Boo! Okay, I know it's hard to scare people with all the tired old Halloween cliches. These days, October 31st is more about dressing up in goofy costumes, handing out treats to kids, and sharing some laughs at parties. Even finding a genuinely scary movie gets harder as our society grows increasingly jaded. However, I submit that ineffective or self-sabotaging marketing content merits a shudder for any business owner trying to bring in new customers while retaining the current ones. With that in mind, perhaps you should take this coming Halloween as your cue to watch out for the following copywriting creepy-crawlies.
The Mummified Blog
How long has your blog patiently awaited its newest entry? The longer you let it sit stagnant, the more it dried up into a useless, mummified husk as a marketing tool. Readers who enjoyed your previous posts may wonder what happened to you. Did you simply give up on providing engaging content to your target audience? Did you actually go out of business? Are you out of relevant insights concerning your industry or profession? Even people who are stumbling upon your blog for the first time may notice the extreme age of the last entry you posted. A mummified blog isn't just poor marketing; it's anti-marketing.
The Invisible Website
H. G. Well's story "The Invisible Man" has offered plenty of scares for readers and moviegoers over the decades, with its tale of a scientist whose ability to make himself invisible leads to madness, mayhem, and murder. In the world of marketing, invisibility can and should send a different kind of chill down your spine. Take your website, for example. A website lacking properly optimized content will likely get driven to the bottom of the search results pages, made all but totally invisible by your competitors' more relevant content. "Borrowed" content can produce a similarly deadly outcome, since Google slaps websites down for anything it regards as potential plagiarism. Duplicating large chunks of your own content can hurt your website's performance as well. You put a lot of time, effort and money into your virtual storefront, so don;t let it disappear.
The Poisoned Apple
Witches figure prominently in Halloween lore, and few witches are more familiar in popular culture than the witch in "Snow White" -- she of the poisoned apple that can put you to sleep indefinitely, or at least until a handsome prince wakes you with a kiss. Does your current marketing content have the same effect on your target audience? Brochure, website, blog, or sales letter content that takes forever to get to the point or tries to explain every little thing about a business works like a sedative. At best, your prospective clients won't remember what they just read; at worst, they'll stop reading almost instantly and come away with a negative impression. Cut the padding and focus on keeping your audience awake. If necessary, engage a professional copywriter to act as your Prince Charming by creating content that wakes up your marketing.
Reputation Trick or Treat
Trick or treat isn't all candy and costumes. If you've ever had your lawn T.P.d or your windows egged, you know all too well how angry tricksters can turn the holiday into a big, ugly mess. Well, angry or disappointed customers can make a similar mess of your online reputation, especially if you don't respond to their ranting, abusive comments on your social media pages. Don't let angry, bitter Yelp reviews or other destructive feedback soil your online reputation. Always reply to negativity with positivity, responding to negative reviews in a gentle, constructive, helpful manner. This approach will be noticed and appreciated by others who see that you really do care about your customers' experience. If you don't trust yourself to respond with the necessary civility and grace, contact me and let me write those rebuttals for you.
Have a happy (and profitable) Halloween!