Photo of barren tree with crows in front of moon on dark sky. Digital marketing lessons from a haunted house attraction.
Barren tree with crows backlit by moon on dark sky.

When I got the hare-brained idea to launch a haunted attraction in 2013, I was lucky that I had some experience going in. Not just experience with being a part of a haunted house, but with other kinds of events as well. By that point, I had already been doing digital marketing and running programs and for the public for nine years as part of my non-profit organization, so I wasn’t really scared by the prospect of starting a haunted attraction, either.

It was a good thing that I came to it with some experience. The on-the-ground efforts needed to organize and run a haunted attraction were so overwhelming that we almost didn’t open on our first night in 2014, even after nearly a year of planning. But we did. 

We did because there was a line of people waiting to get in on opening night! That line of people was there because we ran a very successful, and cost-effective, digital marketing campaign. And we repeated it successfully for four spooky seasons!

Get Caught in the Web. Let’s Talk Website! 

Thanks to hitting the bricks for some sponsorships, the cost of posters and banners was gratefully covered. We weren’t new to writing successful copy and creating eye-catching posters, so we started out ahead of the game! Sure, we had to put the posters up by hand, but once they were placed, they were ready to do the job for weeks on end!

The digital marketing campaign, though, is a different story. That was the thing which was going to make or break our event and isn’t something you can do just once and forget.

It started with a killer website! If you don’t have your own professional website, with your own domain name and original content that you’re keeping current, you may as well not exist. Your website is your one-stop-shop for what your prospects are looking for. Give it to them!

Your website should inspire trust, establish your brand, make it easier for people to connect with you, and answer their most pressing questions. Do you really want to leave that to chance?

A top-notch website may cost you, but truthfully you cannot afford to be without one.

Scaring Up Conversions on Social Media

Next up, having an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms is a must. Regular, imaginative, and engaging content was the key there. It can’t just be sales, sales, sales! Make people laugh, make them think, make them engage, and they’ll convert! 

This takes time. It takes time and effort to learn when your prospects are most likely to be online, create content which suits their tastes, and be there to interact with them when they have questions or comments. Used correctly, your social media will build relationships with your prospects and create brand loyalty.

The best part is that, if you know what you’re doing, you can do it all for nothing out-of-pocket. It just takes time and expertise.

And make sure your social media is integrated on your website, too!

Keep the Competition Running (to catch up!)

Our haunted attraction wasn’t the only one in town. There were three others. Ellensburg isn’t even a very large town! That’s a lot of competition for those October dollars!

Still, we dominated the competition from year to year. Not only did we have a high-quality, well-planned event and the best volunteers you could ask for, but we might as well have been the only event! We owned our online niche, and the results showed night after night!

We always had more business than we could handle. The guests who had bothered with the other local attractions let us know with their wallets where the best scares in town could be found! We had true fans come back year after year, some even joining up with our “Boo Crew!”

Here’s the thing, though. 

We could have put on a crummy event. We could have been half-hearted. And we still would have had more than enough business, because we owned the online space in our niche! 

And we did it through a well-planned and well-executed digital marketing campaign which cost us nothing but the experience, time, and expertise which we already had.

The same experience, time, and expertise which Media Sundries will provide to you. 

Do you have the time to learn all the ins and outs of planning a social media campaign from scratch? Can you look at your digital marketing objectively and see where it needs a facelift? Or is it a better investment to rely on the proven experts?

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