Creepy Meets Creative: The Best Halloween Marketing Campaigns We’ve Seen

halloween marketing campaigns

Halloween is here, and it’s the perfect time for businesses to get creative about dressing up their marketing campaigns. Whether through video, a challenge or even a well-orchestrated scare-prank to showcase the true quality of a product, really great marketing campaigns are interactive, engaging, and get people jumping into action — literally.

Here’s a look at some of our favorite Halloween marketing campaigns (of all time) just in time for the spookiest day of the year!

Burger King: The Nightmare King

What gives you nightmares? Is it losing your teeth? Falling into an infinite abyss? What about a burger that gives you actual nightmares? Burger King just released a burger for this year’s Halloween campaign that was scientifically proven to give their consumers nightmares. Don’t believe us? Take a look at this study. Over a period of ten days, scientists tested their “subjects” and invited them to try the specially combined ingredients and monitored their sleep. What they found was that REM cycles were definitely impacted. Nightmarish? For your own results, you’ll have to give it a try!

M&Ms: An M&Ms (Interactive) Ghost Story

In M&M’s Halloween Campaign last year, the candy giant created an interactive ghost story that was released in weekly installments. Why the weeklong delay?  The campaign, targeted at older kids, relied on a “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style poll that allowed viewers to choose what happened next in the spooky tale. Whichever choice generated the most votes would be the next plot twist. Viewers shared the story all over social media in anticipation of the next week’s installment in the sweetest countdown to Halloween that we’ve ever seen.

LG: Fake Elevator Floor Prank

What better way to showcase a product than to show it in action? LG thought of a way to showcase the realistic color and sharp quality of its new IPS monitors by creating a fake floor, with picture quality so realistic it was actually terrifying to its users. As the saying goes: “So Real it’s Scary.”

Svedka: Halloween Curse

Can you think of anything more terrifying than being followed? Svedka can’t either, and it’s for this reason exactly that their creepy marketing campaign from last year works. Once you start scrolling through their site, the banner follows you everywhere you go online. Everywhere. The only way to break the curse is to pass it off to someone else by filling out their info in the creepiest lead capture imaginable. Creepy? Yes, definitely. But also scarily creative, and a tiny bit genius.

Oreo: The Oreo Laboratorium

Who says all Halloween campaigns have to be scary? In this adorable campaign from Oreo back in 2014, it relies on user-generated content (UGC) to drive its creativity. It’s as interactive as it is loveable and makes for a really great campaign!

Budweiser: The Budweiser Halloween Takeover

In one of the best campaigns we’ve seen, Budweiser is capitalizing on the fact that there is still a growing market for Halloween in countries outside of the US. In this campaign, it employs popular singer Kehlani to create a full Halloween anthem just for them, so that all 17 countries where Budweiser is sold can associate the whole holiday with their brand.

Ready to Knock ’em Dead?

If a marketing campaign isn’t getting your heart going, then it’s probably not going to inspire your clients, either. These Halloween campaigns are creepy, creative, and make the best use of the season.

Want some ideas on how to build up a marketing campaign for your business that kills it any time of the year? Don’t be afraid to get in touch with us!

25 Excellent Optimization Tips From SEO Specialists

SEO optimization tips

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is something we’d classify as “gruelingly worth it.”

As part of such a dynamic, constantly shifting area of online marketing, it’s one specialty that takes life-long learning, and consistent education and testing in order to truly master. Even then, the strategy differs greatly from industry to industry, and business to business. While there are some set SEO best practices that should always be addressed, optimizing for search is a practice that’s never truly over.

If you’ve ever felt downtrodden from your SEO efforts, you’re not alone (far from it!). If you’re looking for some inspiration, motivation, or a fresh new tactic to try out for your own search engine activities, look no further than these tips and tricks from SEO experts around the world.

