9 Creepily Effective Content Marketing Tricks for Halloween 2013

You’ve surely heard of news-jacking, but are you familiar with holiday-jacking? If it isn’t an official marketing term, it definitely should be. The bigger the holiday, the larger the interest among the consumers and the associated volume of search on Google. By effectively targeting your marketing materials to upcoming holidays, you can capture the interest of consumers who are attuned to the season.

Getting the context of your content marketing right isn’t always easy, but focusing on important days can give you an automatic “in” with a larger audience.

The time to begin considering Halloween marketing is definitely now. Researchers have found that key phrases which include “Halloween” can drive a staggering 506 million searches a year, and that consumer interest peaks in September. Here are some creepy, crawly, and sure-fire ways to target your upcoming content to one of the most beloved holidays:

1. Tell a Real-Life Horror Story

Halloween marketing gives you a rare opportunity to be both dramatic and negative in your outreach efforts. Delay your next case study’s publication in your editorial calendar a bit, and focus your efforts on creating a scary story about what your buyer personas can expect if they don’t buy your product. Depending on your audience, you can be as fantastic or data-driven as you like. There’s definitely research to back up this approach, too – scientists have long known about a phenomenon called the “negativity bias,” which causes humans to pay more attention to bad news than positive content.

2. Leverage a Familiar Tale

For centuries, content creators have been writing fascinating and frightening tales about late October. From Count Dracula to Frankenstein, there are a myriad of non-copyrighted characters to draw from for your Halloween marketing efforts. The inclusion of brand characters has been found to increase engagement on social media networks as much as 585%. Creating visual or written content which combines your custom messaging with a well-known Halloween legend could significantly increase your appeal and shareability factor.

3. Call for User-Generated Content

If there’s any surefire way to get your fans’ talking, it’s to ask them about their Halloween plans. Whether you’re calling for photos of costumes or images of their Jack-O-Lantern, inviting your audience to share their custom content in a contest can provide you with a wealth of resources to share on social media or your blog. Even if your company’s products or services have nothing to do with pumpkin-carving or cat ears, it could be an incredibly effective way to increase engagement. IdeaLaunch reports that publishing user-generated Halloween content to social channels lead to 300% increases in website traffic.

4. Spin an Existing Offer

Did you hear about that one time the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) got over 77,000 Facebook likes? It was all attributed to a content offer they created called “Disaster Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse guide.” By leveraging the existing buzz that surrounds the popular television show The Walking Dead, the organization was able to gain huge attention. You may not have the time to create a brand-new Zombie or Vampire-themed offer, but could you add an undead twist to an existing eBook or whitepaper for Halloween marketing? It could yield similarly remarkable results.

5. Share Your Halloween Celebration

Social media users and blog readers love getting a behind-the-scenes look at the brands they follow. If your colleagues are planning to don costumes and gather around a green bowl of punch for an hour or two on Halloween, snap a few pictures of your celebration and share on your blog. It could be one of the easiest ways to humanize your company and create likeable Halloween marketing.

6. Map Your Product to Halloween

When you think of clothing retailer Land’s End, what comes to mind? It’s probably sensible, high-quality casual clothes, right? The organization managed to map their brand to Halloween marketing a few years back in an incredibly effective email campaign which showcased ways their products could be used to build costumes. Whether you launch a full-scale campaign or simply make a mention of it in your newsletter, leverage any possible way to connect your product to the holiday.

7. Hand Out Halloween Marketing Treats

If there’s anything that unites consumers, it’s a love for anything that’s free. Free things are even better if they’re seasonally-appropriate and useful. Whether your company is in the business of selling hardware or business consulting, you can observe the holiday by offering creepy freebies to your customers as a gift-with-purchase or simply a way to say “thanks.” Whether you opt for gummy eyeballs or pumpkin carving kits, MarketingSherpa’s Adam Sutton believes this action can boost interest in your Halloween marketing efforts – even if your product isn’t remotely related to your customers’ celebrations!

