Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Hidden Easter Eggs: Little Ways to Get Big Marketing Points
Posted on March 31st 2013
Did you know that while waiting for your YouTube video to load, you can play the game Snake? Try going to Google Search and typing "do a barrel roll."
What about all those hidden treats in DVDs, where going to a specific menu and hitting the right keys or selecting certain choices in a particular order reveals some nifty hidden content?
These are all examples of easter eggs, hidden treats that delight when found...but finding them is half the fun. Easter eggs are usually just that, treats, but can they be used for greater marketing good?
Looking Through The Grass
Easter eggs were originally just little unused tidbits that developers snuck in simply because they could. Sometimes these tidbits were random bits of content that didn't get used anywhere else, but not worth completely discarding either. Sometimes the tidbits were just little inside jokes, not really meant for the general public. But news of these tidbits did get out, and people quickly took to searching for these "Easter eggs" for themselves, just to see if they were true.
Now Easter eggs are widely known to exist, much like stingers after the movie credits have finished rolling (an Easter egg in and of themselves). It's just a matter of knowing where the Easter eggs are purported to exist, and what methods are necessary to uncover them.
Easter eggs have become endeared by consumers. Everybody loves a little bit of a scavenger hunt. It's something to do besides just watch the movie, or browse the website. It's an activity, something they can perform, not just passive viewing. It's a prime way to provide engagement, and in the best flavor of engagement: a game.
An easter egg forms a bond between the content producer/developer and the viewer. Finding these hidden treasures is like being a part of an inside joke, one that only a select number of individuals are aware of and can partake of. It forms a connection between the finder and other finders. It also forms a bond between those finders and the content developer.
These unorthodox gems are an indication that the content producer likes setting up these little games, something that dispels the belief of the "sterile professional." It makes the studio that made the DVD, or the company that made the website, that much more approachable. That much more friendly. More human.
A Little Goes A Long Way
So why are these easter eggs important? Because they are a display of your company letting its hair down. Proof that your studio isn't just a corporate entity, but filled with people too. It endears your company to the viewer. And whatever progress that goes towards making your organization seem more like a friend and less like a merchant is good, because people typically stick with their friends.
That endearment can be enough to persuade somebody to purchase from your brand, to form that loyalty that makes them keep coming back or stick around. Everything, from a competitor to forcibly raising your prices, are reasons for a consumer to leave. But if the impression that your company is fun, creative, and friendly exists, there is just that much more inertia to the consumers potentially jumping ship.
Google has their hands in everything. They have enough data to form increasingly accurate profiles of its users. They don't need to breach privacy restrictions when they already know enough about you. They border on monopoly by squeezing out other, smaller for-profit services with their free utilities. Google makes billions off its ads, something consumers normally abhor.
And yet, why do people still like Google? Because they're fun, they're funny, and they're full of treats. Google Doodles and easter eggs have gone far in building an impressive loyal user-base just as much as their free services.
For the amount of time and resources towards making a simple little easter egg, you're more apt to get the return of loyal customers in the long-run. Customers who are willing to keep buying from you, just because of this bond. And that's worth all the marketing budgets in the world.
Engagement Between People, Not Logos
Easter eggs are made by people, for people. They are like that sly, knowing wink, conveying that if you take this off-beaten track you'll find something wonderful. These hidden features and content are candy, and people love candy. They're willing to go hunting for it, even diving into the dirt for it.
Again, why? Because a friend told us it was there. And when we do find something delightful, we're more apt to believe that friend when they say there's more. And because we can then be sure our friend has a candy-filled game set up for us, we listen when they speak.
What are some of your favorite easter eggs? Do you ever prefer one company's easter eggs over another's? Or have you even signed up for a service or purchased something just because you heard their easter eggs were that good? Say so in the comments.
By the way, here's a list of Google's April Fools' jokes and easter eggs. Don't forget to check tomorrow for this year's hoaxes!