Monday, October 7, 2019

Fear Factor: Using Halloween in Your Marketing Content


Halloween will be here before you know it. Actually, that's not true. You'll know it well in advance; in fact, you're probably already seeing evidence of it everywhere, from storefront displays to all the costumes and masks peering out ominously from supermarket shelves. If you want to promote your products and services as immediately and arrestingly as possible, it wouldn't hurt to add a touch of Halloween chill to your marketing content. Let's look at a couple of ways you can do just that.

Make Your Pain Statement Extra Scary

Written marketing content typically includes three main elements: a pain statement, a relief statement, and a call to action. The pain statement presents an irritating, inconvenient, frightening or embarrassing problem, dropping the readers right into the situation they're desperately seeking to avoid. The relief statement then allows you to swoop in like the cavalry with your problem-solving product or service. Finally, a call to action directs the readers to stop, reverse or prevent that agonizing issue right now by contacting you or making a purchase.

Halloween represents a golden opportunity for you to spice up your pain statement with some tried-and-true imagery. For instance, are your customers suffering from power-wasting "energy vampires" in the form of inefficient old electronics that need replacing? Do your customers hear things that go bump in the night -- things that could be silenced by your expert plumbing or HVAC services? Are your pest-control customers constantly fight off multi-legged "zombies" that keep coming back from the dead? A bit of Halloween can make your pain statement not only more clever, but also much more vivid.

Goof on Famous Halloween-ish Moments

Do you remember Jack Nicholson battering down a door with an axe to murder his family, a possessed Linda Blair's head doing a 180, or Bela Lugosi hypnotizing his unwary prey before unleashing his fangs? Of course you do; we all do. These moments have taken root deep in our popular culture -- which makes them ideal fodder for your Halloween marketing campaigns. They're so well known, in fact, that they lend themselves to parody. Think about how some of your favorite moments, images, and quotes from various scary movies could be put to good use in humorous TV and radio spots, direct mail postcards, email ads or blog articles. It's an easy, powerful way to connect with your audience through a shared experience.

Not all memorable Halloween tropes are scary ones. We've all seen hordes of children stumbling along the streets in the dark, bags in their hands, dressed as everything from ballerinas to frogs in the hopes of terrifying the local townsfolk. We're all familiar with the haunted house that scares absolutely no one, or the comedy of errors that occurs when you mistake someone inside a mask for someone else entirely. We've encountered our share of egg-laden windows and toilet paper on shrubbery. These images can all make their way into your Halloween marketing, setting the stage for whatever story you wish to tell your target market.

Give some thought to how you can put the Halloween holiday to work for your marketing purposes -- or hire a freelance copywriter to help you brainstorm. But whatever you do, do it soon, before the 31st rolls around and the monsters come out!