1. “SEO is much more than just rankings and traffic, it’s a complete marketing process from bringing in the right visitors to converting them into brand advocates. You can’t just pick one part of the process and expect your business to shine.”
— Moosa Hemani, SETalks.com

2. “Spend more time on promoting your content. I have the rule to devote more time marketing our content than writing it to get the most value out of each piece. Promote your content on social media both organically & paid.”
— Adam Rowles, Inbound Marketing

3. “Never underestimate the SEO power of refreshing and republishing your historically popular posts. Gently rewriting, or adding in more information or variety to the existing content is a solid strategy for bringing more high-quality traffic in via organic search.”
— Ariel Phipps, Oliver + Sons Digital Marketing

4. “Your competitors are your best friends in helping you boost up your site traffic.”
— Iftekhar Ahmed, IftiSEO.com

5. “Do competitor research in regards to links to see what kind of things your competitors are doing that are actually attracting links (as opposed to building their own links).”
— Marie Haynes, Marie Haynes Consulting

6. “Only a user-centered strategy is future-oriented. That is exactly what search engines want: Get the user the best search results. If it is useless for the user, it is useless for the business. Instead of trying to be smarter than the algorithm, focus even more on creating awesome and useful content for your customers.”
— Nina Baumann, Linkspiel.de

7. “The beauty of SEO is that, instead of pushing a marketing message onto folks who don’t want to hear what you have to say, you can reverse-engineer the process to discover exactly what people are looking for, create the right content for it, and appear before them at exactly the moment they are looking for it. It’s pull vs. push.”
— Cyrus Shepard, Fazillion Media

8. “Search engine marketing and search engine optimization are critically important to online businesses. You can spend every penny you have on a website, but it will all be for nothing if nobody knows your site is there.”
— Marc Ostrofsky, Author of Get Rich Click

9. It’s much easier to grow your business by getting more traffic than by playing with your conversion rate.
— Balazs Szilagyi

10. “To make search engines fall in love with your website, try to please your audience first, because search engines are also trying to do the same.”
— Shubhanshi Aggarwal, GrowWithWeb.com

11. “The reality is SEO can benefit from PR best practices and PR can benefit from SEO best practices.”
— Dave Lloyd, previously Adobe

12. “Search marketing, and most Internet marketing, in fact, can be very threatening because there are no rules. There’s no safe haven. To do it right, you need to be willing to be wrong. But search marketing done right is all about being wrong. Experimentation is the only way.”
— Mike Moran, Mike Moran Group

13. “A real estate agency in Wichita has no shot at ranking for the phrase “real estate;” a lawyer in Fresno has no shot at ranking for the word “lawyer.” Optimize for relevant, specific keywords that will bring targeted traffic.”
— Matt McGee, previously SearchEngineLand.com

14. “It is still important to pay attention to quality content vs. just content. Google is watching all the websites very closely and may penalize the websites with duplicate/thin/low-quality content.”
— Pratik Dholakiya, Preceptist

15. “Successful SEO is not about tricking Google. It’s about PARTNERING with Google to provide the best search results for Google’s users.”
— Phil Frost, Main Street ROI

16. “You can’t just ‘SEO’ your website and be done. It’s a forever moving goal post.”
— Stoney deGeyter, Pole Position Marketing

17. “Think beyond commercial keywords. The majority of search engine users start with a question. Answer those questions. Make your content marketing stand out from the ever-growing crowd. Think of SEO as a list building and lead acquisition exercise and not just sell, sell, sell.”
— Marcus Miller, Bowler Hat

18. “Optimize for what would happen IF you ranked, do not optimize to rank.”
— Will Critchlow, Distilled

19. “Create quality backlinks ONLY from reputable sources. It’s important to understand that links from low-quality directories or other such sites will only get your website penalized. The harder it is to get a backlink, the more valuable it will be. Backlinks are still the most important metric for SEO, but their quality is what makes the difference between success and failure.”
— Felix Tarcomnicu, Monitor Backlinks

20. “On-page SEO is no longer satisfied by raw keyword use. Matching keywords to searcher INTENT is critical.”
— Rand Fishkin, SparkToro (formerly of Moz)

