Even though Halloween isn’t a “holiday,” it ranks as one of the top spending occasions.
Yep, in 2019, Americans spent about $9 billion on it.
While it may sound surprising, when you think about it, it adds up: Costumes, dog costumes, treats, parties, etc.
Clearly, in October, people are in the mindset to buy.
So how can you cash in on that even if your businesses isn’t fall-themed?
Whether you’re planning for Halloween months in advance or just getting to it a week before, there’s an idea in here to suit your business.
18 Halloween Marketing Ideas
Below are our top 18 ideas for marketing during Halloween and fall season. Use them as a jumping-off point to tailor them to your business.
#1 Host an Online Pumpkin Carving Contest
If your business has a physical location, you may be able to hold a carving contest in person. However, because of COVID-19, many people will feel more comfortable doing it from home. It’s your choice whether you pick a carving theme or leave it open to any design. Promote the contest on social media and lay out the prizes. Get people to submit their carvings by posting it on social with a branded hashtag. Since cheaters could find and submit any picture they find on Google, you can also request that they take a selfie with it
#2 Host an Online Costume Contest
As above, you could host a costume contest in-person, but that may not be the best idea for fall 2020. Instead, get people to submit their costumes online using a branded hashtag. Promote the contest beforehand so people are incentivized by the prizes.
#3 Zombie Social Media Takeover
Pick a day near Halloween and tell your customers that a zombie will be taking over your social media that whole day. What that looks like is completely up to you—be creative! Here’s a few Halloween business marketing ideas to get you started:
- Post pictures of zombies using your product/services
- Use funny zombie puns
- Interact with customer commenters, acting like you’re a zombie
- Randomly giving away gift card prizes
Of course, another Halloween character may suit your business better. For example, what about ghosts, Frankenstein or Dracula.
#4 Witch Social Media Takeover
Similar to above, only this one is more appropriate for certain businesses. For example:
- Holistic businesses
- Mindset businesses
- Wellness businesses
- Coaching/manifestation businesses
- Spiritual product businesses
The idea behind this one is that although witches can be a scary Halloween symbol, they also represent nature, earth and manifestation. So, you can promote that a witch will take over your social media for the day. You can feature light-hearted, fun, creative advice and content. Ideas include:
- Sharing spells to manifest
- Sharing manifesting affirmations
- Tips on connecting with nature
- Free one-card readings to random followers
- Pictures of witches using your product/service
If you have a lack of ideas, you can also hire someone “witchy” who can share their tips and thoughts.
#5 Guess How Many Are In the Jar
Probably the simplest Halloween marketing idea to drive engagement. Although this guessing game is usually done with jelly beans, we suggest selecting a candy-themed treat, like candy corn! Fill the jar with your chosen candy, counting each one. Then, take a picture or a video and post it on social media (Instagram stories are great for this).
Ask your followers to guess how many are in the jar in the comments. The closest person to the answer can get a prize of your choosing.
#6 Halloween Donation
If you’re looking for Halloween business marketing ideas but you don’t want to go out, why not do a simple donation? You can choose any charity or a Halloween-related cause near you (ex. teeth services for low-income families).
How you structure it is up to you. Maybe you offer to donate $0.X for every comment on the social media post. Or, maybe you do matching donations with your customers or clients. I
One of these easiest Halloween marketing ideas is giving out coupons. You can send out a themed coupon to your mailing list giving the X% off your product or service.
Another option is to make them work for the coupon. You can send out an email and post a picture on social media stating that, to get the coupon, they need to comment something specific on the post (ex. their favorite Halloween candy). Then, you can message each person who’s commented a coupon code they can use when they checkout.
#8 Fall-Themed Pins on Pinterest
Of course, this site is mainly about Pinterest marketing, so this list wouldn’t be complete without a way you can incorporate Pinterest and Halloween. My suggestion for this one is to create season/holiday boards. For example, one for Fall/Halloween, Winter/Christmas, etc. To make your board covers for these, choose seasonally-appropriate colors. This way, when people scroll through your profile, they will automatically see that you have a board dedicated to fall.
You can also make some pins centered around fall colors. Even if your content isn’t about fall or Halloween, using those colors can feel more “in season.” You can play around with it to see if themed-color pins drive more traffic at that time of year.
Keep in mind that one color has many different tones. For example, if your business is made up of girl-boss pink colors, posting a bright orange pin seems out-of-place. However, you can pick a more subdue orange or perhaps a burnt-tone orange would look better.
#9 Spooktacular Ad Copy Halloween Marketing Idea
If you run ads, like on Facebook or Google, another idea is to modify your copy so that it’s seasonal to Halloween. For example, you can offer a Halloween discount. If not, you could just make it more fall-themed using Halloween puns or words.
If your product could be tied to Halloween, do some keyword research. For example, maybe you sell hats for any time of the year but you see an uptick in October due to Halloween. In this case, you’d want to look for key phrases around the words “Halloween” or “fall” and “hats.” Once you find good ones, use them in your ad copy so people will find your website when they search for the phrase.
#10 Website Scavenger Hunt
Whether you have an online business or you’re just limiting in-person contact because of the pandemic, an online scavenger hunt is something fun that your customers can partake in.
For this, you’ll either need to be comfortable updating your website or you’ll need the help of your web designer. You can place Halloween symbols (ex. bats, ghosts, etc.) in certain places on your website (ex. homepage, about us, contact, etc.). Then, make a list of each symbol and form it into a checkmark box list. You can also leave a space for them to fill out where/on which page they found the symbol. Share the scavenger hunt list on social media or email it out.
