Three Girls Media Shares the Best Digital Marketing Lessons from Horror Movie Monsters
I was working in my lab, late one night, when my eyes beheld an eerie sight – it was once again my turn in the Three Girls rotation for a feature blog article! After spending a few minutes doing the keyboard mash, I decided to pull inspiration from the Halloween holiday and find a way to put a seasonal twist on some of my favorite digital marketing tips.
Growing up in the 90’s and early 2000’s meant that classic shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, combined with my much-beloved collection of Goosebumps books, left me with a deep love of everything spooky. Especially this time of year when the days get shorter and the air gets cold, I start feeling nostalgic for all the monsters I stayed up late to watch or read – and then stayed up later because I was too scared to sleep.
There are a lot of lenses that you can look at these classic monsters through, but this might be one of the more unique. Who knew that werewolves had anything to teach us about analytics? Or that Godzilla could help save your brand from being torn apart? I hope you have as much fun reading this as I did writing it, and let us know in the comments below what other lessons your favorite monster can teach us.
Digital Marketing Tips From My Favorite Movie Monsters
The MummyLurching down the hall with arms outstretched, the mummy was easily the most terrifying monster on Scooby-Doo to my young brain. Fortunately, all it takes is one good yank on its yards of linen bandages to send it spinning away, rendered harmless and reduced to a fraction of its former size.
Just like 80 percent of the mummy’s appearance was simply a wrapping that supported what was on the inside, your digital marketing should follow the same formula. Eighty percent of what you share online should be non-promotional and engaging so that when the remaining 20 percent is revealed, you have a captive audience. Your non-promotional content should still be educational and relevant (think tips, tricks, stories, articles and other helpful information), while the rest links back to and talks about your company specifically.
ZombiesWhether you’re a fan of the classic slow and shambling variety, a la Night of the Living Dead, or the updated fast and angry, zombies are usually after one thing: braaaaaains. As a digital marketing practitioner, you should be too!
Being able to get inside your competitors’ heads (metaphorically, of course) will provide you with vital insights about the industry, the audience you want to target or avoid and ideas on how to structure your marketing campaign. Once you have a deeper understanding of your competitors, you can also create a business plan centered around what your strengths and how they set you apart.
VampiresWhile some monsters crave solitude, vampires need regular access to living members of the community in order to feed and thrive. The classic monster (no sparkles here, thank you) must rely on their charms, supernatural or otherwise, to draw their victims in – sometimes again and again.
While digital marketing has the advantage of being able to go on in broad daylight, it does still rely on those repeat interactions. Engagement is one of the most vital parts of your digital marketing toolbox, and is the lifeblood on which your company will thrive. If you seduce your audience early with valuable information and good conversation, they’ll keep coming back for more. Likes, follows, shares, comments, retweets and click-throughs are all valuable metrics that will help your business grow.
WerewolvesOnce a month, on the full moon, werewolves transform from the human form they maintain the majority of the time into a bloodthirsty wolfish monster with a taste for fresh meat.
When it comes to digital marketing, once a month is the perfect time to check your company’s analytic reports. You don’t necessarily have to do it on the full moon, but you should aim for roughly the same time every month. Analytics will give you insights like when your audience is online to see new content, what content types or topics see the most engagement and how people are finding your online platforms. Once you have access to these insights, you can start using the information to your benefit.
Frankenstein’s MonsterFrankenstein’s monster evokes images of stitched together body parts, lightning storms and mad scientists screaming, “It’s alive!” From his boots to his brain, this piecemeal monster is literally made up of recycled parts and the perfect analogy to talk about breathing new life into your old content.
You don’t always have to create new digital marketing content from scratch. Instead, you can take some of your past popular posts and release them again in a different format or with a new perspective. For example:
- Rewrite one of your old blog posts with your newly acquired wisdom or updated information (e.g. more recent statistics)
- Combine your most successful posts into an eBook
- Translate a blog post into an infographic to be shared on social media
- Turn your notes from a speaking engagement into video content
Recycling content is a great way to deal with writer’s block. Instead of sitting around waiting for lightning to strike, take the initiative and dig up an oldie but a goodie to cut up and patch back together into something new.
The SlasherWhile the weapon of choice may vary (machete, butcher knife, chainsaw – so many options) the thing that always sticks out to me the most in the classic slasher flicks is the incredible suspense they are able to build with just a few simple things. If you’ve ever seen clips from a horror movie with the music and sound effects removed, the scene doesn’t have nearly the same impact. Filmmakers need that build up to put viewers on the edge of their seats and get them in the right headspace while the psycho hunts down their prey.
You can use this same technique in digital marketing. If you have a big announcement coming up, start dropping hints in the months and weeks leading up to it. Build graphics that tease an upcoming release, or release short video clips that give away enough to get the viewer interested, but not enough to ruin the surprise. You can take another page out of the slasher’s book and hunt down viewers using targeted advertising. The more suspense you can build, the bigger the reaction will be when you finally reveal.
PoltergeistMy parents once fired a babysitter who let me watch this movie when I was three. I don’t remember it, but having re-watched it several times since I have to support their decision. This movie is terrifying.
In a broader sense, poltergeist are thought of as less malicious spirits and more mischievous. Turning lights on and off, moving and stacking furniture and rearranging things around the house. They might be annoying, but sometimes being forced to look at things from a new angle has benefits.
When it comes to digital marketing, don’t be afraid to shake things up from time to time. Just because things are running smoothly doesn’t mean they couldn’t be performing better. Try one or two new things at once, like adding a new type of content or posting at a different time of day, and watch your analytics for any signs of change. And if something definitely isn’t working, don’t be afraid to give it the axe.
GodzillaThere have been literally dozens of Godzilla monster movies made, but at its core the original 1954 film was a giant metaphor warning against nuclear weapons and a cautionary tale about what the future could look like if we don’t take action now.
The “take action now” lesson is an important one in digital marketing. A simple mistake or poorly thought out interaction can quickly spiral out of control and into a PR nightmare with the potential to impact your brand for years. Don’t wait until there’s an emergency to decide what your plan of action will be – have one ready now. Take some time to research the situations that have put other businesses under the microscope. Look at what they did well, and what they could have done better, to create your own response plan that’s ready to go at the drop of a hat.