21. “Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.”
— Wendy Piersall

22. “When a site links to your blog or a post you’ve written, Google sees it as a recommendation to their readers, like a vote of confidence. Write great content that helps your audience, guest post on other blogs, feature in roundups, and you will get lots of backlinks. These will increase your ranking in Google’s searches and your domain authority.”
— Minuca Elana, MinucaElena.com

23. Good SEO work only gets better over time. It’s only search engine tricks that need to keep changing when the ranking algorithms change.
— Jill Whalen, High Rankings

24. “Never focus on building backlinks, focus on earning backlinks.”
— Naveen Kumar, F5TheRefresh.com

25. “Don’t invest it all in Google. You never know what’s coming down the line and, although we target traditional search engines (Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo), your users may not. Pay attention to social search, because it’s growing. Some people get their news from Facebook and Twitter. Others find out about products on Facebook or Instagram.”
— Gabriella Sannino, Level343

 

What are you doing to stay ahead of the SEO curveIs there a strategy you’re excited to test out soon?

We’d love to hear your thoughts or provide any SEO services where needed! 

This article was originally published on March 22, 2018.

Marketing Checklist: How to Create an Amazing B2B Case Study [Infographic]

B2B case study checklist

We hopefully all know by now that B2B case studies are an incredibly useful marketing tool.

If you’re someone that needs a little more proof,  Content Marketing Institute reports that 71% of B2B content marketers take advantage of case studies, using them as a content tool for driving engagement and sales. However, many businesses struggle with figuring out where to start when starting an in-depth case study with a particular client.

What encompasses a compelling case study? What’s the list of absolute must-haves to include?

Don’t fret if it’s your first time around the case study shop (or even if you’re looking for some fresh ways to improve your current case studies) – we’ve created a B2B case study checklist to ensure that your case study drives value in more ways than one.

The Official B2B Case Study Checklist

Quick, before you keep scrolling — be sure to check out and download the official case study checklist infographic here!

1. Consider the industries you want to grow into more.

A very common question that many prospects ask is “does this solution work for my industry?”

If you provide services to multiple unrelated industries, creating a case study for each one could help answer this question. Leading with the most challenging industries, niches that you want to grow within, or specific companies to sell to first is a great place to begin. Focusing on featuring customers that saw the most exceptional results and can impress the largest part of your target audience, too.

2. Reach out to customers that have expressed gratitude.

Getting your customers on board with a case study can be difficult in some cases, whether it be due to communication issues or simply not having enough time to devote to it. Identifying those that have already expressed how grateful they are to have your business services is far more likely to lead to a great case study.

Look out on social media channels, previous support conversations, emails, reviews, and other testimonials on third-party sites to see who is loving your services the most. Then, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask them if they’d be open to working with you on a case study – if they already love what you do, they’ll probably be willing to move forward.

3. Gather the right information.

Getting actual, verifiable permission from your client or customer is a step that many forget, along with gathering direct responses. We always recommend putting together a survey that they can fill out with in-depth responses on their own time, complete with a space to upload an image, logo, and personal quote!

Some prompts to include are:

1. Please describe your business or organization

2. Please describe why you, your business or organization need [service]

3. Please describe your primary use for [service]

4. Please describe your most successful use of [service], its purpose and how it’s helped you or your organization

5. What is the feature that helped / that you enjoyed the most? Why?

6. Please describe your primary use for [service]

7. Please describe why you chose to work with [company] over other vendors.

8. Please describe an instance where [services] provided value to you, your business, or your customers

 

The right questions will identify the customer’s problem, your solution, their process of deciding to work with you, their experience working with you, and the results that occurred. Use a survey to collect first-hand information FIRST, then follow up with a phone call to clarify any key points.

4. Lay out your case study structure.

Depending on the goal of the case study, you’ll want to consider different layouts. The tried-and-true structure consists of “challenge, solution, results.” This may at first seem daunting, but all you need to do is examine the data you have gathered and decided into which of the three categories it belongs; once this step is complete, writing the rest of the case study should be a breeze.

Be sure to include visuals, graphs, data visualizations, etc., and use storytelling methods to draw in readers. For tips on how to use these effectively and why they are imperative read here.

