I’ve once said on one of my Instagram posts, that the “..internet is full of wonders.” This is in some sense, a light description of what the internet really has. It is a deep sea, rich in information collected through years and years of indexing contributed by a myriad of different studies from millions of people and has since even spawned a few new technological wonders.
You can find almost everything online these days. All you need to know or learn can now be delivered to you instantly thanks to search engines that are continuously being redesigned and re-worked. With only just a click, you can find whole essays, thesis info, cooking directions, addresses for destinations, medical answers and remedies, you can buy things, you can sell things, you could earn because of it, you can find movies, download unreleased songs or albums, find adult entertainment and even, find creepy things.
That’s right. When I say, “you can find almost everything online”, this includes dark creepy things. Movies, videos, interactive websites and games, written stories, any type of content that will make you stay up all night and lose sleep.
Don’t worry, we’re not going to go through the violent and adult stuff found on the web. Besides, they’re not as important and as timely as what we’re going to talk about in this story.
Why are there scary/creepy stuff online? Well, why not? Humanity is naturally attracted to the unknown. And we, are naturally afraid OF the unknown, because we still do not understand it. Our undying curiosity about the things that we still cannot understand keeps this part of the internet, “rising from the dead” every Halloween. *Pun intended.
Sites like Creepypasta.Com clearly (and quite successfully) demonstrates this perfectly. Websites like this enjoy a good amount of traffic activity and content sharing because of their “creepy” and quite creative fictional stories. It scares you, creeps you out. But you tend to look for these types of stories again the next day because of the thrill and curiosity. You lose the idea that these stories are fictional, because they are written very well.
Creepy content out there are successful, even when it’s not Halloween, because people like these stories, while still being creeped out. Reading creepy stories, which we know aren’t real, gives us the creeps, that “un-easy” feeling… They technically aren’t life threatening as compared to guns or dangerous wild animals, yet they still invoke fear very effectively, that people’s brains get confused. Parts of our brains don’t activate that normal “Fear” response or reaction, because there isn’t any real threat. Yet.. we still gravitate towards these types of content online. These two contradicting feelings of wanting to read or watch a creepy video or story at the same time not wanting to because it’s “kinda scary” is called cognitive dissonance. Our minds trying to go through the confusion of these two contrasting differences.
One of the most notable traits of an effective content marketing campaign is when it gives new knowledge to the reader. It educates and teaches new things. In some odd manner, people wanting to read scary or creepy stories online are searching for that distinct feeling of discomfort or slight terror. They want to know, learn or, in this case, re-learn what that feels like. Fear, terror and horror, when mastered can be thrilling and that’s the main reward people get when they search for these types of content online.
People already know what they want, and what they will want to see, hear or read with these types of content. We’re all born with that function for Terror and Fear. This is an excellent example of types of content that feeds of the needs and demands of a specific audience. And websites that use these types of content know exactly what their range of audience will be. Knowing or anticipating what your target audience’s intent, and they would want to look for is very important for website owners, most especially if they’re doing business online.
And yes. If you have a website that’s all about these creepy stories, it’ll be very easy to promote, market and gain loads of readers. All you need to do is think of ways and stories/content that scare and creep people.
Anyway, our attraction to creepy or scary things have of course resulted in various online viral short films:
And even places online where you can enjoy a few minutes or hours having fun, thrilled or even scared out of your wits. There are a few really well made interactive websites out there today that guarantee’s will give you the creeps. Letting your target audience interact with your website is a very good way to keep your website healthy. Here’s a few examples of some interactive websites that celebrates our curiosity for the unknown:
If ever it gets too creepy scary, just try to remember that…
Happy Halloween online marketers.