Candy is a big deal on Halloween — a $2.6 billion kind of big deal. And every year, candy companies take their marketing to the next level — launching new varieties, creating eye-catching packaging, and releasing bigger and better variety packs.
And every year, people eat it up. They buy all the new varieties with fancy packaging in the biggest bulk sizes they can find, purchasing an incredible 90 million pounds of chocolate alone.
If you think about your content marketing efforts like candy companies think about ‘leveling-up’ their treats for this sweet holiday, people will eat up your content (and continue coming back for more). How can you make sure your content is irresistible? Refresh it like the candy experts do. Even if you’re not marketing something quite as universally appealing as candy, there are a few useful tips you can apply to your content marketing strategies.
1. Change the shape
Take a regular Reese’s peanut butter cup. Now, take the exact same ingredients, but shape it into a pumpkin. What do you get?
There’s just something about those holiday-shaped Reese’s that make them infinitely more appealing than your standard peanut butter cups. And all they did was change the shape.
Do you see the marketing lesson here? Repurposing high quality content you already have can enable you to reach more people without having to put in the effort of creating something entirely new. Pull a short chapter out of an eBook and publish as a blog post, turn a blog post into a quick, five-question assessment, or pull a couple of metrics from a white paper and create an infographic. Same basic ingredients; new presentation. Reese’s was really onto something, huh?
2. Make it fun-sized
Sure, it’d be great if you could be the house that is known for giving out full-size candy bars every year — but if you get hundreds of trick-or-treaters per year, that’s not the most financially savvy plan. That’s why most people go for the bags of fun-size treats; you can get dozens of pieces for the price you would have paid for just a few full-size bars.
In the same way, you should be realistic about the resources you have available to produce new content. While there’s a time and place for anchor content like eBooks and white papers, there’s also value in short-form or social-first content, like a single illustrated tip that you can share on your social platforms or a quick-and-dirty 30-second video shot on your iPhone.
“Fun-size” content can be valuable and engaging, and eventually drive your readers to some of your longer-form content — without requiring you to use up all your resources to develop it. It also allows you to test out new ideas and formats with your audience.
3. Create a variety pack
When you buy Halloween candy, chances are you don’t buy several bags of plain Hershey bars. You probably go for a variety pack, so you don’t just get Hershey bars, but also Kit Kats, Reese’s Cups, and Almond Joys.
Why? You want to appeal to every little monster’s or princess’s palate. Let’s ignore the fact that you’re giving out free candy (which should be enough in and of itself); you want every trick-or-treater to be able to reach into your bowl and pick out a treat he or she likes.
When creating content as part of your marketing efforts, don’t assume that every individual in your audience prefers long-form content. You want variety — so you offer a short, interactive version of an eBook with the ability to download a full PDF version. Spin off a couple of blog posts, videos or checklists from the information as well. Grab your audience’s attention with the content format they prefer.
4. Keep an eye on the trends
When you go shopping for your Halloween candy this year, you’ll find plenty of the trustworthy standbys: Kit Kats, Reese’s, Starburst, and Butterfingers. But you’ll also find a few cutting-edge varieties, like glow-in-the-dark Hershey bars or Sour Patch Kids candy corn.
If you go with the classics, you’ll attract a solid group of trick-or-treaters. If you go with something new and exciting, word may spread, and a few extra kids may stop by.
But if you fail to deliver anything even close to current — say, leftover candy from last Christmas or, worse, — raisins — you might see your numbers trickle off. You’ll become THAT house — the one all the kids avoid.
The lesson? You don’t always have to jump on all the latest content trends — if a podcast is going to fall flat with your audience, for example, don’t invest the time and resources into developing one. Don’t rely on content developed years ago that’s stale and outdated. You have to deliver relevant, quality content to keep your audience engaged.
As you unwrap a few Reese’s pumpkins and glow-in-the-dark Kit Kats this year, think about how you could sweeten up your content marketing strategies. Just like the best candy can boost a house’s reputation as the trick-or-treat location, quality content can solidify your reputation as a next-level marketer (and your company’s reputation overall) and will inspire your audience keep coming back for more.
Want to learn more about how to create next-level content? Get our interactive eBook, “How to Write Remarkable Content,” today.