11 Halloween Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business

Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood

Editor-in-Chief at Fundera
Meredith is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera. Specializing in financial advice for small business owners, Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more.
Meredith Wood

Boo! Did we scare you?

It’s easy to get a customer’s attention with Halloween-themed marketing. October is a great month to engage your consumer base in fun, simple—and yes, perhaps spooky—ways. Bonus? It’ll be good for your business to get that all-important marketing push just before the holidays.

Some marketing ideas work better for some businesses than others, but don’t worry: we’re not short on ideas. We’ve got everything from online to real life, from highly involved to the most basic to execute. Take a look below and decide how you can engage in the annual Halloween zeitgeist.

1. Decorate

For businesses with a brick-and-mortar, a super simple way to get in the Halloween spirit is to decorate your storefront with Halloween-themed décor. Be as wild and crazy as you want—but know that you don’t have to break the bank. Fake cobwebs run about $6 at Wal-Mart and ghost masks you can hang around the store are only $9.99 at Party City.

Just about every drugstore has quick and easy décor to dress up your store and delight your customers. At the very least, a spooky menu board or sidewalk board can be created with some chalk and a little imagination.

2. Host a Costume Party

Literally invite people to your place of business to celebrate the spookiest month of the year. Tell them to dress up and provide snacks and drinks. You can get the word out on social media, flyers at your storefront, and even mailed invitations.

Advertising for the party alone will be good for your business, but you can also offer special product discounts or services at the party itself to attract attendees.

3. Create Themed Products

Make limited edition products or menu items that will ignite the Halloween spirit in your customers. It’s pretty clear that the pumpkin spice craze isn’t going anywhere, and there are countless ways incorporate ghouls, ghosts, witches, and other spooky characters or items into your product plan.

4. Offer Spooky Deals and Discounts

You don’t always need a reason to provide discounts, but attaching deals to holidays is a great way to resonate with your customers and encourage them to take you up on the offer in a way that feels special. It’s certainly an offer that’s sure not to “scare” them away.

5. Dress Up

Have your staff dress up at work—it’ll be good for your customers to come in and see your business having a little fun. It’s also great fodder for your Facebook and Instagram. You can even have everyone coordinate outfits to a specific theme.

For example, one day have everyone dress up in ’60s-themed go-go garb. The next, you’re the cast from “Friday Night Lights.” Just make sure your employees stick to what’s work appropriate for your business.

6. Welcome Trick-or-Treaters

What better way to increase foot traffic to your business than providing free candy for the youngsters? Include coupons with your handouts to make sure their parents come back to you the next day.

7. Host a Halloween Contest or Giveaway

Post a contest or giveaway to your social media accounts or advertise it in your store—just make it spooky or fall-themed for October. Everyone loves a chance to win something, especially if it’s Halloween related.

8. Halloweenify Your Online Presence

Make your avatars, profile photos, and headers all Halloween-themed—from Facebook to your website to your email newsletter. Spookify your logo or other branding while you’re at it. You can even create a Halloween-focused #hashtag related to your business that customers can post about or share.

9. Create a Spooky Direct Mail Campaign

Use your direct mail rolodex to send out bags of candy, Halloween-themed coupons, or other engagement tactics. It’ll make your customers feel special and help them get in the Halloween spirit—with your business in mind.

10. Give Out Branded Trick or Treat Bags

It’s relatively cheap to create some plastic bags with a spookified version of your logo on them—250 custom bags can run under $150. It’s a great way to get your business’s logo out in the wild on a night when a good majority of the public will be out and about. Leave them out at your store front for the taking or send them in a direct mail campaign.

11. Partner With Fall-themed Attractions

October has a wealth of seasonal businesses that your business could attach itself to—haunted houses, apple picking farms, corn field mazes, and pop-up costume stores. See if there’s a way for your business to insert itself in all the fun—be the coffee or snack sponsor, or provide some free product to these attractions that’ll gain visibility with their customers.

Another Theme to Consider

If “spooky” really isn’t really in line with your business branding or goals, know that October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A good cause and a great opportunity to gain visibility in a philanthropic way. Think about how your business might support breast cancer awareness—provide pink ribbons, decorate with pink ribbons or signs in your store, or accept donations on behalf of an organization of your choosing at your business.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood

Editor-in-Chief at Fundera
Meredith is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera. Specializing in financial advice for small business owners, Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more.
Meredith Wood

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