Treat #5 – How To Win The Costume Contest

This is an entry in our HALLoween Blog series. Each week leading up to Halloween 2010 we will treat you with internet marketing topics that have a fun and spooky flare.

The kids with the best costumes get the most and best candy, you all knew that, right?

The Joker
image credit: Mayselgrove

I’ve had some pretty conventional costumes for halloween growing up. The obligatory pumpkin as a baby, the typical vampire as an 8 year old, Ghostbusters at SOME point in the ’90s…I can’t remember. Usually, I would wait a day before Halloween and then figure out what I would want to have for a costume. Clearly, wasn’t very prepared and didn’t have much of a strategy. This is probably why I didn’t win any contests at parties.

Having a conventional website is a lot like having a bad costume. Your competition is always going to win the contest by getting good user conversion if you don’t have a game plan.

Let’s do this, not only am I going to give you tips on web user conversion but we’re going to win this costume contest too!

1. Strategy – Time to think. What separates you from your competition? Maybe it’s your unique location, your quirky customer service or your branding. Determine where your originality will come from and utilize it within specific design aspects.

Halloween costume tip #1 – Forget about this year’s trends…I saw at least 20 “Jokers” in 2009. Thanks, The Dark Knight. Traditionally frightening and humorous costumes are the big winners. Keep “The Situation” and your Twilight costumes at home.

2. User Conversion – Let’s get creative. There are millions of different stock photos of smiley business men and women hovering over a computer that you can use…but why take the safe route? Think about personalizing your messaging and how you want to represent your products and services. Try taking your own photos if it fits within your marketing schedule. Showing that you are creative and original shows your users that you are willing to take time to invite them into your world.

Halloween costume tip #2 – The more blood and guts, the better! Flesh devouring demons, brain consuming zombies and rotting corpses show that you aren’t afraid to get good and dirty. Not to mention, these types of costumes will be sure to scare the snot out of any children coming to your front steps to trick-or-treat! Boo-yah!

3. Buttons – Being a graphic designer, I like to see user conversion elements that don’t look the same as everything else on the internet. Icons are where it’s at. Accentuate your conversion accessories. Think of the depth of detail you want your buttons to possess. Size, shape, texture, color and fonts should all be considered while choosing appropriate conversion buttons.

Halloween Costume tip #3 – Accessorize. Seriously, carrying and wearing accompanying items show that you put maximum effort within your costume idea. For instance, I’m thinking about being a Lumberjack this Halloween (don’t steal my idea, I grew a beard for this) and possibly carrying an axe. Maybe not a really real axe, but a plastic one. Think about your costume head to toe. Does your hair color match the rest of your costume? Would you have a better chance of winning the contest if you had a fake weapon or an exposed head wound? The choice is yours!

4. Become the user – This is a big deciding factor on how effective you can make your conversion elements. Step out of your business marketing realm and become the same person who wants to purchase your product. How easy is it to get to the information about your services? How many steps does it take to contact a representative from your company? Are your conversion tactics entertaining or interactive enough where it is going to entice the user to click deeper into the product pages? Playing a different role as a user on your site isn’t easy, but to determine the users characteristics, you must become the user.

Halloween Costume tip #4 – Play the part. Your costume will be that much more convincing to costume judges if you act like the character you are visually displaying. If you are Frankenstein, stick those arms out in front of you when you walk. Zombies? Grunt how much you love to eat brains! Maybe you’re gonna steal my idea and be a Lumberjack, sing songs about how awesome it is to chop wood and drink maple syrup. Whatever it is, have fun and become the character.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Read the rest of the HALLoween blog series