8. Target Your Halloween Communications

It may be tempting to deck your Facebook page out in a sea of black and orange, but remember – holidays mean different things to different people. There’s no better way to ensure your Halloween marketing fails than to simply post a string of anything holiday-related. Sutton recommendsspending some time thinking about what the holiday means to your buyer persona. Are they the parents of young children preparing to go out Trick-or-Treating? Or are they more upscale consumers who think in terms of a harvest season? Be sure to understand how your buyer personas are likely to observe the holiday to best target your blog, social media, emails, and other forms of content.

9. Create a Video

Custom video production can be costly and time-consuming, but Halloween marketing could be your best chance to see a serious ROI. eCommerce brand Westlake Ace Hardware created a series of how-to videos around October which resulted in viral numbers of views on YouTube, and national media attention:

Halloween is one of the few times each year when nearly any brand can be as silly, scary, or strange as they like. And what better way to showcase your company’s dark side than with a video?

Whether or not your brand will directly benefit from the $7 billion in retail sales that occur around Halloween, you can certainly benefit from the attention that surrounds the holiday. By leveraging old tales and new platforms, you can watch your metrics soar at a rate that could only be described as “spooky.”

Article appeared on http://writtent.com


Top 10 Scary Hall0ween Villain’s Growing Up As An 80’s Kid!

Growing up an 80’s kid was fun — Halloween characters and scary movies made my childhood even more eventful. Here are ten scary villains that shaped my perception of all things scary growing up! Starting from the least scary:

10. The Wraith
This was my first introduction as a kid to spirits…good spirits… very Incredibly Good-looking spirits (young Charlie Sheen). I thought he was so cool, and I wanted him to ice more bad guys!

9. Jason Vorhees

8. Freddy Krueger – A Nightmare on Elm Street
If I ever wanted a scary nightmare dream friend… Fred Krueger and his comedic antics would be it. He was all kinds of funny, and while he was scary to some — he wasn’t to me, I just found comedy in his terror. “…you forgot the power glove!” – Fred K.

7. Chucky (Child’s Play)
Remember the “My Buddy” doll? Teddy Ruxpin? Charles Lee Ray has had a strong pimp hand in the voodoo children’s doll arena.

6. Jaws
Ocean Sharks became everyone’s worst fear in the ocean — and it still is! I think they need a great Public Relations team… Shark Week?

5. The Twilight Zone Movie
Flying on a plane during a thunderstorm added another level of nervousness to the flight for me after this movie…lol. It was just something about the real life incorporation to fiction that made the movie all the more scary.

4. Hellraiser
Dude, was a major force to be reckoned with, if you were a believer in Gothic cult type stuff and hell. Well, I believe in hell, but I’m not going there…. AMEN.

3. Candyman
Cabrini Green of Chicago has been torn down, not because of the film though, it’s because it was such a dilapidated housing project. I’ve never said Candyman 5 times… ever… and I will still not say Candyman more than I have to say the word Candyman. I mean, why do I you have to say the name Candyman 5 times anyway? …and do you have to say Candyman… AAHHHHHHHHHH!!!

2. Pumpkin Head
Maaaann…this garden creature scared the pure shit out of me! …lo PERIOD! I have yt to return to a pumpkin patch…lol

1. Stephen King’s “It” And the number one scary scary villain is “It”!! I had never been afraid of clowns, until I saw Stephen King put his foot in writing the character “It”. I’m still not afraid of clowns, but after seeing this scary ass movie — my entire perception of clowns changed, and I always look at them with a sharp side-eye. And when I was a kid, I looked up under my bed often and walked far far away from sewage drains.


Special Mention: Mike Myers – I was never scared of this dude, but apparently a lot of other people where. Where you?

What’s your villain memory growing up?

Social Media Campaign Tip

Holiday Social Media Campaigns are ripe with ideas, and Hall0ween is one of the fun ones. According to the National Retail Federation, 170 million Americans said they celebrated Halloween in 2012. That means this is opportune for your business to be a part of the action and join the celebration with some social media marketing.

Social Media Campaign Tip: Hold a Tweet-Vote!
Have your social media audience vote on their classic favorite Halloween Villains growing-up, using a said hashtag? This is a great way to engage followers and acquire new ones. You can encourage them to tweet themselves in costume, and their best memory regarding the villain.