AMC’s hit show, The Walking Dead, is addicting. Even if you don’t believe in zombies in real life (which I happen to believe in, by the way), The Walking Dead makes you want to believe in zombies.
Throughout the show’s seasons, Rick’s group has been through many life-altering events and too many close calls to count. But throughout The Walking Dead you can learn some valuable lessons on digital marketing. Here are just a few…
Digital Marketing Lessons from The Walking Dead
1. Timing is Everything
AMC made an epic timing move by releasing The Walking Dead on Halloween 2010 – the scariest night of the year. But the survivors on the show also realize how important timing is. Regardless of what they are doing, they know that it is best to be indoors before the sun goes down. It’s safer inside at night than outside when you live in zombieland.
If you’re a local business doing online marketing, timing is essential, too. For example, did you know that 17% of Facebook Likes take place on Fridays? Or that posting on social media after 8 pm or before 8 am can strangle your reach? Another good timing strategy: share your social media posts during times when fewer people are sharing content so you have a higher chance of your post getting noticed. Typically, the best time to post on Facebook is 3 pm, but try posting at different times depending on when your fans are online. Figure out the timing for your audience. In the zombie apocalypse and on social media, timing is everything.
2. Remember the Simple Things
The Governor did great in a tank and when Rick has a powerful assault rifle in his hands, he can’t be stopped. However, this doesn’t mean they forget the simpler things. Daryl’s crossbow and Michonne’s katana are simple weapons, but they deliver the same results – dead walkers. (Wait? Is there such a thing?)
Remember this when considering your digital marketing strategy. Whether it’s a funny meme or a simple picture of your product, consumers don’t need or expect special features or high-tech content to be engaged.
3. Be Willing to Adjust and Change Directions
There is one thing survivors on The Walking Dead have had to do: learn to adapt and change. From coming to terms with the reality that the dead are walking the earth, to getting past the “do no harm” mantra that Rick naively had in the first season, it’s obvious that adaptation is vital for survival.
For your small business, this is true, too. Just like ad blockers are more and more prevalent, you need to reexamine your ad strategy as technology evolves and changes. If new advertising and marketing platforms begin to gain steam with your target audience, it might be time to shell out some money to market on that new platform if that’s where your customers are heading. Adaptability means you survive, in both the real and walker-filled worlds.
4. No day is guaranteed.
Just like Rick’s crew live in a world where there are no guarantees that they’ll survive the day, no digital marketing agency can guarantee that you’ll rank on page one of Google or that your blog post will get read by a million people. In The Walking Dead and digital marketing, there are simply no guarantees. The best you can do is take your arsenal of weapons, your survival instincts and knowledge of digital marketing and march forward like today’s your last day on earth.
5. You can’t hide for long
In the first season Rick and Glenn cover themselves in the blood and guts of a walker so they can safely walk among the living dead, taking care not to get any of the stinky camouflage on their skin. Hidden under guts and gore they are able to successfully pass among the walkers, stumbling forward mimicking the walkers, until a rainstorm washes off enough of the blood scent and they begin to get the attention of the walkers around them. Scary; right?
Well, too many small business owners think they can hide from digital marketing. They think that if they hide under their desk and keep marketing the way they’ve always marketed they’ll be just fine. Wrong. If you’re marketing your business the way you’ve always marketed your business, you’ll lose. To survive you have to keep moving and venture out into the digital marketing world to survive and grow.
Like The Walking Dead, digital marketing can be a scary thing. The Walking Dead has taught us a lot about how to survive a zombie apocalypse, but it also gives businesses some strategies for surviving – and thriving – in the digital marketing world we live in.