Although for many the countdown for Christmas is underway, there’s one important holiday first that from what’s apparent out there in the retail sector is becoming an even bigger event with each passing year.
Some businesses will have an obvious connection to Halloween and will market appropriately such as those selling fancy-dress costumes, supermarkets or those in the hospitality sector.
For others though, particularly with the increasing use of social media, there’s a need to mark it in some way even if there won’t be a single skeleton or witch inside your premises.
With that in mind we’ve put together a couple of low cost Halloween Marketing Ideas suitable for small business that you might like to think about so that you can at the very least acknowledge Halloween even where it’s not going to add to your bottom line.
1. Decorate your premises – cost-effective and even if you’re not stocking Halloween goodies it gets into the spirit of the occasion.
2. Social media profiles – update to suit the occasion, one of our favourite tools for creating seasonal images is PicMonkey – the free version gives you ample options to work with in a very user-friendly interface which will have you creating those spooky pictures in just minutes.
3. Themed content – staff in costume, YouTube videos, blog posts or anything else that suits both your business and Halloween.
4. Tweak your logo – if you’re feeling creative, pop in a pumpkin or add a witches hat.
5. Fancy-dress competitions – ideal for nightclubs or bars, winner chosen on the night with a couple of weeks promotion in advance of the date and spot prizes throughout the night.
6. Kiddies fancy-dress competitions – if you’ve got a venue perhaps run an afternoon event before the local kids head off Trick or Treating. Alternatively run a competition whereby photos can be uploaded or emailed with a cut-off of midnight on the 31st and maybe a week before your judges select a winner – if you opt for social media it can be a voting competition.
7. Treasure hunts – for those trading exclusively online why not run a treasure hunt online? Perhaps use your social media to deliver the clues and direct people to find witches or ghosts at select locations of your website in order to claim a discount or prize?
8. Colouring competitions – keep it simple and offer any budding Picassos the opportunity to send you in their Halloween pictures. If you’re in a business premises a simple box to pop entries into is fine. For those in a restaurant, perhaps the colouring takes place for diners as they enjoy a meal with you (parents will quite like this too!).
9. Recipes – if you’re in a food business why not share your favourite recipes of the season? Great content for a blog too!
10. Pumpkin carving – run a competition for all the family, a photo of the finished pumpkin could be uploaded via social media or sent in by email to your judging panel. Or if you’re in a suitable location you might consider running a demonstration.
11. Face-painting for kids – invest in bringing somebody in to create the right look for monsters, witches, ghosts and more and you’ll save a lot of stress for parents who can’t quite get to grips with facepaint!
12. Giveaways – consider offering a Halloween-themed gift with purchases, doesn’t necessarily have to be related to your product but have you ever noticed how well a simple lollipop goes down with a kid fed up shopping with a parent? Doesn’t have to cost a lot but as they say it’s the thought that counts!
13. Promotions – in Ireland we’ve got Halloween, a bank holiday weekend and for those with children a midterm break. Why not offer a discount or special applicable only to these periods? Use a dedicated promo code if you’re trading online.
14. Use email – if you send out a newsletter, customise with a Halloween theme to suit and don’t forget to include any change of opening hours for the holiday.
15. Collect data – not strictly a tip but if you decide to do any sort of marketing activity around Halloween look out for opportunities to collect data on your customers, remember it’s just weeks to Christmas and if you can secure email addresses (legitimately!) through an in-store event or social media competition do!
The above are just a selection of low cost, easy to implement activities and there should be something to suit just about every business there.