For companies that want to stand out, regular marketing efforts have to be out of the box. But that “out of the box” approach will have to be pushed further on April Fool’s Day. This is an opportunity for you to boost your brand awareness and even earn free press. If you are not sure how to proceed, here is some help.
Coming up with ideas
The potential is basically endless when having some April Fools’ Day marketing fun, but your idea should still work with your brand and niche. The best prank has to be convincing, so try to come up with something outrageous that is still relevant to what your business does. It needs to be an absolute surprise, and should not be something that your audience can see from a mile away, either. If you need some inspiration, you can check out Burger King’s “Chocolate Whopper”, Emirates’ “world’s largest aircraft”, and Amazon Echo’s “Petlexa”.
Making it work with content
Once you have settled on an idea, you must figure out the content needed to make it work. Should you execute it as a high-budget video, like the Chocolate Whopper? If you do not want to spend too much, you can simply make a social media post with an accompanying image.
You could also make content around the prank to take full advantage of the attention you garnered, such as making a web page or blog post leading to your site that people can click on from your social media post. It makes your prank seem authentic, and gives you some SEO benefit.
Maintaining your brand’s tone of voice throughout your prank content is very crucial to make it realistic, as well. If you made a product page for a humorous fake product, for one, you could make it seem genuine by having the product page look like all the others. Do not forget to add social media sharing buttons so people can share it, as well.
Launching the prank
When launching your entertaining content for all the world to see, you should do so across multiple channels. Post it across all your social media accounts for your content to be shared by as many people as possible. Make sure all of your employees are in on the joke, too, so they would know how to address queries from customers. You could also come up with a strategy for replying to social media comments — take for example Groupon’s replies to Facebook comments on their ‘banana bunker’. Keep in mind that your prank has the most impact on the morning of April Fools’, so consider launching it first thing in the morning to make the most of the day.
Prepare for some people who would not understand that it is a joke, so come clean later on the day or the day after. The traditional “April Fools’!” cry is one of the best ways to announce that it was all for fun. You can do this in a new post or as a reply or comment to the original post.
Treat your April Fools’ prank with caution. Some people might not find it funny or others would feel foolish because they fell for it. At worst, your public relations team might have to deal with a fiasco. And even big brands get it wrong sometimes, like Google’s ‘mic drop’ and the confusing Mark Suckerberg x H&M prank.
Participating in April Fools’ fun could increase your brand awareness, website traffic, and search engine visibility. It allows your brand to show a bit of personality and a relatable human side, as well. So, do not hesitate from making a fool out of your brand on April 1st!