google is the #1 recipe and nutrition information source (Hebert 2013)

Strategies were developed for the website to create a hub for the Council’s image-building campaign, and the agency partnered with online influencers on Pinterest and in food media to build traffic, targeted other social platforms and created and optimized new content. Campaign objectives included:

  • Increase website traffic 50% year over year (YOY)
  • Achieve double-digit increase in engagement YOY
  • Elevate littlebluedynamos.com to the top five of Google’s search results for “blueberries”

Design refreshes played a central role, along with shareable videos and infographics, responsive design and linked content, particularly to Pinterest. Promotion was enhanced with SEO-focused copy updates; the use celebrity spokesperson Alison Sweeney, host of NBC’s The Biggest Loser and star of Days of Our Lives; timed social promotions; pay-per-click ads; blog posts; email updates; and trade media coverage of the new site.

At the end of the campaign, the USHBC and PadillaCRT were able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

In July 2014, the Council’s enhanced website went live at littlebluedynamos.com and exceeded program goals for traffic, engagement and search rankings:

  • Visits increased 564% vs. June 2014 and 294% vs. July 2013, with a 218% increase in periods YOY
  • Engagement leaped with a record 33,000+ repins of recipes, 30,000 visits from Pinterest and a 30% email subscription increase in one month alone, and a 1,700% increase in referral traffic from Pinterest YOY
  • The site grabbed the #3 average Google ranking for “Blueberries” and a 243% increase in organic traffic YOY

The increases in website traffic and recipe engagement directly contributed to the Council’s ongoing goal to increase blueberry consumption. With the immense success of the relaunch, the Council voted to increase funding for website promotions in 2015.

For more information, click here: http://bit.ly/2018anvils.