How We Went Viral: Promoting Content with Influencers, Ads & PR
By Steve RaysonApr 29
We analyzed 100m posts so you don’t have to
Published October 15th 2020
It’s been a spooky enough year already and, though there’s fears that Halloween might be axed, content and social engagement shows we’re still just as excited as ever to celebrate. But how can we make sure we’re creating the most engaging Halloween content every year?
When it comes to Halloween, it’s all about the costume. And when it comes to ‘Halloween costume ideas’, social is always fit-to-bursting with inspirational content. We took a look at this trend over the last two years and were surprised to find that, while less content is being shared around this topic, engagement is almost as high as 2019 – and we’re only in the middle of October!
Both search and social are goldmines when it comes to finding out what people think and want.
So, what better way to assess the Halloween situation and build out your content strategy, than to look at search volume data?
You can do this pretty easily with the BuzzSumo Keyword Tool, which instantly gives you ‘Seed’ keywords alongside their volume and ‘Cost Per Click’ value, and a bunch of other ideas to get your brains whirring.
Pro tip: Punch in your competitor’s website URL to steal their Halloween keyword rankings, and leave them in the graveyard SERPs (page two of Google).
For more Halloween content ideas, Google releases yearly trend content, including a ‘Freightgeist’ digest, which shows the costume ideas we’re searching for most that year. This year it’s the ole classic ‘Witch’ costume.
Well, we think you can do better than that, 2020…
We entered the phrase ‘Halloween costume ideas’ into the BuzzSumo Content Analyzer, set the date to the ‘Past 6 months’ and found that, when it comes to social engagement, the most popular content in 2020 is ‘The Best Schitt’s Creek DIY Halloween Costume Ideas For 2020’ from popsugar.com.
(Everyone has become a *little* obsessed with this series in lockdown, and rightly so. With Moira’s wardrobe rivaling that of the Addams family, what better costume could you don for Halloween this year?)
The second most engaging content on social media also came from popsugar.com, and gave a list of 47 DIY costumes for women, featuring that of Ashley O from Black Mirror and Fleabag from… Fleabag.
Tabbing to the ‘Analysis’ view, we can see that lists and videos perform best when it comes to Halloween costumes, ‘Facebook’ is the best channel and shorter (likely image-heavy) content is most engaging.
Social engagement data like this is great for giving you more granular content ideas and insights into what people want when it comes to Halloween – especially in comparison to search.
In this case, it suggests you should create list-based content for women, related to pop culture references / popular TV shows. So, next year you might want to jump back into the Content Analyzer and assess engagement around trending shows or characters, to inform your Halloween plan.
This is the kind of formula that you can repeat year-on-year to build engaging Halloween content and brand awareness.
Pro tip: Match this with video insights from the YouTube Analyzer, to make your research that bit more robust!
We all know when Halloween falls, but trend data can sometimes offer up surprises, where expectations don’t always match reality…
Take the term we looked at earlier: ‘Halloween costume ideas’. When you look at that topic trended over the course of 5 years, some might be surprised to find out that engagement can pick up as far back as July or August. While this might not be the case right now in 2020, this pattern has occurred enough times in previous years for it to reoccur post-pandemic.
This kind of insight is especially useful to know for those of you that are looking to create evergreen Halloween content.
When it comes to search, it’s been proven that content published in-advance of peak demand has a much greater chance of ranking. After all, authority has been built, a few links earnt and maybe you’ve even had time to do your own internal linking to make this content your ‘Pillar’ page for all things Halloween.
As well as helping you to plan your content strategy, knowing YoY trends is also super important in creating your social and ad strategies.
Using social YoY trend insight, you can:
And so on…
You can find this ‘Engagement & content over time’ trends in the ‘Analysis’ tab of the ‘Content Analyzer’ in BuzzSumo.
(Pssst: We’ll stop with the Halloween puns, if you sign up for a free 30 day trial.)
There are many ways you could go about creating unique Halloween content – upcycle ideas from competitors, analyze the most engaging social headlines, look for the most searched keywords or examine social content at scale to define ‘Success’ formats.
But ‘Hearing it from the horse’s mouth’ is still arguably one of the best ways to validate your content efforts.
With BuzzSumo you can do just that, by scouring forums and comment sections on blogs across the web, to reveal what people really want.
Using BuzzSumo’s Questions feature, you can see exactly what people are asking in relation to Halloween that year. Set the date range, and ask yourself “Are there any questions repeated YoY that I can answer?”
If you want to make sure your content research is bulletproof, just head to the content Topic explorer section of the platform, where you’ll be presented with a word cloud of the most engaging topics related to your search.
In this part of the platform, it’s better to start with a broad topic. This will give you more in the way of content ideas. This time we’re simply searching ‘Halloween’.
Topic ideas here are ranked by ‘Co-location’ – meaning how often they appear in the same article with the main topic – which can give you some pretty interesting, niche content ideas.
Pro tip: This tool really comes into its own when cross-referenced with the Keyword Tool we saw earlier. If you pick a ‘Smaller’ keyword that has less engagement on social, but find that it has high search volume and CPC value via the Keyword Tool, then this is an invaluable new content opportunity!
In the Topic Explorer, you can also see related keywords and content ideas. In fact, if you click on the ‘Insights and Content Ideas’ report (see above) you can quickly tab through ‘Insights’, ‘Content’, ‘Questions’ and ‘Keywords’ all in one place. So good, it’s scary! (Last one, promise).
Remember when everyone used to dress up as Harry Potter or one of the blue Na’Vi from Avatar? Some Halloween costumes, themes and activities are popular every October, but many are time limited or culturally specific.
Knowing what kinds of new content trends every year in your market is key to informing your Halloween strategy. Is there a particular product that’s caught people’s eye this year? Are they more intrigued by decorations than Halloween makeup? Just what piques your audience’s interest?
The BuzzSumo Trending Tool lets you highlight the content in any country that’s gaining the most traction on social, based on a ‘Trending score’ i.e. the speed of content engagement. You can build a custom feed based around Halloween and check in regularly to discover the latest stories catching attention.
Looking at this insight when prepping your content every year can give you pointers on the types of stories to cover, or themes to focus on. In the example above, that seems to be dogs in costumes (fun fact: according to our new content engagement research, dog related content is more likely than any other content type to encourage likes, comments and shares), celebrity inspired costumes, Halloween inspired TV shows and coverage of experiential Halloween events.
So, there you have it. Six easy ways to create fresh and unique Halloween content.
Building out a repeat, seasonal strategy like this can help you to piggyback on significant demand, and can be a huge brand awareness opportunity.
Use BuzzSumo to reveal the Halloween content your audience wants, and enjoy an influx of traffic and engagement year after year.
Ready to create some frightfully clickable content? Start your free 30 day BuzzSumo trial today to stay on top of all the seasonal trends.
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