5. Focus on value, not just features.

Defining exactly what it is that you can provide to a company when compared to your competitors is one of the best methods for getting new business. What do you do better than anyone else?

Take a trip down your features and services list to discover which ones are unique to your organization. Then, be sure to make this a central focus of your case study to best highlight the benefits and value you provide.

6. Make the customer feel like your one and only.

Your service or solution helped your featured customer; otherwise, you wouldn’t have a great case study to market at all. Putting all your energy into this perspective can only leave your customer feeling like you’re using them, however.

When you’re working with your customer on building up your case study, make sure that they feel like a total superstar! It’s all about their story of overcoming a challenge and coming out the other side in a much better place – crafting this story is far more likely to convert prospective new clients as well as help your current customer stay happy.

7. Proofread, edit, and repeat.

Before publishing and distributing at will, you should always give your customer the chance to read through your collaborative case study and provide an opportunity for them to ask for edits or veto certain graphics. This last-chance review ensures that everyone is satisfied with the outcome well before the publish date, which both minimizes issues and allows them to prepare for sharing the case study with their networks as well.

8. Set up a showcasing and syndication plan.

Your own company’s online presence is the best place to start when showcasing your finalized and approved case study; use your homepage, blog, monthly newsletter, social channels, and targeted landing pages to help promote your content first.

No matter how you tackle the task, you’ll definitely want to publish or promote your case study in as many strategic venues as possible, including full-fledged syndication sites if it makes sense.

 

Download the official B2B case study checklist infographic here

b2b case study checklist

Building a robust, data-based, value-driven B2B case study can be quite the task, but breaking every step up in an actionable way will help you streamline your efforts. Following our ultimate case study checklist is a great way to help you move forward along the path of B2B content marketing, foster relationships with your customers, and gain new prospects, all while promoting your business’ best attributes. What’s better than that?

Want to get your own prize-winning case study? Get in touch with our team to learn more.

Co-Marketing Strategy for a New Age: Dunkin’ and Dove are Teaming Up

Co-Marketing Strategy

In the history of great co-marketing campaign duos, we’ve seen a handful of truly memorable collaborations over the years. From Uber and Spotify’s long-term relationship to power customer music picks on rides to marketing BFFs Red Bull and GoPro’s record-setting adventure videos, it can feel like these match-ups were meant to be; but, there’s always a team behind the magic… some deciding process that sets the wheels in motion.

Now, Dunkin’ and Dove Hair are teaming up in what we’d categorize as an “unlikely” co-marketing effort. No judgment over here, though – we are actually super impressed! Anytime the marketing teams from these respective companies get together and come up with something tailored and special to reach out to new audiences, it’s incredible the types of ideas that can come up.

In their campaign together, Dunkin’ and Dove are working together for National Coffee Day (9/29) to engage with on-the-go (mostly female, woot!) consumers, offering up the chance to win a year’s supply of coffee and dry shampoo. Like we said… coffee and dry shampoo aren’t typically things we’d combine in our minds. But, for this campaign’s purpose, we think it’s absolutely brilliant to target busy women who need to get their caffeine and hair-do on every single day.

Here’s what Marketing Dive had to say about it:

The Dove x Dunkin’ collaboration may seem like an odd pairing, but the brands are embracing the “running on coffee and dry shampoo” message that has become a slogan on apparel from Aéropostale and across Etsy. The campaign is part of Dunkin’s newly announced rebranding that drops “donuts” from its name and focuses on reaching on-the-go consumers with coffee, in an effort to compete with Starbucks.

Calling the coffee and dry shampoo combo the “ultimate life hack” — and the sweepstakes to win a year’s supply of the products — could resonate with consumers and give the brands a social media boost, as many social media users often already post and share photos about their hectic lives. Younger consumers, especially millennials and Gen Z, appreciate how-tos or “life hack” content that helps them live more balanced lives. Partnering with celebrities, who will share their own tips, will also broaden the campaign’s reach.

