Halloween is the kickoff to the mayhem that is the holiday season. Any kind of holiday deliverable is normally seen as ‘fluff’ by digital marketers: content that you have to create for the sake of creating it, not adding anything substantial to your bottom line. Regardless, holiday-conscious content should never be overlooked. It is easy-to-produce, highly shareable, and original content that will boost your brand perception and online value. Taking advantage of these kinds of opportunities is part of building a stronger emotional and informational bridge between company and consumer.
On that note, we’ve taken a look at our spellbook to find some “treats” of the trade that may help you as you’re concocting bewitching strategies for your audience.
Plan Your Fang-tastic Ads Ahead of Time
Halloween-themed Instagram and Facebook ads are a clever way to inspire consumer action when done correctly. Ooh, intrigue.
In horror movies, there’s a cunning, eerie way to incite fear; and then there’s slashing. The first is a series of well-planned events that creep up on you and gradually build panic as the story finally reaches its thrilling climax. The second is just a careless, bludgeoning spree that doesn’t stop until the villain is vanquished. It gets messy. (But if that’s your style, then by all means….)
Ads can suffer the same fate if you’re not careful. Poorly-executed ads rolled out all at once are ineffective in achieving your overall goals. Think of your Halloween ad strategy as a metaphorical witch hunt: you’re searching for and reaching the right person at the right time, catching them in the act of needing your services. The hype for Halloween begins long before October 31; your ads should run with the hype, not on its coattails. Plan your Halloween ad strategy ahead of time so you can create quality ads, deploy them early, and reap better rewards.
Cold Leads Aren’t the Walking Dead
Somewhere out there is a lead that, for whatever reason, has gone cold. Maybe they’re stalling, disorganized, waiting until a check clears, or just plain scared. This doesn’t mean all hope is lost. You’ve spent valuable time researching and nurturing these leads; why not try to revive them first? Carve out time to further educate and follow up with colder leads. They could just be wandering around like a horseman with his head cut off, needing some direction. You could be swooping in at the right time to provide them with the little extra push they need to move forward. But, you won’t know for sure until you get them on the phone.
Creep It Real
Masks off. Today’s consumers want to see the real you in something that is beyond the generic, standard Halloween lore. Tell a story with subtle hints to your brand message into which anyone could insert themselves. Then, turn it on its head. Mars Brands’ installment of “Bite-Size Horror Stories” video ad series is a testament to the power of uniting an audience under common emotions; which, in this case, is fright. Genuine catharsis is hard to fake. Delivering a bone-chilling tone or atmosphere that implicates them as an accessory will resonate with customers longer. In the end, you scare because you care.
Dress Up for Success
If you’re looking for Halloween costume inspiration, you don’t have to hover too far beyond your workflow for inspiration. The digital marketing space is filled with its own inside jokes and cast of characters to personify. It doesn’t have to be flashy; it just has to make sense. For example, simply write “book” across your face to be Facebook a la Jim Halpert. Grab some work friends to be “social butterflies:” Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook icons with wings. You can manifest a 404 error by writing on a white t-shirt “Error 404: Costume Not Found.” And emojis – ALL the emojis.
If none of these suit your fancy, Hubspot’s full list of DIY costumes should further help you on your quest for costume contest victory. Share your group’s winning-est costumes on social to let your audience vote who is truly the fairest of them all.
Do the Timewarp Again… and Again… and Again
The scary thing is, these ghosts will come back to haunt you. Halloween is just the beginning: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve are upon us. Your audience will be looking to see what you do for each consecutive holiday. How does one keep up? Our advice: time-warp to the future (mentally) when each holiday officially makes its appearance. Setting realistic goals and KPI’s for the future will help you outline the skeleton of your approach. You’ll then fill it in with details that make it come to life. Those who do not take our advice, you’ve been forewarned. Frankensteining something last minute is not the best way to your consumer’s heart.