What can Halloween teach us about marketing? It’s not a trick question; there are plenty of marketing treats to take away from this fun yet frightening holiday. To keep things bite-sized and easy to digest, we’ve bagged up seven useful Halloween marketing nuggets for your consumption, but don’t be afraid to share your own insights in the comments below.
1. Remember the Dead Marketing Tactics:
Halloween is often a reflective time to look back on spirits long gone. In marketing, however, the ghosts of effective tactics long-since passed can still walk the earth… or rise from the grave. Just because popular sentiments may suggest a tactic is dead, doesn’t mean it won’t work if properly aligned to the needs and interests of your buyers.
Maybe it seems like a no brainer, but check out Zombie Marketing Tactics: The “Dead” Practices that Still Have Life, for more information.
2. Give Bite-sized Treats Without Tricks
Just as trick-or-treaters are often in a hurry going door to door, your buyers also have a lot of places to be and things to do on a given day (or night). If you don’t deliver the value they’re expecting when they’re at your doorstep, they may feel tricked instead of treated. Not only is it wise to keep content short, sweet and to the point, it’s also a crafty way to keep buyers feeling treated throughout their decision process.
A frighteningly good example of a snackable content treat for readers (which also has some excellent marketing tips to boot in a SlideShare deck) is Trick or Treat! 13 Marketers Share Their Content Tips by Anne Murphy of Kapost.
3. Face Your Marketing Fears:
From an early age, Halloween teaches us to take what scares us and turn it into something fun and exciting. All too often though, in our professional lives – especially in marketing – we can still let fear steer us away from the risky yet right moves for the business, in favor of the path of least resistance. But as marketers, a big part of our job revolves around facing fear – not only our own, but the fears of our buyers as well. When we can turn fear on its head, we can tap into powerful emotions that resonate with audiences, or reinforce effective content.
To face fear head-on, and find a few more fun and exciting opportunities, don’t be afraid to read 3 Major B2B Marketing Fears: What’s Holding You Back?
4. Consider The Costume / Content Reflection:
Halloween is a surprisingly introspective time for those donning a costume. When else do you have the chance to ask yourself, “do I really want to be Batman or do I just like the idea of being Batman because everyone wants to be Batman?” Like choosing a Halloween costume, the content we choose to produce as marketers can be either a reflection of who we are as individuals and brands, or it can just be a mirrored copy of what everyone else is doing. According to Ryan Young of KO Marketing:
Just as everyone in grade school dresses up on Halloween, it seems as if every company and marketer has a way of sharing their opinions via blogs, social media, and much more. This means content needs to offer some sort of value, or be different in some way to stand out from the pack. Strong, original pieces of content (much like original Halloween costumes) will likely generate buzz and could even drive links (and referrals) from reputable sources.
As Ryan’s full post, Content Marketing and Halloween: 5 Eerie Similarities, highlights, (among other content marketing treats), it’s important to be original where it counts, or put your own personal stamp on what you produce. Don’t create content just because everyone else is doing it; create content that helps your brand rise above the noise and the clutter.
5. Stave Off Content Marketing Vampires:
To quote Marvel’s master vampire hunter, Blade, “Forget what you think you know. Vampires exist.” Maybe not in human form, well… human-like form, but marketing vampires do exist and can suck the life out of your content initiatives. As B2B still boils down to people marketing to people, it’s vital to maintain life and personality in everything you produce in order to connect with your target audience. Halloween offers a reminder to be weary of what may be weighing you down or stalking your from the shadows, but be sure to always shine a light on anything that’s draining your overall effectiveness.
For more on how to slay these life-sucking spirits out of your marketing efforts, read Content Marketing Vampires: What’s Sucking the Life Out of Your Content?
6. Don’t Be Haunted By the Hidden Sales Cycle:
When there’s something strange, and your numbers don’t look good, who you gonna call? No, the Ghostbusters can’t fix your marketing / sales funnel, but feedback from your existing buyers can. Within the new world of the hidden sales cycle, the buyer is in control, and if your marketing efforts are not aligning to buyer needs or interests, you’re not going to see the results you expect. Halloween ghost stories often teach us that exorcising demons or dispelling ghosts requires facing what’s haunting us head-on, and showing we’re not afraid. For the hidden sales cycle, we can’t be afraid that our buyers are now in control; we have to embrace it and be brave enough to focus our marketing on exactly what our buyers are looking to achieve.
To learn more about busting open the marketing opportunities in the hidden sales cycle, you should read Are Your Buyers Possessed? Seeing Through the Ghosts of the Hidden Sales Cycle.
7. You Don’t Have to [Fully] Grow Up to Drive Growth:
When you’re a kid on Halloween, you can imagine monsters everywhere. The beauty in imagined monsters is that all it takes is a silver bullet, a splash of holy water, or a sliver of light from the rising sun, and POOF, the monsters are gone. As adults, though, there are still monstrously bad things holding us back or haunting our organizations, but without a youthfully imaginative eye, such bad practices can still linger in the shadows. That’s why Laura Fitton’s slide deck below is such a great piece of Halloween marketing content; it names these growth-inhibiting monsters directly, and shows you how to cast them out.
For more of Laura’s eerily good insights, read the full post, Something Spooky is Stunting Your Success: The 7 Growth-Killing Ghouls of the #FunnelPocalypse.
Do you have any added Halloween marketing tricks or treats? Tell your tale in the comments below…