Halloween offers up some serious lessons for creating killer content
With each passing year, we’re all increasingly inundated with Halloween-themed content from every angle. While we love a good party or prank as much as the next marketer, we don’t want to miss an opportunity to learn some serious lessons from the holiday’s fun-filled festivities.
1. Emphasize originality
On Halloween: One-of-a-kind, surprising costumes are bound to turn heads.
In content: It’s not about surprising for surprise’ sake. Truly and surprisingly creative content is rooted in persona and journey work and offers your brand or organization a chance to show off its personality and identity (just look at this blog post!)
2. Indulge your suite tooth
On Halloween: Cable networks and streaming services have taken what is just one day and turned it into a month-long fest.
In content: Look for ways to turn a single idea or one-off post or paper into a content suite or series. Recently we identified “journey mapping” as target topic, and instead of writing a single blog post we broadened our scope and chose to do a three-part series looking at the topic from three different angles: where video shines in the journey, recent trends’ implications, and tactics for calls-to-action. Tripling the access points helps expand reach.
3. Don’t let fear paralyze you
On Halloween: In horror movies, the survivors are the ones who never stop fighting.
In content: The content landscape is always changing, and at an increasingly rapid rate. Learning new formats, platforms and tactics is going to be essential to your future success. It can be scary trying something new or even pitching something your team has never tried before. Don’t let that fear paralyze you — always be innovating.
4. Be the best-candy house
On Halloween: The right candy selection can make you a trick-or-treat hero.
In content: Know what your audience wants and needs, and know what your competitors are offering so that you can strategically differentiate your content. Standing out in a crowd can make you magnetic.
5. No bait-and-switches
On Halloween: Nobody likes grabbing a handful of mouthwatering Reese’s, only to discover when they get home a pile of the local grocer’s knock-off brand.
In content: Make good on your promises. If your headline teases a solution to a problem, make sure your article actually provides solution. If you promote your webinar with vows of game-changing insights, you better have some fresh thoughts to offer. Your audience will only be duped once, and that trust is hard to get back.
6. Don’t forget what you did last summer
On Halloween: Sins of the past make for tantalizing tales of revenge.
In content: The lesson here is twofold: learn from your mistakes, and look for ways to refresh old content. Did you sink hours into a series of content that just didn’t produce? It’s not a total loss, because mistakes can be invaluable. Go back and look at the analytics, compare it to work that performed well and spot where you missed the mark. And for past work that did perform well, try to give it some legs — can it be refreshed and redistributed? Repurposing content only adds to the value of the resources already invested.
7. Exorcise demons
On Halloween: Ok, ok, we admit this one’s a bit strong. But how can you talk about Halloween without talking “Poltergeist” or “The Exorcist?”
In content: Purge your content so that it’s free of flab and jargon. At Imprint, we’re all about clear, concise, and efficient communications. Buzzwords may sound catchy, but they can make content murky and send the wrong message. Moreover, messaging that’s too inside-baseball — er, inside-marketing — makes no sense. The object is to appeal to audiences, not bedevil them.
What have you learned from Halloween? Share your top tricks with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear about them.