Picture Perfect: What We Can Learn from the National Parks Foundation


Photo Credit: Courtney Kotewa

If you’re paying attention to your Facebook stats or maybe pulled some Google analytics on your event website, you’ve probably noticed that the posts, webpages, or other types of content you have out there get the most interaction when they’re picturesque. People love pretty pictures!

Keeping that in mind, we wanted to share with you a really great idea from another side of ACTIVE’s business. This is our third year partnering with the National Park Foundation, the National Park Service, and other participating federal agencies on the Share the Experience photo contest. The contest was designed to be visually appealing and “shareable”–amateur photographers were welcomed to submit amazing photos that highlight the best of America’s federal lands, national parks and historical sites in several different categories. And the Grand Prize was $10,000!

Get ready for some eye candy–you can view the 2013 winners here.

The point of this post isn’t to show you some incredible pictures as much as to tell you how much engagement the contest creates. The pictures drive millions of views as well as thousands of likes, comments, shares, etc. This is a very successful marketing campaign because it is so visual (which people love) and it’s perfectly aligned with the mission of the federal park agencies–the pictures showcase the most beautiful places, encouraging more visitors to the sites, and creating an emotional connection between the federal agencies and lovers of the great outdoors.

So what can endurance events learn?

  • In general, just remember that pictures drive engagement. The more visual, the better, on every content marketing channel you use.
  • More specifically, what about hosting a photo contest of your own? Have participants and spectators submit their best shots of the event (create a few different categories) and offer prizes for the winners.

Scroll through the Share the Experience site to get ideas–it’s a simple campaign you can run to really grab attention and increase exposure for your event.

Have examples from other industries that we can learn from? Share in the comments below!