This month, we show you how to steal content tips from spooky media to give your content cult classic status.
It’s time for content to get spooky! Throughout the Halloween season, viral scary videos and content spread across social media.
Spooky content has become a big hit, moving from a small niche to a wide cult following. Cult films, like Frankenstein and Rocky Horror Picture Show, have taken the world by storm.
Cult horror cinema has captured the hearts of dedicated followers who return again and again for the latest content and merchandise. This month, VCA’s theme is ‘Content is a Cult Classic’, where we show you how to steal content tips from spooky media to give your content cult classic status.
1. Cult Content Goes Viral
What makes us stop scrolling and share contént? In 2014, BuzzSumo analyzed 100 million posts, looking for patterns in the most frequently shared content. Popular content generally invoked ‘awe, laughter, and amusement’.
We share content that brings out reactions within us, and that we hope will bring out similar reactions in others. We share content about causes that we care about or news stories that we want people to know about. Just as we share funny content to make people laugh, we share scary content to make our friends jump.
The potential of horror films to create viral hits has been established since the early days of the internet. Famously, the original Blair Witch Project used posters and IMDB comments to present the disappearance of the film’s protagonists as a real-life mystery. The trailer for The Last Exorcist was shared as a viral video of a supposed haunting. World War Z’s marketing campaign featured a fake website counting down to human extinction, and ‘home videos’ of the impact of the zombie apocalypse. The mystery that surrounds horror content makes it instantly sharable.
2. Trick or Treat Content: Spooky Content is So Popular it’s Scary
The clue is in the name. Social media is a social platform. Content goes nowhere if we keep it to ourselves. We all love to see how our friends and family respond to the content we share, especially content that gives them a good scare.
Whatsmore, spooky content can become a cult trend, developing loyally attached followers, who enjoy the mystery it evokes. So-called ‘creepypastas’ are set up to be made widely sharable to fans of spooky content, whilst ARGs (alternate reality games) present mysteries for social media users to solve – leading them to return for clues and discuss the story with friends.
Popular YouTube series ‘Don’t Hug Me, I’m Scared’ shot to viral fame for its quirky mix of kids-show style comedy and surreal horror, racking up over 62 million views, and became a cult hit with a dedicated fanbase across the world.
3. Monster Content Makes Your Brand a Graveyard Smash
Monsters are back, and they’re keeping on the (not so dead) pulse of social media. Once seen as an acquired taste, films featuring vampires, werewolves, and all manner of spooktacular creatures are everywhere – and none are leading the way like the classics.
People are embracing their love of cult horror flicks, and no brand is more aware of this than Universal Pictures, as the Universal Classic Monsters films established the cult horror movie genre. Their social media campaigns have utilised User Generated Content, showcasing not only their own memes and quizzes, but fan-created art and crafts inspired by the original movies, building a strong connection with their cult following.
Universal Classic Monsters’ content is a graveyard smash, because they have embraced their status as a cult classic. Developing niche followings dedicated to your brand can be an incredibly effective strategy. Cult classics appeal to a dedicated following, and are gradually spreading their tentacles out of the horror niche to reach a wider audience.
4. The Zombies Were Having Fun (The Content Party Had Just Begun…)
Your likes and shares on social media come from what makes you unique. Classic monster movies are iconic. Their instantly recognisable characters, gaudy costumes, and over-the-top acting is what makes them so enduring.
The cult classic monsters prove that creators shouldn’t be afraid to be authentic in their content. Monster movies have reached cult status through their authenticity, and that’s exactly what a strong brand voice needs.
Personality in your posts, unique interactive features, interactions with other accounts, and even quizzes can build your overall cult reputation. Burger chain Wendy’s went viral with unorthodox social media posts roasting other brands. The sassy posts were more than simple advertising. They were funny and shocking – something that made followers want to share them, giving the brand cult status.
Or how about Adult Swim’s ‘Elastic Man’ interactive flash feature, which enables fans of the popular TV show, Rick and Morty, to pull and push a malleable version of Morty’s face. Creepy, right? Well, according to SemRush, it brought the site ‘27 thousand social shares and an impressive 3.7K backlinks’.
Finding what makes your content unique, and sticking to it with confidence and self-belief, is what makes your content a monster mash.
October Hashtag Holidays
- #NationalSmileDay – 10/2
- #NationalTacoDay – 10/4
- #WorldMentalHealthDay – 10/10
- #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay – 10/15
- Halloween – 10/31
So, there are VCA’s top four ways to give your content cult classic status. Whether you adapt your content to focus on niche audiences, embrace the wonders of cult classic films, or make your content mysterious enough to share – learn from cult classic movies and sink your content’s fangs right into your followers’ feed.
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