As a marketer, you’re responsible for engaging customers in to a form of reaction. This isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be damn hard.
Halloween is one of the biggest holiday seasons in the UK and across the world. Every single year, a huge interest among consumers drives up the number of Google searches and queries for Halloween-themed products and services, giving a boost to online retailers.
Marketers, of course, know this, yet few truly manage to capture their audience in a way which generates a form of positive reaction.
As content marketers your words are your sweets, so when trick-or-treaters knock on your websites door, be sure to offer them some of the best Halloween content to feast on.
Here’s a few content marketing ideas that scientist Victor Contentstein would be proud of.
1. Tell a horror story
Halloween is one of the few annual opportunities marketers have to be eccentric and dramatic in their marketing material. So why be a bore?
For a long time, we’ve stressed to content marketers that the most effective forms of content are those which tell a story which customers can relate to. This personable approach to writing engages an audience. So, this Halloween, ditch your FAQ or white paper and tell a horror story. You can take inspiration from your favourite horror flicks, but make sure that you can directly relate it to your audience – whether it’s a true story or not, there must be a takeaway from it.
The human brain is tuned towards negative bias. Be sure to capitalise on this by delivering bad news, horror stories and tales from the abyss.
2. Ask a seasonal question
Creating content takes time and in cases a lot of resources. BUT, it doesn’t have to; through social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, MySpace, Reddit and Quora, you could ask your audience a question directly, and thus, your content will be generated by the user.
Simply spark a conversation – what are your customers up to this Halloween? Who is your customers favourite horror character? Will your customers be buying sweets for October 31st or locking their gates?
By interacting with your audience you can begin to learn more about them. Without this knowledge, you are effectively operating your business blindfolded.
3. Create spooky poll
User generated content is an incredible way to leverage the power of your audience. Polls are yet another way of achieving this, but, they don’t generate content as such; instead, they generate reaction. Polls are always best served with special offers and incentives, unless you have the opportunity to harness an active audience that will contribute out of free will.
Commerce websites in particular could benefit from a poll this Halloween. Poll topics such as ‘Freddy Krueger vs. Jason’ or ‘Who is the Scariest Horror Villain’ are obvious Halloween-themed examples. As we noted above, offer something of value to your audience if they participate in your poll, such as a money off voucher or a buy one get one free offer.
Polls are simple to create and manageable. If your website runs on WordPress, we recommend you check out the YOP Poll plugin. If you have an eCommerce store than runs on Magento, the User Survey & Poll extension from Magento Connect is an excellent solution.
4. Offer something for free
This content marketing idea is not scary for your customers – it will likely be scary for you. After all, offering things for free isn’t good for profit now, is it?
We say get your head out of the sand. Offering something for free is a fantastic way to drum up interest in your services and products. If you’re an online marketing agency, offer a free website audit. If you’re a content writing agency (hey, that’s us!) offer a free blog post. If you’re selling iPhone cases, offer free screen protectors with a case purchase.
This business tactic can be used season round, it’s not just for Halloween. Make sure prior to offering anything for free that it’s going to be measurable and valuable to you. The best way to get coverage about your free products / services is through social media. We recommend that prior to giving anything away for free that you create a dedicated web page or blog post for it and link to it from your home page, too.
5. Beef up your visual content with Halloween typography
Fonts are a critical part of content; they can literally be the make or break of a customer action. This Halloween, your visual content could prove to be more effective if you adapt your fonts toward Halloween. Your blog posts, articles, infographics and video introductions could all be altered to incorporate custom Halloween-inspired fonts.
Dafont is an excellent website for finding unique typography – Witches Magic is one font that we like in particular. If Google Fonts is more your thing, Creepster is a fantastic looking font and Eater is also rather nice with a Blair Witch Project-style design.
Content marketing takeaway
Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and Valentines Day are all seasonal events that must be jumped on by marketers – if you don’t, your competitors will. In the end, all holiday seasons are ridiculously competitive among retailers, so we say stand out by developing content that offers real value to your customers.
Hopefully, with the methods above, you can achieve just that.
Do you have any Halloween content marketing ideas? Perhaps you had success last year and would like to share it? Whether you’re a marketer or business owner we’d love to hear your thoughts. Comments are open below or you can tweet us @content_hero.
Thanks for reading.