Hint: It’s Not Just Candy and Costumes
Halloween is one of the highest-grossing annual celebrations outside of traditional gift-giving occasions – and for local businesses, you don’t have to sell costumes or candy to profit from it. Local businesses in any industry can carve out more sales with Halloween-themed marketing.
Here are a few ways to get started:
1. Haunt social media. Get in on the Halloween fun (and get customers to engage with your business) by posting photos of your staff in costume, asking users to share costume ideas, or holding an in-store or social media contest for the best costume, spookiest photo or scariest ghost story. Or, consider interaction leading up to Halloween – “Send us your best photos of past Halloweens” or “Send us photos of your best Halloween costume as a kid” (#TBT anyone?).
2. Think mobile. Reach out to consumers shopping for Halloween goodies or enjoying seasonal events with targeted mobile advertising that lets you pinpoint prospects based on location, demographics and more. Your restaurant could send a mobile coupon to people attending local haunted houses or pumpkin patches, offering a free appetizer if they come in with their event receipt.
3. Offer Halloween discounts and special promotions. Get creative - beyond the usual sales. A restaurant can give customers discounts for dining in costume. Service businesses, like attorneys, day spas or tax firms, could partner with a salon to sponsor free or discounted Halloween make-up and hair looks. A salon could also bring potential customers in with a free zombie make-up lesson – and 5% off any appointment scheduled that day.
4. Advertise online. Use keywords consumers are likely to use when looking for Halloween ideas, events or products. Offer discounts or content that ties in with your business. For instance, a bakery could offer recipes for Halloween treats along with deals on pumpkin cupcakes. Also, Halloween videos account for 57% of seasonal makeup tutorial views – it is the biggest makeup event of the year. This presents a great opportunity for businesses like local salons, makeup companies and artists to “show their wares” either through commercials that can run before these videos online, or through social media demonstrations that they sponsor.
5. Treat customers to Halloween-themed events. Join other businesses in your area to host a trick-or-treat night for local children, complete with special discounts for parents. Hold a costume contest at your restaurant, offer free face painting at your toy store, advertise a Halloween-themed concert at your bar or have an author read scary stories at your bookstore.
6. Take advantage of Halloween-themed programming. As America tunes in to thrills and chills, make your business part of the excitement. Cable television advertising opportunities include new and returning horror series Z Nation, American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, Van Helsing and Falling Water. Seasonal programming includes Freeform’s 13 Nights of Halloween marathon and SyFy’s 31 Days of Halloween programming event. And since 69% of smartphone owners and 53% of tablet owners use their devices as “second screens” while watching TV, craft cable ads that lure viewers to your website to learn more or make a purchase.
7. Share useful content. Create blog posts, videos or downloadable guides that help your customers bone up on ways to plan a party, create cool costumes or stay safe on Halloween. One medical supply business owner created a guide for how to enjoy Halloween on crutches!
8. Give out goodies. Fun, useful Halloween-themed promotional products like pumpkin-carving templates, flashlights or glow sticks, candy, or trick-or-treat bags will remind customers of your business all month long. Hand out branded products at local events like haunted houses, zombie walks or fall carnivals.
9. Give back. Help customers get rid of leftover Halloween candy and help the community, too. Ask people to bring leftover candy to your business after Halloween. Send the candy to soldiers overseas, or donate a dollar amount to charity for every bag. A health-food store or dentist could donate toothpaste, tooth brushes and other toiletries to local shelters in exchange for leftover candy.
For Halloween marketing that really casts a spell, talk to your media specialist about developing an integrated campaign that includes television, mobile and online advertising. Cox Media has great affordable solutions. Contact us at 1-855-755-2691 .
About the Author
Dan Glicksman is Sr. Manager of Lead and Demand Generation for Cox Media where he is responsible for helping develop and execute strategies that drive sales qualified B2B leads to all of its local markets across the US. An ambidextrous ambivert and self-described skeptical optimist, Dan relishes the fact that he, as a generation X'er, has outscored every millennial colleague on various “How Millennial Are You” type tests.Follow on Twitter More Content by Dan Glicksman