Go a Little Wild: 8 Attention-Grabbing Halloween Marketing Ideas for the Small Business

Indulge in the candy and the costumes; it will bring you business and make your customers smile.

Susie Almaneih small business marketing

Halloween marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season; ready or not, here it comes!  While Halloween is a holiday that focuses on kids, it’s also a time when adults let loose and spend, so therefore presents a great opportunity to businesses.

There are plenty of homegrown ideas to get people rolling in for your wares, some of them new, some of them as old as the holiday itself.  Don’t let the opportunity to draw more customer engagement and create some local excitement pass your business by this October.  Here are some handy marketing tips for you to consider as Halloween fast approaches:

    1. Join the festivities.  If there is a small business association in your town or city, make sure you are in on any events like trick-or-treating block parties or fairs.  This presents the perfect chance to get your presence and your brand out in front of the public.  It’s also a great idea to get to know fellow merchants heading into the busy season.  You never know when you made need change after the bank closes, and who knows, you might have the opportunity to partner with another business in a promotion or future event.
    2. Decorate!  A few half-hearted cobwebs aren’t going to cut it.  You have to get inventive and the more interactive, the better.  If you are an online retailer, disguise your avatar, change the look of your landing page, and post or share some timely video clips.
    3. Focus on branding.  Again, talking about social media, this is an opportune time to just get your brand identity in people’s faces.  A witty viral video or meme can put your company name at the top of the list when shoppers rev up for winter in a month or so.  Work on getting your brand recognized and associated with something fun and unique.
    4. Sweet treats.  Look, buttering up customers with a little sugar is totally above the board this time of year.  With bake sales, holiday parties, and of course, trick-or-treating, customers anticipate a little something delicious when they walk in the door.  Free samples and homemade seasonal goodies are always a winner.  Consider spiced apple cider, or pumpkin anything.
    5. Invite the kids.  Even if your business has nothing to do with kids, find a way to incorporate them.  Own a tattoo shop?  Do a promotion where you hand draw temporary tattoos on the little ones.
  • Encourage the fantasy.  One of the great things about Halloween is the way it lets our collective imagination run a little wild.  This is the magic of the holiday that everyone wants to believe in, so encourage your team to dress up, and get creative and excited.  A company-wide theme invites imaginative costumes, and then you can work in some deals around that theme.
  • Play games.  Just providing a little off-the-cuff fun like bobbing for apples, horseshoes, or a relay for a prize (gift certificates are always appreciated heading into the winter holidays) is a sure-fire way to extend yourself and your company to the public.  This is another opportunity with online games or contests that foster engagement and you can award the winners some in-store treats.  
  • Press the Flesh.  Don’t forget the most fundamental part of successful business: face-to-face impressions.  Building relationships with your community is a long-term investment that will reward your company with loyal customers.

Remember that the Halloween season is a big one; consumers are hungry for decorations, props, costumes, and candy.  As part of the larger autumn sales cycle, this is a time of year when people really get cracking on some of their home improvements, school projects are well under way, and work for many of us is in the final chunk of the year pushing to make goals and deadlines.  Get out in front of the momentum by investing some good-spirited energy in your community and give your customers a reason to come back.