It’s almost Halloween! Which probably means a mad scramble to find an old costume that still fits in the closet, last minute decorations and candy run - only to pour some whiskey in a plastic “skull-goblet”, sit on the couch and eat said candy, wait for trick-or-treaters and try to keep devil-horns on the dogs – but enough about me…
Odds are you’ve seen a share of Halloween-themed content this year. If you have a blog, or produce content, you’ve probably spent a few hour brainstorming new ideas that puts a spooky-spin on some otherwise dry topics. With all the great content from last year, it’s a tough bar to raise for 2014. But don’t worry, here’s a look at some awesome Halloween content marketing ideas that always work:
1. Call for User-Generated Content
This might be the easiest way to get some great content for your website or blog. Best of all, user-generated content gets your current followers talking and engaged with your brand. Via social media, ask your followers to share their Halloween plans, or run a contest for the best costume photos or Jack-O-Lantern carvings.
Even if your company’s products or services have nothing to do with pumpkin-carving or Power Ranger group-photos, this type of content is an incredibly effective way to increase engagement and boost traffic to your social media profiles or blog. In fact, publishing user-generated Halloween content to social channels can lead to 300% increases in website traffic.
Cheetos rebranded their mascotas a disobedient“bad-guy” who lures trouble for the sake of eating Cheetos. For Halloween last year, Cheetos launched the “TP Project” where users can throw digital toilet paper over various buildings in the spirit of Halloween, and their new mascot, Chester the Cheetah. This is a great example of interactive, user-generated content.
2. Spin an Existing Product or Service
If you sell products, or allow customers to sign-up for service plans directly from your website, holidays are a great way to leverage existing offers and boost traffic or revenue to your site. This strategy will obviously change depending on what your company sells, but there are endless ways to showcase existing products or services in a spooky, Halloween-themed way. Can you believe that the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) got over 77,000 Facebook likes from their “Disaster Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse guide”?
Apparently, no matter how boring the subject or industry, if you add a zombie or apocalyptic event to an existing free guide it still has a chance to go viral – thanks Walking Dead!
The popular clothing shop, American Apparel, really made finding a Halloween costume easier last year with its very own Halloween shop. Here’s the cool spin – instead of cheesy, pre-made costumes sold at a premium – the American Apparel DIY Halloween Shop pairs existing items of clothing to create complete costume ensembles. How cool is that!? The large selection allows you to build any costume, from Scuba Dave, to Hippies, to endangered animals.
This is a great example of how using a holiday theme to spin existing offers can directly boost sales and provide value to the readersor existing customers at the same time.
3. Share Your Halloween Celebration
Followers on social media always love getting a behind-the-scenes look at their favorite brands. If your company plans on hosting any Halloween parties or costume contests within the office, be sure to get pictures or video of the celebration to use as awesome content.
When you promote it through social media or other distribution channels, ask followers to share their own crazy Halloween content. This is a great way to humanize your brand and build a friendly relationship with potential customers.
You might be familiar with Progressive’s extremely popular mascot, Flo. But did you know that the insurance company provided a complete guide on how to dress as Flo for Halloween?
Knowing that a large audience followed them through social media, Progressive created downloadable PDFs, accessories, and costume accents to encourage people to dress like Flo and share their pictures online. Think of the brand awareness that gets generated from some simple Halloween-themed content – wouldn’t it be nice to have thousands of people dress up as your mascot and do some urban-marketing all night for you?
4. Create a Video
Halloween is one of the few times when nearly any brand can be as silly, scary, or strange as they want. Videos can be short-story horror flicks, quick Vine’s that show spooky surprises in the office, or simply a staff-video wishing everyone a Happy Halloween – whatever you create, remember to keep a relaxed atmosphere and have fun!
Videos can improve your chances of creating content that generates a lot of views, increase your traffic, generate leads, and with a little luck - skyrocket to a viral Halloween content piece.
In the height of Vine’s popularity, Tide used the distribution channel to create a series of short videos called “Scared Stainless” that showed why stains needed to be scared of Tide the stain remover. Of course, Tide cast itself in the traditional role of a slasher, and claiming helpless stains as its victim.
5. Holiday Themed Infographics
An infographic is a graphic that conveys a visual representation of information using images and words. They are a great way to capture a variety of pieces of information and communicate them in an interesting and condensed format. They make for excellent content and are extremely popular these days.
The possibilities with infographics are nearly endless – add Frankenstein and Werewolf to the mix and they turn into epic pieces of art. Infographics are “top-tier” content, and are always shared throughout the holidays. Maybe American Apparel can create “The Most Popular Halloween Costumes of All Time” infographic based on their sales throughout the holiday?
Zombies, zombies, zombies – Halloween or not, when are you NOT worried about these little suckers causing an apocalypse? Luckily, REI has it covered; providing us with enough outdoor gear to create endless anti-zombie weaponry and tools. If you aren’t an expert survivalist for the end of days, take advantage of REI’s zombie survival infographic- displaying possible procedures to use their gear as zombie-slaying tools.
6. Halloween Related Top List
One of my favorites - Top Lists always work due to the attention-grabbing headline. Any headline that lists a number of details, secrets, categories, or tips will work because it makes it very clear what the reader can expect when clicking on the article.
These types of posts are perfect for building your authority and demonstrating that you are the expert in the field, even if it’s a Halloween-themed post. Top Lists can be great pieces of content for reaching your marketing goals.
Last year, Billboard did a great job compiling the “Top 10 Halloween Songs of All-Time”. This type of list was fun, it got readers to engage and discuss their favorite Halloween songs - but most importantly – provided Billboard.com with an awesome piece of content that is still being shared today.
Awesome Halloween Content for Great Marketing Treats
Any one of these tricks has the ability to boost your content marketing success and your goals. Bottom line – as busy as the holidays can be, they give us the opportunity to have fun and lighten up a little bit, especially with the content we create.
Halloween gives marketers the chance to be silly, scary, and fun while still providing awesome content for readers. Remember to promote all your Halloween-themed content through social media, spot trending #hashtags and join the conversation. Most importantly, track your successes and failures to drill down on your strategy to come back with more effective content next year.
What type of content do you most look forward to around the holidays?
Brad Kuenn is a Content Writer, Editor and Strategist living in Nashville, Tennessee, and he provides research, content topics, writing, editing, and content development expertise to clients. He has a passion for writing as well as art, which shines through in his work. His creativity and attention to detail makes him a valuable asset for a wide range of clients. During his time off he enjoys spending time with his wife, family, and his two dogs Brutus and Kane.
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