October is full of tricks, but your Halloween promotions should be full of treats! Whether your promotion is just for one spooky night or lasts all month long, a fun and creative marketing campaign is sure to increase engagement and sales for your local business. Here are 14 frighteningly easy promotions to host this month—both online and off.
Throwing a festive Halloween party suitable for all ages is a great way to increase your foot traffic, get new customers, and impress your existing clients. A Halloween party doesn’t need to be a massive expense—some small treats, sips, and handmade decorations go a long way! Adornments such as pumpkins or jack-o’-lanterns, cutouts of bats, and streamers will help to make your party a smashing success. Be wary of making your accessories too intimidating, as younger children are likely to join their parents. Also providing allergy-friendly treats, such as Skittles or Candy Corn, will guarantee everyone at your party has a great time. Offering a party-exclusive sale, such as 13% off, can also help to drive sales at your party.
If your town has a trick-or-treating event, take part! The increase in foot traffic can bring customers into your small business. Take this opportunity to familiarize with your community, get to know your existing customers, and meet new ones. Bonus points if you incorporated the other tricks in this post like having a Halloween special or contest!
Let your audience know via your website, social media profiles, and Google My Business listing.
When families come around to collect candy, have your business information available for interested customers, including your website and social media links to grow your online network. Make sure to use a hashtag for the event. If there isn’t a hashtag, contact the coordinator and suggest one so that both business and family participants can more easily find posts about the event.
If your town doesn’t have a trick-or-treating event or if you don’t have the resources to host an entire Halloween party, another option is collaborating with other small businesses in the area to offer a day of trick-or-treating. Parents are always looking for safe Halloween festivities, and by hosting an event with other trusted local businesses, you will win over the favor of the parents in attendance and get foot traffic in your business.
Include a special “discount” treasure map for the adults, complete with different promotions at each store participating, to increase your October sales. Make sure the businesses you partner with offer different products or services from each other, so everyone can join in on the fun.
Whether your business has a brick and mortar storefront, or just an online presence, anyone can host a pumpkin carving contest! Encourage customers to show off their creative side by hosting an in-store pumpkin carving contest with a small entry cost, such as $5 or $10, and offer a large incentive to the winner. Prizes such as a gift card to your business, a basket of your products, or a trophy will be an excellent motivation to get entries. If you run your contest online, be sure to pick the perfect hashtag to track entries on social media, and check out our blog post here for how to run an awesome Instagram giveaway.
Another great way to increase foot traffic to your business and maximize your sales is by offering a discount or gift with purchase to anyone who appears in costume. This will give your audience an incentive to come into your store and redeem their prize. This also leaves open the opportunity for great user-generated content, because you can offer an extra gift if they post on social media and tag your small business. If you have the resources, providing a photo booth in your store for specific days in October will also inspire your customers to take the best photos for social media.
During the month of October, plenty of community events will be taking place in your neighborhood, such as fall fairs, festivals, and farmers markets. Make sure you’re there to attract new customers and delight your existing ones! A small table with coupons, decorations, and Halloween treats will go a long way when building your audience. Be sure to promote your presence on social media and advertise accordingly, such as an extra free item for the first 10 people who arrive at your booth. Participating in community events will help to build your local reputation.
Whether your business has a storefront or operates digitally, hosting a scavenger hunt can be fun, easy, and low cost. A scavenger hunt can be done by finding the clues on your homepage, such as a bat peeking from behind your logo or a smiling skeleton at the very bottom of your page, that will link to a landing page with a surprise discount the customer can redeem at checkout. In store, customers can receive a printed map with clues leading to different areas of your store, with the final clue leading them to a coupon, gift with purchase, or another spooky surprise. Halloween may be the season for tricks, but everyone loves a good treat!
If you operate a medical office, participating in operation gratitude will not only promote healthy bodies to your patients but also support the United States Troops with a Candy Give-Back Drive. The purpose of a Candy Give-Back Drive is to collect candy from trick-or-treaters and offer an incentive to kids, such as $1 per pound of candy, to discard of their excess treats. This is an awesome way to give back to those that serve our country and also help keep your community healthy.
Want more email addresses for your newsletter or mailing list? Grab a jar and fill it with something Halloween inspired–candy corn, plastic spiders, orange and black candies, etc. Put the jar by your cash register and have customers drop their business cards or a slip of paper with their guess in a box. Just make sure costumers include their email address in their entry.
The winner gets a discount off their next purchase, a free service, or a free product. Announce the winner on email, social media, and in-store signage.
Get a sales boost this month by offering a Halloween-themed product, service, or entire menu. Restaurants and bakeries can feature a Halloween menu for kids (or even adults!) Think green witch finger cookies, or a vampire cocktail with cranberry juice and a plastic spider garnish.
Florists could offer Halloween bouquets with orange, black, green, and purple flowers at your flower shop!
Gyms could throw a Halloween-inspired fitness class. Create a Halloween soundtrack (think “Thriller” and “Monster Mash”), run a black-light class, or have participants around a pumpkin instead of a medicine ball!
Make sure to announce this service on your website, blog, social media, and Google My Business posts.
While you can easily decorate your storefront business for Halloween with pumpkins and spider webs, you should also decorate your online storefront too!
Change your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter cover photos to a Halloween-inspired one using Photoshop or Canva. Feature any Halloween-themed photos you have on your website.
For any of these Halloween-themed promotions, use social media to encourage and proliferate customer participation. For “guess the number” contests, create a hashtag and give customers who share the contest on social media another guess. Monitor the hashtag and share or repost any comments or posts from customers.
For your Halloween-themed products, share pictures on Instagram and Facebook and use appropriate hashtags like #halloweenrecipes or #halloweendecor.
If you take part in trick-or-treating, share pictures of your [willing] visitors and employees in costumes. Ask your customers to share their Halloween pictures with you on your Facebook page!
You can also share useful or fun content produced by complementary businesses and industry influencers, such as pictures, recipes, costume ideas, and safety tips. The more content you put out on social media, the more attention your business will get.
If you’re not familiar with promotions or social media, this is the best time to start one! You can get a feel for things before the big holidays arrive, such as Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday, and Christmas and Hannukkah.
A successful Halloween promotion will help drive your sales and increase your audience engagement. Plus, this is the perfect time of year to experiment with new promotions just before the holiday season. Try one of these ideas and see how it works!