10 Last Minute Ways to Leverage Halloween
Pumpkins, candy corn, ghosts, zombies, and an overload of orange - these may not be things you ever thought of becoming part of your company’s strategy. Well, welcome to October. All bets are off, and small businesses around the country are leveraging some pretty unconventional imagery to capitalize on Halloween festivities.
Big brands spend months preparing for events like this, but some small businesses just don’t have that kind of time. If you fall into that category of small business, don’t worry. There’s still plenty of time to take advantage of Halloween, and there are plenty of Halloween small business ideas to go around.
If you’re looking for ways to leverage the holiday with just a few weeks to prepare, take a look at these ten options below.
1. Pick a theme… and keep with the classics.
Halloween is one of those great holidays with some easily recognizable figures. From adorable pumpkins to terrifying zombies, this season has a wide range of fun options for you to take into consideration when pulling together any Halloween-themed imagery you’ll use in your store or online.
It’s important that you pick a consistent theme within this imagery. In doing so, you’ll create a cohesion in your efforts to celebrate the holiday and provide a great experience for your customers. If you do it right, your efforts will also coincide with your brand. For example, do you run a daycare? Maybe steer clear of the more malicious figures like monsters, and stick with the adorable pumpkins. (Similarly, if you own a restaurant, you may want to avoid gory zombies and stick with simple ghosts.)
2. Start email marketing
Now that you’ve picked a theme, it’s time to release your Halloween spirit into the world. I great way to do this (that can be pulled off with only a few weeks left in October!) is through email marketing. If you’ve already been using this strategy, then work on integrating your Halloween theme into your emails, giving your customers a fun surprise in their inbox when you send your email blasts.
For small businesses that are new to email marketing, you’ll need to put a little extra effort into your work. If you have been collecting customers’ emails on a regular basis, now’s the time to use them. Using an email marketing tool (like MailChimp or GetResponse), you can create newsletter-style emails that highlight your product or service and share upcoming offers with your customers.
Whether you’re new to email marketing or have some experience with it, October is a great season to offer a simple “Happy Halloween” message or to offer discounts to your email subscribers. Remember, don’t push too hard. Use email as a way to help your customers, not ask too much of them.
3. Decorate… online and offline.
If you have a brick-and-mortar, make a quick trip to your local crafts store and pick up some materials to decorate your storefront. Adding a few (appropriately themed) ghosts, pumpkins, or vampires to your store, you help create a fun experience for customers who are coming in. If you have the time to go all-out, why not? Consider the typical buyer who enters your store: would they enjoy some seasonal fun? If so, meet their preferences and make being in your store fun.
If you don’t have a brick-and-mortar, you’re not exempt from this tip. Creating an experience for your customer isn’t just an in-person priority - it should be an online priority, too. It’s possible to “decorate” your website, blog, or social media with some Halloween imagery. You may want to update profile pictures with a well-placed witch’s hat or replace your typical human imagery with some fun zombies or ghosts.
4. Embrace the season on social
If you have a product that customers use in their daily lives, this could be a great opportunity to embrace your customers on social media. Start following or liking your customers, and keep an eye on any time your brand gets tagged on social. Nothing could be better marketing than a picture of a cute kid, your product, and a great caption. Embrace your customers, let them know you’re a friend… and then share their content!
Don’t forget to also post your own “Happy Halloween” message!
5. Host a contest… with your product or service as a prize
Who said competition is a bad thing? A great way to engage your audience is by offering them something. With a plethora of fall activities at your disposal, you can choose a costume content, a fall-themed activity, or even a social media contest. Using your own product or service as a prize is a great way to get a new customer hooked on what your small business has to offer, and they’ll come back wanting more after their winnings are depleted. Contests are a great way to build your brand and grow your clientele.
6. Prepare your customers for their own festivities
Don’t forget that your customers are also preparing for the big day. They’re getting ready for epic costumes, fun parties, and blow-out trick-or-treating. There’s a lot of preparation that goes into each of those things, so help your customers get there. You can use your blog or social media profiles to offer inspiration and ideas that incorporate their product. Alternatively, offer “how-to” content that helps customers DIY their festivities while using your product or service. Customers will not only use your business, but they’ll also appreciate the help.
7. Host activities and workshops
Turn your business into a fun experience for your customers. For brick-and-mortar businesses, this is a great season to host in-store activities and workshops. Do your customers have kids, or are your customers kids? Host an event to decorate trick-or-treat bags together. Are your customers young adults? Host an event that helps them prepare for the upcoming parties they’ll be attending. Regardless of your audience, they want to engage in something fun, so bring them together for an evening or weekend workshop of craftiness.
8. Make the weather work for you
Coinciding with Halloween is the shift towards colder weather. Make your brick-and-mortar an inviting place to escape from the cold or celebrate relief from the heat (depending on where you’re based). Regardless of where you are based, respond to and leverage the shift in the weather to get customers in the door.
Don’t just be a stick in the mud. Your small business doesn’t have to be all business this month. Instead, feel free to host your own Halloween party and bring customers in the door just to have fun together! (They might buy something while they’re there, too.) Don’t forget to open your doors to trick-or-treaters and help make their holiday even better, too.
10. Have fun!
Regardless of what strategy you employ, whether you love or hate this Holiday, or what your costume will be, don’t forget to have fun. Entrepreneurs and small business owners never do what they do just to be employed - we do it because we enjoy it. From our team at StartBlox, we hope you have a Happy Halloween!