You can also choose to offer prizes to people who complete it the quickest. Another option is that everyone who successfully completes it gets a coupon emailed to them. In these cases, obviously you’ll need to give out instructions on where people should send their completed lists (email, message on social media, etc.).
#11 Learn Competitor Ideas
If you’re completely out of Halloween business marketing ideas and nothing seems to fit your particular businesses, here’s a tip: check out your competitors. Research what they did in previous Halloween and fall seasons. You can do this by scrolling way back on their social media. Or you can google “competitor name” and “Halloween.” Or, you can use the WayBack machine to see what their website looked like in October of whatever year (in case they mention their Halloween marketing).
Of course, you never want to outright copy somebody’s marketing initiatives. However, this can help spark creative ideas and give you a jumping-off place that’s likely to work in your niche.
#12 Make a Virtual Haunted House
Out of all the ideas on this list, this one is the most elaborate. But it could also be the most original, depending on how far you take it. So you know those scary videos on YouTube where you watch intently and all the sudden something pops up and you jump? If you’ve seen them, you probably have no doubt that you can be spooked from a video. If you have a bit of videography and editing skills, you can pull off something similar that you can share on social media.
How you do it is up to you. You can decorate a room or an office and get the lighting just right that it creates a creepy feel. Then the magic comes in with how you edit it: the lighting, the music, the cuts, the creepy things you make pop up. If you make it good, this is one people are more likely to share since it’s unique and derives a physical reaction.
#13 Create Discounted Halloween/Fall Product Bundles
If you’re a product business, ask yourself if you can combine any of your products into a pack for fall or Halloween. For example, let’s say you sell nail polish. Why not put together a discounted pack of purple, orange, white and black nail polish? Or, maybe you have a jewelry shop on Etsy. Can you put together a ring, necklace and bracelet pack perfect for the fall season?
#14 Borrow and Share Other’s Content
Perhaps it’s been a whirlwind of a year and you just can’t squeeze any time in for seasonal marketing ideas this fall. One workaround is to share other people’s content. Not only will they love you for it (and it could help you build relationships), but it still fills that need for your customer.
For example, let’s say you own a parenting product, service or blog. You know that your parent customers or clients will be looking for Halloween-themed recipes kids can partake in or costume ideas or how to delegate daily candy allowances. If you don’t have time to make this content yourself this year, share it from other blogs!
Some people may worry about sharing content from “competitors.” One solution to share articles from companies that are in the same niche but don’t directly compete with you (ie. selling a different product or service). However, I honestly believe there’s room for everyone, that building connections is a good thing and that good karma boomerangs back 🙂
#15 Decorate Your Social Media
If you have a storefront, of course, the #1 Halloween marketing idea is probably to decorate it and make it feel seasonal. But, if you have an online business (or if part of your business is online) you can also decorate there too. How?
Let’s consider a few areas on social media where your current branding can be temporarily swapped out for something more autumn-themed:
- Facebook photo
- Facebook banner
- Facebook group banner/photo
- Twitter photo
- Twitter banner
- Pinterest profile photo
- Pinterest profile banner (if your profile has this option yet)
- Instagram profile picture
- Instagram photos
- Website homepage
There’s so many places you can spook-up for the day or week. You can do something simple, such as editing your logo with the colors of Halloween, or adding a small Halloween symbol (ex. black cat) to it. You could also do something more creative, such as spiders crawling from your Facebook banner. Not good at graphic design? You can probably come up with something good pretty quickly using Canva.
#16 Offer Free Printables
Depending on the demographic and interest of your customers or clients, this may or may not apply. However, it can be a great way to keep people engaged and provide something of value.
Halloween printables could include games, like word searches or coloring pages. These would be great if your customer base is parents. You could also provide printable pumpkin carving stencils. If your customers are child-less adults, that doesn’t mean they hate fun, but maybe a higher-skill Halloween activity is better. For example, a printable stencil and tutorial on how to make glam pumpkins.
#17 Think About How You Can Incorporate Your Product Into Halloween
Unless you have a Halloween-specific product, it may be difficult to see how your product can be marketed in the season. If your product has nothing to do with fall specifically, why would people be incentivized to buy it? That’s where you can get creative.
Let’s take tea for example. There’s nothing special about drinking tea in Halloween. Or is there? Every year, DavidsTea comes out with a line of Halloween-themed mugs. When someone buys that, they’re also likely to buy a tea to go with it.
You should get more creative with it too. For example, is there a tea that’s good iced, that can be incorporated into a Halloween cocktail? Now, your plain tea company is a part of a Halloween cocktail.
#18 Instagram Photo Grid
Every time I see an Instagram photo grid, I think about how good it looks. It’s a quick way to capture attention and also a good way to incorporate seasonal ideas.
For this one, think about a photo you can take that represents your businesses but also gives off Halloween vibes. If you’re a solo entrepreneur or you are your brand, perhaps that photo is of you dressed up as witch, psychic or goblin. If not, maybe it’s of a Halloween character using your product or service. Use your imagination!
After you’ve taken your photo, use the app PhotoSplit to split up the one photo into 9-12 pictures. This allows you to easily get the Instagram photo grid-style without learning Photoshop. This Halloween marketing idea is a quick way to grab attention that looks a lot more complicated than it actually is.
Summary of Halloween Business Marketing Ideas
If you’re searching for Halloween marketing ideas for your business, it may be difficult to come up with promotions when your product or service doesn’t relate to the season. However, almost everyone can partake in marketing during this time. As we’ve outlined above, there’s many ideas you can use varying from a little effort to ones requiring more skill. It could be as simple as decorating your social media or as complicated as producing a virtual haunted house video. Remember: plan early and keep your mind open to creative inspiration!