The days are getting shorter, the nights longer, and a chill is creeping back into the air. Summer is definitely over, and that means Halloween — and the start of the holiday season — is nearly here.
Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in the U.S., and nearly half of all Americans celebrate it every year. However, companies can have a hard time taking advantage of the holiday. Halloween is a little less wholesome than Thanksgiving or Christmas. The marketing script is also less clear than other holidays — it can be easy for business owners to get confused about how they’re supposed to use scares to sell their products.
You shouldn’t be scared off by this season, though. A good Halloween marketing strategy can easily help a brand stand out from the competition.
Here are six spooky marketing ideas you can use to grab the attention of customers who are in the Halloween spirit.
1. Have a Halloween Sale
Combined with other marketing ideas, a Halloween sale can be a great way to grab some attention for your brand.
Halloween isn’t the first holiday that comes to mind when you think of sales, but it’s bigger than you would expect. It can easily mark the start of the holiday season. The majority of shoppers are thinking about Christmas well before Thanksgiving — making Halloween a big potential for sales.
Depending on the kind of business you run, with a little bit of creativity, you can offer holiday-themed products — even if you’re not running a Halloween store. For example, food, drinks, and desserts are popular with consumers and common fixtures at parties and events. Bakeries and cafes can especially benefit from having a line of holiday treats.
2. Revamp Your Online Presence
With just a few changes to minor details, you can add a little spookiness to your website or social media. Fans of the holiday will notice the little touches — like a spooky new logo, frightening favicon or virtual Halloween decorations you’ve put up on your brand’s website. On social media, a new banner, avatar, and pinned post can get you on the good side of customers who are in the holiday spirit — and help you advertise any deals you have on offer.
3. Design a Halloween Ad Campaign
Take advantage of the holiday and build a spooky experimental ad campaign. You can tap into the traditional marketing methods you already use, like social media or email marketing, and add some Halloween spirit to create a campaign that takes advantage of the season.
Need some inspiration? Big brands have played with the idea before, and their ad campaigns are a great example of how you can use the holiday to market your brand.
4. Create a Spooky Short Film
Halloween is also a great opportunity to create effective, seasonal, marketing materials. Short films, radio and television spots, and photoshoots may sound a little high-production depending on the size of your business — but this is one area where higher production values can produce seriously high-quality marketing materials.
Even brands that don’t immediately seem related to Halloween can benefit from creating their own spooky short marketing film.
A good clip will take some work, equipment, and a little bit of creativity, but it’s a great way to create a unique piece of Halloween marketing that can really stand out from the crowd. Creating a seasonal short film can also be a lot of fun for everyone involved.
5. Add Some Spirit to Your Existing Ad Campaigns
Little touches can make a big difference. Special Halloween discount codes and subtle changes to marketing copy can help you take advantage of the season.
Social media marketing and PPC ad campaigns lend themselves to changing materials on the fly. This means you can adjust an existing ad campaign to add a little bit of Halloween spirit and then switch back to the normal version when the holiday is over. It will be as if the creepy version was never there.
6. Hold a Frightening Halloween Contest or Event
If your business is strictly online, this can be a month- or weeks-long sales event or contest. Hold costume contests, scavenger hunts or anything that encourages your audience to interact with your brand. It could be in person or with a hashtag on social media. Solicit user submissions on social media, offer prizes and drum up some publicity.
This marketing technique will be especially effective if you’ve already made some haunting renovations to your social media presence.
Adding Halloween Flair to Your Marketing Strategy
A Halloween marketing strategy might not seem intuitive at first, but it is definitely possible to use the holiday to grab customer attention.
Adding some spooky flair to traditional marketing strategies — social media, contests, events and your business’s website — is a great way to take advantage of the season.