Oct 12, 2022

Halloween isn’t just for kids. Adults are known to go all out with costumes, decor, parties, food, drink concoctions, candy, greeting cards, and so much more. For small businesses, it’s a great time of year to match your marketing plans to the vibe around town. Just like finding the perfect costume, it’s all about using your imagination to make it a day/night to remember. And because Halloween falls on a Monday this year, October 31st, you can be sure people will be celebrating all weekend long during one of the biggest retail spending events of the year. The devil is in the details, so get your Halloween game going with these tips and tricks.

Spooky Stat:
The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts consumers will SPEND $10.6 BILLION on Halloween in 2022.
Source: NRF


CREATION
Get Your Spook On:
Halloween is all about transformation. Businesses that embrace the spirit are sure to get noticed by customers open to having some fun. So give your office, business, storefront, display case, sidewalk, or even just a carved out area a ghoulish spin. It’s an easy and affordable way to delight your customers all October long, driving both engagement and traffic.

  • When it comes to decor, anything goes: cobwebs, pumpkins, hay bales, scarecrows, ghosts, skeletons, witches, vampires, black cats, zombies, bats, and tombstones can all liven up (or deaden!) the scene - especially those oversized inflatables. The creepier the better.
  • Change the menu or sidewalk board with orange and black colors and kooky fonts.
  • Put out a sidewalk display to draw customers in.
  • Think up themed promos - “Ghouls Gone Wild” shopping night, "Witch List" specials.
  • Host adult and pet costume contests with winner giveaways.
  • Throw an all-day Halloween event in-store with candy, freebies, music, food trucks, and all staff in costumes (and don’t forget the superheroes):
    • Post photos and tag friends and family to comment
  • Give your product or service the Halloweeny treatment:
    • Cafe? Whip up a drink for the month.
    • Clothing store? Make an orange/black rack of freakishly fashionable items.
    • Home decor shop? Inspire customers with themed table settings and door decor.
  • Stay open late on Halloween and give out free candy.
  • Bump up the energy with a scary soundtrack:
    • Make your own or stream a ready-to-go one from Spotify or YouTube and let it R.I.P.
    • Play all month long
  • Brand your biz with a Halloween bag, free with purchase throughout October:
    • Throw in coupons, gift cards, and sweets
    • Kids and adults can take trick or treating
    • Gets more eyeballs on your logo
    • On Halloween night, place some frighteningly good gifts outside

Spooky Stat:
1 IN 5 CONSUMERS plan to dress up their pets in a Halloween costume.
Source: NRF

CONNECTION
Weave Your Web: Spiders certainly know how to get attention, so give your online presence a haunting re-do to capitalize on all the excitement of Halloween.

  • Make over your homepage with striking visuals and colors, funky fonts, and fresh content:
    • Upload photos of your decorated store or business
    • Have scary music play upon entry to your site
  • Doctor your profile pix - many platforms offer free online frames and borders.
  • Use emoji everywhere for heightened playfulness.
  • Incentivize user-generated content with a contest on social media channels where they have to post Halloween-related photos.
  • Pen a blog about Halloween as it relates to your business - DIY costumes, food and drink menus, safety on the streets, makeup and hairdo tips, etc.
  • Promote an online giveaway and ask users to follow, like, tag, and share to enter to win.
  • Cook up a memorable hashtag to drive people to your website and/or follow you on social media.

Play off your business name (#Bobbing4Apples), mess with words (#SallysSalonSpookySpecials), think in rhymes (#BewitchingStitching), or ask your employees to think of one. Winner gets a day off.

Spooky Stat:
Consumers plan to SPEND $100 ON AVERAGE on candy, décor, cards and costumes.
Source: NRF

COMMUNICATION

Rattle some cages: All your efforts will mean nothing if nobody knows about them. Halloween die-hards take this holiday seriously and will be planning their night and choosing their disguise way ahead of the 31st. Tell the neighborhood what’s happening at your place of business early and often in October to drive more sales ... and some screams!

  • Send out an e(ek)mail - Thrill inboxes all over with colorful visuals and clever type and messaging. Use catchy subject lines and talk up Halloween sales, promos, parties, and events.
  • Text top customers with “Trick or Treat” surprises - Free item, % off, 2:1.
  • Tweet daily offers with a one-time code to use.
  • Connect with customers on Tik-Tok with irresistible video teasers.
  • Post daily on social media channels, sharing photos, videos, and news of your wicked goings-on.
  • Put up bootiful signs in the window to stop every passerby dead in their tracks.
  • Advertise in print and online.

 

COMMUNITY

Make it Door-to-Door Fun for All ages: Come to the rescue of local folks looking for ways to make this October even more special for kids, families and themselves. Become the “Go-to Ghoul” place, attracting more business, more word of mouth, and happier crowds.

  • Serve seasonal drinks and eats and provide recipe cards with your logo.
  • Hand out flyers with party plans, costume hacks, decor ideas, and safety tips.
  • Town holding a “Trunk or Treat?” Set up a table or put up a stand.
  • Stay open for any small business “Trick or Treat” events, and be ready with candy, freebies, coupons, and goodie bags.
  • Be seen on the scene by hosting or co-sponsoring community:
    • Haunted houses
    • Corn mazes
    • Pumpkin patches
    • Pop-up costume stores
    • Halloween parades
    • Pumpkin carving contests
    • Hayrides

Meg Schutte is a Bank of Hope Blog contributor.    

The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Bank of Hope. 

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