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Does the thought of marketing your business at Halloween send a shiver up your spine? You don’t stand a ghost of a chance unless you prepare early.  

Marketing Ideas for Halloween

Whether you are interested in Halloween or the fall season in general, it’s closer than you think. Get started early so you have plenty of time to plan and make the most of it for your customers and bring in more sales. Let’s go over some basics.   

Decorating at Halloween

Seasonal decorating is a growing trend, and more and more small businesses put up Halloween decorations. Since 2005, Halloween spending has tripled to $9 billion annually. Almost a third of that is spent just on decorations, according to the National Retail Federation. 

Businesses of almost every type — retail shops, food businesses, insurance agencies hardware stores and professional offices — can benefit from decorating. Many businesses start decorating in mid-September. 

Create a Stunning Window Display

One ghoulishly clever way to capture potential customers walking by your store or offices is with creative window displays. For example, if you run a candy store, why not create a candy graveyard? If you run a housewares shop, create a Halloween among your wares. Halloween light strings and lighted inflatables have become popular for nighttime impact. Get so creative with your front entrance it’s spooky — perhaps with a scarecrow and carved pumpkins.  

Market Online with a Halloween Theme

It’s positively spooky how many customers are checking out your business online these days. To get into the spirit of the Halloween season, create a special Halloween logo for your website. For email promotions, use seasonal designs. Most email marketing services such as Constant Contact, Zoho Campaigns and MailChimp offer Halloween and autumn templates. And schedule Halloween posts on your blog and social media accounts.

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Don’t Forget Halloween Advertising

Do you advertise?  Whether it’s Facebook ads, or Google Ads or ads in your local newspaper or community circular, you don’t have to scare up a brilliant Madison Avenue idea. Follow the example of the Martha Stewart Pets brand and Pet Smart. They simply dressed animals in cute pet costumes for their advertising campaign. Or a bakery might post photos of mouth-watering Halloween cupcakes on social media and then boost the posts. Simplicity wins the day!  

Incorporate All 5 Senses in Food Businesses

If you run a coffee shop, restaurant, cafe, bakery, brewery, food truck or other favorite haunt of foodies, put some pizzazz into your offerings this fall season. Halloween is one of those holidays that evokes the senses (and the senses sell!). You can involve four of the five senses in food:   sight, smell, taste and touch.  Work on new recipes now. Introduce special fall flavors like apple, cinnamon and pumpkin. Letting these flavors creep into your menu is a great Halloween marketing trick — and a treat for your customers. 

Put on An Event

You can achieve spooktacular effects with fun events where you draw in shoppers. Almost any kind of business can hold an open house with free cider, donuts and cookies. Try a pumpkin carving contest if you have the space and it’s relevant to your business.  If you are in a food business, try a food tasting event. Or simply have a visible presence at community events, so your business is seen. Some of the latest event trends are particularly fun and will captivate interest.

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Allow Employees to Dress Up

Consider allowing employees to dress up in Halloween costumes. We see this more frequently today, especially in small businesses.  Not every business is right for costumes. It’s really a management choice that will vary from business to business. 

One final piece of advice: have fun!  It’s easy to get caught up in marketing and event planning to the point it becomes a grind. Overplanning can distract you from other priorities. Here’s the answer: delegate. Ask employees for their ideas. Let them take Halloween prep on as a special project. It’s a low risk way to allow employees to flex their project management skills, develop leadership abilities, and show what they can do. Enjoy.


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