The pop-up styling café is part of a trend that more brands are embracing to engage with consumers in real-life settings to build brand awareness. Experiential events typically resonate with younger consumers who appreciate unique, branded experiences and the ability to try new products. The events often give brands a social media boost, since they usually feature interesting visuals that inspire attendees to snap photos and selfies to post on social media.

What are your thoughts on this co-marketing partnership? We’d love to hear in the comments below!

Watch This Space: How IGTV is Changing B2B Marketing in a Big Way

IGTV B2B marketing

Via TechCrunch

Even if you have been taking a well-deserved vacation in 2018, you probably heard about the big changes that have hit Instagram in the form of it’s newest feature: IGTV. Instagram’s fresh video feature is changing the way B2B marketers and influencers alike reach their audiences, and we’re taking a look at exactly how it’s done.

Imagine yourself as a millennial (or really, anyone born after 1982), who is just waking up, or waiting for your morning commute to work or to class, and you have about 10 minutes to watch one of your favorite shows. How likely would you be to check your mobile device for a quick check-in to your favorite channel? We’re willing to bet the likelihood is huge. In fact, in 2016, smartphones replaced TV as the most watched device by millennial users.

Even if this demographic doesn’t fit you, the reality is that for the highest number of mobile users born after 1982, this is exactly the case. The growing majority of people who have access to devices (68 percent of all adults, to be exact), are forgoing traditional TV platforms nearly altogether, in favor of streaming services and user-generated content. And those cable TV bundle packages? They are racing toward extinction.

IGTV B2B marketing

Via Android Police

This presents a giant shift, as Instagram’s new feature–which functions as a home feed addition or as its own stand-alone app–provides nearly constant access for marketers to reach their target audiences. What makes this feature an even bigger opportunity? The fact that, just like its  1 minute and 15-second video predecessors, content that gets shared on IGTV channels are interactive: users can like, react, comment, and share. It’s the brand promotional gift that keeps on giving.

Your job? Making content highly watchable. But how can B2B marketers do that, especially since paid advertising isn’t available yet? And what kind of content is ideal for marketers to share?

Well, there are two components to this. Think form and function.

  • Form: Making incredibly engaging content
  • Function: Making sure that content is formatted in optimal, highly shareable ways.

Let’s Talk Form

What kinds of ways are B2B marketers connecting with their brands’ audiences? The crucial thing here is staying creative, and showing the human side of the brand. At the heart of social media, people are looking to make a connection.

Worried that your brand doesn’t have a “face”? Don’t be. There are plenty of ways businesses can get creative about the kind of content they are broadcasting on IGTV to connect with users in a variety of ways.

This might be through:

  • Tutorials
  • Reviews or unboxings from influencers
  • Product demos
  • Team or staff highlights
  • A “day in the life” video series
  • Short series featuring the product or service in use

The possibilities are actually wide open! The key here is to stay creative. Engaging content is shareable content, and users are more likely to interact regularly with brands they connect with.

Let’s Talk Function

Since we’re assuming that your content is a home run, let’s talk about how to format it so that it works within the parameters of IGTV.

In order to optimize viewership on IGTV, the important things to remember are…

1. Capture videos in portrait form. Contrary to the square ratio that is optimal in a typical IG feed, filming in portrait mode allows for channels to fill the screen, and function as a real channel does. Dig deeper, to find the actual specs to help you, but the important thing to remember is to keep it vertical.

2. Think through your bio. The first two lines of the bio will be visible on the channel, so be sure that it captures what you really want to say, and that featured products or services are really well represented.

IGTV B2B marketing

Via Brit + Co

Looking Ahead: Reaching IG Users with Paid Ads

Currently, there is no real capability for paid advertising on IGTV, but that could change in the near future, says Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s CEO:

“There’s no ads in IGTV today… [but it’s] obviously a very reasonable place [for them] to end up.”

Your best bet? Start thinking ahead about how to incorporate the possibility of paid advertising in your digital marketing future. No doubt, the future will be here sooner than you think.

So what are you watching? Or more importantly… what do you want people to see? Get some tips on how to master social media marketing through Instagram and other channels. Then, let us know how we can help you be great!