Handing out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween usually goes one of two ways:
- You buy 18 bags of candy, and then wait for the masked masses to come — and approximately two ghouls show up at your door. Total. Nowhere near the traffic you expected. True, you get to keep all that candy for yourself (win), but let’s be honest: It’s disappointing.
- You figure a single bag of candy will get you through the night, especially if you only hand out a single piece of candy per kid (don’t you hate those houses?) — which backfires when 200 kids come through your neighborhood, and you’re forced to answer the door empty-handed (or hide in your house with all the lights off).
Marketing can go the same way. You come up with all this “stuff,” but you get no traffic. Or you don’t do enough, and people are disappointed (and probably won’t come back).
Maybe it’s just the post-Halloween sugar rush, but we here at Right Source Marketing are starting to see quite a few similarities between the Halloween tradition and marketing. Here’s what the Right Source staffers said when we asked them, “How did trick-or-treating remind you of content marketing this year?”
“Trick-or-treating, like content marketing, works better when done as a team — preferably a diverse team. For effective trick-or-treating, you need the kid who picks the most effective and efficient route (the strategist), the kid who keeps everyone entertained with fun games and jokes (the creative), and the kid who can tell you at any given moment how many houses you’ve hit and how many total pieces of candy she has collected (the analyst).” –Mike Sweeney, CEO and managing partner
“When your porch light is blown out and the front of your house is dark, you don’t get any trick-or-treat traffic. When your content publishing goes dark, turns out you ALSO do not get any traffic. (P.S. I still have all the candy I bought.)” –Yvonne Lyons, VP of content marketing and managing director
“Kids don’t eat stale candy. Your audience won’t consume old content. Get new candy. Create new content.” –Mena Yousef, business development manager
“Wealthier neighborhoods are known to hand out full-sized candy bars — attracting more trick-or-treaters. Applied to content marketing: Putting resources into creating quality content can attract a larger audience.” –Lindsay Vormack, content strategist
“Kids don’t want to go to the house that is TOO scary (or the house with the weird neighbors) — you have to be approachable. Same with marketing: Make sure you know your audience and speak to them in a way that seems inviting.” –Nadia Dawood, marketing manager
“The saddest part of Halloween is when you realize how old you feel when you recognize zero of your trick-or-treaters’ costumes. Likewise, you need to stay up to date on the current trends and topics in marketing to stay relevant (or in Halloween’s case, turn on Disney Channel every once and a while).” –Hannah Avery, marketing coordinator
“Just because ‘candy corn’ includes the word ‘candy’ doesn’t, in fact, make it candy. In the same way, there are companies out there marketing ‘content,’ but in reality, they’re just flooding the internet with stuff pretending to be content. To be effective, it has to be quality content.” –John Bright, graphic/interactive designer
“Make sure you are writing content for the right audience — just like you shouldn’t be giving out candy corn in neighborhoods full of kids who hate it.” –Michael Wohl, marketing technology specialist
“There are many, many houses out there offering candy — some good, some bad. Based on past experiences, I like to go to the houses with good candy. Same with blog posts; there are a ton of them out there, but I only have time for and want to go to the sites with the best content.” –Alecia Farley, director of operations
All that remains from this Halloween may be empty candy wrappers (and the stash of candy corn that no one ever eats), but it’s not too early to start planning for next year. Are you going to be the spookiest house on the block with the best bowl of (full-sized) candy? Or the dud with the porch light turned off? If you want a winning house (read: marketing strategy), we can help.